Have You Ever Tried to Run up A Mountain?

The term ‘wholeness’ is one we apply to an individual that is thriving mentally, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. The Bible is instrumental in helping us understand what happens when the spiritual part of us is out of whack. All the other parts of us go haywire too. Most people would agree that when it comes to the mental acumen for things like technology and science, humanity has advanced in many areas. One would expect that all the other aspects of our being would keep pace, but in fact they haven’t. This is particularly true regarding our emotional well-being. The times are exceedingly stressful, and although we’ve grown adept to keeping up with technological gizmos, emotionally, we seem to fall further and further behind.

In Hebrews 12:1, the Apostle Paul said that since we’re surrounded by the witness of all these wonderful folks that lived with incredible faith in God, we have no excuse. We have to get busy like they did. After all, they were not perfect. They had flaws, but they ran the race God placed before them and accomplished what He wanted them to do. We all have a race to run; all of us! Paul tells us to go ahead and strip off all that heavy negative stuff that weighs us down so we can run with endurance. Sure, we might become tired, but not easily so; we’ll keep running no matter what, with our eyes continually on the prize.

What’s happening to a lot of folks is that they’re not able to run because they don’t understand they’re in a race. And not only this, they haven’t built up endurance. Why is this such a huge problem? Well, it’s a huge problem because life happens. God designed life to be a constantly moving, everchanging, progressive, and productive dynamic. It doesn’t slow down and wait for anyone. It just keeps going, and if you’re not prepared for the ‘get down’, it will boogie right on passed you. The wonderful people that He tells us about in Hebrews 12:1 had incredible faith, and we know this because they faced incredible obstacles. You can’t have one without the other. Jesus Christ tells us in Romans 8:37 that through him, we’re more than conquerors, but you can’t be a conqueror if there’s nothing to defeat.

Given this, it is inevitable that life will present some mountains. In Mark 11:23(NLT), Jesus Christ used a mountain to teach us about faith. He said, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” Some of us are dealing with some mountains right now. Maybe you’re in an abusive relationship, and it seems there’s no way out. Perhaps your debt is mounting, and you can’t see a way to get from underneath it. From marriage problems to unrelenting sadness, many of us have what we consider to be mountain size challenges. The good news is that this is the Lord’s specialty. There’s nothing too hard for Him, and He loves to help us.

Sooner or later, we’re going to have to face the reality that the mountain is part of our race. Yep, sure is. I know, it seems insurmountable, every mountain does when you’re looking at it from the ground up. That’s why God tells us to keep our eyes on His love while we’re moving through rough terrain, so we’ll never see the problem bigger than we see Him.

This is not to minimize the difficulties we face in life, because keeping it real, have you ever tried to run up a mountain? What?!!! Try putting the treadmill on the highest maximum incline—it’s no joke, but the thing is, we up the ante on the treadmill because we know it’s going to give us a good workout. Life is given to us by the Creator to do same thing to our faith—to give it a maximum workout. With the treadmill, you can press ‘stop’ and get off. Life doesn’t work quite the same. You can’t ‘get off’ of life unless you take yourself out; and some folks are doing this. They are ending their lives because the pace of life exceeds their emotional acumen to deal with it. God has given us a better way! It’s the way that leads to wholeness.

It’s awesome that we’re making all these technological and scientific advancements, but ‘The Cloud’ ain’t got nothing on the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ is where the action is! Through him, God has equipped us to not just keep pace with life, but to blaze a trail of love that others can follow. God would not give us a race that we’re incapable of running. Let’s get moving by being more committed to Him. Let’s study His Word and pray more. Give the Holy Spirit greater room in your heart. Throw out the welcome mat and ask him to come in and help you prepare. He’ll help you train. Then you’ll have the endurance to run up that mountain and run the race God has placed before you with the victory of faith. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Have You Ever Tried to Run up A Mountain?”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back

One of the most well-known passages of scripture in the Bible is in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, Jesus Christ extends an overwhelmingly generous and loving invitation. In Matthew 11:28-30, he tells us, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” If you’ve never faced a problem or issue in life so troubling that you literally feel imprisoned by it, then the invitation of our Lord and Master may not mean much to you. But if you’re anything like me, and you’ve had your back pinned against the walls of your circumstances and condition a few times, then you will understand and appreciate the lifeline our Redeemer is offering.

Recover
He offers us rest, and it is more than just a temporary reprieve. It is a rest that allows us to recover, be restored, and increase in spiritual strength. Spiritual recovery is so important to us because it brings the healing that only our Lord and Savior can provide. And all we need to do is ask for it. Very often we feel imprisoned by life’s circumstances because our destiny is to be at point C and we’re still at point A. We must remember at all times that we’re spiritual beings having an earth experience. Our body provides the vehicle to move about within the earth, but our spirits provide the opportunity to move with Holy Spirit power according to God’s Will and Plan. So, when we feel as though we’re stuck in life, growing in God’s love, nature, and power is always the solution. This is why Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 11:29 that the conduit to the rest he offers is to learn about him.

Restore
We have a dastardly evil enemy, and he is the devil. Jesus Christ said in John 10:10 that the devil is a thief whose chief mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. Our Big Brother and Lord would never lie to us. Jesus Christ is truth itself. So, if he tells us that we have a treacherous spiritual enemy, it would be incredibly unwise and catastrophic if we refuse to believe him. He wants us to know about our enemy, and he also wants us to know how to protect ourselves against him. God’s Word places this wisdom in our hands.  

I heard a wonderful believer’s testimony about an encounter he experienced after praying fervently for a friend. His friend was very bound by oppressive situations. They were fracturing his family relationships and depleting his finances. This friend had contemplated suicide and came to this man for prayer. While meditating in the Lord, the believer saw a massive room filled to capacity with every imaginable treasure, and everything in this room was chained. He knew that these were treasures of God’s people that had been stolen by satan. Understand that God will help us get our treasures back.

Heavenly Father told His people in Joel 2:25(NLT), “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” God’s people had lost everything that was important to them, and the locusts in this verse are symbolic of the devil who steals and destroys the things we value. God reminded His people that only He has the power to restore. They had made the terrible mistake of putting their faith in the wrong things, but in order that God could restore them, they needed to turn to Him in obedience and have faith in Him. This is true for us as well. It’s why we need to learn about Jesus Christ in God’s Word, because learning about his love, ministry, and the extraordinary sacrifice he made for us will build our faith.

Increase in spiritual strength
Increasing in spiritual strength is probably the most important aspect of rest. God tells us in Ephesians 6:10 to be strong in Him and in the strength of His might. Life requires His strength, and the more we know about Him the stronger we become. It is important for us to respect that our destinies are etched in stone, so to speak. Our conscious minds are not aware of all that God has slated for us, and it’s why we must trust Him with all our being. He knows where we’re supposed to be, when we’re supposed to be there, and He knows how to get us there. Our propensity is to try and control the journey, and this won’t work. The rest that Jesus Christ offers requires that we give him the wheel. This is a no brainer. We should never hesitate but take the lifeline and rest he offers; we desperately need it.

While we’re in the passenger seat, we’ve got plenty of time to read, study, pray, and mediate on God’s goodness. That’s the whole purpose of rest, to remember what has been done for us through Christ, and to rest in it. You see, there’s a mindset of intentionality that’s expected of us. We must intend to gain spiritual strength as we rest. If that’s not our intention, we won’t have the strength to maintain what God restores. Let’s do our part by resting in the peace that Christ offers. We’ll be amazed at what the Lord does in our circumstances when our hearts are truly committed to spiritually grow and increase our faith in Him. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Untangling A Tangled Mess

My father was a military guy, and he liked order. This rubbed off on my sisters and me. We all tend to get a little antsy when things aren’t in their proper places. I think I’m more tolerable of untidiness than my other siblings. Sometimes I leave dishes in the sink overnight and can go a couple of days without hanging up my clothes, but I recognize and appreciate the discipline of order. When I don’t have it, I’m not as comfortable. The procrastination anxiety of having too much on my plate to manage will ultimately drive me nuts. So, I try not to let things get too out of hand in my living space. I enjoy that ‘feel-good’ sense of calm that you get from cleaning up and having things tidy. If only life could be that way most of the time, we’d be all set.

One can appreciate the ability to compartmentalize, because that’s what we do in life. We can have order in one area, but total chaos in another. We can have confidence in what we’re doing in one aspect of our existence, like our jobs for instance, but when it comes to other areas, we can’t figure out what’s up and what’s down. Very often, this seesaw effect is most apparent in our relationships because intimate connections reveal our greatest vulnerabilities. We’re not perfect. We’re going to make ‘big time’ mistakes. This comes with the human experience. It is important, though, to forgive ourselves for those mistakes. It is equally important for us to recognize, especially in our relationships, that we are in a process of development.

If life proves nothing else, it bears witness to evolution and progress. Life is an ever-changing and evolving dynamic. As believers, this means trusting the reality that life doesn’t end because our physical bodies die. We are born once physically, and then born-again spiritually. The first birth gives us life on earth, and the second birth gives us life in the Spirit through Jesus Christ. The second birth is an eternal reality. Jesus Christ always knew what he came to earth to do, and he also knew the suffering he’d have to endure to make the second birth a reality for humankind. In John 3:14-16, he spoke of his death to Nicodemus and said that he had to be lifted up and crucified on the cross. He said that everyone who believes in his mission, sacrifice and resurrection would receive eternal life.

Eternal life is life that never ends. There’s little to no reason to become better humans if we have no hope of life beyond what we can see day to day. Because our hope is in Christ, we understand that life affords us a choice to become better versions of ourselves through God’s love, and not through negativity or hate. We can choose better because of Christ and what he accomplished, and we can be present in the moment knowing that we are WORKS-in-progress.

God has designed life in such a way that the more we comprehend that it’s Him who does the untangling of life’s messes, the more progress we make. We move ahead by leaps and bounds if our mode of operating is one of not interrupting what God is doing in our lives. He’s teaching us a new and better way of handling life’s hiccups, and the lesson is that we should not use our words and thoughts to block His flow and further tangle things. We block God’s work through doubt and negativity. These are groove killers. They take us out of the realm of faith, and therefore block the process and the progress.

All it takes is one time—just one time for you to speak positive words of hope unrelentingly over a troublesome situation. A commitment to do so will get you hooked by the results it yields. This is achieved by saying what God says, and He says that through the faith of Jesus Christ, all things are possible by believing and trusting Him. Jesus Christ said in Mark 11:23 that we can speak to a mountain and tell it to move and be cast in the sea; if we command this with no doubt in our hearts, that mountain is outta here. If we believe, and don’t doubt in our hearts, we will have what we confess by faith.

This isn’t always an on-the-spot or overnight reality. It’s a process, just as we are a work in process. It takes a lifetime to get some things right down here, and just as we must be patient with our own self-growth and development, we must be patient as we continually apply faith, and not fear, to the situations of life.

God will make our crooked paths straight. If we confess and think anything that doesn’t jive with this truth, then we’re thinking and confessing something that is contrary to who He is and what He has said in His Word. Doing this, falsely thinking and confessing, is dangerous business, and we should want no part in it.

God wouldn’t give us these powerful spiritual tools if life were always easy. We wouldn’t need them if we didn’t make mistakes and if we didn’t need to learn to walk by faith. God has given us His Word so that we walk in the Spirit and in the grace of all that He’s made available to us. Let’s believe that God will untangle the tangled messes of our lives, and let’s trust Him with all our hearts by speaking and thinking in alignment with His power and love. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Untangling A Tangled Mess”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

A Quick, Crazy, Evil and Violating Thing

It happened in a coat-check closet of a banquet hall of all places. I was happy to see a large mirror in it when I walked in to hang my coat. I’m always checking to see if I have lipstick on my teeth, it’s a thing with me. There were people coming in and out, but I made my way and stood in front of the mirror, checking my teeth first, and then proceeded to fix my hair a little bit. A guy I briefly made eye contact with standing in line suddenly appeared and bumped against me from behind. Before my mind could grasp what was happening, my body sensed something was very wrong. He maneuvered as if someone has pushed him in my direction, but that wasn’t the case. He pleasured himself and violated me in that instance. It happened so fast that I couldn’t calculate it, and when I turned around, he was gone.

When I returned to my seat, the look on my face indicated that something was wrong, and my friend was concerned. She asked me what happened, but I couldn’t get the words right. I tried to explain, but my explanation didn’t make sense. I shook my head, which she took to mean that she should just let it be, but really it signaled my overwhelming sense of disbelief.

I did what so many do when they are victimized in this way, I questioned myself a million times in a million different ways. There was nothing unusual or suggestive in the eye contact I made with this man, yet, I still questioned myself repeatedly. It’s an old habit from childhood that, for me, has been challenging to break. Children who grow up in abusive homes sometimes blame themselves for the abuse they suffer. They desperately want to be loved and will do anything to keep believing in their parents; even to the point of faulting themselves.

Intellectually, I knew this thing wasn’t my fault, but old programming got the better of me. It was a quick, crazy, evil and violating thing that happened, but at the time, it was something I had never heard of. So, I didn’t tell anyone what happened, fearing they might not believe me. I was used to suffering in silence, and that’s what I did. As time went on, what I began to understand is that the painful and silent thing has a voice, and it speaks in ways that our mouths could never articulate. My anger and sorrow about what happened to me manifested itself in physical ailments, extreme sadness at times, and a neglect of self.

I had a few mountains in my life in the past, and this violation became another one that I needed to conquer. I was sinking, becoming more bitter and angry, and I decided that instead of continuing to drown in my emotional pain, I would dive deeper into the Lord than I had before.  

1Peter 1:6-7(NLT) says, “6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” God doesn’t cause our problems and tribulations, but He will always help us through them, strengthening our faith and making us stronger than before.

Some people will do evil things. They will take the free-will gift of God and do horrendously vile deeds with it. As much as we’d all probably like to forget this, we can’t. But we don’t have to focus on it. Instead, we can focus on the reality that God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to save us. We mean this much to Him, and because of what He’s done for us through Christ, we have a choice. We don’t have to let those who refuse to know God’s love destroy our desire to live by it.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14(NLT), God said that if we humble ourselves, pray, seek Him, and turn away from wrongdoing, He’ll hear our prayers; He’ll forgive our sins and restore us. Yes, we get knocked down, and sometimes it’s a pretty hard hit, but God is a healer of brokenness. If we allow His Spirit to work within our hearts, and be willing to surrender bitterness and anger to Him, we will always get back up stronger and more determined to live love through the power of His strength.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“A Quick, Crazy, Evil and Violating Thing”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

“Clean-Up” Women with Dirty Hearts

Growing up, I knew a group of women who never waited for permission to go after what they wanted. This was especially true when it came to men. It really didn’t matter all that much whether the man was married or in a relationship. If they took a fancy or the man seemed interested, they’d do whatever it took to take him from the woman he was with. Their mentality about this was cavalier to say the least. They figured if the woman wasn’t on top of her game, doing everything she could to keep the man satisfied and happy at home, she deserved to have him swept up by another woman. In an odd way, I marveled at the dichotomy of these women. On the surface they were very unassuming, and at times quite nice; but boy could they be ruthless. And the fact that they were not beautiful or particularly well-versed made the results of their audacity even more uncanny.

They were known as “clean-up” women, no doubt because of the cutthroat way they swept up a man, and did so to such a degree that not even a hint of him was left for his ex. When I think of them now, I think of what God says in Jeremiah 17:9(NLT), “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” These women were both insidious in their motives and actions. I would hear my grandmother say of them, “God don’t like ugly.” She was not referring to the aesthetics of their faces, but the content of their character and the way they disregarded families, children, and the mothers and wives who had struggled to hold it all together.

The ‘clean-up’ women in my town had many children and raised their girls to employ the same tactics they had used themselves. Other women that I knew feared they might have their husbands and boyfriends swept up. As I grew older, I inherited the same sort of fear. Long after I moved away from my hometown, I became ever so aware that clean-up women were not restricted to the area where I was raised. I dare say, they are in every town and city, sucking up leftovers and crumbs from what used to be a feast of matrimonial unity, and they leave no trace of Christian sisterhood in their wake.

Because of some of the devastation I saw, loyalty in a man was something I knew I had to have in a mate. I became relentless about it, and any sign of infidelity on his part was an immediate termination for me. I just couldn’t deal. The premise behind my stance is a good one, because God doesn’t want any of His children being treated disrespectfully, but the motivating factor for my stance was fear. It was the fear of being swindled out of my happiness by another woman’s selfish agenda. I had seen it happen many times, and I was adamant not to allow it to touch my life in any way.

Job, a righteous man who lived in Old Testament times, endured tremendous hardship in his life. In Job 3:25(NLT), he said, “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.” Fear brings a snare. Proverbs 29:25 tells us that fearing people is a dangerous trap. It draws out the very situations and circumstances we don’t want. Fear does not come from the Kingdom of God, it comes from the kingdom of satan, who is the father of lies, deceit, death, darkness, and hate. God tells us in 1John 4:18 that there is no fear in love, because perfect love will cast out fear; it will squash it. God’s love is perfect. His love is the glue that binds a relationship together in Christ, and it is the safety net that surrounds a family with impenetrable unity. Our responsibility is to have unwavering faith in God’s love, and the only way to do this is to learn about who He is.

God tells us in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed because they lack knowledge. They are not interested in knowing more about His love, power, and grace. This is what leaves them exposed to the clean-up tricks of those sent by the evil one. The verse in Proverbs 29:25 warns us not to fear people, but to trust God because this brings safety. It doesn’t mean that our relationships will be perfect. People make mistakes, and sometimes men lose their senses and think for a minute that the grass is greener on the other side, but we serve a powerful and extraordinary God. No problem is too big for Him. We can’t be so concerned about someone cleaning-up where they’ve got no business. Our focus should be locked on keeping our own hearts free of fear and full of faith, so that we can continue to grow in Christ. We must be confident that if we do our part, God will most certainly do His.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Clean-Up” Women with Dirty Hearts”  written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!


Heaven’s Idea of a Good Mate

The most important piece of truth that we can know about finding a good mate is that God desires it more for us than we desire it for ourselves. He wants us to squeeze as much happiness out of life as we possibly can. The Godhead bodily is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each is equally God. Although they have different functions, the relationship between the Father, His Son, and His Spirit is so unified by love that they are One. Jesus Christ said about the Holy Spirit in John 16:15(NLT), “The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.” Jesus Christ points to the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit points to God the Father and Jesus Christ; and God the Father points to His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. None of them singling out themselves only but giving glory to the other. Their relationship is beyond beautiful! And although you and I can’t fully comprehend it, we know from God’s Word that relationship means everything to Him. Therefore, He knows how important it is to us as well.

1Corinthians, Chapter 13 is known to many people as the ‘love’ chapter, because it is in this chapter that God defines what love is and how it behaves. He tells us that love is patient, kind, and not jealous. It isn’t egotistical, proud or self-aggrandizing. It’s not rude or irritable, and it doesn’t demand its own way. Love keeps no record of wrong doing, doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins. It never gives up, never loses faith, and is always hopeful. Love endures and will last forever!

This is God’s brand of love and it is extraordinary without doubt. In 1Corinthians 13:4-7, He’s given us a standard in hopes that we will fall in love with it. He wants us to pursue His kind of love and not rest until we have obtained it. In our pursuing, we will see that God’s whole mission is to build us up so that we learn to love ourselves, not by criticizing our flaws, but by continuing to focus on that which is best in us. The best in us is always going to be the love that comes from God. 1John 4:13-14 tells us that we know we’re living steadily and deeply in Him, and He in us, because He’s given us what He is—He’s given us His Spirit—His very essence. It doesn’t matter who we are, if we love with the heart of God, He loves through us. Heaven’s idea of a good mate is someone that allows you to do just that.

In Luke 6:37-38, Jesus Christ tells us not to jump on the failures of others or criticize their faults, because if we do this, we’ll receive the same treatment. He tells us not to kick those that are down, because this hardness of heart will boomerang right back on us. The astounding piece of wisdom he reveals is that the thing we put out there is the thing we get back. This is a big piece of meat to chew on, because it puts the responsibility for the quality of love we extend squarely on our shoulders. It requires us to graduate from baby formula and bring our fork and knife to the table.

God knows our destinies. He knows our futures, and He wants to present us with the most loving and wonderful mate, because that’s what He has in store for us. He also knows we’ve had a few issues in the past. We didn’t deal with a few things as honestly and humbly as we should have. The love we gave out was sometimes shrouded in selfishness, and this is what He wants us to see. He wants our eyes opened to the fullness of His love, because when they are, His Spirit has free reign to work within us, so that we receive the same quality love we give. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Heaven’s Idea of a Good Mate”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! fff

Dealing with Overwhelming Disappointment

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. ” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

Disappointment is defined as the emotion of sadness a person feels because of the nonfulfillment of their hopes or expectations. As I read the definition, I’m struck by the dichotomy of how simple the definition reads and how severely disappointment can impact our hearts. Sometimes our souls are wounded from it to such a degree that we’re never quite the same. There’s a saying that “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It’s cliché-ish, but oh so true. But no one wants to think about being stronger when your heart is aching, your confidence is blown to smithereens, and the thing you counted on or the person you thought had your back let you down big time.

As survivors of domestic violence and abuse, many of us have learned not to have high expectations. Your mind and heart will respond very surprisingly when they are conditioned this way. We’ll sometimes convince ourselves that God will not help us because of what we’ve gone through. We might make the mistake of thinking that He is punishing us for some reason, or that He doesn’t care enough to rescue us from disappointing circumstances. This isn’t the case at all. 1Peter 5:7 tells us to give all our worries and cares to God, because He cares for us. God loves us, and He wants to help.

Timothy was a disciple of the Apostle Paul, and Paul loved him like a son. Timothy endured disappointment because things in the church he was overseeing were not going the way he had hoped. He was a bit shy, and a very diligent and trustworthy person. Paul said that assignments given to Timothy would be carried out as thoroughly as if he had done them himself. But with this church, Timothy felt overwhelmed and became fearful to execute the spiritual gifts he had been given.

In our daily lives, we may not have the huge responsibility that Timothy had back in those biblical times, but we know how it feels to want something to succeed and yet have it fail. We know how hurtful it can be when those who are supposed to care about us speak negatively to us or behind our backs. It just breaks your heart and you want to crawl under a rock somewhere.

The encouragement that the Apostle Paul gave Timothy is the same encouragement we need in order to overcome overwhelming disappointment. In 2Timothy 1:6, Paul told him to stir up the gift of God that was in him. He reminded Timothy of his obligation to respond to God in faith, and to remember that God had equipped him to confront and overcome any adversity.

Disappointment can prompt us to shut down and close ourselves off to hope and faith; but we must not give in to this. Paul knew human nature. He knew how paralyzing disappointment can be, and he didn’t want Timothy to retreat into the darkness of fear. He had to make him remember what God has given to everyone who walks in Christ. In 2Timothy 1:7(NIV) he wrote, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

God doesn’t want the disappointments and hurts we experience to get the best of us. But He does want us to see the areas where we have allowed our spiritual lives to cool down. He wants us to notice that we might not be praying and talking to Him as much as we used to, or maybe our priorities have slipped; we’re more enthusiastic about what is happening externally than we are about what is happening internally. He’s reminds us to stir up the gift within, to remember who we are and whose we are. Only God can give us a sense of assurance, and when we focus our attention on Him and His promises, our spiritual lives will be strengthened. We can then view the other side of disappointment, and how we’re bolder and stronger for having overcome it.■

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“Dealing with Overwhelming Disappointment” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!