Archive for pain

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Recycling My Pain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by greatvictories

This is the last of the “Life Hurts ~ God Heals Recovery Series.” I am sorry it has taken me so long to get the last one out to you. I do pray you have been blessed and helped by what you have read.

recycle pain

R.E.C.O. V. E. R. Y

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners. I created the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace, to him who is far off and to him who is near, Says the Lord, And I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:18-19).

No matter how we behave, God WANTS to heal us. He wants to use our experiences to help heal other people. He will use your pain to help others too.

Part One ~ “R” Realize we are not God…

Part Two ~ “E” Earnestly believe that God exists…

Part Three ~ C  Consciously choose to commit all our life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Part Four ~ “O”  Openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and to someone we trust.

Part Five ~ “V“ Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in our lives and humbly ask Him to remove our character defect.

Part Six ~ “E” Evaluate all my relationships and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

Part Seven ~ “R“ Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for your life and gain the power to do it.

Part Eight ~ “YYield myself to God to be used to bring the Good News to others by both my example and my words.

WHY GOD ALLOWED MY PAIN IN THE FIRST PLACE …

1) He gives us a free will ~ We all either help or hurt others. “Behold, I set before you today a blessings and a curse; the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I commanded you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but then turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known” (Deut. 11:26-28)

2) To get our attention ~ God uses it to wake us up. Pain should be an alarm in our life.  “Blows that hurt cleanse evil away, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart” (Proverbs 20:30).  “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance” (2 Cor. 7:9).

3) To teach me to depend on Him ~ “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us, in whom we trust that He will still deliver us…” (1 Cor. 1:9-10).

4) To give us a ministry to others ~ “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (1 Cor. 1:4).

God NEVER wastes a hurt. Being someone He can use is NOT being perfect! In our weakness, He is strong.

HOW TO USE MY PAIN TO HELP OTHERS…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” (1 Peter 3:15).

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).

Openly and honestly share your testimony with others just like someone has shared theirs with you during tribulation.

We cannot get out of our pain without the help of others.

No high points are possible without the low points. Share one high point and one low point.

We are all in need of recovery one way or another. God wants to recycle our pain.

Are you willing to share and help others?

Just be humble, be honest, be real and don’t lecture, just be a witness.

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Letting Go and Letting God

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2013 by greatvictories

Life hurts-God heals1

R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y.

We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world ~ we all need recovery in one way or another. We get stuck in anger, grief, fear, depression, bad habits, bad relationships, guilt, and whatever else.

Part One ~ “R” – Realize we are not God: We admit we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong thing and our life is unmanageable. Naturally we do evil…In Christ we’re delivered from this body of death. That which we do we allow not. What we want to do is right but what we do is sin that dwells in us (Romans 7:15-17).

Part Two ~ “E” – Earnestly believe that God exists, that we matter to Him, and that He has the power to help us recover.

Part Three ~ “C” – Consciously choose to commit all our life and will to Christ’s care and control.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

What could keep us from taking this step?

1) Pride ~ We don’t want to admit we need help. Be willing to set pride aside, we are not in control.

“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12). “The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall” (Proverbs 10:8).

2) Guilt ~ We are ashamed to ask God for help. We feel we don’t have a right to keep going to God.

“…for innumerable evils have surrounded me, my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up, They have more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart fails me” (Psalms 40:12).

God is always waiting, don’t let guilt keep you from going to Him.

3) Fear ~ We’re afraid of what we’ll have to give up.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

What is your fear? Giving up control? God wants to set us free from whatever controls us. Let go and let God take control of your life. Give up control! He wants to set us free. He wants a relationship with us. Give up everything to Him. He’ll give back one hundred fold. Give Him what you have and don’t be afraid.

4) Worry ~ We confuse the decision phase with the problem-solving phase.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Let God take care of the things you can’t. Pain brings a softening u so that we give up our pride and turn to God for help, allowing Him to control what we can’t.

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

5) Doubt ~ My faith seems so small.

“So Jesus said to them, because of your unbelief, for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

We don’t have to have all the answers before turning to God. Don’t let doubt stop you! We don’t clean a fish before we catch it. We have little faith, but we have a BIG God!

How do we take this step? What do we do? Be committed, not only involved.

1) Accept God’s Son, Jesus as our Savior. Secure your eternity. “If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

2) Accept God’s Word as our Standard.  Allow His Word to teach you how to live. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16).

3) Accept God’s will as our Strategy. Not my will but Thine be done Lord. “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8).

4) Accept God’s power as our Strength. We need help but we want to be our own boss. Quit trying to live in your own strength! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

Open the door and begin a relationship with God. Take a stand. Consciously choose God’s will. Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe.

We will hit bad spots, switch to God’s help. He is at the door of your heart.

Will you let Him in

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Where to Get Help When You Hurt

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2013 by greatvictories

Life hurts-God heals band aids

How many suffer in silence from pain of the past? Being hurt by someone? What problem in life have you been denying or controlling?

Part One we looked at the first steps to R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y. Realize we are not God: We admit we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong thing and our life is unmanageable. Naturally we do evil…In Christ we’re delivered from this body of death. That which we do we allow not. What we want to do is right but what we do is sin that dwells in us (Romans 7:15-17).

Now we will look at step two. “E” ~ Earnestly believe that God exists, that we matter to Him, and that He has the power to help us recover.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Where there is a design, there is a designer. Where there is a creation, there is a Creator.

1) Acknowledge God’s existence. Believe He DOES exist.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20)

“Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

2) Understand God’s character. Not just believing He is out there. So many of us make God in our image instead of letting Him make us in His image.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).

* God KNOWS all about our situations. The good, the bad and the ugly. He knows every fear, tragedy, inadequacy, hurt,  and joy.

“You number my wanderings, put my tears into Your bottle, Are they not in Your Book?” (Psalm 56:8). God has an interest in every pain, every tear.

“Oh God, You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hidden from You’ (Psalm 69:5).

* God CARES about our situations. He wants to be the father you may not have had.

“As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. for He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust” (psalm 103:13-14).

“But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

* God can CHANGE us and our situation. Sometimes through crisis, confrontation or catastrophe.

“…which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20).

Don’t focus on the past all the time! God gave us power to change us and the situation! NOTHING is impossible! (Luke 18:27).

3) Accept God’s OFFER to help you. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Things work best when they are plugged in 🙂

How to plug into God’s power…BELIEVE, and RECEIVE His help! Humble yourself to ask and receive help. It takes risk, pain and humility to experience TRUE life. (Isaiah 43:2)

Where are you hurting today? Plug into God’s power. Don’t deny your pain. Diligently seek God (Hebrews 11:6) each and every day.

Step down and let God heal you without judgment but with much grace and mercy.

The Better Life ~ Wisdom From God’s Word

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2012 by greatvictories

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

Everybody has their own spiritual journey through God’s wisdom, no matter where you are in life. Be open to everyone’s own personal wisdom journey ~ God’s Word continues to teach each one of us personally (Proverbs 4).

The world considers the good life ~ Fast cars, bigger houses, wine, women and song, head knowledge, the more, the bigger, the merrier.

What do you consider the good life? Family, fishing, no worries, peace,  no pain,  financial security,  opportunities to learn,  info commercials (we’ll throw in two for the price of one), sunshine, Jesus in your life?

Do you experience God’s wisdom and power? Is God’s power evident in your life?

For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding (Proverbs 3:13). Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).

So, how do you go from the good life to the better life?

Strengthen your faith. Read God’s Word and get to know Him personally. His purpose is to build you up. “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

Gain God’s wisdom, it will help…

Guide your decisions. “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Gaining God’s wisdom is to benefit us and guide our decisions, to light our path. When we walk in darkness, we hurt ourselves and others.

Enhance your life. “He also taught me, and said to me; Let your heart retain My words, keep My commands and live…Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go, keep her, for she is your life” (Proverbs 4: 4-13). God’s wisdom is the key to our lives.

We should reflect upon God’s Word in a thoughtful way, appropriating its truths personally and applying them to life (Joshua 1:8).

Be rich in your relationship with Him, not in material things that will one day be no more.

God’s wisdom will…

Change your heart. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:13). God’s Word and wisdom is available and will set you free.

Let God cut away excess baggage. Its not easy, it will be miserable and hurt at first (like going through surgery, they have to cut you to get you better), but it will be worth it.

Some things that can keep you from understanding God’s Word: Difficulty~ There are many different translations are out there available that can help you understand. Familiarity ~ Familiarity breeds contentment. We don’t approach it with God’s wisdom and power. Priority ~ Read a Proverbs a day. DON’T let God’s Word lose its power in your life or breed contentment.

Prioritize God’s Word in your life.

Approach it with enthusiasm. “As new born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:2). What is it you desire (crave) in life ~ coffee, chocolate, popcorn, vacationing? We must feed on the Word of God.

Experience it with consistency. “Bereans were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). It is not a matter of a period of time, it is being consistent. The devotional “The Daily Bread” is a great place to start, or reading a Proverbs a day. Keep it simple, yet DO IT everyday and your appetite and enthusiasm will grow. Just engage His Word consistently.

Discuss it with others. “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut. 7:6-7). Share what you are learning. We all come from different backgrounds and we gain great insight hearing another share.

Act on it with immediacy (immediately). “Be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves…for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was” (James 1:22-24). The only way God’s Word can transform us is by applying it to our lives, to act upon it. What can I do with it today? How can I apply it to my life today?

Engage in God’s Word and see the appetite He gives you for His wisdom.

God’s Word is not information, it is transformation. It is not just to make us smart and wise, but to change us. It has the power and ability to change lives! Let Him and His wisdom show and teach you how to live the better live.

The Better Life of Peace

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by greatvictories

You have heard that is was said, “You shall love your neighbor” and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven, for He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the just and the unjust…Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:43-48).

As a Christian we are called to forgive no matter what. No matter how bad someone has hurt us. No exceptions.

Who would you consider an enemy, a parent, child, teacher, spouse, ex-spouse, friend, ex-friend, pastor? Have you forgiven them?  How do you respond to the enemies/adversaries in your world?

Jesus says to love ~ (an attitude or action, having a humble, self-giving heart, wanting the best for them, seeing them as God sees them).

There is a way to love our enemy ~ Jesus is our model. He doesn’t say they should face justice or that you have to have them over for dinner one night a week. But he does say to love them as a model of Jesus. “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Benefits of loving our enemies:

There’s a physical benefit. “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). There is scientific evidence that surpressed anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness WILL affect our health. Healing WILL begin when we forgive and work through our pain.

There’s a psychological benefit. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a).

There’s a relational benefit. “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9). Love is the only power that can turn an enemy into a friend.

There’s a spiritual benefit. “But if you do not forgive men of their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mathew 6:15). We accept God’s forgiveness, we must accept and forgive others’.

We reap what we sow. If we forgive, we reap forgiveness. If we bless, we reap blessings. “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25).

There’s a kingdom benefit. “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brother only, what do you do more than others? Do not even tax collectors do so?” (Matthew 5: 46-48).

Love ~ Do what God has already done for us ~ Do unto others. Help those who hurt you. Return good for evil.

You may ask, “How do I do this?” Through the P-E-A-C-E process. “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17-18).

P ~ Pray for God to give you the ability and love in your heart to forgive those who have hurt you. Pray also for those who hurt you. You will get personal healing. “…bless those who curse you, pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:28).

E ~ Empathize ~ Understand what they may be going through. Find out what is really going on under the surface. Hurt people, hurt people. Love the pearl that lies in the mire. “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).

A ~ Act ~ Do good to those who hate you. Return good for evil. It is a choice you have to make. “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

C ~ Confess ~ Be willing to admit. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” Be a man or woman of character, humbling going beyond your pride and confess, turn and receive. Ask God if you might also be part to blame? “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

E ~ Emulate ~ Imitate God! Jesus loved and forgave His enemies. Those who beat Him, those who spit on Him, those who denied Him, those who ridiculed Him and those who hung Him on the cross. What happened in the past ~ forgive. Show Jesus’ love that is working in your life. It’s tough. It’s freeing. It’s commanded. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, and offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). Submit to God’s ways. Love. Forgive. Do good to those who hurt you.

When will you initiate  the peace process? Only then can we live the better life, the abundant life!

Seeing God’s Purpose in My Problems

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2012 by greatvictories

Seeing through God’s eyes ~ Part 3

How do you respond to problems? Do you look to God or to someone else? Do you whine and complain? Do you blame God? How do you see your problems?

God has a purpose for our problems. We just don’t understand where they come from…us, government, marriage, circumstances, etc. God uses our problems to bring good into our life, to prepare us, not punish us, and for His glory.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13).

1) God uses our problems to direct us…Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways (Proverbs 20:30 GN)

Sometimes God has to take us on a detour because we are heading in the wrong direction. Do you obey or do you go your own way?

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

It’s like planning a vacation,…the direction you will go…then you run into a detour. What is your first reaction? Thank You Lord or Oh man?

God uses our problems to bring us back to Him. When we are low is when we usually turn to Him. So, when you see the detour sign, be wise, follow where He leads and change your direction.

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner… (1 Cor. 7:9)

In the midst of your problem, ask God where this problem is leading you?

2) God uses problems to inspect us…I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:10).

We are usually satisfied with what “looks good.” Like the pink slime hamburger and many other products in our grocery stores…it “looks” good, but is not good for us.  All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit (Proverbs 16:2).

We are like tea bags, we have to be put into hot water to see what is inside. And sometimes God puts the squeeze on us like we squeeze fruit to inspect it. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver, I have tested you in the furnace of affliction (proverbs 48:10).

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not (Deut. 8:2).

How do you respond when problems come? Do you feel like giving up when you don’t get your way? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what this problem reveals about you.

3) God uses problems to protect us…Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wing you shall take refuge, His truth shall be your shield and buckler (Psalm 91:3-4).

Shepherds sometimes have to break the leg of a sheep to protect it and keep it safe from things it does not see or understand.

What looks to be suffering can be our protection  ~ our salvation. Have faith and trust God in the midst of your problems. It is His specialty to make good out of evil. But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive (Genesis 50:20).

A man’s step are of the Lord, How then can a man understand his own way (Proverbs 20:24)?

Ask God how this problem is protecting you and how you can trust Him through it. Ask Him to help you see yourself, others, and your problems from His perspective. Only He can bring good out of bad.

Ask God to help you see your problems through His eyes.