Friday, July 29, 2011

Speaking the Truth of Scripture to Ourselves

“It is written:
 ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.”
 (II Corinthians 4:13).

Negative self-talk is a real weakness in me. Whether it’s fear about my “pain of the day”, discouragement about my inabilities, battling with depression, or countless other things, many of my thoughts do not fit the description of victorious Christian living.

I am currently working on the Beth Moore Bible study Believing God. She mentions the effectiveness of verbally speaking God’s Word. Of course God’s Word is active when we read or meditate on it silently, but there is something very powerful in verbally speaking His truths. Satan cannot read our minds but he can hear our voice. When God’s Word goes forth, Satan trembles and flees.

If I truly believe God’s Word in faith, speaking it out loud confirms that truth in my spirit. I have seen God work miraculously as I verbalize my faith through Scripture. If I am constantly speaking negative, untrue thoughts to myself, I actually contribute to my health problems and see myself as Satan wants me to rather than as who I am in Christ. Proverbs 15:4 says that the tongue of the wise is a tree of life but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Many times Satan’s deceitful lies have crushed my spirit – my life is hopeless, I can’t endure this pain any longer, I’m useless and insignificant. But speaking the truth of God’s Word does bring healing – perhaps not physical healing but a healing of my attitude, bringing hope and the ability to persevere with faith.

I have collected various Scriptures that apply to my most difficult struggles. When I am tempted to dwell on negative thoughts, I read aloud the verses that speak truth to that particular situation. God has accomplished mighty things through this action and I trust in faith that He will do more. “The Word that God speaks is alive and full of power (making it active, operative, energizing, and effective)” Hebrews 4:12 AMP. Thank God that His Word never returns void.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the self-discipline to speak Your Word to myself, for Your Word is truth and Your truth sets me free. Amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

God's Unfailing Faithfulness through Pain

“He who called you is faithful; he will surely do it”
(I Thessalonians 5:24 ESV).

One of my biggest weaknesses in my walk with God is my lack of faith in believing that He will bring me through each new trial, regardless of how faithful He has been in the past. I have wanted to increase my faith and trust and recently God gave me two opportunities to do that.

I have had back problems for 25 years but this summer has been especially difficult with the inability to sit for very long. A friend of mine and I had planned a two-day trip and I was to do all the driving. I was very apprehensive, and yet after prayer, felt I should have faith that God would bring me through. I chose specific Scriptures to speak to myself throughout the trip. By the second day I was in a good bit of pain but wanted to trust Him in faith. God truly worked a miracle. He did not remove my pain but He gave me strength to persevere through it and still enjoy things immensely.

Six weeks later we had a trip with our daughters that involved 10 hours of driving in two days as well as sitting for a show. Our girls had planned their vacation times around this trip, and after much prayer, again I didn’t feel I should cancel it. Even after God’s previous provision I still struggled with fear and lack of faith. Once again I took Scriptures with me to speak aloud, reminding me that God is faithful and would bring me through. He did. Miraculously I had virtually no pain the entire trip.

God works differently in each new situation but He is continually performing miracles in our lives of pain. Whether it’s giving total relief for a time or giving the endurance to persevere through it, either way, we win. And perhaps these miracles are more meaningful to our spiritual growth than complete healing could ever be.

Prayer: Gracious God, to the faithful You show Yourself faithful (Psalm 18:25). Help me to see the miracles You work in my life every day and use my pain to increase my faith and trust in You. Amen.