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The Phases of Forgiveness—2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

“Nana, I’m sorry.”

“Of course I forgive you.”

It’s so easy to forgive my grandkids.

But what about the people in our lives that aren’t so easy to forgive, the people who have deeply hurt or disappointed us?

I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me.  Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough.  Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement.  So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. —2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Forgive and Comfort?

The last thing I want for my grandchildren is discouragement.  I can’t stand it when their hearts are broken because they’ve disappointed me; so it’s easy to comfort them.

But forgiving and comforting an adult, who should know better, so they won’t be discouraged—WHAT!

I’m the one who needs comforting…

I thought forgiving was hard, but forgiving and comforting…

How is that possible?

There’s only one way… with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Depending on the depth of the hurt it may take a while.  In the past I’ve gotten upset when I couldn’t instantly forgive and forget, but over years I’ve learned that there are phases of forgiveness.

As Paul said, in today’s reading…it’s time to forgive.

Let’s get started:

A phase is a distinct stage of development.  The phases may be different for each person.

Here are the 10 phases of forgiveness I’ve experienced:

Phase 1—I can’t forgive.  I’ve been hurt, I’m angry, I want to hurt back.

Phase 2—I don’t want to forgive. The other person(s) doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.

Phase 3—I should forgive (Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 17:3-4) but it’s so hard—Lord help me!

Phase 4—I’m trying to forgive but I can’t stop thinking about it and talking about it (Luke 6:45).

Phase 5—I have moments of forgiveness, a minute here a second there.

Phase 6—I have periods of forgiveness.  The pain is starting to going away!

Phase 7—I am completely free of the pain of unforgiveness!

Phase 8—I want the person(s) who hurt me to be free of the pain as well.  I don’t want them to be overcome with discouragement (2 Corinthians 2:5-8).

Phase 9—I make an effort comfort and encourage the person(s) who hurt me.  I free them from the responsibility of the pain they caused me (Job 42:10).

Phase 10—I forget the pain (not necessarily the event) the person(s) caused me.

The example from the Bible that comes to mind is Job.  Job was so angry at his three friends for accusing him of sinning against God.  Job worked through the phases of his anger throughout the forty-plus chapters of Job.  In Job 42:10, Job prayed for his “friends” and released them from their responsibility of hurting him and then the Lord made Job prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.

One of the biggest mistakes we make in the area of forgiveness is thinking we can go straight to phase 10.  This is the reason so many people are still living with the pain of the past–they don’t want to work through it, they just want to forget it.  That’s just not possible!

If you allow the Holy Spirit to walk you through each phase of forgiveness you will be truly free from the pain and sincerely want the best for those who’ve hurt you.

What a mighty God we serve!  Only through Him can we forgive and comfort!

Heavenly Father, I pray for my friends who are struggling with unforgiveness today.  Holy Spirit help them walk through each phase of forgiveness until they are truly free from the pain of the past.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 6:14-10:18

Isn’t This The Same Man? –Acts 9:21

Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1b-9:43

Take a minute and think about the most evil, despicable, and wretched person you’ve heard of.

Was it…

      • Hitler
      • ben Laden
      • Stalin
      • Mao Tse-tung

Maybe is was some serial killer that terrorized your community?

Or someone who personally hurt you or a close family member?

What if…

God asked you to go to that person and pray for them and be His messenger of healing to that person?

Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”

Yes, Lord!” he replied.

The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.  And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” 

–Acts 9:10-16

I don’t know about you, but many times I read over this kind of stuff in the Bible and don’t let it really sink into my spirit.  Saul was a really bad person.  He was one of the witnesses and agreed completely with the killing of Stephen (Acts 8:1).

Yet, in an instant he was a changed man.

All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”  –Acts 9:21

If you had been one of the disciples, how would you have felt to have Saul, now know as Paul as a part of your ministry team?

Would you have been able to go to Straight Street(Acts 9:11) and welcome Saul into the family of God?

Heavenly Father, this story causes me to examine myself.  It once again, makes me realize that Your will and Your plan come in packages that boggle the human mind.  Your ways are definitely higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8).  Lord, help me to give mercy to everyone who crosses my path.   Lord, help me to love my neighbor.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 10:1-12:5

2 Life-Changing Words—Luke 23:39-43

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Mark 15:21-24, Matthew 27:32-34, Luke 23:26-31, John 19:17, Mark 15:25-32, Matthew 27:35-44, Luke 23:32-43, John 19:18-27, Mark 15:33-41, Matthew 27:45-56, Luke 23:44-49, John 19:28-37

I’ve read, heard, and seen the story of the crucifixion many, many times throughout my life.  It really came alive for me during the years that I worked on the Passion Play project at our church.

Today I saw something new…

Jesus was crucified between two criminals.

Was it a coincidence?

Did it just happen to be their day to die?

I don’t think so.  As I read the account of the crucifixion in all four gospels it seems that every detail was either fulfillment of prophesy or final life lessons from Jesus; He was still teaching, loving, and forgiving as he died for the sins of the world.

These two criminals represent every person who has or will ever meet Jesus.

God used these two criminals to simplify the plan of salvation:

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?  We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  –Luke 23:39-43

Both criminals met Jesus

Both heard the message

And then came the fork in the road…

Decision Time—

One criminal immediately rejected the Messiah, his only hope and died in his sinful state.

The other criminal immediately acknowledged

  • his sinfulness
  • that he deserved to die
  • that Jesus did not deserve to die
  • that Jesus was God
  • that Jesus was his only hope

And then he asked Jesus to remember him when (not if) he came into His Kingdom.  Today that second criminal is in heaven with Jesus.

The plan of salvation acted out…

  • Meet Jesus
  • Accept Him
  • Reject Him

Remember me—2 words

That’s all it took.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is a simple message; let’s not complicate it.  But let’s also not minimize it; yes, it’s a simple plan, but it was bought with a difficult prize—the suffering and death of the Son of God.  If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, do it today.  It will be the best decision you ever made.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the simple plan You design for my redemption. Jesus, thank You for dying for my sins.  Lord, I pray that those who haven’t accepted You as their Savior will do so today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-61, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42, Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:1-7, Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:9-11,  John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:8-15

Have You Taken the First Step to Denying Jesus?–Luke 22:54-60

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:66-72, Matthew 26:69-75, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:25-27, Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 22:66-71, Matthew 27:3-10

I’m a Christ follower.

I’m a Christian.

I believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word.

I believed Jesus died on the cross for my sins.

It’s pretty easy for me to type these words and announce to the unknown blogosphere that I’m a Christian.  But what about the days when I’m in a situation where my faith could cost me

  • My reputation
  • My status
  • A promotion
  • A new job opportunity
  • My selfish desires

What happens on those days?

 

Too many times I’ve chosen the world and the opinion of others and denied Jesus, just like Peter.

So they arrested him (Jesus) and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance.  The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.   A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”

But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”

After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”

“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.

About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  –Luke 22:54-60 NLT (Explanation mine)

Have you ever thought, “How could Peter do that?”

But when we really think about it, most of us have denied Jesus many more times than Peter.

There’s a significant message in Peter’s denial.  So significant that it is recorded in all four of the gospels.

This account tells me…

  • ANYONE can deny Jesus  (Matthew 16:13-18)
  • The first step to denying Christ is following Him at a distance (Matthew 26:58)
  • Jesus knows that we’re going to deny Him but he still chooses to use us
  • Those God chooses to use mightily will be tested
  • We deny Jesus in different ways; sometimes with our words and sometimes with our actions

I remember a time years ago when my words and my actions were saying two different things.  My words were proclaiming Christ as Lord of my life but my actions were denying Him.  When I came to my senses, I repented and God forgave me. But occasionally the enemy of my soul reminds me of that time and tries to convince me that God cannot use me because of my denial.

Because of Peter’s story, I know that’s a lie.

Jesus told Peter He was going to be the rock (foundation) of the church (Matthew 16:13-18) BEFORE Peter denied Him.  And that’s exactly what happened!

Do you feel you cannot be used of God because of your times of denying Christ?

If you’ve denied Christ repent, move close to Him and be about your calling!

Heavenly Father, we’re so thankful You understand our humanness.  Forgive us for denying You in our words and our actions.  Help us to overcome the enemy’s attempts to keep us from being all that You called us to be.  Use us for Your Kingdom and Your Glory.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Mark 15:2-5, Matthew 27:11-14, Luke 23:1-12, John 18:28-40, Mark 15:6-15, Matthew 27:15-26, Luke 23:13-25, John 19:1-16, Mark 15:16-20, Matthew 27:27-31, Luke 22:63-65

A Building Caused Me to Feel Shame–Ezekiel 43:10-11

Today’s Scripture Reading:Ezekiel 40:38-43:27

Some of my earliest memories are in church. In those early years my mom took us to church a couple of times a week. Somewhere around the age of nine I began to understand the gospel. At this young age I started to grasp the magnitude of my sin.

 

I know, nine year olds don’t have a lot of sin.

 

What I mean is, I began to understand I had inherited a sinful nature from my ancestor Adam.

 

A battle began in my young heart.

 

A battle for my soul.

 

Every Sunday, as our pastor  preached I would feel the need to walk down the aisle and make a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ, but something held me back.

 

I would think things like…

 

“I’m too young. “

 

“This is what the adults do.”

 

“I’m not a bad kid.”

 

So each week I would put it off.

 

The weeks turned into months, the conviction was so strong that the moment we drove into the  parking lot and I saw the church that feeling would come over me…

 

Lord, I’m ashamed of my sin!

 

Those childhood memories came rushing back when I reach these verses in today’s reading…

 

 “Son of man, describe to the people of Israel the Temple I have shown you, so they will be ashamed of all their sins. Let them study its plan, and they will be ashamed of what they have done.  –Ezekiel 43:10-11

 

The people of Israel had abandoned their God, their laws, and traditions. Their Temple had been destroyed and they were in Babylonian exile. God knew that when they saw the plans for the new Temple that He personally designed, the magnitude of their sins would flash before them…and they would feel shame.

 

In today’s culture the thought of God wanting us to be ashamed and feel shame doesn’t fit with our “I’m okay and your okay” way of thinking.

 

But

 

The only way we can come to Christ is through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we need to be ashamed and experience the feeling of shame to be able to break free of our sins.

 

Thankfully, during my 10th year of life, I walked that aisle, confessed my sins, accepted Jesus as my Savior, and began to live my life for him.

 

What about the feelings of shame?

 

The minute I walked down the aisle they were gone!

 

Has it ever returned?

 

Yes, when I’ve gone against God’s Word but God’s forgiveness is only a prayer away!

 

Here’s the good news.

 

God does not want Christians to live a life of shame. Whether you accept Him as your Savior when you’re 10 or 100, whether your sins are as innocent as a 10-year-old or as depraved as the worst sinner; HE WILL TAKE AWAY THE SHAME!

 

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.  –1 John 1:9

 

If we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us

 

AND

 

Cleanse us from all our wickedness!

 

Our job is to accept that forgiveness and be free.

 

If you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior and asked for His forgiveness and you’re still feeling shame and condemnation, that is not the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

 

Recognize where that shame is coming from, assign it to the proper owner (the enemy of your soul)…

 

AND…

 

Be free my friend!

 

In Jesus’ Name be free!

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 44:1-46:24 

Are You Gloating? Stop it! –Obadiah 1:13

Today’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 5:1-22; Obadiah 1:1-21; 2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40:7-41:18

Gloating defined: To feel or express great, often malicious, pleasure or self-satisfaction:

When was the last time you had great pleasure and self-satisfaction over someone else’s pain?

I wish I could say that since I became a Christian (in the 5th grade) I’ve never gloated, but of course, that would be a lie.  Today’s reading made it very clear to me just how much the Lord hates gloating!

“Because of the violence you did to your close relatives in Israel, you will be filled with shame and destroyed forever. When they were invaded, you stood aloof, refusing to help them.

Foreign invaders carried off their wealth and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem, but you acted like one of Israel’s enemies.

  • You should not have gloated when they exiled your relatives to distant lands.
  • You should not have rejoiced when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune.
  • You should not have spoken arrogantly in that terrible time of trouble.
  • You should not have plundered the land of Israel when they were suffering such calamity.
  • You should not have gloated over their destruction when they were suffering such calamity.
  • You should not have seized their wealth when they were suffering such calamity.
  • You should not have stood at the crossroads, killing those who tried to escape.
  • You should not have captured the survivors and handed them over in their terrible time of trouble.  —Obadiah 1:10-14

In these verses the prophet Obadiah was talking to the Edomites.  Remember the story of Jacob and Esau?  The Edomites were the descendants of Esau and they were really mad about the whole birthright thing (Genesis 25:19-34).  Because of this, the Edomites hated the Jews (Jacob’s descendants) and did their best to cause them pain and suffering whenever possible.

The more I think about this, unforgiveness is most likely at the root of our gloating.  I know that most of the “gloating” I’ve done has been wrapped up in anger, hurt and unforgiveness.  It was true of the Edomites as well, they never really forgave Jacob for stealing their birthright and blessing.  No matter how unfair it is, we have to forgive.  Forgiveness is a process and the way you know you’ve truly forgiven is when you have the opportunity to gloat and you don’t!

(For more help with unforgiveness read The Phases of Forgiveness)

Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I’ve enjoyed the pain of others.  Shine a light on my heart and make me clean.  Lord, help me to forgive quickly and totally.  Help me to give grace to others as You have given it to me.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 42:1-44:30; Ezekiel 33:21-33

Do You Have a Rejection Phobia?—Jeremiah 33:25

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 32:1 through 33:26; Ezekiel 26:1-14

Is the fear of rejection something you occasionally battle or does this fear run your life and hold you back like a ship’s anchor?

We can be fearless in some areas, maybe most areas of our life and then have one area that we are petrified at the thought of being rejected, tossed aside or not included.

In Jeremiah 32, Jerusalem was under siege from the Babylonians and Jeremiah was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace.  The Lord sent a message to the Israelites through Jeremiah: I will hand this city over to the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he will capture it.  The Babylonians outside the walls will come in and set fire to the city. They will burn down all these houses where the people provoked my anger by burning incense to Baal on the rooftops and by pouring out liquid offerings to other gods.  Israel and Judah have done nothing but wrong since their earliest days. They have infuriated me with all their evil deeds,” says the Lord.  “From the time this city was built until now, it has done nothing but anger me, so I am determined to get rid of it.Jeremiah 32:28-31

If you were a Jew living in that day, would you have felt rejected?

It’s one thing to be rejected by a stranger, friend, or family member, but to think you’ve been rejected by the God of the universe; that must be a pretty lonely feeling.

The Lord heard the talk on the streets and brought it up to Jeremiah: “Have you noticed what people are saying?—‘The Lord chose Judah and Israel and then abandoned them!’ They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation. —Jeremiah 33:24

To the Jews and the people of other heathen nations it probably looked like God was rejecting Israel—everything that could go wrong did.  I’m sure the Jews kept saying, “But we are ‘God’s chosen people’; this shouldn’t be happening to us!”

Have you ever said something similar to this?

“Lord, this shouldn’t be happening, I’m Your child.  I’m serving You!”

Have You forgotten about me?

Have You rejected me?

Here’s what the Lord said to the Jews and to us (see Galatians 3:6-9):

I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky.  I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them. —Jeremiah 33:25-26

Friends, we live in a fallen world.  Imperfect people will reject us, things will seem to work against us, but make no mistake

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Your God Will Never Reject You!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

He will restore you to wholeness–Just Trust Him!

The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. —Joel 2:25

Heavenly Father, the fear of rejection is like an epidemic in the Christian world today.  Help us to know that we can count on you to never fail us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5).  Holy Spirit, help us to walk in confidence knowing that the One, True, Living God will ALWAYS be for us , so who can be against us (Romans 8:31).  Jesus, help us to do the work you’ve called us to do with boldness and confidence for Your Glory and Your Honor. In Jesus’ Name.

Amen and Amen!

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ezekiel 26:15 through Ezekiel 28:26; 2 Kings 25:3-7; Jeremiah 52:6-11; Jeremiah 39:2-10

Are You Addicted to These Three Things? –1 Kings 11

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Ecclesiastes 7:1 through Ecclesiastes 11:6

1 Kings 11 is critical in understanding how Solomon got to the place to write the sad book of Ecclesiastes.

Solomon did exactly what the Lord told him

NOT

to do.

The Lord had clearly instructed Israel not to marry foreign women, because they would turn their hearts to their gods.

What did Solomon do?

He married women from Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon and the Hittites.  He had 700 wives and 300 concubines and they did exactly what the Lord said they would do—turned Solomon’s heart away from his God.

Success, power, and prestige are as addictive as heroin.

That’s the only explanation for Solomon “needing”so many woman—just one more fix and I’ll be happy!

Solomon’s problem is an epidemic in today’s world.  Leaders both in the political world and the church world start out with the purest of motives but when they get a taste of power and prestige they exchange their noble motives for an enticing ego trip. They start to believe man’s laws AND God’s laws don’t apply to them.

I’m so thankful God shows the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Bible.

Solomon started out with a heart for his people and for God but ended up seeing his life as “meaningless.”  God knows we learn best from “real-live” examples—Solomon showed us what NOT to do.

Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom from today’s reading:

  • A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume (Eccles.  7:1)
  • Finishing is better than starting (Eccles. 7:8)
  • Patience is better than pride (Eccles. 7:80)
  • If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit!  A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes. (Eccles. 9:4)
  • Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.  That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. (Eccles. 9:10)
  • Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. (Eccles. 11:5)

I think we should pencil in Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33 at the end of Ecclesiastes:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Heavenly Father, help us to live a Matthew 6:33 life that is pleasing to you!  Help us to know that this world isn’t about power and prestige, but about knowing You and causing others to know You!  Help us to learn from the mistakes of Solomon!

In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!

 ©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Ecclesiastes 11:7 through Ecclesiastes 12:14; 1 Kings 12: 1-20; 2 Chronicles 10:1-19; 1 Kings 12: 21-24; 2 Chronicles 11: 1-4; 1 Kings 12: 25-33; 2 Chronicles 11: 5-17

5 Steps to Getting Over the Mistakes of Your Past? –Ecclesiastes 5:20

Today’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:12-6:12

Are you living in the past?

    • 5 minutes ago
    • Yesterday
    • Last week
    • Last year
    • 5 years ago
    • 10 years ago

I have an assignment for you:

1. Read the book of Ecclesiastes, learn from someone who had it all, and did it all.

2. Confess your sins to God and those you’ve wronged, own up to your responsibilities for those sins and turn in the opposite direction of those sins

3. Underline Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 5: 18-20…

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.  And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.  God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

4. Find some work that you enjoy, accept and embrace your life–be present in your present!

5. And stop brooding over the past!

Heavenly Father, we make life so complicated.  We don’t appreciate the simple things like being physically able to work, having a good meal and something to drink.  Lord, help us to realize these simple pleasures are from Your hand (Ecclesiastes 2:24)

Lord, Solomon said that most of us have the wrong motivation for work and success:

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. –Ecclesiastes 4:4

Jesus, make us into Your image today.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

 ©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 7:1-11:6

Are You Depressed? Take these 6 Medicines — Proverbs 17:22, Proverbs 18:14

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 17:1 through 19:29

A cheerful heart is good medicine,

but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

                                                                                                                         Proverbs 17:22

The human spirit can endure a sick body,

but who can bear a crushed spirit?

                                                                                                                         Proverbs 18:14

Have you ever had a broken or crushed spirit?

These two scriptures tell us a lot about what our Heavenly Father thinks about the hard times of our lives.

God knows…

  • It’s hard
  • It sucks the life out of you
  • It’s worse than being physically ill
  • You can’t bear it on your own

It’s interesting, the Lord didn’t tell us to pray, read our Bibles, or go to church during these tough times, even though they’re a crucial part of getting through the hard places in life; what He did was give us a prescription, a medicine He said was good.

How amazing is this, the only medicine mentioned in all the Old Testament is a cheerful heart!

How can we have a cheerful heart when our spirit is broken and crushed?

Why am I discouraged?

Why is my heart so sad?

I will put my hope in God!

I will praise him again—

my Savior and  my God!

Psalm 42: 5-6 

 I think a cheerful heart is a hopeful heart.

The times in my life when I have been the most depressed were times when I had lost hope for the future.

How can we have hope for the future in today’s crazy world?

What do we do when we can’t see past tomorrow, much less next week, or next year?

  1. Put our hope in Jesus Christ–settle this once and for all
  2. Evaluate our level of brokeness–are  you having a bad day or is this something serious?
  3. Seek spiritual counseling and/or psychological counseling–don’t try to handle this alone
  4. Find something or someone to make you laugh–don’t run away from people
  5. Seek the joy in the day (nature and music are a couple of my favorites-God meets me in these places )
  6. Believe tomorrow will be a better day

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for my friends on this journey.  I feel  there is someone reading this post who has a broken heart.  Holy Spirit, meet them today.  Relieve the pressure.  Give them the tools to bring hope into their lives.  Thank you for hearing my prayer!  In Jesus Name.  Amen and amen!

Have you taken your medicine today?

 

 ©2013, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 20:1 through 22:16

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