Overcome Shame

With God’s help, you can overcome feelings of shame about circumstances in your past or present.

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Image by pixatwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Instead of your road ahead being paved reminders of past shameful circumstances, it can be paved with hope.

So what happened in your past? A friend was asked. A bit put out, she kept silent. The past was painful, the scars still raw and the reminders alive.

What is it about shame that has the power to drape a veil covering our chance for joy? At 31, blindness put me in the category of a “disabled” person. It placed me in the “not-normal” category.

And was I sad? Down? No. It was shame that marked my attitude. Shame of living my life as a person whom I didn’t want to be.

Have you been there? Suddenly you’re thrown into an identity that was never in your plans, and the road ahead was paved with taunting reminders of what was. What you had. And how much better it all used to be.

Those reminders are just part of the shame that wears various attires: Shame of what we’ve become. Shame for what we’ve done. Shame because of what we carry in the secret boxes of our heart.

We carry all and drag it into today’s circumstances. When setbacks pop up, the hidden shame darkens the view even more. Insecurities are more dramatic and tough moments turn to tragedies.

Who’s to blame? We are– for letting shame grip our heart. But when the hold is given to God, Almighty and capable He erases destructive attitudes. He exchanges shame for significance.  And ushers courage to blot out regret.

Secure in His love, we walk with firm steps, high held high and heart shining with passion. God’ works out His power. Shame is erased, false desires are removed. And longing for what we don’t have vanishes. And perhaps for the first time, sweet freedom smiles.

Being physically blind with no shame displayed radiant hope for me to see the beauty of His hand at work. I saw the details of the brush strokes as He painted a new life, rich with purpose, defined plans, and all detailed on the canvas of His grace.

Will I Ever Be Happy?

By N. J. Lindquist:

How can I ever be happy?

[Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Would you say you’re happy? If not, what would it take to make you happy?

A couple of years ago I was sitting in a friend’s kitchen drinking tea when she suddenly set down her cup and said, “You know, I thought when we bought this house, my life would be perfect. I have a family I love, a good job, more possessions than I ever dreamed of having, this wonderful house—so why am I still not happy?”

Like my friend, many of us think happiness means getting whatever we want—someone’s love, enough money, a new car, more friends, children, a career…. We believe that when our goal is fulfilled, we’ll be happy.

So we strive for the object of our desire.

If we don’t achieve it, we often become angry, feeling that the world and everyone in it is against us. Or we might just give up and develop a poverty mentality. Why try since we’ll never be good enough? We might even consider suicide because we feel there’s no hope for happiness.

But the ironic thing is that when we get what we thought we wanted, we frequently discover it’s not enough—we still aren’t happy! Look at my friend, who had everything she’d desired, but felt empty inside.

When my friend realized that having everything she wanted didn’t lead to happiness, she decided to try something different—she gave her heart, and the responsibility for her happiness, to God.

That happened over 20 years ago. Since that time, my friend has gone through many unexpected struggles—even losing some of the things she had—and has dealt with a lot of emotional pain. But despite that, she’s been at peace—even happy—because no matter what happens, God gives her the strength she needs to get through it.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite songs.  If you’re wondering, “Will I ever be happy?”  this may help reveal how you can find happiness, even in the midst of problems.

“Through it All” by Andrae Crouch

Want to know how to find God?  Visit GodTest.com.

Stop Fear in Its Tracks

By Pat Ennis:

Don’t underestimate how claiming scripture can stop fear in its tracks.

 

I pray that my previous post Stopping Fear Syndrome helped remind you that God’s Word is sufficient to override your fears. Are you ready for a follow-up antidote and scriptures to help you stop fear in its tracks?

My past post described the impotence of an old kind lion. Yet scripture teaches this about your enemy:

The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  (1 Peter 5:8-9)

To resist him, choose to live according to the truth of God’s Word (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:17).

As you obey God’s Word, fear is dispelled, because Jesus defeated Satan on the cross thus stripping him of his power and leaving him with a frightening, but harmless, roar (John 12:23-33; Colossians 2:11-15; Hebrews 2:14-15).

If you are going to refuse to succumb to Satan’s impotent roar you must replace fear with God’s Word (Psalm 119:11; Ephesians 6:10-20).  Begin today by memorizing and meditating upon these truths:

 

  • God is with you and will keep you wherever you go (Genesis 28:15).
  • You should not fear or be dismayed for the Lord goes before you; He will not leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8).
  • When God calls you into a difficult situation, you are to recall that the battle is not yours, but His (2 Chronicles 20:15).
  • When you are protected by your Savior’s rod and staff you do not need to fear any potentially threatening environment—even death (Psalm 23:4).
  • Because the Lord is your light, salvation, and the strength of your life you have no need to fear (Psalm 27:1).
  • When you are afraid you are to trust in God—an act of the will, not the emotions  (Psalm 56:3-4).

Also:

  • No person can subvert God’s protection of you (Psalm 56:11).
  • God has provided an intimate place of divine protection for you (Psalm 91:1-7).
  • The peace that your heavenly Father gives provides comfort in the midst of turmoil (John 14:27).
  • Spiritual resources, seeking the welfare of others rather than your own, and a properly prioritized mind, not a spirit of fear, is a gift from your heavenly Father (2 Timothy 1:7).

Because I spent too many years of the precious life my heavenly Father gave me wallowing in fear, I can speak with confidence that it is only God’s Word that can replace fear with a hope for the future (Jeremiah 29:11-13).  It was a miraculous day when I chose to allow trust in my heavenly Father to be my reflex response when faced with fear (Psalm 56:3, 11).  That was the day that I learned how to stop fear in its tracks!  It is my fervent prayer that you will do likewise (Philippians 1:6)!