There are a few posts I have started over the last few months, but have not been able to finish. It seems like every thing goes wrong when I try to write them. This post is one of them. Today was no exception. The last couple of days have worn me out. This morning I was awakened before my alarm to "Mom, I'm sick". He had the stomach flu and it was all over the bathroom floor. He was put to rest on the couch and was told to rest. Then my husband has a big test tomorrow and I was helping him review and an area in my life that still needs to heal all of sudden came gushing out. I have been sensing the Holy Spirit leading me to talk about this subject and these circumstances happen every single time I begin this particular post I believe there is someone out there who needs to hear it who will stumble upon it. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" So I decided that after numerous attempts that no matter what I am going to write this post.
After spending several years working in the areas of substance abuse and mental health, I can tell you that one of the issues I faced is that many mental health issues are actually spiritual issues. I am not saying all, nor am I saying that no one should take psychotropic medications, see psychiatrists, psychologist, or counselors. I think there is a place for them and that God uses them. However, often times there is a spiritual problem being treated as a mental problem. I also have found that by applying God's Word, and then accepting and working his character into our lives that one can find great healing. I want to put a disclaimer here that if you are recovering from incest or rape or are trying to put together your marriage after an affair, you are suicidal or homicidal, or that you are going through an issue that you are just not getting better from applying God's Word then you need to seek additional help from a competent Christian counselor.
However, God's Word is his love letter to us and I have found it is the most healing thing one can experience. One day in my devotion time I came across the verse :
Psalm 71:5 "For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth."
Then I found:
Proverbs 3:25-26 "Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence."
The word confidence kept jumping off the page at me. So I decided to look up what confidence actually means. Confidence according to the Webster Dictionary means "a state of trust or intimacy". I then realized that I had let go of my confidence in the Lord in the middle of pain a long time ago. So I decided to look up the word trust so that I could understand better what I had let go of and trust means "to rely on the truth of" or another definition is "assured reliance on the character, strength, or truth of someone or something." I then decided that if Scripture says God is trustworthy then I needed to know what that meant as well. So according to Webster's Dictionary trustworthy means "worthy of confidence". Just reading and recording these definitions was enough to make me cry and I had not even applied the definitions to the Scriptures yet. So I that point I confessed my sin that I have let my faith get distracted and that I had let go of my confidence in the Lord. I remembered back to times when my faith was stronger and my intimacy with the Lord was so much closer. I realized my sin of letting go of confidence in the Lord. Then I decided to apply these definitions to the verses.
I looked at Psalm 71:5 and started to paraphrase using the definition hoping I would see ways to apply this to my life. This is what I came up with: "For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my closest friend and one in whom I trust with my life since my youth." Then I decided I needed to have a better grasp on the word hope. So Webster defines hope as "desire by expectation for fulfillment" or "one that gives promise for the future". So then I re-paraphrased Psalm 71:5 "For you have been the one gives me promise for the future, O Sovereign Lord, my closest friend and one in whom I trust with my life since my youth." I realized that I had an expectation of God and He did not live up to it. That his plan for my life meant some things I did not want to walk through. I doubted his character, strength, and that he was indeed truth. My problems seemed bigger than God when I let go of these things. So I realized in my devotion time that July morning that I needed to refocus where I was hoping if my confidence in the Lord were to ever be restored. I can come up with many excuses, but ultimately the buck stops with me. I let go of that confidence. So I realized that I needed to set my eyes on the Lord once again and on his goodness.
Then I looked at Proverbs 3:25-26 and replacing definitions of words it paraphrased, "Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your close friend whom you can trust during your life." No matter what kind of times we face we know that he is with us, he loves us, and is near to us. In YWAM's Discipleship Training School we were taught a definition for God's love is God acting in our best interest in every thing at all times. So I need to trust the Lord to act in my best interest even when I thought it was a horrible thing happening to me. Once again I saw how I had been holding onto what I thought was best and right, but the one who loves me and created me was right there saying, "This is what is best for you please just trust me."
I expect my children to trust me. Often they fight me when I know I am acting in their best interest. However, they do not always believe me. Caleb has had difficulty learning to read and would resist. However, a couple of weeks ago we were out somewhere and he read the words on a store front sign aloud to me. Then it clicked that reading was for everyday life and he has for the last couple of weeks been excited to read to me. Sometimes when we don't understand we have to choose to trust. In time we may just see how God used that situation. I decided to tell the Lord about the hurt in my heart from the times I felt he had acted in an untrustworthy manor, then I left them at the cross, and then chose to trust him. He met my efforts and has helped me to trust.
What about you? Do you need to let go of pain, turn to a state of confidence in the Lord? There are great rewards found in Isaiah 32:17-18.
Isaiah 32:17-18 "The fruit of righteousness will be peace, the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."
In these verses we see where the Lord promises peace if we will choose to put our confidence in him. Peace is something we can experience when times are good and when times are bad. This day in my devotions set my mind in the right direction. There are many passages that deal with many of God's character qualities that God wants to use to help us find healing, right living, and good quality of life. We need to search out Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit what to do in order to find the healing we need.