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I went through a period of physical illness which caused so much pain that all I could do was lay in bed and cry. It also eventually caused a type of Post Traumatic Stress resulting in a constant anxiety along with depression. I lost my job and almost destroyed my marriage. There were times in the throws of pain that I couldn't pray or I felt the absence of the Holy Spirit. It was a very scary, lonely time. But, I knew there were others praying for me. Eventually the cause of my illness was diagnosed correctly, but not before realizing that I was on the verge of death if It had been left in this condition one more week. After a successful operation, it took several months to regain my strength. Now here is where the lesson comes in. Before this episode of illness started, I was on top of my game. I had a successful music business career. I was a performer, composer, church musician, etc. I thought I had both feet in the boat with Jesus, but in reality, I had one foot in the boat and the other in the applauding hands of the industry. Ironically, as successful as I was, I worried about staying on top, about money and just about everything. It took the reality of hearing that if I had waited a week for the next procedure, I WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD! So, Matthew 6:25-34 really hit me: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? "Which of you by worrying can add one 1 cubit to his stature? "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; "and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. "But a seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Really, life is one day a a time. No amount of worry adds an ounce of health or added time. I am at peace with the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit showed me this as a real life lesson that has made me move on with peace, less worry and an appreciation of the gifts that the Lord gives us each day. By the way, losing my job was the best thing. I started my own business and eventually retired and have had more time to devote to the Lord. Lastly, sometimes we look at stumbling blocks as hazards when in reality they are stepping stones making it easier to climb out of a hole. Please know, that God does not abandon you. There are prayers being said for you. God Loves you. Friends and Family Love you. There is and will be a better horizon awaiting for you at the end of your suffering. Not all trials are bad. Consider how we make a knife sharper. We hone the blade by scraping off dull metal. The grinding may hurt, but look at the resulting shine!
We must trust the Lord with all of our hearts and refuse to rely on our own understanding. This includes our feelings, emotions, thoughts and intelligence. As we rest in and rely on Jesus Christ, we experience peace from the Holy Spirit.
As humans having "this treasure in earthen vessels (2 Cor 4:7 if saved)" our emotions very moment by moment. We can feel good when things are bad or feel bad when things are going just fine. Relying on God's infallible Word to guide our reasoning and actions is the safety God Himself has provided for peace in times of trouble. John 14:25-27 These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (you must first know them to be able to remember them) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 2 Cor. 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (including my understanding), bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Prov. 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. To depart from my understanding is to depart from evil. My "old nature" is the enemy of God, God's ways are foolishness to my old man. 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 6:6; Rom. 8:8; Col. 3:9; Eph. 4:22; 1 John 2:16; James 4:4 The one thing that I have learned over the years that has brought peace and comfort during times of unrest and trials if focusing on what will God teach me through this? In contrast to our natural way of think; "Why is this happening to me?" or "What have I done wrong?" or "How can I get out of this?" The difference is having a Godly mindset, focused on His will for me not my will or desires for me. Looking to the scriptures for examples and assurance of God's love and care for me. Is. 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says 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. The key to having true Godly peace is knowing His will and doing it, even when it does not "feel" right. Knowing His will comes from personal study, not just reading, the holy scriptures. 2 Tim. 2:15 Study to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come (He has!), He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 2Tim. 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In Philippians 4:11-12, Paul writes "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
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