If you have followed my blog posts over the past six months you know that I have published post after post on Christians and depression, anxiety, worry, and suicide. It’s my belief that there is an epidemic of behavioral, and mental health issues in the church that we a not addressing as I believe God would have us to do. The church has not treated behavioral and mental health as it has other illness. For some reason the church considers cancer, diabetes, hypertension, pneumonia, flu, and even the common cold, illnesses that it’s okay to talk about and seek professional help, along with prayer, for treatment and healing. We almost never say that the reason for these illnesses is a lack of faith or trust in God.
At the same time when someone comes to us saying that they are anxious, stressed, depressed, or “God forbid” feeling suicidal, we point them to scripture and telling them that if “you really, really, believe you will not or can’t be anxious, or depressed, or considering suicide, so just pray and claim the promises of God.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
I Corinthians 10:13 NKJV No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The church has a problem talking about depression because we somehow believe that Christians should not get depressed and talking about it can be uncomfortable because we don’t know a lot about it.
Because there has been a prohibition of talking about certain things or not expressing our feelings when we are hurting in certain areas is like “putting lipstick on a pi”, so to speak. We are masking how we sometimes hurt so we don’t get help. Some old time preachers and old time mothers talked about the church being a hospital... well if you can’t talk about your sickness what kind of hospital is it. Is it only one that deals with the common cold or a stubbed toe and not anxiety, depression, or suicide?
If you can’t bring your deepest problems to the church because you are afraid of what others may say where people have to pretend that “..there lives are picture-perfect”. There are two problems that result. 1) the issues or problems will sooner or later come out and either they will result ns gossip or the leadership will tell them not to come back until the problem is handled or 2) then can’t take the pressure of trying to put up a false face for the church so they drop out.
“When we meet Christ, we are saved from the penalty of sin, but we do not escape the effects of sin --whether that’s our own sin of other people’s sin or simply the broken world we live in. Church is the place where we need to go for healing not the place to pretend that we’re perfect. It shouldn’t be the place we run from when we feel overwhelmed it should be the place we run to. That is where Jesus will meet us and change us.,
It is true that prayer and reading and claiming the promises of God can help in relieving anxiety, or easing thoughts of suicide but to make those statements without listening to the anxious or the suicidal can cause them, if the symptoms don’t ease right away, to believe that they somehow don’t have the right kind of relationship with God and if the church can’t help why bother. The result can be desperation causing people to leave the church and in the worst cases suicide.
The following is an article from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention website.
Depression, anxiety, and the church: A pastor’s wife tells her story of hope
By Tiffany Marshall Leigh Ann Marshall
Since the garden, our world has been thoroughly and profoundly broken from the introduction of sin. This brokenness affects every part of our lives, from who we are, how we act, how we work, and how we relate to one another, to natural disasters and physical illness. As evangelicals, we are quick to see this universal bodily brokenness in cancer and heart disease, but when we approach mental illness, often our first response is to assume a lack of faith or inward transformation of the gospel. Why is this?
My family is no stranger to mental illness. Genetics have certainly played a huge role as three generations of my family, including myself, have been affected by depression and anxiety. Out of all of us affected, my mom's depression and anxiety has certainly been the most severe, particularly in the past few years. What has made this particularly hard is that she is a pastor's wife.
More than 18 percent of Americans struggle with depression and anxiety, but the stigma and shame still holds strong in the church and even stronger for those who hold roles in ministry. I recently sent her a few questions in hopes her story will encourage you or someone you know walking a similar journey.
Tiffany Marshall: When did you first start struggling with depression and anxiety?
Leigh Ann Marshall: I have struggled with diagnosed clinical depression for almost 30 years. The first time I sought professional help was in the early 1990s.
TM: What have been some of the factors that have amplified your depression and anxiety in different seasons of your life?
LAM: I was sexually abused by an older teenage boy when I was a child. I suppressed the abuse until I was a young adult. I believe this was the root of my anxiety and depression. My depression was managed for many years on low dose depression medications under the supervision of doctors. Over the past few years, there was an accumulation of factors that caused my anxiety and depression to resurface more severe than ever. We moved twice to two different states in a period of 13 months. My husband’s pastoral job changed twice in that period of time. In addition to that, I began to lose a large business that I had built from the ground up for over 19 years thinking it would be part of our retirement plan. I also went through a very severe physical illness during that 13-month period of time.
TM: How was this most recent season of depression and anxiety unique? What brought it about?
LAM: In November 2014, I spent 19 days in an ICU for sepsis, a very severe illness that more times than not, causes one to lose their life. Almost every major system in my body was shutting down due to an infection from a minor surgery for kidney stones. I ended up being on a ventilator for eight of the 19 days. Rehabilitation, including learning to walk again, took several months.
Just as I was getting physically stronger, my husband was called to another church, and we moved once again. My business began to decline even more rapidly as I was not able to work to keep things moving in a positive direction. I started to feel like a failure and was not sure how to handle the rapid decline of something I had put blood, sweat, and tears into for 19 years. I also felt like a failure as a pastor’s wife. I have always known the importance of being a helpmate for my husband, but it was all I could do to get to church, and then once I was there, I found it very difficult to engage with people.
Very soon, I began to slide into a deep depression that ultimately led to my decision in early 2017 that it would be better for everyone if I simply took my life. By God’s grace, I was in counseling and revealed this plan to my counselor. Thankfully my husband took this seriously and checked me into a facility for a week to get the help I needed. It was while I was in this facility that I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The doctor informed me an illness as severe as my sepsis, coupled with a lengthy stay in ICU, could produce PTSD. I slowly began recovering as my doctor discovered my medications were out of balance and found the right medications for me.
TM: What has helped you out of this most recent bout of serious depression?
LAM: As someone who has battled anxiety and depression for almost all of my adult life, anxiety and depression are things I will most likely always battle with at some level. The factors that contribute to my illness are several. There are chemical imbalances (physical), as well as emotional and spiritual factors. I know, therefore, that I must battle the struggle on several fronts.
As I have mentioned, getting my medications balanced and accurate was a big step in the right direction. I am grateful God directed my steps to get me to the doctor who is right for me. He does an amazing job of listening to me and keeping my medications where they need to be.
I also continue to see a Christian counselor. I believe this is important because over a lifetime of handling stress in an unhealthy way, he has helped me see other ways of dealing with difficult situations in a healthy way.
My family (especially my husband) have been supportive of me as I have walked through this. It is important for those you love to see clinical anxiety and depression as an illness. If I had any other chronic illness, such as diabetes or heart disease, people would understand it has to be treated. In the same way, people must understand mental illness is a very real disease. My family has supported me in that way.
I would certainly not want to leave out the spiritual aspect of this battle. Satan wants to destroy us. He will use any and all tactics to see us taken down. This certainly includes the battle of the mind. It has been important for me to continue to press in to God and my walk with him. I have Scripture and words to some of my favorite worship songs around my home. I see them everywhere I go. They remind me of where my real strength lies. When I am weak, I know God is shown to be strong.
TM: How did your role as a pastor's wife make this recent season harder? Why do you think that is?
LAM: When you are a pastor’s wife, you want to be strong around others. Expectations on pastors can be unrealistic. I was afraid if people in our church found out what I was really going through, they might think I was not a strong Christian or my faith was weak. We had not been at our current church long before the severe season of anxiety and depression set in. “What would others think if they knew their pastor’s wife was contemplating suicide?” I felt trapped with no place to turn for help.
TM: What can the church do to help church members affected by mental illness? (Personally or a loved one)
LAM: We must get past the stigma that somehow mental illness is a taboo subject. There are people sitting in our pews every week that are hurting and afraid to admit it or seek help. If we can bring mental illness into the light in our congregations, this will go a long way toward helping those who think they are the only ones or that other Christians will not understand.
We must educate our people. Our church has a strong partnership with a counseling ministry in our area. We lean on the professionals in this ministry to help educate our people on the real causes of mental illness as well as giving them help.
My husband recently preached a series of messages on discouragement and depression. With God’s leading, I shared my story on a Sunday morning as he completed the series. As hard as this was, it has opened healthy dialogue among our people. Many have reached out to me for help. They now know if the pastor’s wife can publicly share about her struggle, this is a safe place to go with their struggles.
We encouraged people to not ignore symptoms in the lives of those they love. They may just need someone who cares to reach out to them and keep gently nudging them until they get the help they need.
Because of the overwhelming response to my story, we are looking at ways to further educate our people and keep this conversation alive in our church. We want to be seen as a safe place that offers the real hope only found in Jesus Christ.
This has been such a hard season for my family, but we have also seen God’s grace so clearly. The Lord has used this to bring our family closer together, and it has made each one of us more thankful for the time we have together. We have a common faith in Christ that has helped us through this season, recognizing the broken, giving grace to each other when needed, and ultimately trusting in his sovereign and good purposes on the hard days. I know there are many other families out there that are walking through similar seasons without the hope of the gospel, and I pray the church rises up to meet them with good news in their moments of need.
Editor's Note: The following prayer is from the "Suicidal Thoughts" presentation to the Church of Divine Guidance Thursday Night Prayer Line.
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I come before You, confessing my need for You, and crying out to you from the bottom of my heart. Lord, You’ve said that you are near to those whose hearts are breaking and that you give grace to the humble. I humble myself before you now…I cast down any pride or self-justification that I would hide behind, and I present myself to you as I truly am–weak and helpless and despairing of my very life. I know there is no other Rock but You, and I turn to You with all of my heart. Father, please forgive my sin! I open myself up to receive Your cleansing, Your healing, Your forgiveness, and Your faith, hope and love into my being. I receive your love as a river, washing over the dry wasteland of my emotions. I see that in Your river there is life, and that every place your river touches in me is revived. I cast all my cares, my sorrows, my disappointments into that river and I let the current of Your spirit carry them far away. I believe You, when You say that You think good thoughts about me, and that Your plans are to give me a future and a hope. I believe You when You say that You knew who I was even before my mother conceived me–and that You wanted me to be alive on the earth right now. Thank you for giving me life! Thank you for working all things in my life for good! Thank you that I can call on your Name and You will be near me. Thank you for bearing all my weaknesses and diseases on the cross, and healing me, spirit, soul and body.”
Note - If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts and tendencies, please get help. Don’t try to face this on your own. There is hope and healing, and there are many who will journey through this trial with you. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time day or night 24/7, to talk to someone who understands. Or go online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ for more information and help.
Editors Note: Continual things come and go, like arguments or rain. Continuous, on the other hand, is nonstop.
I live in Southern California near Thousand Oaks where just a few days ago there was a mass shooting in which twelve people including the shooter (who took his own life) and a Deputy Sheriff were killed. Just a few days later, in this same and adjacent areas in Southern California, and areas of Northern California fires, fanned by high winds. destroyed homes businesses and many people died. Several of these fires continue to burn as I write this post.
Many have and will continue to experience grief over these losses of loved ones, homes, and other things. There is the initial shock and immediate grief of the loss but, that's just the beginning of the process. There will be times, even years after the loss, where you see or hear something that reminds you of that person, place, or thing and you will experience thoughts of joy or sadness. It's all part of the process and it's necessary. One of the toughest parts of grieving a loss is that grief often is layered and continual...it doesn't hit all at once.
When it comes to death of a loved one, a divorce, or a severed relationship with a life long friend, the initial loss is the relationship...then as the weeks go by, they realize it changes many of their other circumstances and relationships...then they realize how the loss is affecting any children, or other relatives and friends, even finances.
The pain is a process it’s very heartbreaking...and frustrating.
God has the ability to bring us deep peace. As we keep our minds on God, He is faithful to give us peace that is unexplainable.
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
If you know of someone who has recently lost their home and/or other things of sentimental value due to a fire, or other natural disaster, divorce, financial reasons...or if you know of someone who has lost a loved one through death or severed relationship, perhaps a divorce, reach out to them today. Bless them through the love and resources God has blessed you with.
Isaiah 32:17 NKJV The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
Proverbs 11:25 NKJV The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.
Editor’s Note: The content in this post is from the Grief Bites:. Finding Treasure In Hardships, YouVersion Reading Plan by Kim Niles and Grief Bites. The plan will tell you how to get your breath back after life knocks it out of you. For more information visit www.griefbites.com
“Life is like a piano: the white keys represent happiness, the black keys show sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys make music too…”
All of life works together to create the masterpiece that each of us are so brilliantly offered every single day.
The good and the bad in life...both help people to appreciate different facets of life and to live the best life they possibly can.
You can’t only take the good in life and reject the bad because both are tremendous shaping tools to help you live a completely full life…one is the sandpaper of life and the other is the buffer to make it brilliantly shine…both have the powerful ability to refine you. Without BOTH, the melody of life is incomplete…the song isn’t as powerfully sung or played.
When we reject the bad in life, and resent our circumstances, we ultimately reject a higher purpose for our life that can be used to help others. When we attempt to get through a trying time in high speed, we miss out on some life’s most amazing lessons…lessons that can change you. Lessons that can give you a depth you didn’t realize you had. Lessons that can catapult you to a new level of greatness you didn’t even know you had in you to reach.
Lessons during loss, trauma, and disappointments are never fun. They're uncomfortable, often very devastating, and extremely self-revealing.
Not everybody has the opportunity to find out exactly what they’re made of. We all think we know what we believe, think, and understand about God, relationships, and life...but loss tests everything in life to a great level: your relationship (and loyalty) to God, family, and others…as well as all previously held thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about many topics. Loss has the potential to forever change a person...for the better or worse.
Think of the song your life is playing. It most likely is a rich combination of both black and white keys.
The flats and sharps (black keys) are the notes in life that threaten and attempt to discourage you, pierce you, and make you ineffective in living life to the fullest.
The white keys are the notes that encourage you and show you just how incredible and amazing life is and how great life can be.
You may not have the ability to choose what keys are playing right now…you may have many black keys that are bringing intense pain. Realize this though: every key that is playing in your life melody today has incredible value. You need both.
Allow the song and the notes of your life to play. Embrace all that is going on in your life. The songs in life always change because life is just one incredible morphing of notes that are there to teach you to enjoy, appreciate, and learn about every facet of life.
There is so much good in life. We all are so blessed…even on our worst days.
If you don’t like the notes that are playing in your life, take the notes to the feet of Jesus and ask Him to help you grow through your loss. Ask the Great Conductor to change your life to play new music...and a new song...that will glorify Him as He leads you in life.
We all are responsible to make the best music possible that plays out of our life...and leave the writing of our songs in life to Him.
Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Think about this: one of the greatest songs ever created was used from many dark keys. There IS beauty through the black keys in life…but you most likely will have to embrace the tough times and refuse to not allow good to come out of those times.
One of my all time favorite classical piano songs is Fantasie Impromptu Op.66 by Frederic Chopin. It is a challenging piece to play because it uses a difficult four against three in the rhythm. This rhythm makes this song very difficult...but once it is mastered, it is a genius piece.
Listen to this beautiful song on Youtube, and as you listen to…and appreciate…the richness and depth of the notes, make the decision to allow every black and white key in your life to create an unforgettable life song.
Allow the songs your life creates to be an incredible testimony to God.
He can take all the notes in your life and create a true masterpiece!
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Proverbs 4:23-27 GNT Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Never say anything that isn't true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don't hang your head in shame. Plan carefully what you do, and whatever you do will turn out right. Avoid evil and walk straight ahead. Don't go one step off the right way.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Thinking good things even works for non-believers and sceptics just think of what it will do for you. When you think only of the good things you allow the fruit of the Spirit to flourish in and through you.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
When we do this we are able to push those feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression into the background and focus on the things of God.
We are what we think, and our lives, attitudes, feelings, reactions, results, failures, successes, and personalities are formed by the strands of thought that tie our brain cells together like baling wire. This is so self-evident it’s been at the heart of philosophy and religion from the beginning of human civilization.
Even non-Christians know this. The Hindus taught, “Man becomes that of which he thinks.” The Buddha said, “The mind is everything: what you think you become.” Marcus Aurelius said, “Your life is what your thoughts make it.” Descartes wrote: “I think, therefore I am.” The nineteenth-century Unitarian preacher William Channing wrote: “All that a man does outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward thought.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson summed it up nicely, saying, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
William James laid the foundation for today’s motivational movement and positive-thinking literature with these simple words: “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
The homespun British philosopher James Allen wrote:
A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. . . . Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit. . . . Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstances.
Allen added, “As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.” - From Avoid Ministry Burnout, Think On These Things)
A Prayer To Transform Your Mind And Life
By Tracie Miles
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2a (NLT)
If we allow our minds to be shaped by negative thoughts, we are headed straight toward a life lacking peace, joy and hope. But, when we humbly admit our need for change and invite Christ to renew our minds — one thought at a time — we are blessed with the ability to enjoy life, despite its challenges. Although it might seem difficult at first, it is possible to change the way we think if we commit to three easy steps:
1. Recognize Negative Thoughts.
Each time a negative thought enters your mind, make note of how you’re feeling. Ask yourself things like: Does this thought help me in any way? Does it make me happy, or does it steal my peace? Is this a problem God can’t handle, or am I assuming it’s too big for Him? (Trick question: Nothing is too big for God!) Is it even true according to God’s Word? Asking God to make us aware of our negative thoughts is the first step to learning to control them.
2. Reject Negative Thoughts.
Once you learn to be aware of your negative thoughts, you can begin to combat them and fight back. Each time you notice a negative thought, aim to pause and reject it. Remind yourself not to focus on the negativity, and instead, try to focus on something positive. If you’ve decided it’s not really true, don’t allow yourself to entertain it anymore. If that negative thought is stealing your peace, refuse to give it power over your joy, peace or happiness, much less your life. Take control of what you’re thinking, rather than letting your thoughts run rampant. Then, turn that negative thought around.
3. Replace Negative Thoughts.
If something bad happens to us, we don’t have to believe we have a bad life. When we experience something positive in the morning but have to deal with something negative in the afternoon, we have the choice to decide whether we’ve had a good or bad day overall. If someone hurts our feelings, we can forgive and refuse to let it fester in our thoughts and steal our confidence. If someone insults us, we can focus on our positive attributes and remember what God’s Word says about us is most important.
Each time we notice our minds are wandering to a place where discouragement, sadness, fear, anger or negativity reside, we have the authority and the power to choose to reject those negative thoughts and shift them to be more positive.
Lord, How I Long To Break Free From Negative Thinking And Embrace Peace And Joy And Optimism. I Invite You To Begin Transforming My Thought Patterns And Help Me Recognize, Reject And Replace Thoughts That Are Not Pleasing To You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Some content taken from the Encouragement for Today devotional, “3 Easy Steps to Transforming Your Mind and Your Life,” written by Tracie Miles.
The hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the sentencing of Bill Cosby, the charges filed and accusations against Harvey Weinstein, charges and accusations against other high profile men in entertainment, sports, business, and government, along with the #MeToo Movement have all caused us to take a real look sexual abuse of women in this country.
Most of us already knew that there was a problem but those in a position to make a difference or effect change did nothing and often retaliated against the accusers and those who supported them. Thank God things are beginning to change. We have a long way to go and the church can lead in effecting change. We can start with our own sons and those we mentor and teach.
I read a post, on Crosswalk.com, that I am sharing in this post, it is a mother's advice to her son on how we can start to change this depraved condition against the one that God designed to be man’s equal partner as we do what God commissioned Adam to do.
Genesis 1:26-28 NIV Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Genesis 2:20-24 NIV So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
A Mother's Advice to Her Son Amidst the Climate of Sexual Assault
By RJ Thesman, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
*Bold Emphasis Mine
My son has a tender heart. When he sees any type of suffering, he feels the pain. But he goes farther on the scale of empathy. He wants to do something to rectify the problem – something for permanent change.
As we watched recent news reports of powerful men admitting to sexual assault, my son asked, “What can I do? How can these harmful behaviors stop?”
So I devised a list—ideas all of us might use to change this depravity in our culture:
1. Respect the Women in Your Life
Treat your girlfriend, co-workers, your mother—all the women you know—treat them with the same respect you want them to give you.
No rolling your eyes when they state an opinion different from yours. No skanky locker room talk. Let your character come from a healthy place. Spread honor to all the women you meet.
2. Teach Your Son How to Treat WomenLittle boys learn by example. They watch their father and the men in their lives. They learn when mature men teach them how to relate to women, how to respect all human beings, how to speak about women when they’re alone and in groups of other guys.
A man of godly character acts the same whether he’s drying off in the locker room or sitting in the church pew.
Mothers teach their sons by what they tolerate and how they speak up for themselves.
Recently, I sat in a hospital waiting room with other people who were waiting for their loved ones to finish surgery. Together, we watched the big screen and the latest reports of sexual assault.
One of the men across the room said, “That’s so silly. They’re going back years and years to find stuff on these men. The statute of limitations is over.” I stood up and said, “The statute of limitations is never over for the women they assaulted.”
I could have listed lifetime side effects from harassment, assault and rape. I could have told him about my own experience and those of countless other women who sat in my office and wiped their tears, some of them just remembering what happened to them as children … all of them forever affected by what had been done to them.
3. Make Sure Your Workplace Has a No-Tolerance Policy and Supports Sexual Harassment Training
More workplaces, including Capitol Hill, are now advocating for training about sexual harassment and sexual assault. Apparently, many adults need to be taught how to treat women.
When this happens in your workplace, support the training, participate, and apply the principles. We can all learn as certain behaviors are explained and underscored. We can all improve on how we treat each other.
4. Pay Attention at the Ballot Box
Refuse to vote for anyone who has a history of sexual assault or for anyone who demeans the value of women.
If we want attitudes and behaviors to change, then we need to underscore our principles where it counts.
Make sure those in the positions of power exercise honor and the highest qualities of character. The trickle-down theory can be a positive experience if we start at the top levels.
The Apostle Paul reminds us to think on what is pure.
Philippians 4:8 NIV 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.
If Jesus’ followers present a unified front to stand up for what is right, then the cause of Christ moves forward. But if we vote for those who have regularly demeaned and devalued the feminine half of the church, we must accept the title of “Hypocrite.”
More than any other religious leader in history, Jesus Christ treated women with respect. He accepted them as disciples and leaders. He dared to confront the cultural norms and allowed women to sit at his feet and learn. Wealthy women supported him, and women throughout history have accepted his call for service.
If the political and religious leaders of today cannot follow the example of Christ, then we have no business endorsing them.
5. Keep Your Mind Pure
A recent Barna survey noted almost 70% of Christian men engage in pornography. The porn industry objectifies and devalues women while the evil of pornography filters into every level of life. Porn is never satisfied with its current level. A brief look at an online magazine quickly grows into an addiction, the loss of intimacy in marriage, clandestine meetings with prostitutes, even sex trafficking of children.
The women depicted in porn are often young girls made up to appear as older, consenting females. But no matter who they are, men of character have no business spending time and money on such an evil pursuit.
Memorize and apply First Timothy 5:2, “Treat the older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
Find a recovery group. Admit your struggle. Confess and repent. Change is possible.
6. Pray for Global ChangeAll over the world, girls are victimized. In every war-torn country, women are raped by the enemy. The Bible contains numerous accounts of sexual assaults when women had no options for protection or justice.
We should not be surprised that an age-old sin still operates among us. But God is greater, and he has a good plan for the women in his family as well as the men. As we commit to pray against this type of victimization, we bring the issue to the highest authority. God is just. He will ultimately vindicate his daughters.
7. Be Proactive to Protect Victims
In our volatile society, we are encouraged to watch for suspicious terrorist activities. Report the backpack left in the airport lounge. Be alert for scary behavior in co-workers.
If you see someone harassing a woman or hear someone demeaning women in the workplace, in the restaurant, at the ball game – speak up. Be the courageous one who fights for change rather than accepting the status quo.
8. Give to Organizations That Help Women
Domestic violence often begins with verbal put downs, emotional abuse and/or sexual assault. Support organizations that help women recover. Refer women to safe places for counseling and support. Do something practical to help women heal.
9. Share Healthy Posts on Social Media
Don’t foster more information that devalues women or depict graphics where women are mistreated. Be the person who responds to Facebook posts and Tweets that honor women. Share this blog post so others can learn about proactive ways to change our culture. Start a revolution of respect for everyone – no matter who they are.
This entire issue of sexual assault underscores how depraved mankind has become. Ultimately, the answer for “What can I do to make a difference?” bleeds from the hands and feet of the man who chose to take our depraved and sinful nature and transform our lives. We can do our part to make a difference, but we can also recognize where our salvation comes from.
No wonder we need a Savior.
Every time something bad happens, a disaster, a death, an illness, or a financial catastrophe, many people either ask “Why would God allow this to happen” or why did God do this”? When things happen that don’t appear to make sense, or go against what we think is good, we say God did it or allowed. It probably doesn’t surprise you that many Christians who don’t like Donald Trump or voted for him try to rationalize it by saying that “God put him in”. I’ve heard that very thing more times than you think. We say that God does or allows bad stuff because we don’t understand how a God that we know loves us can allow us go through situations that stretch our abilities as human beings to handle or understand. Why are we struck with a debilitating illness in the prime of life, why does one of our children die young, or why do we lose a job right after we sign a big mortgage? What about facing foreclosure because we haven’t been able to find a job? Why is your spouse stricken with a chronic illness ending in death? When these things happen in succession we search for answers. When we Christians say that God does or allows these things, without any explanation, why would anybody want to become a Christian? Think about it. If on the one hand we say that God is love, merciful, faithful, compassionate, and forgiving, and on the other hand say that God took a loved one, or caused a natural disaster just to punish, or teach us a lesson what kind of message are we sending?
Christians and non believers alike might wonder, “What do you think they did to deserve cancer?” If someone’s wife walks out, insensitive churchgoers might think, “If he had been a better spiritual leader, his wife wouldn’t have done that.” If a teenager is rebellious, hardened onlookers might privately reflect, “If that kid’s parents had been more involved, this never would have happened.” When we are going through a tough time, or have a tragic loss our well-meaning Christian friends say “This was God’s will,” and that, “we don’t always understand why God does what God does, but we must accept God’s will.” What a terrible thing to say! I don’t believe that it is God’s will that we face disaster. I haven’t been able to find anywhere in the Bible that God wants His children to suffer.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NLT) For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.
How about turning the question around and asking "Why would an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God allow good things to happen to bad people?" After all, if seeing good people suffer is horrible, it's not much fun seeing evil people having fun either.
Being a Christian doesn't exempt you from suffering. Jesus Himself assured us that there will be trouble in our lives.
John 16:33 (NKJV)33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
1 Peter 4:12 (NKJV)12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
The Bible tells us that no matter the situation we are never alone.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Psalm 34:19 NIV The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
However when troubles linger lingers and even more trouble comes we may may start to wonder it anybody hears or really cares. When it get to that point we need to be reminded that God who made those promises loves us.
1 John 4:7-11 NIV Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
He’s left us reminders of that love!
Reminder #1 Creation
The creation itself should remind us of how all powerful God is. It is also evidence that He does, in fact, exist. The very fact that he created the universe and then allowed us to be masters over the earth should remind us that there is somebody out there who is bigger than we are.
Romans 1:20 (NLT)20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
These things about God’s creation remind us of how big God is, His faithfulness, and proof that He loves you.
● The next time you see a sunrise, remind yourself, God is faithful.
● The next time you see snow-covered mountains with their peaks pointing toward the sky, remind yourself, God is faithful.
● The next time you see flowers that have burst into bloom because winter couldn’t stop them from developing in the hidden places, remind yourself, God is faithful.
● The next time you hold a soft-skinned baby in your arms, remind yourself, God is faithful.
And the biggest thing of all is that we are made in God’s image.
Genesis 1:26 (NLT)26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
Reminder #2: The People We Meet
God uses what we may consider chance meetings or encounters to benefit us later. God had plans for you before you were born. Like the prophet Jeremiah
Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT) “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
You’ve never met anybody by accident.
Psalms 37:23 NLT The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Reminder #3: The Circumstances We Go Through
Our circumstances change and they change us. For example moving from one city to another is a change in location or circumstance. There are two possibilities. We can be put in a situation where it is more expensive to live than where we were before and that creates stress. That’s a change for the worse, at least for a while. On the other hand we move from one city to another and we get a huge increase in income, that’s a change of circumstance that is for the good. But in either case it the change in circumstance changes us.
Reminder #4: Jesus - The Greatest Reminder
Jesus is the greatest reminder of all of God’s love. When things seem so overwhelming we need to change our focus. When we realize that God gave His Son Jesus so that He could pay the ransom for mankind and take the punishment of sin we know that God loves us. Jesus came and willingly laid down His life as our sacrifice He then sent the Holy Spirit by and through whom we are able to live a life that is pleasing to God.
When you wrestle with anxiety and stress especially in situations where you have no control remember all that He went through for you. Remember the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, the humiliation at His trial, the paid of the beatings and finally His crucifixion. It looked as if He had no control over any of this but on the third day He rose from the dead to show that God never lost control. Jesus is the Great Reminder that God loves you.
In addition to these reminders that God loves you there are other certainties about God and His relationship with the believer.
6 Certainties to Give You Hope in Times of Suffering
*Scriptures inserted by me
When times of heartache and trouble come our way, don’t we begin to trade certainties that we have never doubted for the uncertainties and unknowns that may or may not even exist?
You lose your job and your mind immediately races to I’ll never get hired again. But that’s an uncertainty. Don’t trade the fact God is your provider for uncertainties that may or may not be the case.
Your relationship fractures and you assume I’ll never meet anyone else who could make me happy again. But again, that’s an uncertainty. Don’t trade the fact that God knows and wants what is best for you for uncertainties that may or may not reflect reality.
Certainty #1—Suffering is universal and unavoidable.
Suffering comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter where you are from—Jesus was from eternity, after all—what ethnicity you may be, how much you have or don’t have. We live in a fallen world; we all suffer. No one is immune to it. But like Jesus, we can use it as an opportunity to meet with God on the mountain.
Certainty #2—Suffering is not a judgment for sin.
This is perhaps the biggest lie we believe when we go through times of suffering. When we experience difficulty in life or go through a trial of some kind, it is very easy to think that God is judging us for our sin.
As believers, this could not be further from the truth. We may suffer due to the consequences of sinful decisions we make. If we choose to rebel against God or make a decision that is contrary to his Word and outside his will, we will reap what we sow. And sometimes the consequences of reaping what we sow are severe. God disciplines those he loves and chastises those whom he considers sons and daughters. But God does not send suffering as judgment for our sin. Jesus took our judgment with him to the cross.
Certainty #3—Suffering is temporary.
Though it doesn’t make it easier in the moment, it’s good to remember that all suffering is temporary. Scripture says that we will suffer “a little while” (1 Peter 5:10), that we suffer only “light momentary affliction” (2 Corinthians 4:17), and that our sufferings are only for the “present time”
Romans 8:18 ESV For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
At times we may think we’ll never see light again. While we’re in the middle of the dark night, though we may feel completely lost and utterly hopeless, we trust that Christ can resurrect anything. Just as Jesus was on the cross for six hours and in the grave for three days, there is a set limit to our suffering. It is temporary.
Certainty #4—God loves me and has not forgotten me.
It’s so easy to forget this truth when we are enduring hardship or are confronted with a tragedy of some kind. I offer you this certainty from God’s Word. I used personal pronouns so that you could own its truth. God loves you and he has not forgotten you.
Romans 8:35, 37-39 ESV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Certainty #5—God empathizes with me in my suffering.
Perhaps we don’t often consider that God the Father suffered in the garden as well. This was not a one-sided affair. The Father and the Son shared intimate fellowship from all eternity. God was able to empathize because this suffering was a shared experience. And if God empathized with Christ, if he made a way for Christ, won’t he make a way for us too?
Certainty #6—When we suffer, it’s okay to ask “Why?”
Earlier I said that “Why?” isn’t always the most helpful question. But it is usually the most human. We see the humanity of Jesus on display in the garden as he essentially asks, “If there is another way . . . Why is there not another way?”
It’s also okay to not understand why we are having to endure suffering. God’s ways are not our ways.
Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
And even if God explained what we were going through and gave us his reasoning, it’s likely we wouldn’t understand, let alone agree with it.
Asking “Why?” does not show a lack of faith but reveals faith. It’s acknowledging that God alone has the answers to questions we desperately desire answers to. There may be more from this mountain garden story, but there are at least six certainties that we can hold to and embrace by faith when we walk through dark and lonely times. Let’s never trade what we know for what we don’t know.
Adapted from The Mountains Are Calling: Making the Climb for a Clearer View of God and Ourselves. Copyright © 2018 by Jarrett Stephens. Used by permission of Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
In my posts on stress, anxiety, and depression I write that one of the signals is your unrealistic desire to be liked by everyone. Well everybody is not going to like you so don’t sweat it. Everybody didn’t like Jesus and we can’t let what others think about us dominate our lives we should be seeking the approval of God and not man. When you realize this you are no longer a victim.
Rick Warren agrees.
Focus on Pleasing God, Not People
By Rick Warren
“Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT).
God did not make you to be what somebody else wants you to be. God didn’t make you to be what your parents want you to be, what your girlfriend or boyfriend wants you to be, what your spouse wants you to be, or what your boss or your friends want you to be.
God made you to be you. If you’re going to become all you can be, you have to refuse to be defined by others.
Hebrews 11:24 says, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” (NIV).
Moses had an identity crisis. He was born a Hebrew slave but raised as Egyptian royalty, the grandson of Pharaoh. When he grew up, he faced two options: He could pretend to be Pharaoh’s grandson for the rest of his life and live a life of luxury and fame and power. Or he could admit who he really was: a Jew.
If he admitted who he really was, his family would kick him out to live with slaves the rest of his life. He would be disgraced and humiliated and live a life of pain and drudgery.
Which would you choose?
Most people today are living lies. They’re trying to be people they’re not. But Moses refused to live a lie because he was a man of integrity. He insisted on being who God made him to be despite all kinds of peer pressure.
Here’s my question for you: Who are you letting determine your identity?
Is it your friends and family? Maybe you have parents who died years ago, but you’re still trying to live up to their vision for your life. Perhaps you are hanging on to what your ex-husband or ex-wife said to you, and you’re trying to prove that person wrong. Or maybe you are trying to keep up with what social media and culture and the competition all say you should be.
But the Bible says this: “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT).
The first resolution you need to make is this: “I resolve that I will no longer let other people press me into their mold. I’m going to be what God wants me to be. I’m going to do what God wants me to do, and I’m going to fulfill the plan that God has for my life, not somebody else’s plan for my life.”
We should stop asking God to change the other person, because He won’t in most cases, but ask Him to change us and our attitude. If we are always concerned about the way others interact with us we will always maintain a victim mentality always blaming others we will never walk in the victory that Jesus promises.
This is for a very dear friend of mine.
A Prayer For Healthy Boundaries
By Debbie McDaniel
Life is precious. Yet all too often, we may find that much of our time is spent around negative, toxic people, draining the life right out of us. Sometimes they’re co-workers, friends, or sadly, even family members.
God never intends for us to spin our wheels, waste our days, trying to make others happy who can never be happy. Because in reality, it doesn’t depend on us. It’s not up to you. They may want you to think it does, as if you possess the power to improve the value of their existence, but that’s not a burden meant for you to carry.
God’s greatest desire is to set us free. And sometimes what propels that change is for some brave soul to be willing to say, “Stop, no more.” One who will choose what is better, and learn to set boundaries that will protect and limit the control an unhealthy person might be placing on another’s life.
Sadly, when we look deep into the mirror of our souls, we may realize that we are the ones who have some unhealthy tendencies that God wants to change. Today’s a good day to stop wasting time in toxic patterns of living. For he has better in store for us.
He can accomplish great things through your prayers. He can move mountains. He can change hearts. Anything is possible through his great power. Understand that though it is never up to you to make someone different, he’s set you in their lives for a purpose, for a reason.
He loves you, he cares for you, and he has good in store for your future.
“So If The Son Sets You Free, You Will Be Free Indeed” (John 8:36).
Lord, Protect Me From The Abuse And Harm Of Toxic People. I Know You Desire To Set Me Free—Free From The Hurt Of Others, But Also Free From My Own Sin And Bondage In That Sin. Help Me Have Eyes To See Toxic Behavior Around Me And In Me… And Give Me The Strength, Courage And Resilience To Break Free From That Toxicity And Choose The Path Of Life. Thank You For Always Protecting And Guiding Me Lord. Thank You For Always Being Good, Gracious, Kind And Loving. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
When people talk about us, hurt us, belittle us, disregard us, steal from us, and nothing seems to happen to them, we wonder where’s the justice. Why do we suffer while the ones causing the suffering prosper? Why did the person who caused the company to lose its largest customer,and then lied and said I was the reason, get a promotion. Why didn’t my boss see that the growth in the company’s revenues came as the result of my efforts, and then lay me off because the success eliminated my position. Where’s the justice?
I’ve asked God that question more times than I want to admit and I bet you’ve asked it a lot too. There were times when I became discouraged by what I thought was a lack of justice. I believe that David had the same question, “God where’s the justice” when he wrote Psalm 73.
Psalm 73:1-3, 13-14 NIV Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
In the end he realized that even though he felt that the prosperity of the wicked was unjust God was with him and that somehow, someday, there would be justice.
Psalm 73:23-26 NIV Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
If you have, like David and me, ever wanted justice (although if we are honest we're not that great either), this is for you.
Justice Will Prevail
from YouVerson Reading Plan Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives On The Promises Of God by Max Lucado
“Judgment Day” is an unpopular term today. We dislike the image of a great hour of reckoning. In many ways, this is ironic. We disdain judgment, but we value justice . . . yet the second is impossible without the first. One can’t have justice without judgment. For that reason, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad”
2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
The apostle John was given a unique perspective of the justice of God. While exiled on the island of Patmos, God gave him a vision of the plans He has for our world. John saw that on Judgment Day, Satan and evil will be dealt with—permanently.
Everyone will be judged. All unbelievers will be judged by Christ. All believers will be judged through Christ. Unbelievers will be punished, while believers will be saved by grace and applauded for their works.
Matthew 16:27 NIV For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
Revelation 20:11-15 NIV Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
None will be excluded from this judgment. This will be “the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ”
Romans 2:16 NIV This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
Why will Christ expose every deed and desire of the Christian heart? Because God’s justice demands a detailed accounting. He will not permit the hint of injustice in His new kingdom. Every citizen will know that every sin has been surfaced and pardoned. Heaven can’t be heaven with secrets or buried pasts, so God filters His verdict through Jesus.
But know this: as a believer in Christ, you won’t stand before that bench alone. Jesus will be at your side! You won’t be embarrassed. To the contrary, you will be stunned! Your awe will grow as the list of your forgiven sins lengthens.
And God will walk you through your life day by day, moment by moment, issuing commendation after commendation. The same pen that records impure thoughts makes notes of pure ones. God records and rewards your goodness. It’s only fair that He does. And since He is a just God, He will applaud the service of His servants and honor the wishes of the wicked.
After all, a just God must honor the wishes of God-rejecters. God has offered His Son as an Advocate. And Jesus will stand at the side of every person . . . except those who refuse Him.
This promise matters because it means that what the devil has stolen can be reclaimed! The wicked will not go unpunished. The injustices you’ve suffered will go unaddressed. So let this promise gratify your desire for justice. God will have the final word.
Place your tragedies in the shadow of the cross. Know that God will right all wrongs and heal all wounds. He has prepared a place where life will be finally and forever . . . just.
Acts 17:31 NIV For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Revelation 20:13-14 NIV The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
To my fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Have you ever wondered, although you received your salvation years and years ago, “with all the things I’ve done in my past what’s going to happen on judgement day?” Let me tell you today that your Judgement Day has come and gone. Jesus, although He never sinned, was judged in your place so that you don’t have to be judged.
Jesus’ Death And Resurrection Release Us From Judgement
by Rick Warren from his devotion, Can I Be Sure I’ll Get into Heaven?
“Those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged” (John 5:24 GNT).
Jesus’ death and Resurrection release us from judgment.
You may imagine a day of judgment where you’re standing outside the gates of heaven in a really, really long line, and you’re slowly moving forward, one step at a time. As you get closer, you start to sweat and wonder, “Am I going to get in? Am I going to make it? Is God going to use a giant TV screen to show every dumb or evil thing I’ve ever done? Will my every sin be exposed?”
I have good news for you; it’s a promise of Jesus Christ. The Bible says in John 3:18 that those who believe in Jesus — his death and Resurrection — will not be judged.
Here’s the real picture: You’re standing in line waiting for the judgment. Jesus sees you and says, “I know you. We’ve been friends for years. You put your trust in me one year during Easter. Come with me. Get in the express lane. You get the fast track. You get to bypass the judgment.” Is that good news? Oh, yeah!
I have a friend named Buddy who said that, when he was a little kid, his Sunday school teacher taught him that God was sitting in heaven, writing down every bad thing that Buddy ever did. She actually made the class sing a song every week that went, “My Lord is writing all the time. Writing, writing, writing all the time.” Buddy said, “It scared me. I just thought, ‘I’m never going to make it to heaven. My list is getting longer and longer.’”
Is that the way God treats us when we come and put our faith in Christ? No! In fact, God is erasing, erasing, erasing all the time. Forgiving, forgiving, forgiving all the time. He’s sitting in heaven, hitting the “delete” button.
Why? Because the Bible says “God is love” (1 John 4:8 NIV) and love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV). If you put your trust in the love of Jesus Christ, your sins are wiped out. “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NLT).
This is a time in the history of the United States where truth is taking a beating. Truth doesn't seem to matter at all; truth has become relative rather than absolute. Even Christians try to twist truth to make it fit a certain philosophy whether conservative, liberal, or progressive; Truth is determined by the person who is saying whatever. We are even told to not believe truth even when we see and hear it.
But Truth Matters
The truth can be a funny thing. While not always valued by others, it is most certainly favored by God and our hopes of ensuring wholesome relationships. We may think we are clever enough to fool other people, God, or even ourselves, but little do we know of the ultimate consequences of our attempts to deceive reality. However painful or awkward the truth may be, it is “truly” our only opportunity to create harmony and receive God’s grace. The Bible reminds us of the power of truth quite frequently and we’d be wise to follow its advice. These Bible verses about the power of truth are just what I needed today.
Here are 20 brilliant Bible verses about the power of truth from God Updates. (Emphasis mine)
Bible Verses about the Power of Truth
John 17:17 ESV
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Psalm 145:18 ESV
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Ephesians 6:14 ESV
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Proverbs 12:22 ESV
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
John 4:24 ESV
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
1 John 3:18 ESV
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Psalm 119:160 ESV
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
John 1:14 ESV
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; love is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Bible Verses about the Power of Truth: Enlightening Scripture
John 8:32 ESV
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 16:13 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Psalm 25:5 ESV
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
James 1:18 ESV
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
John 18:37-38 ESV
Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world-to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
John 1:17 ESV
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:15 ESV
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
1 John 5:20 ESV
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
THE TRUTH MATTERS!!
My last sermon, “What Does The Bible Say About Depression - A Sermon”, and last three Tuesday Night Bible Studies at The Church of Divine Guidance (“What Does The Bible Say About Depression”, “When Your World Has Been Turned Upside Down”, and “What If The Answer Never Comes?”, all make the point that no matter how difficult the circumstances, or how long it takes if ever you can place your faith and trust in God because because He has promised and proved that;
He loves you,
1 John 4:8-10 ESV Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
He will never leave or forsake you;
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
And His presence is always with you;
Habakkuk 2:20 ESV But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
In my quiet time, a few days ago, I found the following 20 verses for trusting God when you need answers, when your world has been turned upside down, or the answer never comes.
Top 20 Bible Verses for Trusting God
There are times we can but only trust in God for comfort and strength during the stressful events in our life. Moments when we don’t know what’s going to happen and must place our faith in God to answer our prayers. However, trusting in God isn’t always easy and often we seek a reminder of God’s love and grace. Fortunately, we can rely upon heartening Bible verses for trusting God even when it seems impossible. Here are 20 Bible verses for trusting God that we hope will inspire you!
Proverbs 3:5 ESV Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Psalm 37:4-6 ESV Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Romans 8:28 ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 3:6 ESV In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Psalm 46:10 ESV "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
Psalm 28:7 ESV The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Matthew 6:25 ESV "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Psalm 9:10 ESV And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Hebrews 13:8 ESV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Romans 15:13 ESV May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Psalm 112:7 ESV He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
Joshua 1:9 ESV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Mark 5:36 ESV But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."
Psalm 37:5 ESV Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
Luke 10:27 ESV And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
Here's one more.
Psalms 138:2 ERV I bow down toward your holy Temple, and I praise your name for your love and loyalty. You are famous, and doing what you promised will make you even more famous! (emphasis mine)
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.