I’ve been taking your burdens (shared in yesterday’s comments) to the Cross praying that Christ’ power will resurrect, renew and restore the pain and suffering you are facing. Jesus is faithful and able to bring beauty from the ashes. I am praying that when we can’t see His hand or understand His plans, we will always trust His heart.
We’re living in troubled times. One of my good friends’ moms is battling aggressive cancer. Another good friend and mom of three young children found out her cancer has spread to her liver. Another friend found out her daughter has an eating disorder. Another one’s husband lost his job. Yet in the midst of it all, I am hearing amazing stories of God making a way where there was no way.
In the midst of troubled times, God never wants our concerns to take us captive and hold us in a prison of worry and fear. Fear and worry go together. When something happens that frightens us, we’ll often start thinking about the worst thing that could possibly happen next What if this happens? What if that happens?
“What if” – an oh so familiar phrase that cracks the door open in our thoughts, letting worry creep in quietly by creating scenarios that may or may not happen. And if we’re not careful, “what if” will hold us hostage to tomorrow’s troubles. So what do we do with worries that wage war in our minds, and become weapons the enemy uses to steal, kill and destroy our peace?
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
The truth is, we will either take our thoughts captive or be held captive by them!
Please read that again. I know what it’s like to be held captive. I lived in a prison of fear and worry for over 20 years and didn’t even know it. I thought being worried and afraid was normal. Now I know I told you yesterday it must benormal since God tells us not to be afraid so many times, but hear me now, being held hostage by fear is not! Fear will hold you asprisoner of war, and you’ll become MIA (missing in action)! But there is a key to unlock the door of prisons built by fear and worry – that key is TRUTH – truth will set us free!
“You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32
The first step towards finding freedom for me was getting to know Jesus, God’s living Truth. Not just knowing about Him, but really knowing Him and letting Him know me. I spent time with Him reading God’s written Truth. I wrote down my thoughts and compared them to His. I prayed that God would change the way I thought and make me able to recognize Satan’s lies. I became familiar with God’s voice so I could know if my thoughts (or worries) matched His. I reminded myself again and again that Jesus came to give me life to the full but there was an enemy who wanted to steal, kill and destroy my life. He liked me better as a prisoner.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”Galatians 5:1
It’s time for us to decide that we will no longer be held captive, but with God’s truth we will take our thoughts captive and break free from worry! Let’s use the sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) and fight for the freedom that is ours in Christ! Let’s hold our thoughts up to Truth and make them obedient to Christ, then toss in any false evidence that appears real into the outfield (see yesterday’s post) when trials and troubles come our way.
Are you with me friends? Here are some truths to start with:
- “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:1-2
- “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
- “The LORD will surely comfort (you) and will look with compassion on all (your) ruins; he will make (your) deserts like Eden, (your) wastelands like the garden of the LORD.” Isaiah 51:3
- “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
- “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
- Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. Psalm 107:28
My friend Micca’s new book was just released so I’m giving a copy away to tie in with this week’s posts. It’s called, “An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Greater than all My Fears“ an d it’s really powerful! For a chance to win, leave a comment under today’s post and for extra chances leave one under any of this week’s posts. Be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win.
UPDATE: Happy Birthday Micca! To wish her a happy birthday and for more chances to win her book, hop over to Micca’s blog where she is giving away four copies this weekend!
Copyright 2009, Renee Swope – All rights reserved.