In my sermon and Bible Studies on depression I say one of the signs that you may be heading toward depression is having unrealistic expectations or others. It’s easier to blame somebody else than ourselves. They are the ones with the problem not us. That’s the way depressed people act sometimes and I can tell you that it’s true I have firsthand experience. 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 always maintain a victim mentality always blaming others we will never walk in the victory that Jesus promises.
We also have an 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.
Psalm 118:6-7 NIV The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.
If we are always concerned about the way others interact with us, always maintaining a victim mentality, and always blaming others we will never walk in the victory that Jesus promises (read my post “Do You Have A Victim Mentality”).
Establish some healthy boundaries, with Jesus within them.
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.
A few weeks ago here in California there were a number of wildfires. The Camp Fire in Northern California has been called the most destructive California wildfire in the history of the state. As of this date of this post the death toll has risen to 86. There were 11,862 structures destroyed (including homes). The town of Paradise was nearly completely destroyed. At the same time firefighters were also battling the Woolsley Fire in Southern California. In that fire there were 3 confirmed fatalities and more that 400 structures destroyed. That was just this year. There were huge fires last year with major loss of life and property. The same thing could be said of the victims of hurricanes on the East and Gulf Coasts in the last few years. Add to these natural disaster, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, violent crime, home invasions, robberies, and other acts that result in the loss of life and property. There are people who have literally lost everything; a spouse, a child, a sibling, a parent, a home, all their belongings...everything.
When you’ve lost everything you may feel like you just can’t go on. I could do like a lot of people, including Christian folk, and quote scripture like;
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NLT2)8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT2)6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Or tell you that “this too shall pass” (see This Too Shall Pass Is Not In The Bible - A Sermon).
I know from experience that these things are true, however as I also know through experience and have written in the past God does not expect us to just grin and bear it (see Stop Faking It, Giving Thanks When It’s Tough Doesn’t Mean To Fake It, This Thanksgiving Stop Faking Fine), . We should be honest with God about how we feel about losing everything but do it with the knowledge that God does in fact love us and although we have lost everything God can use even that to accomplish His purpose in us.
.Romans 8:28-30 (NLT2)28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
Romans 8:31-39 (NLT2)31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I read a devotion recently that I want to share to those who have lost everything. If you are one of those precious people or know any of them please read and share this post with them.
A Prayer For When You’ve Lost Everything
By Jennifer Maggio taken from “To the Woman Who has Lost Everything”.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
It was 3:30 in the morning, when I received the call that changed everything. “Jennifer, you need to get out of the house. Your neighborhood is flooding,” my friend sobbed hysterically. Unsure if I was dreaming, I stumbled from my bed, down the hall, and out my front door. Floodwaters were pouring into my neighborhood, more quickly than I can even describe. Within 20 minutes, we were loaded in the car and fleeing the scene. It took only a matter of hours for the Great Louisiana Flood of 2016 to overtake my home and wash away virtually everything I owned – baby pictures, wedding albums, my children’s first letters, everything.
There is someone reading this who is there, right now. You have lost everything; you feel you can’t go on, you are certain no one sees you. I’m writing this for you, today. I’m writing to tell you some important things for you to know when you lose everything.
You haven’t lost everything. It may seem like it, today. It may seem like the dark cloud has followed you way too long. Maybe you’ve lost a great deal in a short period of time. Maybe you’ve lost your job and your health is failing, and your mom just died. I don’t know what your loss looks like today and I wouldn’t dare minimize it. Take your time to grieve the loss. Take your time; let time heal the wounds of the loss. But please know: you haven’t lost everything. God is with you. As a born again child of the King, your salvation isn’t lost. Your future beyond this earth is secure.
It doesn’t matter how you feel today. It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel God’s presence. Feelings are temporary and fleeting. What is true is that He is with you. Satan would like nothing more than to convince you otherwise. There are thousands of lies that Satan will whisper in your ear. But that’s just it. They are lies - lies from the pit of Hell, designed strategically to hold you down, destroy you, steal you your hope, and kill the joy of your future. Do not stand for it.
You have been given the authority to stand firm against the lies of the enemy. You have the authority to cast down his plans of attack against you. Know that you are God’s beloved. He sees you. He loves you. You are not alone.
A Prayer For When You’ve Lost Everything:
Lord, I’ll Just Be Honest: I Feel Like Everything Good Has Been Taken From Me. And I Feel Like You’ve Let It Happen. Can I Admit That To You? Thank You For Being Big Enough To Handle All My Fears, Angers, And Uncertainties. Lord, Thank You For This Truth: I Am Afflicted In Every Way, But Not Crushed, Perplexed But Not Driven To Despair, Struck Down But Not Destroyed. Lord, Help Me- Give Me Your Spirit, Help Me Know Your Goodness Even In The Midst Of This Pain. Help Me Out Of This Pit, Lord, And Onto Steady Ground. Thank You God For Never Leaving Me. Help Me Only Have Hope In You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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.