Tag Archive | James 4:7

Why I can resist the temptation to despair?

So much of what is going on in my beloved country today, quite frankly, disturbs me. And were it not for what I read in the Bible, I would despair.  Did you notice that I said, “Were it not for what I read in the Bible. . .”  There’s a verse in Lamentations which gives me the basis for why I can resist the temptation to despair.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. Lam. 3:22-23

What I would like to share with my readers today applies to those who acknowledge the Bible as the source of Truth and have accepted Christ as their Savior.  

As I read God’s Word, The Bible, (and I make a daily practice of it. Not because I feel obligated to so that I can call myself an obedient Christian, but because the Word’s I read there, provide me with the strength I MUST have to face my daily struggles  without giving up in despair and sinking into depression.)

The lessons that teach me how to recognize fiery darts and how to counter their attack have become even more relevant as I listen to current news and read post exposing the ugliness spreading all across our land from coast to coast.

Maybe there was a time when we could bury our heads in the sand with the hope that by the time we lifted our heads the trouble would have passed.  But not today!  We must be aggressive in prayer and become active in reclaiming the ground WE gave over. Remember as Christians we have been given a mandate from God: 

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14:

And before I go any further, did you notice this verse was directed to people who are called by God’s name?  That means Christians, you know!

Why is it Christians can face what is going on in our country and not despair? Lots of reasons, actually, but here’s a few:

  1. God said in the Bible that the day would come when evil would be called good, and good would be called evil.
  •  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; Isaiah 5:20

2.  And God warned us in His Word about the perils of the last days.

  • But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived 2Timothy 3:13 

3.  We are also warned:

  • There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12 

And the further we distance ourselves from God’s Word (and the less we speak to Him in prayer), the less familiar we become with the ‘right’ way.  We become victimized by the lies of fiery darts and we can no longer recognize Truth. We begin to believe lies. I mean REALLY believe! Does that describe anybody in Washington that you know of?

So when we see the evil in the headlines being reported as good and vice versa, we can go to God’s Word for an explanation.  Why is that important to know?  Because knowing this keeps us from being blind sighted and puts us on our guard.

Because we are knowledgeable of the warnings God gives to us, we are also alerted to the fact that God has prepared a way for us to be overcomes.  Here’s a few to lift your spirits and protect you from despair.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and  petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippines 4:6-7

no weapon forged against you will prevail, Isaiah 54:17

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

My personal favorite:

Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the Lord trust in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. Psalm 37:3-6

Yes, the fiery darts will tempt us to be fearful and fill us with despair.  But for those of us who take to heart the contrasting Truths in God’s Word we can resist this temptation with:

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.Psalm 42:5

If you desire to become more equipped to recognize fiery darts and how to successfully wield the power of God’s Word against them, then please become more informed by reading my book:

Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice

Winter of Life (What do the fiery darts have to say about it?)

There’s a lot on my mind this morning as I write this blog.  Was in the middle of my quiet time and my mind would not settle down.  So, I will attempt to release these thoughts via my blog then maybe I can get on with my day!

A couple of weeks ago I turned 65.  In this country, turning 65 is an ordeal of research and paper work.  Sifting through the outgrowth of all that can be somewhat overwhelming. (Of course, my lot is complicated because I am a year older than my husband.  He has now the benefit of learning exactly what to do a whole year in advance! What an advantage! ! ! !)  I won’t go into the details of all that but suffice it to say it involves choosing Plans (and there are multitudes of them).  It’s a burdensome and stressful process.  (Jeremiah 29:11 carried me through though.  Being a Christian and being able to rely on God for His wisdom is a very handy thing during a time like this!)

Not only does our government complicate this aging process but there are a myriad of fiery darts that are designed to cut you off at the pass, so to speak, and make this part of life’s journey as difficult and as complicated as possible. As a sort of therapy for myself (always helps me to put into writing the stuff churning around in my head), I would like to share some of those stinking fiery darts that are messing with my mind right now.  My sharing has a two-fold purpose, helping me and helping you (I hope).

I have a dear friend whose husband’s life’s journey is almost over.  As I watch her struggling with her own fiery darts (and can you just imagine what she must be dealing with?) the depressing fact of my own mortality looms always before me.

http://joneycaudill.blogspot.com (Her husband has parkinson’s and the title of her blog is “The Long Goodbye”

In comparing my life to the seasons, I find myself in the winter of my life. (Can’t color it away or hide it anymore)  I’m not very comfortable with that honestly.  Being in the winter of life in lots and lots of ways is not very appealing.  Why?  

Well, here’s the fiery darts of it!

Our bodies are wearing out and wrinkling up!

Aches and pains are a constant bother!

We are growing less useful to our families and friends!

Children are living their own lives and we don’t feel as valued by them!

We aren’t admired and respected as we once were!

Plain and simple we are dwindling in every aspect of life and are running out of time, or so it seems.

Well, you know that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  And if the fiery darts were to be given free reign, the downward spiral would take over and the winter of our lives would become cold and bitter.

I tell you (and myself), that is not God’s plan!

 His plans are for our good, remember?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Almost daily, I pray that God will give me the strength to not give in to the destructive negativity of these fiery darts, to remind me that these thoughts are not from Him but the evil one, and for the grace to cooperate with the Truths of His Word.

So my dear readers, when those fiery darts begin consuming your thoughts,

Turn your focus towards God and He will help you replace them with His thoughts, such as:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever  is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippines 4:8

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8

Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.  Isaiah 26:3

Why are you in despair, Oh my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5

Now, don’t you feel MUCH better?  Of course you do, that’s God’s plan!

So when it gets overwhelming and you seem to be loosing your way, pull up these scriptures and be reminded of what God has planned for you (and me).  Like me you may have to print them out on cards and keep them handy so you can resist the temptation to despair and be constantly reminded of the hope you have in God’s plans.

Then and Now!

THEN

As I gaze in thought upon my life prior to my lessons concerning fiery darts, I stand amazed at God’s guidance since those pivotal days.  Often, I find myself comparing the life I lived then with the life I live now.

During those ‘prior’ days, on various occasions depression would reach out and grab me, almost pulling me under.  Negative thinking, which I now recognize as fiery darts, dictated my attitudes,emotions, and actions.  I was a people pleaser and my bent toward negative thinking convinced me that not too many people in my life were very pleased with me.  Unfortunately, it seemed to me that there was abundance of evidence which confirmed my suspicions.  Thus, I spiraled downwards too many times.

Yet, during those days there were two constants in my life that prevented me from hitting bottom–my young children and my faith in God.  My children were small and I never doubted that I pleased them.  They were my constant reassurance that I was needed and loved.  And, although I did not seek out God’s truths of scriptures as I should have, God was constantly sending me messages which reminded me that He loved and accepted me.

It seemed that just when I needed His assurance the most, He would send me a lifeline (and often it was via my children or through a special word from God).  Often, all I could do was to cry out to God for His help and plead with Him not to forsake me (you see fiery darts had planted a serious seed of doubt in that regard). My strength was so deficient.   But because God was faithful to His child, I endured and the day finally came when my instruction on fiery darts began and slowly but surely so did my healing.

AND NOW?

You might think that the problems I endured prior to my fiery dart training no longer trouble my life.  If you thought that you’d be mistaken.  For I am still troubled by fiery dart thinking and some of those same troubles back then, still exist.  Yet, I can claim that though those problems still linger, these are blessed days for me.

How is that possible?

My fiery dart training has taught and continues to secure my freedom.  Learning to recognize a negative thought as a fiery dart and how NOT to permit it to rule my thoughts, attitudes, and actions is probably the greatest source of my victory.  Oh, I still have mighty struggles with fiery darts but they don’t have the power to rule me as they did before.  And that’s the clincher!

Fiery Darts do not rule me now:

And therefore, manipulate me to act and think in ways that would undermine my faith and attempt to pull me back into bondage.

Here are a few verses from The Bible that are powerful in depleting the power of fiery dart thinking:

James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;”

Philippines 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

That last verse I have recently discovered is super damaging to fiery dart thinking.  Fill you head with thoughts that are of the nature described in this verse and there just won’t be room for fiery darts to hang around.

So your next step?

Get your hands on my book:  Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.  I have copies I can sell you (if you want me to mail you one) and it’s available online (try amazon.com and you can get it on Kindle too!)