Finding Satisfaction

Is not the great I Am sovereign? Did He not prove to you His majesty, glory, sovereignty, and power by creating the universe and everything in it? Did He not prove His love to you by laying His life down for you even on a cross? Did He not purpose you to enjoy Him, be completely satisfied in Him, and fellowship with Him for all eternity? Yet we look at everything but Him for our satisfaction and happiness. We worry. We want to be in charge, and do not want to be told what to do.

If you are honest with yourself, you realize the things of this world cannot satisfy. You look for happiness in things, status, or other people, but you are ALWAYS let down. It’s like chasing a mirage. So you keep moving onto the next mirage that promises happiness and satisfaction, and the tiring cycle repeats.

When you are in charge, it is your responsibility to fix all issues in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Yet, your power to fix is inadequate. If someone comes and steals your belongings/money you worked so hard for, what can you do? If yours or a loved ones health deteriorates and doctors cannot help, what can you do? Since you are in charge, you must fix it! You want to fix it so bad, but you simply cannot. So you have internal temper tantrums which ushers in horrid monsters like depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. This is reality with you being in charge. Is there another way? Yes, but only one.

Before Adam ate that forbidden fruit, our Creator had a plan for us. While the Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the formless earth at the beginning, He knew us. His sovereignty not only controls the galaxies across the universe, the timing of the tides in the oceans, and when the mountain lion gives birth, but He is sovereign over the smallest details of your life as well; and here is a glimpse of the power of His sovereignty: He uses it ALL for your good. If you would let go of the control you thought you had and hand over your life without restrictions over to the Lord, He then becomes in charge of you. Now, if someone robs you, you lose your health, or whatever, it’s not your problem to fix. God is in charge and He is able and willing! He promised He has plans to give you hope and a future, that His grace would sustain you at all times, that He is using all things for your good, that He would uphold you with His righteous hand, that He would help you and strengthen you, and many more irreversible promises.

So, to make it simple, look no further for that elusive true satisfaction and happiness, but live a life surrendered to Jesus. Trust in Him and wear His promises at all times. Then there will be nothing left to do but fellowship, enjoy, and rest in the Him; the way to true, lasting satisfaction and happiness… the way we were designed to exist.

From Despair to a Living Hope

In June of 2017, I was plunged into agonizing suffering involving insomnia, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. In the span of three months, I did everything I could to get better. I read a self-help psychology book, I prayed to God for help, read a lot of the Bible, researched like crazy on the internet for help, was prescribed 6 different drugs, and was even admitted into a mental hospital for suicidal patients for 2 weeks. All the help the world had to offer mysteriously had the opposite effect on me; instead of getting better, I grew worse. Towards the end of the third month, I lost 15 pounds and felt hopeless. My depression was so thick and dark that I felt as though I was a dead body walking around. My mind was constantly tortured with overwhelming fears, which increased my anxiety and panic attacks producing chest pains bringing me to my knees in tears throughout the day. Seeing no way out, I reviewed my life insurance plan and thought to end myself, but I was scared before God and my heart broke whenever I thought about leaving my family without a dad and husband. Then at the end of three months, not knowing what to do, I simply gave up and stopped trying. God brought me to the absolute end of myself. By the grace of God, the next day my depression lifted. But the fearful thoughts, panic attacks, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts still remained.

Then, it was at this time the Lord used my dad to give me a book called, The Handbook to Happiness, by Dr. Charles Solomon. This book miraculously explained what I was going through, and what God was doing in me. A light switch turned on. I received counseling from my Dr. John Woodward from the author’s ministry called, Grace Fellowship International. Along with his and my dad’s help, I started to read and listen to many other resources and they all pointed to the same solution: To die to myself and let Christ live His life through me. God showed me through Galatians 2:20, Romans 6-8, and other verses that I died with Jesus 2,000 years ago and that it was no longer I who lived, but Christ who lives in me. But the problem was, my flesh, or the self-life, was battling the Spirit of Christ dwelling in me for control over my mind and body. The only way to hand over control to Jesus was to deny my flesh, and I realized only God could do this for me.

Through the intense suffering, Jesus slowly and graciously brought me to a point of complete surrender to Him. God enabled me to give up all my rights, to be healthy, respected, comfortable, loved, appreciated, receive good things, have a family, and have friends. I gave up all my hopes, dreams, career aspirations, goals, what I thought was best to serve God, my right to take my own life, and everything else. Then, the Holy Spirit led me to act on Romans 12:1 and offer myself as a living sacrifice to God to do with me whatever He pleased, not caring whether I lived or died. Then, I made up my mind to stop trying and understand, but instead fully trust God with everything. It was here I was challenged to whether I truly believed in the promises in the Bible or not. I knew if they were not true, I would surely die. Over the months, I wrote down many promises in the Bible that pertained to me and I meditated on a couple of them at a time all day. The three most powerful truths I hold onto are: His grace is enough for me at all times from 2 Corinthians 12:9, He uses all things for my good from Romans 8:28, and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me from Galatians 2:20. I took the promises by faith, hung my life on them, and jumped into the abyss expecting God to catch me.

After this revelation, I was still in agony, but now I had hope in God. As I desperately hung onto His promises each day, God started to slowly restore my mind and soul. The first month was very painful, but He started to breathe life into me. He started to increase my faith and gave me more hope through His promises. When I rebuked the suicidal thoughts in the name of Jesus Christ, those thoughts immediately ceased to my amazement. So, it was there I realized those suicidal thoughts were not from me, but were from the devil. I was then able to rebuke the fearful thoughts away in Jesus name. That was a crucial discovery. Over the next 3 to 4 months, God miraculously restored me. He stopped the anxiety and panic attacks, restored my sleep, freed me from all medications, and gave me peace of mind. He lovingly blessed me through this suffering. I now know and believe Jesus died on the cross not only to save me from hell, but He also came to rescue me from hell on earth by being my life. I no longer dare trust myself again, but now strive to live by faith in Jesus alone. This is the “abundant life” Jesus spoke of in John 10:10 and Jesus’ command to deny yourself, carry your cross, and follow Him in Matthew 16:24. Dying to self and letting Christ live through us is something that must be done daily until we are done with this life. This truth is not just for me, but for every child of God. If you are over-burdened right now and face a seemingly impossible situation, I tell you the truth, that burden was never meant for you to carry but for Jesus alone. So I urge you to unload your burdens onto Jesus, and take His promises in the Bible by faith. Your life is not your own for He purchased you with His blood. Your life now belongs to Jesus and He expects to live His life through you for His glory and your complete satisfaction.

You Died, So Why Worry?

You don’t need to worry. Galatians 2:20 says you died. So… you died. Dead people don’t worry. Not about their bodies, circumstances, problems, future, nothing… it’s no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you.

You may ask: How can I make this a reality for me? If you are a child of God, it already is. It doesn’t become true because you believe, you believe because it’s true. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s fact: you died, and now Christ is your life. God said so.

Who is Your Husband?

After Ruth lost her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law, she was left vulnerable, poor, and pitied; especially, in the culture she lived in at the time. She picked up leftover crops in a farm after the farmers first went through just to survive. This farm belonged to a man named Boaz. Boaz was respected, honorable, wealthy, and loving. By God’s grace, Ruth wed Boaz. After the marriage, Ruth was no longer vulnerable, poor, and pitied, instead she was now secure, wealthy, and respected. She no longer needed to beg or look for leftovers to survive, she could now simply look to her husband Boaz to meet all her needs.

In the same way, when the Holy Spirit started to dwell in us, we were wed to Jesus. We went from being vulnerable, poor, and pitied, to being the bride of Jesus, rich, and completely secure. Now imagine this: After Ruth wed Boaz, what would you think if Ruth went back out to Boaz’s field to search for leftovers so that she could eat? What if Ruth suffered from anxiety and depression because she was worried she wouldn’t collect enough food to avoid starvation for the next week? Completely ridiculous right? How would Boaz feel about that? Yet, so many of us live like this! Although we are married to Jesus, we live as though we need to fend for ourselves. We need to stop living like this, and instead look to our loving husband Jesus for all our needs! Stop trying to figure everything out. Stop worrying. Stop carrying your burdens. Trust in Jesus!

Why We Tremble

How many of us worry, tremble from anxiety, or are depressed? Let me tell you why my friend: It is the lack of child-like faith. What is child-like faith? To simply take Jesus at His word. God said that He uses everything for our good (Romans 8:28). He said His grace is always enough for us (2 Cor 12:9). Can you accept this? As a child simply believes his mom when she says she will pick him up after school, can you believe God when He makes you a promise? Not taking Jesus at His word is the chain that keeps so many in bondage. Holding onto control is the very thing fueling anxiety. God says to let go, and trust in Him instead (Prov 3:5). Do this, then you will be enabled to fear nothing in this world.

Purpose for Suffering – from Journal

[Please note: As with all other journal notes, I did write the authors down for some of the quotes because I never expected to share these with anyone]

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. – John 12:24

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. – Romans 8:29

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. – Philippians 1:29-30

For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. – 1 Peter 2:20

“God put you in that chair, Joni. I don’t know why, but if you’ll trust him instead of fighting him, you’ll find out why—if not in this life, then in the next. He let you break your neck because he loves you.” – from a Pastor that spoke to Joni Tada

For me:

God gave you insomnia. I don’t know why, but if you’ll trust Him instead of fighting Him, you’ll find out why – if not in this life, then in the next. He let you get insomnia because He loves you.

Embrace the suffering like Jesus did. And pray to God: Let Your will be done.

“God always seems bigger to those who need him the most. And suffering is the tool he uses to help us need him more.”

“Profound good in our lives often emerges in a crucible of significant suffering.”

“To this day he requires suffering of all his followers, some of it intense—but only for their good, and never equaling what he himself passed through.” – Joni Tada

Waiting on God – from Journal

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” – Andrew Murray

“Give God the glory by resting, trusting, and waiting on Him.” – Andrew Murray

“Waiting on God pleases Him greatly because we surrender to His will and trust in Him to do everything His way and in His timing.” – Andrew Murray

From Spurgeon Sermon on YouTube: All Joy in All Trials – Minutes 32 to 34. Teaching: we get patience through these trials. We accept the trial as from God and do no complain, but calmly surrender our will to His will. This surrender does not happen all at once, but may take years of physical pain, mental depression, multiple bereavements, or disappointments to bring the soul to full submission to the will of God. After much crying the son is weened. After much chastising the child is made obedient to the Father’s will. By degrees, our quarrel with God will end and we will desire to not have two wills, but that God’s will will be our will. If our trials work to this, we are truly a gainer.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.  – Psalm 62:5

Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.  – Isaiah 50:10

Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 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.  – Psalm 37:3-5

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!  – Psalm 27:14

Isaiah 64:4

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. – Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

Worrying – from Journal

Worrying

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.  – Psalm 4:8

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”  – Matthew 4:4

The devil wants us to worry about all the “what ifs.” God wants us to endure the actual current suffering trusting in Him and saying let your will be done, knowing that He will provide us our daily bread to endure the present trial and bring good through it all. God doesn’t want us to ask Him what if questions or “what about that?” Or us trying to guess His will. – C.S. Lewis and Oswald Chambers 

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”  – Isaiah 41:13

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!  – Psalm 40:17

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  – Psalm 34:4

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.  – Isaiah 55:8-9

If I surrender to God completely, what if He makes me do something I’m afraid of?

Answer: He will have me do what is spiritually best for me. I can trust Him. After all, He did love me so much that He died for me. 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,  – Psalm 46:1-2

“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.”  – Isaiah 54:13

My take: this applies to my parents and to me and Colette. God is teaching me, and I shall have great peace from God. God is also teaching Chloe and Abby, and the peace of God is in them.

“Fear is embracing the inferior.” – Bill Johnson

“I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid…  – Isaiah 51:12

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,  – Psalm 91:4-5

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”  – Hebrews 13:5-6

“All of that stuff on your mind?  Give it to Him – again.  Replace those fearful thoughts with His words of truth. And sleep in peace tonight.  He knows what concerns you, He’s got you covered.”  – Crosswalk.com

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”  – Isaiah 35:4

Matthew 10:29 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.

My takeaway: The Lord is sovereign; He will always take very good care of me. He is completely trustworthy with my life in any circumstance.

1 Peter 5:6-11 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

My takeaway: Key thing is to humble yourself before casting your anxieties on Him. Humbling yourself means to surrender yourself and your situations over to God, under His mighty hand; for He can take care of you and all your needs for it is promised in the Bible. Then, you can cast your anxieties onto Him, and since it states that He cares for me, He will take care of me completely. So, I do not have to be anxious about anything since my awesome, heavenly, trustworthy, almighty Father is now taking care of all my needs. Another thing, this passage teaches us how to resist the devil: “firm in your faith.” In Ephesians 6:16, it tells us to take up the “shield of faith,” which says, “which with you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” This means to have faith in being sure that God will keep His promises that are stated in the Bible and His direct messages to me. Faith in God protects you when you are tempted to doubt. That is why we must constantly study His promises in the Bible and memorize them as much as possible. If an arrow gets through and hurts you, use the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, to minister to you in order to take out the arrow or arrows.

Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?” or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

My takeaway: God is saying do not worry about any of our necessities, like sleep. He said to focus on seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seeking His kingdom means to seek the will of God. And seeking His righteousness is to seek to be righteous like Him. Both of these are had by seeking or living the exchanged life. Having Jesus live in and through you is seeking His kingdom and being righteous. God is living in you and through you, so He is control of you. So, with His mind, power, will, resources, and control, you are indeed seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. So, do not worry about any necessities, God promised you He will provide it all. Also, He is teaching us the very important lesson to live one day at a time, as His grace will be sufficient for each day. We cannot get His grace for tomorrow today, so live each day knowing His grace is sufficient for today.

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I should.

My takeaway: Rely on God’s strength when fighting against the devil. Know the word of God and remember the promises of God. The promises of God is your shield to nullify the devil’s attacks. Paul instructs us to pray at all times in the Spirit. I take this as always relying on Jesus to pray for us, and for us to pray often, especially during times of attack from demons.

Isaiah 26:1-3 – We have a strong city, He sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks (defensive walls). Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

My takeaway: Stay focused on God and trust in Him, then He will take care of you and your problems. He may not take care of your problems in the way you think, but He will take care of them in the best way possible.

John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

My takeaway: You need to study this passage in detail. But, this passage says clearly that we may have peace in Jesus. Also, Jesus promised us that we will have hardships, but He also promised us that He rules the entire world and everything, which includes all our hardships.

Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.

My takeaway: When you are anxious, always go to God for help. Let Him know what you need, but be thankful as you ask since you know He will answer you in the best way possible, even if it’s not how you expected it. Acknowledge that He knows things that we don’t know about what is best for us in all situations.

Jim Logan worry sermon

When we worry, it is a message from God that we are carrying a burden we are not able to carry.

Core Truths for Sleep – from Journal

  1. 2 Corinthians 12:9. No matter how much sleep I get, His grace will sustain me and His grace is enough for me at all times; even during the night.
  2. Romans 8:28. God uses ALL things for my good. No matter how much sleep I get, He will use it for my good.
  3. God’s law of nature will let me sleep. I should not try to help it, but just leave it alone.
  4. The fears that may be attacking you now are ordained by God and totally under His control. This is a part of His loving plan to mold you. Accept the situation and trust and rest in God.

Core truths for all hardships (Andrew Murray):

  1. God has put me in this hardship, so I will rest in that fact.
  2. His grace will be enough for me, even allowing me to behave as a child of God should.
  3. He will teach and mold me through this trial.
  4. He will pull me out of this hardship in His perfect timing.

Peace and Joy – from Journal

Psalm 34:8-9

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! 
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
 for those who fear him will have all they need.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

The presence of anxiety is the absence of humility. Therefore humble yourself before the mighty hand of God and cast all your anxieties on to Him because He cares for you. – Alistair Begg

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27