Soul Health

 

Search
me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Psalm 139:23
This week the Holy Spirit revealed to me how many different areas these anxious
thoughts can bombard us.  Some of these thoughts are generated by our
circumstances, others by the inner workings of our soul and how we process
those outward experiences.  If left alone, these anxious thoughts will
lead us out of God's peace and into a world of turmoil and uncertainty.
As I was praying and asking the Lord about my own sense of
"anxiousness" which suddenly increased on Monday and I couldn't
figure out what was happening. To my emotions it was very real.  I kept
crying out to Him as I went through my day, but it wasn't until I put everything
aside that He showed me I was experiencing a common feeling that many of His
children are feeling.  As I turned on worship music, picked up my Bible
that things began to clarify.

Here
are some of the things He showed me were adding to our pile of uncertainty.
The first one seemed odd to me, but He said the weather.  Hurricane
Matthew hit the US and Caribbean just a few weeks ago, people in North Carolina
and Haiti are still recovering from its devastation physically; but those of us
who had loved ones in its path were emotionally affected.  Here in the
northwest we were warned that we were going to be hit with a historic winter
storm.  Much was made, like Matthew, of our need to prepare for possible
days without power etc.  Fortunately for us here on the island, not much
happened, and even that affected our emotions as the adrenaline dropped back to
normal.

Next
thing He showed me was our presidential elections have led to uncertainty and
emotional instability.   Both sides have made dire predictions of how
awful our country will be no matter which candidate is elected. The negativity
that is coming across the airwaves makes me want to turn off the news.  

He
showed me the random shootings across our nation have also had an accumulated
effect on our souls.  About 40 minutes away from our home a young man
killed five people a few weeks ago in the very mall we shop.  The young
man lived about a mile or so from my home.  Even if we have "moved
on" from the incident, the Holy Spirit showed me that it still affects our
trust levels.  

Another
interesting thing He showed me was the effect of Ben Affleck and Angelina Jolie
divorce announcement.  To some people this marriage represented hope, and
now it is dashed.  Hearing stories of friends with financial troubles,
marriage issues, children struggling with addictions or health issues all take
their toll on us emotionally.   

So
what is the solution?  Should we turn off the radio or TV and live in a
cocoon?  Yes, we may want to filter some of the news that comes our way,
but we need some real solutions.  There are some Practical God steps that
will restore our souls and keep us strong.  We must first be aware that we
ARE impacted by our environment.  Learning to daily process these things
is vital to soul health, not just to yours, but to others. 

The
first line of attack is to firmly grasp the fact that God is Sovereign and in
control.  Nothing, nothing is a surprise to Him. He has not defaulted His
Lordship or His plans for our lives.  He sets up kings and takes them
down.  We must choose to gird our loins with His truth.  Let us choose
to stand and know we have the strength to stand through His strength and His
power.  We choose to not grow weary in well doing, knowing that it will
work for His glory.  Choose to stand with our full armor (Ephesians
6:10-17).  When you sense a "hit" to your soul, do not ignore
it.  Take the time to acknowledge its damage and ask for restoration.
Bring any anxious thoughts under submission to God's Word and authority.
If you aren't familiar with the scriptures dealing with that issue, take
the time to study and learn.  Use it as an opportunity!  Do not
simply acquiesce to its forces.  Be pro-active.  Life up the shield
of faith and the sword of the spirit, in other words be a soldier!

 I
went to a Movie Theater and watched Revive US.  This special presented
movie deals with our country and some of the issues we are facing in this
election year.  They will be re-showing it this coming Monday, Oct 24 in
theaters across our nation.  It is worth attending.

One of
the speakers, Jennifer Rothschild did an amazing job of bringing hope and
perspective.  This woman is totally blind, but sees very well with the
eyes of Faith.  I will share her thoughts here.  She said worries and
uncertainty come from the “what if's" of life.  But as Christians we
need to focus on the "what is".  God is!  He is eternal.
She encouraged us with the following scripture.  2 Corinthians 4:
16-18 that is why we never
give up.  Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every
day.  For our present troubles produce for us a glory that vastly
outweighs them and will last forever!  So we rather, we fix our gaze on
things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone,
but the things we cannot see will last forever.  
   We
must live from an eternal perspective, that this too will pass, and it will
work out for our good.

Each
of the areas that the Lord highlighted to me had one thing in common.
They were all seemingly out of our control. True, and yet not true.  Prayer changes things.  Prayer helps give us His perspective and His
hope.   We we prayed for both
Hurricane Matthew and our winter storm to do minimal damage, God answered.   Things were not as bad as they could
have been.  For that we are grateful.   We still have opportunity to pray for
God purpose and plan for our election, not just presidential but for all the
ballot issues.  Determining to love and touch the lives of those around us
with His care can help reduce these random shooting events.  We are not victims;
we have been given godly authority to bring change, but we must use that
authority.  Look up.  Pray and
engage your faith.  

I
looked up “news” in my Bible’s concordance. 
I found 28 scriptures that contain the word “news” and every single one
of them was attached to “good”!  What a
surprise!  We have such good news to
share.  Celebrate every bit of good news
you hear.  Celebrate it with the joy and
blessing and gratitude it deserves.  Do
not focus on the bad stuff, but turn your eyes to Him, believing He is working
out good in every situation.  Pray for
the Brad and Angelina’s of your life, that they will come to know Jesus and His
grace.  Pray for their children.  They must need it.

There
are anxious people all around us.  Bring
hope to them.  Bring peace to them.  Start with yourselves then share the hope He
gives.

Father, I ask that you show us where we
have anxious thoughts in our soul.  Bring
them to the light, so we can remedy them, and walk in your light and
peace.  Help us to listen to your Good
News! In Jesus Name, amen.