Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Unbelief Leads to Grief

When I think about how far God has brought me in the last almost four years, I’m like the little emoji on my iPhone that looks surprised.  Eyes wide, eyebrows raised, surprised look.  It’s been an eventful journey to say the least.  Nevertheless, this journey has been steeped in learning experiences, grief, sadness, frustration, aggravation, and many other things including joy, laughter, love, comfort, peace, and a very real presence of the Lord.

In May 2016 it will be four years since my healing from depression, intimidation, and all the mental and emotional garbage that held me captive in a black hole unwilling to let me out and live.  I shake my head at the length of time it took me to finally realize that my life was not meant to be lived in such a state of emotional turmoil.

I find it extremely sad that others live this way themselves.  Unbelief has stolen the life right out of them.  Not that they don’t believe in God.  Many of them are Christians.  Their salvation is secure.  What I mean by unbelief is that they just aren’t willing to trust God with their circumstances, their fears, their grief, or just in general.

I’ve been there, lovely ones.  I was not willing to trust God with my depression and anxiety.  I was not willing to trust God with my fear.  I was not willing to trust God with any part of my mental and emotional state because I was convinced that I had brought it all on myself (again, the byproduct of mental and emotional abuse) and therefore why would God even help me when I couldn’t help myself (another lie).  Therefore, I was sinful because of my unbelief, my unwillingness to trust God.  Are you there today?

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. ~Hebrews 3:12 (NIV)

Has someone come along and told you that your circumstances are your own fault?  Have you been conditioned to believe that God doesn’t help someone if they don’t help themselves?  Are you focused on your problems, fearing what may come?  Whether it’s health related, your job, your family situation, or friends who are no longer acting like friends, it’s time to take your eyes off of those things and put your focus where it needs to be.

Focus on Jesus.

Sometimes we would just like to have a break, wouldn’t we?  Just a little time out.  Some rest.  What a lovely little path it is to find rest.  That comes when we trust God.  Simply put, when we choose to trust God He gives us rest from all those troubles bombarding our mind and body.

The key to finding rest from our issues is not in running away or quitting.  I used to quit.  Any time someone questioned my motives or questioned why I was doing something I quit.  Plain and simple, I just quit.  Why?  Because I was so intimidated by questions, knowing that after the questioning process came the ridicule, the insults, being made fun of, being put down, and I just couldn’t handle that.  So I quit.  But not anymore.

I wasted so much time worrying about what others thought of me or what they may say to me or about me.  I don’t do that anymore.  When I turned my attention to the Lord and asked for His healing, He in turn gave me something much more than anyone else’s opinions or words could ever give me.

He gave me rest.

Take a deep breath lovely one.  Now blow it out.  Ahh, doesn’t that feel so much better?  It does to me.  When we fix our eyes on Jesus, it’s like a breath of fresh air.  Peace.  Joy.  Rest.  He gives them all, and they’re worth it.  He is worth it.

He is supremely trustworthy and oh, so faithful.  You are safe.  You are secure.  And when you choose to follow His path, to listen to Him no matter what comes your way, He will strengthen your walk with him.  He will keep you protected.  It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t come your way, lovelies.  It just means that you’ll handle them differently, knowing that this is just a bump in the road on your journey.

Trust me.  I’m going through a few bumps and pot holes in my journey right now.  Trusting God doesn't mean we won't have grief, sadness, or any other emotion.  However, the effects are lessened because of the trust we put in God. I can assure you that the peace of God, His presence, and the rest He’s giving me are so thick right now that it’s tangible.  My family and I are surrounded by His love, mercy, and grace.  So we can smile and walk right through the thick of things with confidence.

Don’t miss another blessing my lovely ones.  Don’t allow your circumstances to become increasingly difficult because you aren’t willing to trust God.  Don’t let unbelief turn to grief.  Turn your eyes toward Jesus and ask Him for His help.  Wait for Him.  He’ll be there.  He always is.

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness” ~Hebrews 3:7-8 (NIV)

** Inspiration for this post comes not only from past experiences, but also from a First 5 devotional by Krista Williams titled Unbelief Brings Unrest. First 5 is a production of Proverbs 31 Ministries. 

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