Today, I was looking back upon my life while talking to a friend of mine. We were talking about how life can get crazy! As she shared with me her frustrations and resentments, I shared with her something that had happened to me a little over a year ago. This is what I told her:
I want to share 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) "For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of Power, Love and a Sound Mind". Lately, as I am trying to build my relationship with God, I have been feeling a lot of anxiety. I don't know where it is coming from or why I feel like crying sometimes for no reason. My life is going well. I have a husband and family that love me. Our finances are getting back in order and my life is getting back on track. So, why, at times, do I feel anxious, worried and depressed? Why do I feel I am loosing my mind?? Ok, loosing my control of my emotions?
Acts 28:20 in the NIV tells us, ".....It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain." Paul is in Rome. He is imprisoned. in Verse 31 it says "Boldly without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Chris". Paul was not anxious nor worried. Even in his circumstances, he praise God's name and spread the word to others around him. He was never alone.
My grief and anxieties are nothing compared to Paul. The Lord is with me. He has never left me or forsaken me. So, where are these emotions coming from? Why this anxiety?
There are over 10 verses in the Bible that talk about worry, three of the ones I like are:
"Dont worry about the details we have no control of. Let God worry about the details”. ~Genesis 7:16 (NIV)
”Worry can cause us to forfit our peace with God. ”~Genesis 21:7 (NIV) Is this why I am full of anxiety? God wants to give me peace.
“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-- it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land”.~Psalm 37:8-9 (NIV)
That's it. I had been letting anger and frustration fill me. I was choosing to wallow in my anger and I allowed it to consume me. By doing this, I had managed to drift farther and farther away from God. I didn't go to church for weeks, nor did I pick up my Bible to read. I had felt anger like I used to know many, many years ago. But, this time, it was different. Because this time, there was a tiny speck of me, the me that loved my God that held on and kept fighting. Anger literally wore me out. It was a battle going on in my mind and in my heart. This is exactly what the devil wants to happen. No More. Renewing my mind is a daily battle. These feelings stem from thoughts I allowed to fester. No more. I will put on my armor of God :
The Belt of truth: Satan fights with lies and sometimes his lies sound like truth; but only believers have God's truth, which can defeat Satan's lies.
The Breastplate of righteousness The devil often attacks our heart--- the seat of our emotions, self worth and trust. God's righteousness is the breastplate that protects our heart and ensures His approval. He approves of us because He loves us and sent His so to die for us. By not keeping in the word, I had taken off my breastplate. That allowed the devil to attack my heart and mess with my emotions. And what an attack he made!!
The Footgear for Readiness to spread the Good News. Satan wants us to think that telling others the Good News is worthless and hopeless task. The size of the task is too big and the negative responses are too much to handle. But the footgear God gives us is the motivation to continue to proclaim the true peace that is available in God--news everyone needs to hear. I no longer felt like posting up bible verses or encouraging others on facebook. In fact, I had the opportunity to tell someone how he could get hope and talk to him about God and I stayed quiet. I didn't say anything because my thoughts told me that it was useless because he wasn't going to listen to it anyway, his heart wasn't ready...but I see now that those are lies...big lies... No one who knows me can doubt that God exists after seeing where he has brought me to. My life should stand as hope against the darkness. I survived so that I can share this hope with others...but by listening to the doubts in my mind, I kept my mouth shut. No more...
The Shield of Faith. What we see are Satan's attacks in the form of insults, setbacks and temptations. But, the shield of faith protects us from Satan's flaming arrow's. With God's perspective, we can see beyond our circumstances and know that ultimate victory is ours. SELAH! When I got home from spending a month away, I felt like I was getting nothing but insults and setbacks and temptations. I blamed my husband for that. But, as a non believer, it is easy for Satan to use him to get to me. He doesn't understand faith. But, I do. I understand how it works. And, I fell for it. I let my shield down. By doing that, I blamed everything on my husband. It was all his fault. Blame is a HUGE emotion...and one that will allow us to excuse our behavior when we know it's wrong. But, no more. My shield is back up!
The Helmet of Salvation...Satan wants to make us doubt God, Jesus and our salvation. The helmet protects our mind from doubting God's saving work for us. Doubt is HUGE when it comes to depression. After all, that's where i all starts...doubting ourselves, doubting our abilities. Doubt can have a HUGE controlling effect on our outlook. It can make us see things that aren't there. It can cause us to think something is bigger than it is.
The Sword...the word of God. The sword is the only weapon of offense in this list of armor. There are times when we need to take the offensive against Satan. When we are tempted, we need to trust in he truth of the word of God. The Bible says that the truth will set you free. And, indeed it does. It doesn't free you from battle or free you from life's circumstances, but it frees you from the loneliness that trying to fight a battle on your own can bring. Many times, I say to myself that I have no one to talk to. I can't pick up the phone and talk to someone about my feelings...but the truth is, God is always near. I can talk to him first and he listens. He speaks the truth.
As I finished speaking with my friend, I felt a wave of comfort, peace and thankfulness wash over me because that woman who felt all those consuming emotions of anger, defeat, frustration and such, is gone. While I still feel those things sometimes, they don’t consume me anymore. God showed up in my life and He showed me who I was, who I am now and who I am capable of being if I only allow Him to work inside of me. In this short conversation, I was able to provide a testimony to a hurting woman and show her there is hope at the end of the tunnel!
Lord, thank You so much for loving me. Thank You for standing by me and showing up in my life. Thank You for showing me what I am capable of becoming and that I don’t have to give in to these lies and emotions all the time. Thank You for showing me that there is another way, Your way! Lord I pray for those out there that are struggling with the same things I was back then. Help them see that there is a way out and that there is Hope! Lord, I praise Your most glorious name! Amen
© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Darci Escandon