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
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
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
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.
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
- 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.
- Romans 8:28. God uses ALL things for my good. No matter how much sleep I get, He will use it for my good.
- God’s law of nature will let me sleep. I should not try to help it, but just leave it alone.
- 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):
- God has put me in this hardship, so I will rest in that fact.
- His grace will be enough for me, even allowing me to behave as a child of God should.
- He will teach and mold me through this trial.
- He will pull me out of this hardship in His perfect timing.
Peace and Joy – from Journal
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
Spiritual Warfare – from Journal
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7
In fighting evil, like nightmares. Four main weapons at our disposal:
- The name of Jesus
- The blood of Jesus; it sets us free and the enemy cannot touch us
- The Word of God – Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. – Luke 10:19
ALL thoughts of unholy fear are from evil sources. As evidenced by 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Recognize them and declare you do not consent to their thoughts and move on.
Huge! From Jim Logan.
The enemy sometimes plants so many thoughts into our minds it wears us out and distracts us. When this happens, you just simply need to say: “I give no consent to that.” And move on. The only time you need to stop what you are doing and confront the devil is when they get seriously in your way. Then verbally say out loud, “in the name of Jesus Christ, go to where He tells you.” If you entertain the thought too much, then do 2 Corinthians 10
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Though your way seems hopeless and full of fears, God is handling you in love, dear friend; No matter how dark your tunnel appears, Take heart, there is light at the other end.
Satan’s goal is to persuade me to kill myself. He wants to make my life miserable. He hates me. Do not listen to his deception. Resist him in the name of Jesus Christ.
satan inserts thoughts into our minds. he makes those thoughts seem like they are our thoughts. satan uses deception. demons try and persuade you that their thoughts originate from our thoughts.
Jesus Christ is my armor. Our war is against the enemy fighting for our mind. Our part is to engage, depend upon, draw from, and rely on God’s power to win the battle in our minds.
Any thoughts of fear, apart from the fear of God, is from evil sources. Because God does not give us the spirit of fear. Reject them and ask God to intervene and take those thoughts captive.
All evil thoughts, like suicidal ones, are desperate attacks from the devil. God will without a shadow of the doubt get me out of this and more. He is using this trial to draw me closer to Him, build me up in Him, and preparing me to be used by Him!! I just need to totally surrender to His will, patiently endure until He is done teaching and molding me, and keep trusting in Him in all things.
Sustaining Truths – from Journal
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. – 2 Peter 1:3-4
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. – Psalm 37:5
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. – Psalm 107:6
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. – Psalm 34:17-19
“…for he gives to his beloved sleep.” – Psalm 127:2
My take: after this trial is over, God will give me sleep because I am His beloved.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26
Trust in God.
You know without a doubt He is real. You know the Bible is God breathed by all the prophesies that came true, Jesus’ miracles, and most importantly the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. Also, you experienced Him first hand when getting saved, the supernatural rescue through the dream (innocent murdered and His son telling me the code), band speakers, and now the supernatural encouragement from God on answering my prayer through this suffering. It would be infinitely more difficult to prove God is not real in light of all this evidence. Who better to surrender all and entrust with everything than your loving Heavenly Father? So rest assured and be at peace because you are in absolutely secure and perfect hands.
Give me Jesus or give me death.
A.W. Tozer on Dark Night of Soul – from Journal
[Please note: The following are all quoted from A.W. Tozer. These truths gave me comfort and hope, and I dwelled on them often.]
“It is fear of falling into the hands of God that makes us so eager to get things reduced to a formula. We feel that if we can learn the “secret” of salvation or the “steps” into the blessed life, we can control our future and (though we would not admit it) control God Himself to a large degree. This saves face and preserves our self-confidence, but it also mutes the voice of power in the gospel and weakens the operations of God in the soul. Only the despairing heart can know the inward witness.
In the final analysis, no one can lead another to God. All he can do is to lead the inquirer to the door of the kingdom and urge him onward. Between God and the returning soul there is a zone of obscurity through which he cannot see. It is the light that no man can approach unto and past which no one can go on his feet or by means of reason or theological knowledge. There faith must make its leap of pure trust into the arms of God crying with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15), or with Newton, “O Lord, I trust in Thee completely, and if I go to hell I’ll go down standing on Thy Word.”
It is this utter desperation that brings the witness, and yet I cannot tell anyone how to reach such a state. All I can do is to urge everyone to repent and believe on Jesus Christ. If the repentance is genuine and the faith real, all human confidence will come crashing down and the humbled soul will be forced to make its leap of faith alone. The reader that cannot find his way from here is in all probability still impenitent. And let him beware of seeking cheap comfort from a text jockey who will cry “ `Peace, peace,’. . . when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). He had better by far take his Bible and retire to the secret place to seek God alone. If there’s hope for him, he’ll find it there. But he’ll find it nowhere else.”
Victorious Life Through Suffering – from Journal
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
I truly do believe my old self died on the cross with Jesus, and that Christ now lives in me. I now need to focus on the second part. I need to live my entire life in faith in Jesus. The fact that Jesus loved me so much that He died for me is more than enough reason for me to trust Him with everything, to include the remainder of my life.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! – Psalm 31:19
but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. – 1 Thessalonians 2:4
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts. – Proverbs 17:3
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. – Revelation 3:19
I am thoroughly equipped to conquer any hardship!
God took Israel the long route because He knew they were not ready for battle in Cannan at that time. So, God will only lead us into situations we are thoroughly equipped to be victorious.
Consider suffering as pure joy!
“Suffering develops holiness in unholy people.” – Bible.org
“… but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” – Hebrews 12:10
“God has one destined end for mankind—holiness. His one aim is the production of saints.” – Oswald Chambers
“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” -Psalm 119:67
Suffering produces endurance, character, and ultimately hope. – Romans 5:4
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10
The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save and deliver. He will quiet you with His love and rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
“God reminds us of our frailty, so that we can rest in His sufficiency.” – Alistair Begg
“Suffering is not an accident for the believer, it is a divine appointment.” – Alistair Begg
All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. – Isaiah 66:2
You keep him in 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. – Isaiah 26:3-4
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. – Psalm 9:9
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. – Psalm 34:19
The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. – Psalm 34:22
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Suffering is excellent at teaching us humble dependence on God, the only appropriate response to our Creator. Ever since the fall of Adam, we keep forgetting that God created us to depend on Him and not on ourselves. We keep wanting to go our own way, pretending that we are God. Suffering is powerfully able to get us back on track.” – Bible.org
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Confidence in God gives us a backbone.” – Brian Johnson