The following is PART ONE of an encouragement I wrote for a friend of mine who was going through a very dark time several years ago. I’d like to share it with you too because it is as true today as it was when I first wrote it.
“I know you are hurting and angry and full of fear and frustration and confusion, so I ask you please to read this all the way to the end and put into practice a few steps I’d like you to try…”
Step 1: CHOOSE TO BELIEVE TRUTH – We all have a choice….either to believe God’s Truth or Satan’s lies. The problem we face is that to believe God’s Truth we must exercise our faith, which at times is like stretching a very weak, sore muscle. It is hard work and it hurts A LOT. Satan’s lies on the other hand are easy to swallow because they often have the appearance of truth and usually appeal to our fickle emotions.
STEP 2: TRUST GOD – One thing about being a child of God is that we have to learn to trust and surrender.
“What? You mean, I don’t get to tell God what He should do for me?”
He is our father and He knows best, better than we know ourselves. He is never too early nor too late no matter how it may seem to us.
Step 3: FOCUS ON TRUTH – I want you to stop focusing on what you feel you need or want God to do for you and to begin praying scripture. God’s word is truth and the Bible itself says to remind God of His own word because He will always be true to his word. Start filling your heart and mind with truth in order to get rid of all the lies you are believing right now. Lies keep us shackled in darkness. Truth sets us FREE!
Step 4: BE REAL – I am not asking you to stop being angry at God or to ignore your feelings or pretend they aren’t real or important. God is not intimidated by your anger and I think He would have you be honest with Him since He already knows how you feel. Feelings are a very real and strong force, but as you begin to leave the darkness of the hell you’re in, you will learn to control your emotions instead of them bossing you around. This is a process and it takes time, so be patient with yourself.
Step 5: PRAY SCRIPTURE – Feel free to come up with your own prayer or use my example, but pray the promises in the Bible for yourself. Speak them out loud into your life, to your very soul. One of mine has gone something close to the following…
Jeremiah 29:11 –
For 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.
“God, this is your word and your truth. I’m having a really hard time believing that this promise applies to me because I don’t see a hopeful future for my life. In fact I’m really angry because it feels like you’ve abandoned me and don’t care whether I live or die. I’m reminding you of this promise because you said you want to prosper me and to give me a hope and future.
Where? When? Why is it taking so long? I don’t understand and I don’t even know if I can trust you. My plans for my life have all failed, so I’m asking you to please bring about your hope filled
plans in my life, plans for good and not harm. Please help me. Show me how to start trusting you and believing your Truth. I want to live life free….unshackled!”