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Daily Devo- A Cry for Help

The world is full of hurt, disappointments, fear, anxiety, depression, and the list goes on. I write this devotional today with a heavy heart from personal experience’s with the mentioned emotions in my own life and those that I love.

The struggle is real, the hurt is deep, and the fears can be paralyzing.

Depression, anxiety, fearful and negative thoughts plague us daily and are growing during this season of the pandemic. We are under attack physically, mentally, and emotionally. Many are feeling more disconnected today than ever before.

These are attacks from our enemy- satan- the author of lies and the father of it. The enemy that only comes to kill, steal, and destroy every aspect of our life and keep us from fulfillment in God’s purpose for our life.

God has already defeated the enemy. We can cry out to Him for help and He WILL rescue us.

We are not alone and do not have to face these difficult times alone– God is near to the brokenhearted!

Psalm 34:18 NIV The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 142:6 NIV Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

I want to encourage each person that may be facing difficult times and emotions to reach out– Talk with a loved one, a doctor, a friend, or myself (faithanchored@yahoo.com)– just please ask for help. My heart is breaking for all those that are lost and are struggling alone.

YOU MATTER!

YOU ARE LOVED!

YOU HAVE GREAT PURPOSE!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE– GOD IS ALWAYS WITH YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DO NOT FEEL IT!

It is okay to not be okay. It shows strength and courage to seek help with your struggles especially those that are emotional and mental.

Trying to battle the feelings, thoughts, and attacks alone will only feed into the already difficult circumstances. Our enemy plants lies in our mind when we are aimlessly wandering in our thoughts– these seemingly small seeds can quickly grow into deep rooted beliefs about ourselves and our circumstances. Starting as a single negative thought then quickly spiraling into a playground of negativity and lies in our mind for satan to torture us and attempt to keep us chained by the lies, out of God’s will, and bound by our feelings.

Seeking help and facing our feelings along with the trauma that caused them is not easy, but it is necessary for total healing and freedom. Although learning to navigate through these seemingly never ending cycles of hurt, depression, and downward spirals of negativity is hard; it is possible.

God’s word tells us that He can take the impossible and make it possible– through Him ALL things are possible! (Matthew 19:26)

Take a stand for yourself and your future. Step up and step out. Admit that we are weak but He is strong. Hand each emotion, traumatic event, worry, fear, anxiety over to Him and let God do the work in you and for you.

It may seem hard to believe in the midst of the storm but God will help you through deep waters, He will comfort you, He will protect you, and He will save you from your despair. He did it for me and He can do it for you too!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your Word and Your comfort in times of trouble. Thank you for the promises to never leave us nor forsake. For always being near to those of us who are brokenhearted and struggling with life’s storms. Lord God I pray that Your message be heard through these words. I pray You will be a light to so many during this dark season. I pray that those who are battling depression, fear, anxiety, and hurts from this broken world would turn to You. Soften their hearts, open their eyes and ears to Your truth. Lead each of us and protect us from the schemes and lies of the enemy. I declare in the name of Jesus chains be broken, people be truly freed in You, and that you will transform each one of us with the renewal of our minds through Your truth, grace, and love. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Examine Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23 NIV

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

Our hearts are fragile and unfortunately pain is not something anyone can escape. At some point or another in your life, you will experience broken relationships. This is a direct effect from living in a broken world that is full of sin.

People who have been diagnosed with serious heart conditions need to change their unhealthy habits to help improve their overall heart health. Those that are diagnosed with ‘hardening or blockage or the arteries’ have recurring heart examinations with their doctors.

Just as a person with a heart problem diagnosed by a medical professional has to monitor their condition and identify any potential problematic areas, so should we on a spiritual level.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart that everything in life flows from it.

Think about that for a moment– EVERYTHING flows from it.

That means the good, the bad, the bitter, the joy, the pride and selfishness, and the love or hatred that comes out through our actions and words. To live a truly joyful and blessed life– we need to intentionally examine our hearts (with God’s help) to identify any areas in which we need to grow and change.

Lamentations 3:40 Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord;

Examine your heart and pray– ask God to show you the areas in which need attention. Ask Him for discernment with your actions and words, that He would expose to you when you are reacting out of the flesh and not according to His will.

Psalm 26:2 NIV Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Take a look at these 8 potentially problematic areas in our hearts when examining our spiritual health

  1. Pride: Do I focus on how much I’ve been wronged? Do I have a problem admitting my faults?
  2. Faultfinding: Do I rehearse the faults of others in my life?
  3. Avoidance: Do I avoid being around people with whom I have conflict?
  4. Silence: Do I shut down and refuse to speak about my problems or feelings in a healthy way?
  5. Isolation: Do I withdraw from those around me emotionally?
  6. Unfaithfulness: Do I worry and fret of circumstances outside of my control?
  7. Hopelessness: Do I lack faith that God can and will work out my situation?
  8. Resentment/Bitterness: Do I hold on to my anger and hurt until it turns into resentment or bitterness towards the one who the conflict is with?

The heart examination only works if you are truthful with yourself and God about your feelings and results from ‘your exam’. Finding problematic areas in your heart does not mean you are a bad person or even that God is displeased with you. The condition of our heart and circumstances never surprise God– nor change His love for us.

True freedom and happiness in Christ comes when we acknowledge our problematic areas and seek to change them. Pulling each bad habit, thought, or opposition to God’s Word and will out by its roots and planting new healthy habits; creating new root systems based on His word.

Psalm 139: 23-24 NIV  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Father for giving Your direction and help throughout every day of our lives. Lord, it is because of You and You alone that I am able to share Your love and truth with others. These words are not mine but Yours and I pray that all the glory be brought to Your kingdom. Lord I confess that I have not put much thought into my heart health on a spiritual level, forgive me God, for I only want to please You. Help me to search my heart Lord and expose to me problematic areas. Show me where I am lacking and help me to seek and understand Your truth and will. Lord, I pray You will guard my heart and give me discernment and peace, so that I will not hold on to hurt or anger and allow it to take root in my life. I pray for Your strength to help me to change from the inside out; owning my faults, and seeking to make each right according to Your will. In Jesus mighty name I pray
Amen

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Daily Devo- Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a a normal part of life. No one can escape the pain of broken relationships– it is part of living life in a broken, fallen world. Although pain may not be able to be avoided– becoming bitter over the pain caused can be.

The Bible presents to us the ‘freedom of forgiveness’. It also shows us that Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, gives each believer the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Before we can reconcile any differences- we must first diagnose the condition of our own heart. Checking ourselves against the eight potentially problematic areas.

8 Areas to Examine in Our Heart

  1. Pride- Do I focus on how much I have been wronged?
  2. Faultfinding- Do I search and rehearse the faults of others?
  3. Avoidance- Do I avoid being around those I have conflict with?
  4. Silence- Do I shut down and refuse to share what I am feeling in a healthy way?
  5. Isolation- Do I withdraw emotionally?
  6. Unfaithfulness- Do I share unnecessary information about my opposer?
  7. Hopelessness- Do I lack faith that God can work in any situation?
  8. Resentment- Do I hold on to my anger until it turns into bitterness?

Hebrews 12:14-15

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled

The Bible tells us to pursue peace with all people.

How to reconcile

The process of mending relationships and reconciliation of conflict can occur when both parties are willing to listen and communicate without interrupting each other. Both need to show respect and acknowledge there are two sides to every story, two sets of feelings, two hearts that need healing, and two different perceptions of what happened.

6 Do’s of reconciliation

  1. See the situation
  2. Repeat back what you heard
  3. Use words that are encouraging
  4. Be open minded and respectful
  5. Accept you only have the power to change yourself
  6. Be at peace

6 Don’ts of Reconciliation

  1. Don’t forget your opposer is also God’s creation
  2. Don’t hold on to resentment, bitterness, or hatred
  3. Don’t use ‘you’ statements. (You should…You made me…You always..etc)
  4. Don’t get drawn into useless arguing
  5. Don’t expect change immediately
  6. Don’t assume every situation can be reconciled

Apologize and Forgive

The healing of two wounded hearts can’t happen if both parties refuse to ask for forgiveness from the other. We must be careful not to further offend or complicate the situation when we are asking for forgiveness.

5 helpful tips when apologizing

  1. Don’t make excuses
  2. Don’t use the blame game or ‘you’ statements
  3. Accept full responsibility (My attitude was inexcusable)
  4. Accept full blame for your part in the situation (No one can make someone else sin- I acknowledge I sinned against you…)
  5. With a humble heart and attitude explain you have tried to see the situation from their point of view….)

All healing takes time– regardless of the type of wound– physical, mental, or emotional. A wound cannot heal if we don’t leave it alone. Forgiveness works in a similar manner– it can not do its’ job if we don’t give it time. God can use us to help the process by taking these practical steps:

  • Recognize that forgiving someone does not mean they are ‘off the hook’. It means you are no longer carrying the offense and have turned it over to God to handle. It transfers it from your hook to God’s hook.
  • Make the decision that you no longer want to bare the pain from the past.
  • Recognize the unmet needs of the one who hurt you and pray for them.
  • Make a list of each offense you are holding unforgiveness about and release each one to God.

Each person has to accept that there is a chance that the end result could be a negative outcome. Sometimes, the relationship just may not work out between two people. The responsibility cannot fall solely on one of them. Effective and freeing reconciliation comes when both parties handle the process in a Godly manner.

Romans 12:18

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your forgiveness and guidance on reconciling our differences. We know that conflict is going to happen and we ask that you help us handle it in a Godly manner. Forgive me for not always seeking Your counsel before handling situations in the past. God I hand each offense I carry today over to you. Lord help expose to me my own heart and show me where I need improvement. Guide me in the process of reconciliation and help me to remember the do’s and don’ts. I pray that you would help me to live peaceably with all men and forgive just as you have forgiven me. It is in Jesus name I pray

Amen