No More Self-Inflicted Suffering

“…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 hand.” Isaiah 41:10

The disciples and apostles in The Bible suffered greatly for sharing the gospel of Christ. Job suffered immensely. The Bible tells us, our lives will not be comfortable on this Earth, especially for knowing Him. However, there is a difference for suffering for God versus dealing with constant suffering in our lives.

A friend of mine shared that he suffered from chronic neck pain. He was stressed and not taking care of himself. Once he sought help and took action to help himself, his situation began to change for the better. This friend said something poignant. He said, “God doesn’t want us to suffer.”

Many times, we worry how things will turn out. I have wasted precious hours of sleep thinking of every scenario of a situation. Honestly, I thought this would help me. Instead, my body would hurt, and I would wake up exhausted in the morning.

A few months ago, I woke up thinking and agonizing over a problem. Thankfully, I had a moment of clarity, “it is 2 a.m., what could I possibly do to solve this problem right now? Nothing, so I need to rest so that I would feel rested in the morning.” I was asleep in minutes. Before, I would have stayed awake for 2 hours minimum.

Trusting and having faith in the Lord is the remedy to the suffering we bring upon ourselves. We may never know the answer to the problem or why a person behaves the way they do. There are things we want for our lives, but God has a different way for us.

Thankfully, bad situations and problems are temporary. It may not feel like it at the moment, but things usually get better. If we reflect on how we got through a stressful time, we can see how it changed for the better. Worrying never helped, but God’s direction and our faith are what brought us to the other side. Remember God has got us! If we are to suffer for anything, it is for advancing the kingdom of God.

Lesson Learned: Self-inflicted suffering will not get us through life’s problems.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for not trusting in you. I pray for healing in all areas of my life, where I may suffer. Reveal in me what to let go or when to fight. I ask for a hedge of protection around myself and my family. Help me to allow you, Heavenly Father to fight my battles. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Goodbye Fear, Hello Faith

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

“Just have more faith” is something I hear Christians say to one another. I admit it upsets me, that is what we all feel we need. If there is an unfortunate circumstance, most of us want out of it as quickly as possible. I realized I need to adjust how I receive that term because it isn’t a simple thing to act out.

There are numerous social media groups for people struggling with depression and anxiety. I found a Christian women’s group for that very thing. Many post request prayer. There was a young, single mother who posted about her current, difficult situation. Many responses from the group were caring and helpful. Unfortunately, the young mother had a negative reaction or an excuse for every piece of advice given.

Her responses frustrated me. I suggested reading a book that helped me out, and I offered to mail it to her. She said, “no, thank you.” I understand not every piece of advice needs to be tried, but she didn’t want to hear anything. She seemed to blame everyone and everything and say she was too tired to deal. I unfollowed the post because it upset me. Immediately, I felt that the Holy Spirit tug and heard, “you do that too.”

I am familiar with the young mother’s response. My fears, disbelief in God, myself, and others opinions get in the way of my growth and healing. Sometimes, you stay stuck; it becomes comfortable. I would become so fearful, and I wouldn’t even try if I knew that failure was a possibility.

To heal, we need many resources, external and internal, to get on the path of healing. It takes hard work and dealing with pain. Admitting you need the help, is the first step to heal.

Faith is more than just believing for things that haven’t happened. It is about trusting God to do what He wants for us, not our own will. God will grant those things we hope for, sometimes not. But, this is difficult to accept, especially when you don’t know what God will do.

Prayer, reading the word, seeking wise counsel, and listening to worship music are great ways to help us increase our faith. Past experiences, where the Lord has delivered us from scary situations, are great ways to gain confidence that God is faithful. God knows our fears and our doubts. He is waiting for us to go to Him with our problems instead of carrying the burden of it all. As we heal, there is pain and recovery, but the breakthrough is our gift.

Lesson Learned: Say goodbye to fear, turn to God, and give Him all of your trust. Let the healing begin!

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers. I ask you to increase my faith and belief that you will do what is best for me. Show me when to work towards something and when to stop and let go. Forgive me for not trusting in you Father God. Thank you for protecting me and bringing me through the tough days. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”