Why Trusting in Idols Bring God’s Judgement.

Making an idol of elected leaders in the church, the community, the country, etc., is a temptation we all struggle with. We think people in positions of power will solve our problems and help us be prosperous. We trust in our physicians and the drugs they prescribe to make us well instead of trusting God to heal us through the physicians and drugs. Do you trust Scientists and think they are all-knowing and know the truth? Why is trusting those with knowledge and power, idolatry? For one thing, God wants us to trust in Him. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s judgment toward those who did not trust Him but instead turn to powerful people for help.

Here is one example, in 2Chronicles 14, King Asa, the King of Judah, tore down all the idols and places for idol worship in the land of Judah and called the people to worship God. Early in his reign, Judah was threatened by an army of one million men and 300 chariots from Ethiopia. He went out to meet the Ethiopians with nearly 600,000 men. So, King Asa prayed to God for help, and God caused the Ethiopians to flee. Later, in his 36th year, Judah again faces another conquering army, but this time King Asa did not trust God but trusted another King to help him. 2Chronicles 16:7-9 describes what happened.

7) At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.

8) Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand. 

9) For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this (not trusting God), for from now on you will have wars.”

Is your heart blameless toward God, and do you turn to God for help first? King Asa became complacent and forgot God, so God allowed a disease to afflict his feet. But instead of seeking the Lord for help, he sought physicians, then he dies. Going to physicians and taking medication is not bad. But trusting the physicians or medications to heal you is idolatry because only God heals. The book of Judges records many accounts of God’s judgment on Israel for worshiping idols.

The New Testament leaders were also idolized. For example, Acts 14:11-15 states,

11) And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”

12) Barnabas, they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.

13) And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.

14) But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out,

15) “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.

We are often tempted to make an idol of our pastors or elders by worshiping them and expecting them to meet our needs. Some pastors fall into the trap of desiring to be idolized and worshiped. So, they take on the burden of providing for the congregations requests. And often when the pastor leaves, the people who idolized him or her find another pastor who will meet their needs instead of trusting God. If the pastor does not meet the needs of those who idolize them, then they often fall away from the faith.

Have you made an idol of a politician or a presidential candidate? Instead of trusting God, do you expect the president you voted for to improve your life? How do you feel when the politician you voted for does not get elected? Do you feel hopeless and depressed?  If so, you have idolized that person.


Conclusion:

Idolatry is all around us, and you unknowingly serve and trust in them. Unseen battles with idolatry can be activities, people, relationships, people’s opinions, riches, fleshly desires, and needs, to name a few. All idols must be removed from your life because they will keep you from entering the kingdom of heaven.

You seek idols when you doubt God will provide what you want or need. But when you submit to God and trust Him, you will experience good. God created us to worship Him only and find our refuge and help in Him, and He is jealous when we trust something else. He created us to look to Him to meet our needs. So, what distracts you from worshiping God or finding refuge in Him during times of trouble? Have the worldly things you trust in given you joy, peace, and life? Though you may have temporary happiness, peace, and feel good, it is still only temporary, then comes the emptiness and depression. Only God’s love and presence can satisfy and give you lasting joy and peace.

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Idolatry and Soul Ties

Dear Friends,

Every living soul has wounds of rejection and will try to get their love-need met by equally wounded people. Wounded people cannot love us as God loves us. So, many of us become or have become sexually involved with a person to feel loved. Sometimes, we are so desperate for love and acceptance we will seek relationships with people we are not compatible with, and who don’t have the same beliefs. When you seek to get your needs met from a relationship instead of seeking God, that is idolatry.

The following Scripture warns against idolatrous relationships with unbelievers. 1Corinthians 15:33 states,“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” And, 2Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” To be yoked is to be bound together, much like two horses are harnessed together to pull a carriage. If one horse is old and slow and the other horse is young and fast, they would be unequally yoked. Both horses will get hurt in some way.

Have you ever been unequally yoked? How did it work out? Being in a relationship with unbelievers or worldly Christians is risky because their minds are filled with the false beliefs of the world. Satan knows we are drawn away from our devotion to God and His truth when we become yoked with worldly people. For example, King Solomon’s pagan wives drew him away from his devotion to God by causing him to worship their idols.1 As a consequence, God caused King Solomon to lose his kingdom because he did evil by worshiping idols. Another consequence of being yoked is it creates soul ties.

What are soul ties?

What do you know about soul ties?  The short answer, soul ties, is the knitting of two or more individuals in body, soul, and spirit. Soul ties occur in three ways, emotional, sexual, and spiritual. For an example of an emotional soul tie, read the story of David and Johnathan. 1Samual 18:1 states, “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” The relationship between Jesus and Mary, Lazarus’ sister, is another example of a spiritual soul tie. And, sexual intercourse causes two people to become one flesh, thus creating a soul tie.2

When you have a soul tie with another person, your spirit will be affected by that person’s demonic spirit attachments. For example, I sought love from an unbelieving boyfriend in High School and he forced himself on me. The soul tie with him negatively impacted my marriage to other men until I broke it with a prayer to loose and put it off from my spirit in Jesus’ name. When that soul tie was broken, I felt a release of an oppressive spirit. I felt love for my husband for the first time. I did this with all my past unhealthy relationships. I am now free from a host of negative spiritual, mental, and emotional issues. So, to be free from the control of evil spirits in another person’s life, then the soul ties need to be loosed and put off.

You can be friends with unbelievers and share your testimony with them without forming a soul tie. However, close friendships or partnerships with worldly people or cultural Christians will open you to be influenced by the evil spirits influencing them. For instance, a person who is not devoted to Jesus Christ cannot submit to God and does not resist the devil. So, the devil will control them to do his will, which will negatively impact your life.3 The Apostle Paul explains this in his letter to the Romans:

Romans 8:5-8 states, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6) For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7) For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8) Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. ” For a better understanding of living according to the flesh, read Unseen Battle With The Secular World

How to find fully devoted Christian friends.

You need Christian friends who are fully devoted to God because if they are not, they will negatively influence your relationship with God. You might ask, how do I know if someone is submitted to God? I’m glad you asked. Use the following questions to learn if the person you may want a close relationship with is spiritually mature.

1) Do they talk about God and the Bible, or are they more interested in worldly entertainment and earthly things?

2) Do they display devotion to God, such as going to church, reading and memorizing Scriptures, sharing their faith, serving others, and praying?

3) Do they live like Christ-followers led by the Spirit, or do their lives resemble unbelievers following their sinful flesh?

4) Are they seeking to live holy and pure lives through Christ Jesus? How do they react to hurts, trials, and temptations?

5) Do they show they love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength by not having any idols in their lives as described in this chapter? Where are their devotions and affections (i.e., spend their time and money?)

6) Do your close friends show love for their neighbors by helping those in need, encouraging them with kind words, etc.?

7) Do they stay in forgiveness, or do they easily take up and hold on to offenses? This question will reveal if they are prideful and have wounds in their soul.

8) Are they thankful, or do they complain?

9) Are your close friends pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness, and peace?

10)Do they live by faith in Jesus Christ, or do they proudly rely on themselves to be good enough instead of trusting in Jesus Christ?


1. King Solomon and wives: 1Kings 11:1-13.

2. Sexual ties: Ephesians 5:31 and 1Corinthians 6:16.

3. Controlled by the devil: James 4:7 and 2Timothy 2:26.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce


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Fear God, Not People

Dear Friends,

King Solomon shares the following wisdom in Proverbs 19:21-23.Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. 22) What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23) The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”

In the 2020 election, people fear that the country will be destroyed if either presidential candidate is elected. DO NOT BE AFRAID! Fear is a bondage that will cause physiological stress on your body, which will make you sick. LOOK UP and find peace and rest in God’s ability to fulfill his purpose for you and our country. The fear of God is to reverence and trust Him, that His purpose and judgment will prevail in our country, no matter who is president.

If you fear or show reverence to the Lord, you will be free to not fear the future because no harm will visit you. We may have troubles, but that will not harm us, but help us grow in our faith in God’s provision and protection. If you don’t fear God but instead fear for the future of our country, then you will NOT rest satisfied, and your fear will invite the devil to harm you. See my post called “How the Devil Causes Trouble

I wrote in my post called “Are you a sheep or a goat?” that love is the defining term of a true Christian, who loves those who do not believe as they believe. In verse 22, King Solomon tells us that steadfast love and truth are to be desired in your life, so seek to love and speak the truth to everyone you meet. Another action of a true Christian is to fear God. People who fear and trust God will be content with whatever happens in this election because their eyes are on God not the concerning circumstances.

In my last post, I explained that you can lose your heavenly inheritance by having idols in your life, even unseen idols. In this post, I will reveal how you can make activities and people into idols when you do not fear or trust God. Idols are often called vanities, or vain things. Jonah 2:8 states, “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love (of God).” Idols are lying vanities, as opposed to the living and true God because they are imaginary and are powerless to help you. So, putting your confidence in idols is vain.

Idolatry of Activities

You can identify unseen idols by evaluating where you spend excessive time and effort; even ministry can be an idol, or gardening, or blogging. Ouch, I stepped on my own toes. I can give specifics, but we are each tempted in different ways to serve unseen idols of activities. So, ask God to show you what controls your life? Remember, an idol is anything that draws you away from your love and devotion to God and people. Idols could be your work, hobbies, sports, TV, movies, books, social media, video games, pets, alcohol, drugs, food, etc. How do you spend your time and energy that then keeps you from spending time with God? Raising children doesn’t count because that is a God-given purpose. Even if you’re busy caring for your children and home, you can fill your home and car with praise music or scripture reading while performing your tasks.

Idolatry of People

How do people become unseen idols? A celebrity becomes an idol when you get your identity and a sense of belonging from them. Our loved ones become idols for the same reasons, plus, you expect them to love and accept you unconditionally. Yes, you want people to love and accept you, but they cannot meet your expectations because they cannot love you the way you want. Only God can meet your need for love, acceptance, identity, and belonging; all other sources are idols in your life. Why do you idolize people? To hopefully get something from them.

People are foolish to make idols of the presidential candidates. They worship their candidate and think their candidate will make their lives better. People, especially politicians, make the worst idols because they will let you down and will not meet your expectations most of the time. Plus, people make the worst idols because they are sinners.

People also make idols of pastors and other spiritual leaders. You know those who have made the pastor or spiritual leader an idol when they leave the church when the spiritual leader leaves or fails to give them what they are looking for. They had no interest in loving God and loving people.

Conclusion:

God’s purposes for you and this country will prevail. We can trust God to always love us and provide the things we need. Trusting the government is foolish. So to, people and activities will let you down eventually because they cannot meet your expectations. Fear God and worship Him only, love others, and be truthful and you will be satisfied, and no harm will come near you. Above all, do not fear the future, only fear God as the judge of the world.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce

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What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance

The Bible says our heavenly inheritance is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us when we believed in Jesus Christ (read Ephesians 1:13-14.) So, why does the Bible also tell us that we can lose our inheritance. We will explore this apparent dichotomy in the next few posts. In this post, we will explore why idolatry can cause you to lose your inheritance. The reason I am interested in idolatry is because of how much the 2020 quarantine disrupted our lives, and we had to reevaluate our priorities.

My friend is upset at the notion that he could be an idolater. He said; “Don’t tell me I worship idols; I do not worship or bow down to a created image of an animal or anything else. Idol worship was a problem during the Bible times, though I know some religions worship images and offer sacrifices to them.” Todd then asks me to go to the ball game and that a famous band will be playing during the pregame show. Afterward, he invited me to to go to the Tenth Street bar to watch Wrestle Mania. I said, “No thank you.” To me these were idols that Todd did not realize.

You may not know the many types of idols you are worshiping or trusting in to meet your needs, but we all have idols in our lives. The dictionary defines idolatry as having excessive devotion to or reverence for some person or thing other than God. Some people idolize celebrities. Many people idolize money and fame. Other people idolize their children or grandchildren. Your created image may be different than those in Biblical times, but you still have them.

So, why should we conquer the unseen battles with idolatry? The Bible says idolaters will not go to heaven. Yes, I believe we are saved by faith, but the Bible says in Ephesians 5:5, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone …, who is an idolater has no inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

In my last post, I asked if you were a sheep or a goat according to Matthew 25. If you hope to enter heaven, you must be a sheep who is a follower of Jesus. So, make sure you do not have unseen idols in your life that distract you from following Him. Just as you were unaware of worldly thinking, you are equally unaware of the idols in your life. God created us to worship Him as our only savior, provider, healer, helper, etc. Because God is a Spirit, and we cannot see or touch Him, so we think we need to replace Him with something physical. Note, you can’t trust the government to take care of you.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE UNSEEN IDOLATRY.

Many people put their hope for security in the material, temporal things of this world, such as money, jobs, investments, homes, education, etc. Some people put their hope for love and acceptance in people, programs, activities, etc. All the things of the world you put your hope in will disappoint you because the Apostle John says in 1John 5:19-21, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” And, John ends his first book with “keep yourself from idols.” Satan’s unseen temptation is to cause you to doubt God exists and trust idols to meet your needs.

Idolatry is evident throughout the world since the beginning of civilization. The first two commandments of the Ten Commandments make it very clear; we are to have no other gods in our lives, yet we do (read Exodus 20). God is jealous for us because He created us to be in a loving relationship with Him, and He wants us to love Him more than anything or anyone else. Luke 10:27 states, “And he (Jesus) answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.‘” Do you love God as described in this verse? What does that look like in your life? What changes do you need to make?

Many people expect other people or possessions to meet their needs and they value and trust them more than the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, I discovered that I depended on my family to make me happy. And, I depended on my job for security. So, when my children grew up and did their own thing outside my control, I became depressed. And when I was laid off from my job, I felt rejected and became despaired because my identity was in what I did. Have you had similar experiences?

How we make ourselves idols.

I even made an idol of myself and wanted everyone to worship and serve me. Be honest or ask God to show how you too want to be worshiped and served. If you are offended when people don’t agree with you, or does or says something you don’t like, it shows you idolize yourself. We idolize ourselves when we think other people should have greater respect for us. This is pride at its best. Observe the prideful behavior of athletes, celebrities, and musicians. By-the-way, God hates pride, because it will keep you from loving and trusting Him. After all, prideful people trust in themselves and love themselves too much. Do you know someone like this?

I will share more in my next post because I have a lot to contemplate from this post. Ask God to show you your idols because we all have them. Determine to be a sheep and follow Jesus, and do not trust or worship anything else.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce

Unanswered Prayer? Why?

We all have experienced times when we ask, plead, and beg God for something and do not get what we asked for. I have requests that I am still waiting for God to give me. I struggle spiritually in the area of prayer and why my prayers sometimes do not get answered. Are you sometimes not sure how you should pray? Do you wonder why God does not answer your prayers?  I studied what the Bible says about prayer and why God sometimes does not answer our prayers the way we want. Over the next several posts, I will explain from God’s Word the seven reasons why He sometimes does not answer our prayers.

The Bible says, He will give us what we ask for, so why doesn’t He? Matthew 7:7, 8 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Jesus spoke these words during His sermon on the mount.  Verses 7 and 8 are clarified in verse 11, where Jesus explains, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” This verse identifies two reasons why God does not give what we ask for in prayer.

Reason One: Is God your Father?

Some people say that everyone is a child of God because He created us in His image.  Being made in God’s image does not make us children of God. The next three verses explain who the children of God really are:

John 1:12 states, “But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Did you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the Spirit of God to be your Lord and Savior and believe in Jesus’s name?

Romans 8:14,16 explains, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 16) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Are you led by the Spirit of God and do what is pleasing to Him?

1 John 3:10 states, “By this, it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” Do you practice right thinking and behavior and do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus?

If you know that God is your father, do you believe He would give you something that is not good for you? Did your earthly parents give you the things you asked, and did you become offended when you didn’t get what you asked? I did. It is natural to be upset when you don’t get what you want.

Reason 2: Is your request something good?

James 1:17 tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  You may want something you think is good, but you don’t know the potential problems. Because God knows all things, including the future, you can trust Him to give you good things, not always what you want. Isaiah 46:10 states, “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times to things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’”  God has a good purpose for you and your future. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” What you are asking for may not be part of the perfect plan God has for you. So, you need to do what Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Do you trust the LORD with all your heart and are willing to accept the better plan He has for you, though you do not understand?  For instance, I prayed for God’s favor with my boss, so she does not lay me off. I may not know why God did not answer my prayer, but I trust He has a good purpose for my layoff and directs my steps.

You may say, but Psalm  37:4 and 5 says “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5) Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”  Are you delighting in the Lord? What does it mean to delight in the Lord?  Have you committed your way to the LORD and yielded every part of your life to Him? Do you desire to please God by being thankful even when you don’t understand his plan for your life?

God’s timetable is not the same as ours. He knows better than we do when the best time is for our prayers to be answered. Hebrews 6:13-15 explain how we may have to be patient and wait. In the story of Abraham, God promised a son to Abraham. But Abraham became impatient when Sarah didn‘t bear him a son, so she gave him her servant to be his wife. Abraham and Sarah tried to fulfill the promise of God themselves, and the result was disastrous. We are still seeing the devastating impact of their not waiting for God. Fifteen years after God promised them a son, He fulfilled the promise when He saw it was best.  Will you trust God today with the desires of your heart and wait for Him, even if it takes fifteen years or more?

From billygraham.org:

Q: Why doesn’t God seem to answer my prayers?

A: So often we are inclined to think that the only answer God can give our prayers is “yes.” We need to remember that “no” is an answer also. “No” is certainly an answer of love on the part of our Heavenly Father when we ask Him for things which are not really for our good or for His glory. God does not always give us what we want; He gives us what we need. Just as a good parent does not grant all the requests of his child, God does not answer every request in the way we desire.

Conclusion:

The first two reasons why our prayers may go unanswered are that God may not be your Father and what you are asking is not good to God, who gives the best. First, make sure God is your Father by believing in His Son and receive the forgiveness of your sins that was purchased by Jesus on the cross. Invite Jesus into your heart and to be Lord of your life.  Second, accept that no answer is also an answer, and God sometimes does not give us what we ask because it was not good in His sight.

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Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

Have you ever felt forsaken by God? Jesus has, I have.  So, why does the Bible say, “He will never leave you or forsake you?”  We feel forsaken when our expectations are not met.  This is true with our human relationships as well.  The next time you feel forsaken, asked yourself what expectations were not met.  Were they realistic expectations?  Remember, God is the only one who can be faithful and loyal to you.  My last blog post explains how to recover from broken trust, and I encourage you to read that if you haven’t: Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to trust again.

Maybe you feel God has abandoned you when He did not answer a prayer.  Unanswered prayer is an unmet expectation that causes an offense to form in your heart. God did not answer my prayer to heal my abusive first marriage and keep my family together. I felt forsaken and despaired as I faced divorce.  I felt abandoned by God.  I poured my heart out to Him and told Him I was going to walk away from my faith. And God answered, “What is the alternative?” I thought about it and knew that Satan would love to destroy me and my children.  So, I stayed tight with God by submitting my many troubles to Him while going through the divorce.  I do not encourage divorce but sometimes we don’t have a choice.  I experienced many miracles because God was faithful to me, which I share in the post, Trust God to Keep His Promises.

The Bible says, He will never leave you nor forsake you when you seek Him (read Deuteronomy 31:6&8 and Hebrews 13:5). This promise is for those who are followers of Jesus Christ who believe and confess Him as their Lord and Savior.  When you believe, you are promised forgiveness of your sins and are promised eternal life (see John 3:16). Read my post on the 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

―Are you afraid?

What are you afraid of?  Deuteronomy 31:6,8 says you must “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.” Again, in verse 8 God says, “Do not fear or be dismayed.” These two verses are part of Moses’s last message to the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land (Israel). When I think about being courageous, I think of David and Goliath.  David knew he could take Goliath because he compared the size of Goliath to the size of God.  By faith, David conquered his foe with God’s help.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Also, read James 4:8.

Are you afraid you don’t have enough money? Hebrews 13:5 says to, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”  You can trust God to provide for you, so you don’t need to be anxious about how much money you have or don’t have. Philippians 4:19 explains, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  When I was a single mother with two toddlers and no job.  I began a sewing business and God provided for my every need when I trusted Him.  I was never in need of anything. Because there was a 90% chance I would marry another abusive husband, I did not date. After a time of healing, God provided an awesome husband, who is totally submitted to Him and compatible with me. God is truly good.

My favorite promise is in Isaiah 41:10, which says, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Really think about this promise and claim it when you are facing a tough situation.  Fear and worry are indicators you are not trusting God. You will have peace when you keep your mind on the Lord God through prayer, praise, and pondering scripture.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.”  I wrote in a previous post, how you know you are trusting God when you attain righteousness, peace, and joy.

―How do you make God your refuge in times of trouble?

      Psalm 9:9-10 states, “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

What do the following phrases mean?

  • The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed”?  Refuge means a place of shelter and protection from danger. The word oppressed means to feel burdened or heavy by troubles in your body, spirit, and mind.  We make the LORD (God) our refuge through prayer by giving Him all the things that burden our hearts and are heavy on our minds.
  • A stronghold in times of trouble.”  A stronghold is a strong fortress that we can run into and be safe.  Psalm 37:39, also states, “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.”
  • Those who know Your name trust in You for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You Are you seeking God? Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Also, read Matthew 7:7-11.

God can be trusted, though He may not answer all your prayers the way you want Him too.  His knowledge and ways are greater than ours, and He has a good purpose and plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Isaiah 55:9).  You will never know His good purpose for your life until you have submitted to Him.  Submitting to God means accepting His sovereign plan for you and give Him the authority to take over.  I wrote a post on how to submit to God.  When I finally submitted, I became free from an anxiety disorder.  Read: Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE


Pray the following truth statements if you find it hard to trust God. Found in TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues.

It is safe to trust God and do what is good, and He will direct me. Ps. 37:3-5.

I can trust God’s faithfulness to be a shield around me as I put my trust in Him, and I will not be afraid. Ps. 91:4; 56:4,11.

Trust believes the good thing God is doing, and my heart need not be troubled, for He is my salvation.  John 14:1, Isa. 25:9.

I can be trusted, and I am faithful with what God has given me. Lk. 16:10.

I can trust and believe my life has a purpose, and God has a plan for my life, which gives me hope… Jer. 29:11-14.

As I trust in God, He is my refuge, and His unfailing love and favor surround me. Ps. 32:10; 7:1; 5:12.

When I trust and believe in Jesus, I will not be disappointed.  Rom. 9:33; I Peter 2:6b.

I will not put my hope in the uncertainty of riches but in God who richly supplies me with all things to enjoy. I Tim. 6:17; Phil 4:19.

I am blessed when I trust and hope in the Lord, and I make him my confidence.  Jer. 17:7.


There is hope for complete healing when you seek God with all your heart and trust Him. The short book on my website is the result of God healing my heart when I trusted him to show me my wounds and sin so I could repent and be healed.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

I am praying for you.  If you have a prayer request, I would love to pray with you, send me an email, or if you comment with a request, I will not publish your request, unless you give me permission.

RELATED POSTS

Read my posts on Psalm 91 found in Psalm 91 Posts


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Do you know you have two hearts? Do you know both hearts react to our experiences? Everyone knows we have a physical heart that pumps our blood. But we also have an emotional heart that process our feelings into memories and determines what we believe.   What we think directs how we feel in our emotional heart. To understand more about the power of thoughts, read the following posts: What Controls Your Thoughts?,  ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, and Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

A.  The Emotional Heart and the Soul

Did you know your emotional heart is part of your soul?   The following verses describe how the soul contains our feelings. Job said his soul grieved for the needy (Job 30:25). King David said in Psalm 6:3, My soul also is greatly troubled.” And, Psalm 35:12 states, They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft [left sad and lonely].” And, Psalm 43:5a states, “Why are you cast down (in despair), O my soul, and why are you in turmoil? Hope in God…” And, Psalm 88:3a states, “For my soul is full of troubles…” Last, Lamentations 3:17 states, My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.”

The Apostle Peter explains in 1 Peter 1:22 how to purify our soul so our heart is pure, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” Only as we obey the truth found in the Bible to put off our old self and put on a new self, can we love others well (see Ephesians 4:17-32 and Colossians 3:5-17). Read my short book to learn how to do this: DISCOVER A NEW REALITY

The Webster dictionary says the soul is our mind, emotions, and will.  Some people credit the soul as containing our sense of morality and conscience with the functions of thinking and willing. No one truly understands the soul’s specific function, though we know it sets humans apart from the animal kingdom.

Animals do not have a conscience or sense of morality; knowing the distinction between right and wrong conduct or action, and they do not feel guilt.  Sin creates guilt, which makes us feel dirty inside. Hence, the need to purify our soul.  Sin is doing what is harmful and selfish and disobeying what the Bible says is the right thing to do.  People with wounded hearts often do not feel guilt for the wrong they do. Therefore, healing the wounds in our heart through the love of Jesus and His sacrifice will allow our conscience to direct us into right thinking. When I became free from my guilt, I could love myself and then love others better.

Another distinction from animals is our soul longs to be in right fellowship with God. Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:29 to, …Seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” The wounds and guilt in our heart and soul hinder us from seeking God and being in right fellowship with Him, which is another reason we need to heal our heart and purify our soul.

?? How does the hurt in our hearts keep us from seeking God?

The hurt in our heart creates pride and is often protected by pride. Our pride maintains our right to be hurt and angry. Pride keeps us from taking our hurt to God and forgiving those that hurt us.  To learn more about pride read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

B.  Where do Heart and Soul Wounds Come From?

Painful experiences and guilt from sin, wound our soul by creating negative thoughts that then develop into offenses. Offenses are resentments, hurt feelings, and displeasure from the pain of unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, unacceptance, and being ignored. Offenses create painful memories, which then create stress in our body and conflicts in our mind through wrong beliefs. We know we are offended when we feel angry or hurt. Painful memories and guilt handicap our spirit, and keep us from loving God and others well, and we appear hypocritical to non-believers. Read my post on memories: HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR

When something triggers a painful memory, it then controls our thoughts and feelings, and then our behavior follows.   Hurt feelings create wrong beliefs. The only way to know your wrong beliefs is to ask God to show you and then listen to what you say or think. For example, I heard myself say to my husband he doesn’t care. Then when I was praying, I thought God did not care what I wanted. This is a lie and wrong belief from painful memories when my parents abused and disregarded me. I still carried this wrong belief in my heart, and it was still directing my thoughts. Abuse is the mistreatment of others that causes physical, emotional, and mental harm. Abuse also includes using insulting, coarse, or bad language about or to someone. Read my post on wrong beliefs for more details:  Identify and Replace False Beliefs

With God’s guidance, He has shown me how to heal my heart and purify my soul, which I share in my book called “Hope for Complete Healing.” Healing and purifying our soul are the removal of offenses, unhealthy beliefs, and guilt. As our souls heal and become pure, we will experience freedom, peace, love, and joy. And, we will love others better. Read the following post:  Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

C.  Emotional Health is Directly Related to Physical Health

One major benefit of healing the negative issues of my heart and soul is physical healing. The Bible explains this process in 3 John 2, which states, Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” And in, Proverbs 14:30 it states, A tranquil (peaceful) heart gives life to the flesh (body), but envy makes the bones rot.” Envy is a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc.; and a resentful dislike of another who has something desirable. The synonyms of envy are: jealousy, greed, bitterness, resentful, and spite, all of which is sin.  Sin corrupts our soul, so we need to purify the sin out of our soul to heal our heart.

When we envy our minds are on the things of the earth and on what other people have and we don’t have, which will cause us to be discontent and miserable. Misery leads to negative feelings of resentment and bitterness, which generate painful memories.  Painful memories generate negative energy, which creates stress that then causes the cells of our body to degenerate.  So, our physical heart will suffer harm from the negative feelings in our emotional heart.  There is a lot of research on this topic, I explain this in more detail in the following chapter of my book: 4–Physical Healing

The following verse also equates healing with turning away from evil. Doing evil is synonymous with sinning. Proverbs 3:7-8 states, Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body) and refreshment to your bones.” Evil is being and doing morally bad or wrong things to harm or cause trouble for people. Fearing the LORD is deep respect and awe for the power, majesty, and holiness of God and His judgment and wrath for those who do evil. This respect causes us to turn from evil and do what is right in God’s eyes, not our own.  Proverbs 8:13 states, The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil (evil behavior) and perverted speech I hate.”  You may like to read the following posts. EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy? and HOW PRIDE DESTROYS and  #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

When you feel peace, you feel positive don’t you?  Peace generates a positive energy that removes negative stress from our bodies.  When we pray and put our trust in God, we feel peace.  And, as we look to Jesus and keep our minds focused on the things above, the life of Christ will flow through us and give life to our physical bodies. And according to Isaiah 26:3 we will have perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him, because we trust Him to provide what we need and what is best for us. This is accomplished by turning every thought into a prayer to God. I have several posts on trust and peace you might like to read: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and WithoutTRUST Leads to PEACE,  Trust God to Keep His Promises,  15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep, and Psalm 91 Posts

D.  Conclusion

Healing our heart and purifying our soul has the following benefits.

  1. Allows us to make right and moral good choices.
  2. Allows us to seek God with a pure heart and be in right fellowship with Him.
  3. Reduces the negative stress on our bodies to allow physical healing.
  4. We will love others well.

If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Psalm 91:7-10 — PROTECTED FROM EVIL AND HARM

In verses five and six, we learned that we do not have to fear unseen evil if we stay under the protection of the wings of God’s truth and faithfulness (vs. 4). The next two verses are hard to understand if we do not have the vantage point of dwelling by faith in the secret place of God (verses one and two).

Psalm 91:7-8 states, “A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand [myriad] at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8) You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense (reward) of the wicked.

[!] What comes to your mind when you read these two verses?

These two verses are a promise of deliverance and protection from the recompense or repayment of evil. We do not have to fear the calamity God sends on the wicked when we take refuge in Him and trust Him to protect us. Remember, the wicked are those who do evil by harming people instead of loving them. Many who claim to be Christians are wicked because they do not love God by obeying Him and love others as He loves.   See post called: EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy?

I was in many situations where I was being wronged and I had to trust God.  I claimed Isaiah 54:17 which says, no weapon formed against me will prosper!” I also claimed Isaiah 41:10 which states Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed (anxiously look about), for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” I used the power of my words, and I claimed these verses over my situations, and I had perfect peace.

The following passage explains why focusing on God keep us from being afraid. Psalms 112:7-8 states, He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm (steadfast), trusting in the Lord. 8) His heart is steady (secure); he will not be afraid until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.”

The next two verses summarize the first eight verses.  In verse ten, the word “evil” is interpreted as threatening or bringing misfortune and disaster.

Psalm 91:9-10 states, “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling (refuge), the Most High who is my refuge (dwelling place). 10) No evil (harm) will be allowed to befall you, nor will any plague (disaster) come near your tent (dwelling).”

[!] What does it look like to spiritually and mentally dwell with the Lord?

As our earthly dwellings are our physical refuge from wild animals, the cold, heat, rain, and storms, so we spiritually dwell in the shelter of God through our spirits and minds through continual praise and prayer. Continual praise and prayer protect us from the storms of life by taking our focus off the storm and putting it onto God, who is our protector. For example, a Christian family trusted God to protect their home during a terrible hurricane. When the hurricane past, their house was the only one standing, sustaining very little damage.

There were many times I had to trust God for protection. One of those times was during a great wind storm. I became fearful because many huge trees surround my house. I had peace when I prayed verses nine and ten over my property, that no trees would come down and no harm would come to my home. After the storm, my neighbors all had more than one tree come down, but no trees on my property came down. What was more amazing was that four trees fell all in a line, just on the other side of my property line. God answers prayer, so we do not have to be afraid. Note, Psalms 91:10 also includes protection for everyone in your dwelling.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Psalm 91:4 — PROTECTED UNDER WINGS OF TRUTH

Have you ever watched a hen and her chicks?  Every night, the chicks find protection and comfort under the wings of the mother hen.  It is said that during a prairie fire; the chicks stayed alive under the mother hen’s wings even when the fire killed the mother hen.  The truth and faithfulness of God protect our mind from the evil forces at work to harm us.

Psalm 91:4 states, “He will cover you with His pinions (feathers), and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness (truth) is a shield and buckler (bulwark).”

A bulwark is a defensive wall of protection and a buckler is a person or thing serving as protection or defense.  We will only have this protection when we seek it out and use it.  In the same way, when we seek for and believe the truths and promises of God, we will not fear or give much thought to the storms and troubles around us.  The following verses further describe how we have refuge under God’s wings of protection.

Psalm 36:7 states, “How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”

Psalm 57:1 states, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in You my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

Psalm 61:4 states, “Let me dwell in Your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings!

Ruth 2:12 states, “May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

[!]  How does a person take refuge in something?

[!]  How does our soul take refuge in the shadow of God’s wings?

The visual of chicks taking refuge under a hen’s wings is a calming image.  So, our thoughts can take refuge in God’s promises and faithfulness which will also be comforting and calming.

Related Posts:

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

Trust God to Keep His Promises

TRUST Leads to PEACE


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Psalm 91 is my go-to Psalm when I am in distress, or not able to sleep. I use my imagination and visualize the truths in this Psalm to calm my mind. This Psalm clearly shows the correlation between abiding with God and protection from the unseen demonic schemes, that cause pride, anger, fear, worry, and anxiety. Fear is expecting something terrible to happen. Worry is to feel distressed in your mind by situations outside your control that often cause anger. Excessive worry and fear produce anxiety. I encourage you to memorize this Psalm because it helps you focus on God’s protection and provision. We can also practice speaking this Psalm over our lives through the power and authority of Jesus.  You may want to read ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

For example, I faced a lay-off that turned nasty.  My supervisor was harassing me to force me to quit and not take the layoff so I couldn’t get unemployment benefits. She harassed me every day until I reported her to HR, then she retaliated and made my life worse.  I became angrier.  I was also anxious because of lies against my reputation.  The truth is, I was prideful and thought I was more than what I was and should have been appreciated.  Read, HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

At the time, I was the only one in my family with full-time work. Plus, my job with the University helped my son with his tuition. I had many worries and felt hopeless, so I focused my mind on Psalms 91 and Isaiah 41:10-14.  I quoted this Psalm often, especially when I could not sleep because of the anxiety. God transformed my character during that time as I submitted to His gentle rebuke of the many sins and strongholds in my life.

RESTING IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS

Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter (secret place) of the Most High will abide (rest) in the shadow of the Almighty.”

       How do we dwell in the shelter of the Most High?

The Webster dictionary defines dwell as being in a place of calmness and relaxation as one dwells in their own home. In the same way, we abide in our homes when we remain or stay there. The shelter is heaven, where God the Almighty and Most High dwells. You might think; how can I dwell in heaven when I am alive on earth? We dwell in the shelter of God by faith through continual prayer, praise, and pondering Scriptural truths. When we pray, praise, and ponder Scripture, then our spirit draws near to God, and He promises to draw near to us (see James 4:8). Remember, when we believe and confess that Jesus is the Son of God who died to pay the penalty for sin, we become children of God (see John 1:12) and we become one spirit with Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:17).

God is the Most High, in Genesis 14:20a it states, “blessed be God Most High….” And, Psalm 57:2 states, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” Even a demon spoke and said the following in Mark 5:7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have you to do with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God?” Even demons know that Jesus is the Son of God. So, to dwell in the shelter of the Most High is to keep our minds on the things of Heaven and the truths of God.

    How do we know if we are in the shelter, or secret place where God dwells?

We know we are dwelling in the secret place of God when we have peace in our minds. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29 that all who labor and are heavy laden are to come to Him and find rest for their souls. When we are angry and in fear, our souls are heavy, and we labor in our worry as we stress over situations outside our control. Matthew 11:29 explains that we are to be yoked (as two oxen) with Jesus and to learn from Him and we will have rest. I like this imagery because knowing Jesus is helping me makes my problems bearable. Also, the Apostle Paul encouraged the Philippians not to be anxious but to pray about everything with thanksgiving. Then, they will have peace beyond comprehension, which will guard their hearts and minds (see Philippians 4:6 &7). Remember, when Christ Jesus dwells in your heart (see Ephesians 3:17), then your spirit is seated in the heavens with Him (see Ephesians 2:4-7). Imagine being that close to the Almighty God of the Universe that you are under His shadow and protection.

You may want to read Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom; Hope For Complete Healing. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).