Tag Archive | despair

Money or Faith? What do we need more of?

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   It’s the end of the month. You hold your breath as you juggle the figures to see if you are going to be able to keep your head above water. For many this scenario plays out on a monthly basis. 

   Thoughts (or fiery darts) such as despair, fear, and panic have the potential to sap us of any hope that things will get any better. We avoid looking into the future. It’s just too scary!

   All this negativity makes us hard to live with. It’s difficult to focus on anything but our dire financial circumstances. We anger easily, and patience with those we love is in short supply. Worry is our constant companion. 

   In our personal attempts to find relief, we too often fall flat on our face. Even if we achieve that financial relief we are desperate for, it can too often be at the expense of relationships that depend upon us. 

   What I’ve just described is how it goes down for those of us who are ruled by fiery dart thinking. This kind of thinking blinds us to what our greatest need is during a financial crises. Which is:

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FAITH!

   It’s life changing (and not natural) to face a financial crises and say to yourself, “What I need here is more faith!” 

   Admitting we need more faith in a financial crises, will direct our thoughts to verses like the following:

Luke 12:24

Matthew 6:31, 34

Philippians 4:19

Psalm 34:10

   These are some examples of the Truth thoughts that should be ruling our thinking during financial difficulty. Every time a fiery dart thought attempts to take root, reject it and replace it with Truth thoughts (p. 93, 3rd edition FD’S)  like the ones mentioned above. 

   The result will be to give us a new focus, a hopeful focus. We won’t be afraid to look into the future.

   Hey, I know it’s easy to read these words. And I also know that its no easy task to deliberately and persistently reject natural thinking fiery darts with Truth thoughts. 

   But if we do, God will begin working out His plans for us and our money problems will find their solutions in Him. It’s hard to believe this but it’s true! Our greatest need in a financial crises is to trust God with it.  

 

 

Tempted to despair in this New Year?

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Tonight 2016 comes to a close and tomorrow 2017 starts out anew and fresh!

Yet, in spite of the hope of fresh beginnings, despair has the potential to overshadow such optimism.

How does this happen?

It’s quite simple, actually! But, oh, so powerful!

It’s a matter of focus.

   Despair consistently and predictably acts like a magnet, attracting thoughts of self. The force of this pull is powerful. One self-focused thought after another bombards our thinking, and the downward progression begins.

When our thoughts reflect less of what we are learning during our study of the Bible or what God’s Spirit communicates to us in prayer then a downward progression is set in place, p 46 3rd Edition FD 

   In the past, I fell victim to this force time after time! With each thought, I became more confused as to what Truth was. I felt justified in my thinking and condemned all at the same time. Depression was the outcome!

   Recently, that all too familiar pull of despair, began to invade my thoughts. And in spite of the hope of fresh beginnings of the New Year, I felt myself tempted to surrender to its force.

   But I was reminded of those dark days prior to learning about how to counter the attack of fiery dart thinking. I now was living in freedom from that bondage and I was determined not to go there again!

   I knew what my plan of action must be. I knew that God’s Word contained the answers to resist the temptation to despair. Therefore, I began making a conscious effort to replace the lies that attempted to rule my thinking with the Truth thoughts below.

To fight the lies that God doesn’t hear me.

Psalm 34:17-18

To fight the lie that there is no hope.

2 Corinthians 4:8

To fight the lie that my weakness is too great.

2 Corinthians 12:9

To fight the lie that I am all to blame.

Romans 8:1

To fight the lie that God will not act on my behalf.

Psalm 37:3-6

   Once again Satan came at me with lies that in the past had prevailed over me. But not this time. Not since God taught me the Truths that would displace those lies!

 

A Way Out of the Darkness!

In the past, long before I had learned about waging a successful war regarding fiery darts, I was in bondage to some pretty devastating thoughts.  One in particular was the idea that if I failed in a particular area of my life that would automatically spill over into all other areas of my life and inflict damage on them as well.  The unfortunate thing regarding these lessons on fiery darts that have now secured my freedom, is that way back then I was clueless about how the fiery darts were messing with my mind and ensuring my extended bondage.  That’s the bad news, but the good news is

In looking back on my journey, I have wondered at times why it took me so long to recognize the path out of the darkness of negative thinking that God had illuminated for me. . . . My hope then is that by my sharing what I have learned on my journey out of the darkness of negative thinking, you will be able to recognize much sooner than I did your own path out of the darkness that God has illuminated for you. (pg. 3, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice)

 Therefore, if you will permit me, I would like to encourage your heart with a Truth God has often sustained me with.

Isaiah 43:18  “Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. 19  Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming.  Do you not see it?  Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

Just because you have experienced failure in the past, that doesn’t mean that because of that  particular failure, you are doomed to fail or at least not measure up in all areas of your life.  I carried that burden of a lie for more years than I care to remember.  Only by God’s grace and what He taught me concerning fiery darts have I been set free.

You have only to research some of the Greats of Scripture to see what God thinks of failure.  Look at David, in spite of  his  serious failures, the Bible calls him, “a man after God’s own heart”.  How is that possible after what he did–murder and adultery to name only two?  I think I’ve discovered something here.  The righteousness of David had it’s source in God.  Read what Paul said about that kind of righteousness:

And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Philippians 3:9

Ok, we confess our failure to God and ask His forgiveness, then we move on with our lives and by His grace break free of the bondage that the knowledge of our failure has the capability to place us in.  As a Christian we have a very unique course set for us as we deal with the failures in our lives.  First of all, we don’t allow one failure in our lives to convince us that we are a failure at life!  That’s a big huge ole fiery dart.  It’s nothing but a lie.  Aren’t you glad that the Bible greats didn’t fall for that?

Trials have the potential to highlight areas in our lives that when responded to appropriately can increase our faith and produce endurance.  Take a look at James 1:

2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing o your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. 

How you deal with your crisis, what you learn from your crisis will all work together to reestablish your credibility. (Rom. 8:28)  Others may come against you (these are instruments of fiery darts remember) but if in your own mind you have come to the successful and healing conclusion that God can still use you, then you’ll know how to put up your shield of faith and ward off those fiery dart minions!

So go ahead and rejoice with God in those areas where you don’t feel like a total failure.  Be thankful for them and praise God for them.  Don’t allow the fiery dart that says you’d be a hypocrite to think you could still be used of God when you have failed Him so miserably. There are some areas in your life that you have gotten right so know that you have a valid testimony in that area.

Look again at the phrase, ‘a way in the wilderness’.  You have two choices to make.  You can choose to focus on the wilderness or you can focus on ‘the way’. You could choose to focus on the negatives if you like, but be prepared a cloud of negativism will become your constant companion.  On the other hand, you could choose to focus on God’s faithfulness to lead you out of the wilderness. You can choose to focus on the good He brought out of that wilderness experiences, how He strengthened you.  And I’ve got a sweet thought for you, if you focus on how God brought you out of the wilderness.

The more you focus on the good, the more good you’ll notice AND the better you are going to feel.  The more hopeful you’ll become.  Goodbye, despair; for hope and despair don’t share the same space.

Gotta a verse for you:

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.