Purposeful Faith

Category - Troubles

How to Heal a Deep Hurt

How to heal a deep hurt

Have you ever felt like you went too far? That you were too vulnerable with someone? That you were standing right at the brink of feeling out of control? Wondering if you would be pushed over and taken advantage of?

We have all been in these situations.

Often, we share and open up, only to feel sorry we did, only to feel put down or only to feel a recipient of unwanted advice.

I understand.  It can feel easy to want to hide, to cover our heads, to shut down, to close off, to get defensive and to self protect. I do these things all the time because sharing is risky. Being open is threatening. People’s responses are uncertain.  It’s sometimes easier to stay on steady ground.

Standing completely open to another’s reactions, views and perceptions threatens to redefine who we are – or simply hurt us at our very core.  It makes us feel like others hold control.

And, none of us like being acted upon – to feel unsure where things are going. It can feel too much to handle. Overwhelming.  It’s much easier to avoid these situations by maintaining control.

This way, we can avoid doubt, self-reflection and feelings of inadequacy. We can avoid wondering if we will be accepted, judged or criticized.  We can avoid worrying about others worrying about us.  We can avoid worrying about being punished for our beliefs.

At the bottom of it all, we fear others, we fear ourselves and we fear we won’t be loved.  We fear we are not good enough and others will know.

And, sometimes these fears feel justified.  We remember what happened the last time we were in a position like this, we remember the result and we remember our feelings. It was hard. Painful. Damaging. So, when we come against it again, we stand afraid – ready to fight – or take flight.  Either way, we know we aren’t going to be treated the same way as last time.

What are we to do? How are we to be honest, transparent and vulnerable with others when we constantly feel in fear? How can we move towards relationship without feeling like we need to move away?

God has been stirring up these questions in my heart lately.  I know he wants me to see beyond fear, but often I wonder how.   I am coming to the realization that I will never feel completely fearless with others; I will never feel completely safe based on who I am. It is impossible. We are all fallen.

And, I will never be completely good enough by my own merit, so if that is my goal – it is unattainable.

Only One makes us good enough, only One can be our refuge in a time of trouble, only One can be our rock when our ground is sinking and only One can be our hope when life is hopeless.

I know these things. I do. But, talk is cheap and the heart is what counts.

I don’t want to be a talking testimony; I want to be a walking testimony.

God sees my desire. He is opening my eyes. Gently, He is revealing truth – to change my perspective and to make me effective.

He captured my eye with just a couple words in His Word that made all the difference in my world.

The Lord said to me, “You are sealed.”

(He) set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Cor. 1:22)

On face value, this may not appear the answer to all fear.  But, these words have a powerful ripple effect that extends to the deepest levels of our hearts.

Why?  Because being sealed means that we are enveloped in love. Like a letter wrapped in a sealed envelope, we are entirely covered above and below – wrapped by the ownership and power of the Holy Spirit.  It covers us.  Nothing can penetrate the seal or the mark of the Spirit.

Because we are in Him, our ultimate security is secure. We are sealed. Shut. Marked. Owned. Sent. Made right. 

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit… (Eph. 1:13)

The King’s seal is on our hearts.

If he took the time to seal us, won’t he protect us? Guard us? Ensure we are ok? Help us forgive? Encourage us to speak his truth with love?

Afterall, we are his letter and words to all nations.

In this, we don’t have to live scared. If God stands with us, who in the world can ever stand against us (Ro. 8:31).  At our deepest levels we are secure.

People can say or do what they are going to do, but it doesn’t matter, because the seal of the Spirit keeps us safe. Nothing can change that seal.  The Spirit forever marks us.

And, when we have been marked, we have been marked as belonging to the Lord.  We are united. One. He will help us. He will not abandon us. He knows us. He approves of us because of Him.  We are protected.

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. (1 Cor. 6:17)

How could God destroy his very self?

Even if, in the moment, we are threatened – or at worst – taken advantage of, God always has the advantage. He always has a plan.  He knows a way. He has a vision.

Do we trust Him?

We need not fear being hunted, threatened or hurt because – in the end – God will always be victorious.  In fact, he already is. He has already won the battle. It is finished. Because of this, the battles of present day can lose their sting, because Jesus endured the ultimate sting.

Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (Jo. 19:30)

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Shame in the Bible

Shame in the bible
I messed up again.Guilt hit me like a wrecking ball pounding into a damaged building ready to crumble.  It hit me hard and when the shame came – it effectively ruined me. Defeated, crumbled, laying in pain – I hurt.   I wondered, what does God say about shame in the bible?

Starting up at the sky, I realize, I lost sight of Christ, what he has called me to do, his unique plan for me, his purposes, his might, his power, his authority.

I lost sight of it all.

I looked at another person and decided God’s blueprint for my life wasn’t as good – wasn’t so possible – after all.

Where did I go wrong? I saw all that I wasn’t.  I saw all that she was.  And, as I saw all of her – I saw less of me.  I saw none of God.

Then, the shame overpowered my guilt.  It crushed me because I lacked faith.  It left me feeling embarrassed that Miss “Encourage” was “Discouraged” (I am called the “Cheerleader of Faith” after all).  It said I am defined by my sin of envy, jealousy and comparison.

My guilt said I messed up – but, my shame said I would always mess up.

Isn’t that how it is with shame? Shame says we are selfish.  Shame says we will always steal God’s glory.  Shame says we will always fail.  Shame says we may as well give up.  Shame said we can’t do any good – why try?

Shame tumbled me.  It came to thwart God’s plan – to knock me down.  Unrecognized, it would have succeeded.

But, as I stared at my wreckage, God got me to thinking…

I got wrecked, because I took my eyes off of Christ.

I got wrecked to divert me from God’s mission.

God has great plans for me.
The Devil wants to wreck anything that brings glory to God above himself.
Jesus didn’t die so I could be condemned; there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
God loves me; he will take the wreckage  and reconstruct me as I ask for forgiveness.

We can’t let shame knock us down.  We can’t let shame win.  Because, you better bet it will try to tell us that we aren’t good, holy or lovable.  Shame will come to trap us under the bricks, holding us down so that we can’t accomplish God’s purposes.Shame is one of the devil’s best tools to chisel away at our faith walk.

He has used it since the very first days – days when all was happy and joyful and peaceful in the garden of Eden.  He offered sin on a plate – and now we talk about this apple over and over again.

The devil offered, Eve accepted, the world defected.

Sin distanced us from God.  In fact, we see shame in the bible, as Adam and Eve hid from God (Genesis 3:8) after they sinned.  The were so burdened by shame and so overwhelmed that they didn’t want to stand in front of their glorious maker. They wanted to hide, to go unseen, to cower in fear, to go under the radar, to pretend it didn’t happen.  They wanted to avoid God at all costs.

Shame makes us run.  It makes us hide.

The devil knows this. He knows if he can get us to move towards sin, he can hit us with his powerful wrecking ball. He has a plan to hit us – and to hit us hard.

  • Hit them with regret.
  • Hit them with  fear.
  • Hit them with embarrassment and shame.
  • Hit them so hard they can’t get up and walk to the foot of the cross.
  • Hit them so they move away God, not towards repentance.
  • Hit them so they forget that God forgives.
  • Hit them so they walk away from believing in God’s grace.
  • Hit them swiftly and trap them in sin.
What if Adam and Eve ran to God, instead of hiding?  What if they called out to Him?  Their shame didn’t protect them, or absolve them or benefit them in any way.

…and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)

The Lord could still see them clear as day.  He knew where they were – and what they had done. There is no hiding from God.

And, today, we don’t have to hide because there is no more shame in Christ Jesus. Christ absolved us of all shame, because he endured all shame.  Enough.  It’s done.  It is finished. (John 19:30).  Released.  Gone.  Done. Complete.  As believers, we are secure.

God wants us to come to Him – open, vulnerable and ready to receive what he has done.

Reveal your shame, and he will reveal grace.  Come to him out of hiding and he will come to you with healing. Run to his arms and confess and he will give you rest.

God’s story of redemption is beautiful.  It all circles back to Him.  Even when we mess up – it is all about Him.  Praise you God.

God loves us.

God calls you from hiding.  He has important words to speak to you about shame in the bible:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8:1)

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. (Phil. 3:13)

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

We can’t stand accused when we stand forgiven.  Confess sin, accept grace, sin no more and rob the devil of his best tool.  

10 Bible Verses For Hard Times (Part II)

In Part 1, When Life Gets Hard, we saw the life’s wreckage from a different vantage point.  But, it is one thing to see something from a different perspective and quite another to live changed.  So, how do we live out the truth that we are being remade, renewed and recharged?  We go to the Word of God, the Word that is sharper than a 2-edged sword. Let’s take a look at 10 bible verses for hard times to understand what the Lord wants you to believe as you are being transformed.

 

10 BIBLE VERSES FOR HARD TIMES:

1.  We can look to the world to fill our needs – but only God completely fills.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phil 4:1

2. We may tend to forget things, but God never forgets anything – especially you.
“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Psalm 31:8

3. Need Help?  God has sent the Spirit, the ultimate Helper.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” John 14:6

4. The word “Provider” is defined in the Name of God.
“They all wait for You To give them their food in due season. You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.” Psalm 104:27-28

5.  God is the ultimate Comfort in a time of need.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

6. The world can tremble, but God still remains sturdy.  He is our strength.
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn…” Is. 54:17

7. God is our hope in what seems like a hopeless world.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

8. God will give you a future and an eternal home; this has already been secured.
“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” Ps. 16:5

9. When you feel troubled, God will help you a time of trouble.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

10. God offers wisdom, when you have none.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

These 10 Bible Verses for Hard Times illustrate that God stands ready to help us. Even though life may seem like it is crashing before us – God has a plan in the midst of the chaos.

When all else is stripped away – when life breaks down to it’s very core – we see the making of our vehicles.  We see our maker. We see the foundation.  We see God.  We see what is important.  We see what is valuable. We see Christ’s power on the cross.

So, fear not.  Fear not!  Keep your eyes on Him.

Fall into his arms. Rest in Him.  Let him helicopter you out of your personal crash site so that you can view all the little pieces with fresh eyes.

What you will see is beauty.  What you will see is that all the little pieces – broken pieces – are just his way of putting you back together as a new creation. A new you that is being transformed into his image (2 Cor. 3:18).  A new you that lifts others to new heights in their time of need.  A new you that sees your life from a new perspective.

Renewal is not always in our timing.  God sanctifies us according to his timeline – his perfect timeline.

From personal experience, I can assure you – God is the master mess cleaner.  He leaves us sparkling with a new spirit, a new spring in our step a new passion in life.  He gives us more than we ever had.  I have seen this happen and I know it to be true.  God will be faithful in creating a new “you”!

Know, God will not abandon you in the midst of your collision.  He will take care of you.  I promise and more importantly – He promises!  He not only promises, but he delivers! Cling onto these 10 Bible Verses for Hard Times.

 

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