Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Smile, Great is the Lord's Faithfulness!

Taste and See that the Lord is Good

It was April 29 when I felt awkward that it seems half of my face was not responding properly.

The left part of my lips and cheeks were twitching. I then found out that it was Bell's Palsy after a Medical Checkup.

Fears and worries started to come upon me; "what if I would not recover from it at all?"

I sought the Lord, and asked my family and friends as well to pray for me.

I am very thankful to the Lord for giving me a very supportive girlfriend who accompanied and encouraged me all throughout the checkups and tests, and for a very supportive family and Church family who has been praying for me.

True Healing is From the Lord

You know what the Lord has taught me all throughout this sickness? True healing is from the Lord. By His grace, as He was healing me physically, God was strengthening my faith in Him in the process.

 I regularly look on myself on the mirror during the first three to six days, and there were no significant improvement. This caused me to worry again.

I was then reminded of the story when Peter was sinking after looking onto the giant waves caused by strong wind.

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:28-33)

"Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'”, this has spoken to me loudly during this time.

While I was busy worrying and doubting, God was busy in working in me and for me as He strengthen my faith in Him through His promises on His Word.

It was as if God was saying to me at that time, "Why are you doubting? Don't you know that you can give me all of your fears, worries, doubts, frustrations, disappointments, and unhealthy emotional baggage, and ask me to take them away and replace them with more faith in Me?"

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4)
Taste and See that the Lord is Good

I could say that I was first healed spiritually, before I first felt the physical healing. After my 7-day steroid medication, I stopped looking on the mirror looking for improvements, and started looking on to the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord once again.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" (Psalm 34:8)

It was after 11 days that the MRI results and the EMG-NCV (to test the nerve electrical functions and muscle strength) results were given back to the Doctor to see if there have been improvement after all. The Doctor congratulated me and said that favorable recovery is expected.

It was by the Lord's marvelous grace through Jesus Christ that I was healed and now am recovering from Bell's Palsy!

But above the physical healing, I praise the Lord all the more for healing my doubting and worrying heart and strengthening my faith!

Visible Reminder of God's Faithfulness

I posted on the wall of my room one of the results of the MRI of my brain.

I posted on top of it a printed copy of Psalm 34.

It has been two weeks already since I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, and I would like to declare how good the Lord is because I have a big smile once again (literally)!

Every time I see that MRI result I was always being reminded of how big our God is, and of His faithfulness and goodness.

This brings back to memory of the story of David when the Lord has delivered him from Goliath.

"This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand... and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.

And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent." (1 Samuel 17:46a, 47, 54)
David kept a visible reminder that the Lord was bigger than the giant enemy, and it was God who was able to deliver him from that gigantic problem.

Indeed, the battle is the Lord's. Great is His faithfulness!

Give your fears and doubts to Jesus Christ, ask Him to take these and replace it with more faith in Him.

As you seek the Lord, He answers and delivers you from all your fears.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Safety of God's Presence

The Safety of God's Presence

The Safety of God's Presence
| Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley |

If you’re a parent, your arms were (or are) the place of safety for your children. When they got hurt, or when they felt sick or afraid or anxious, they would raise their arms for you to pick them up. Your presence could make monsters disappear and boo-boos feel all better, and little wounded spirits would be healed.

Take a moment to remember how it felt when your toddler (or any child) would grab you around the neck and hold on for dear life.

That’s what God’s presence can do for you.

All the spiritual disciplines and religious activity won’t change you or heal your fear and anxiety if they don’t help you enter God’s presence.

And worship is the way you get there.

In true worship you lose sight of what’s around you and see only Him. Whether alone or with other believers; in nature, church, or your own home; in silence or with music; your heart is stilled, cleansed, healed, transformed.

In the presence of God, evil leaves the way darkness leaves when you turn on the light.

When you are troubled, run into His arms through worship. Grab on to Him and hold on as if your life depended on it.

Because it does.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I [Jesus] have overcome the world."" - John 16:33

"Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!" - Psalms 46:10

"The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, 'Destroy.'" - Deuteronomy 33:27

 * Adopted from YouVersion Bible Plan: Overcoming Fear And Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart
| Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley |

The fog of a troubled heart can obscure what’s really going on, but God’s Word provides plenty of clues.

If stealing, killing, and destroying are happening around you, you know the thief is at work. Sometimes that’s because of our own or other people’s sinful behavior, and sometimes it’s simply because we still live in this messed-up world.

Be especially alert for condemnation and confusion.

Condemnation from the enemy and conviction from the Holy Spirit may seem similar on the outside, but they couldn’t be more different. Condemnation is dark, hopeless, destructive, and holds you to your past. It feels like the end.

Conviction from the Holy Spirit feels light, hopeful, uplifting, and points you to your future. It’s a beginning and provides a clear sense of the next step to take.

Confusion from the enemy brings oppression, darkness, and fear. The harder you wrestle to break free, the more entangled you become.

Peace from the Holy Spirit brings clarity and light. Regardless of what happens externally, your inner world can experience calmness and hope.

When you are experiencing condemnation or confusion, literally STOP! Move away mentally and/or physically. Calm your mind, run into God’s presence, and listen for His voice. He will meet you there.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I [Jesus] came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints..." - 1 Corinthians 14:33

 * Adopted from YouVersion Bible Plan: Overcoming Fear And Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Master Your Thoughts

Master Your Thoughts

Master Your Thoughts
| Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley |

Controlling your thoughts is not magic or mind over matter. Your thoughts are powerful, but they are not all-powerful. We usually place too little emphasis on our thoughts. Taking control of your thoughts will, over time, change your feelings and even your circumstances.

I learned basic computer programming as a senior in high school—using the old eighty-column paper punch cards. If one little hole was punched wrong, the output would be meaningless. We were told “garbage in, garbage out.”

To bring your thoughts under control, take care of the hardware of your mind. Your brain needs water, healthy food, exercise, and rest.

Put a strong filter on the input your mind receives. Decrease or eliminate input that is anxiety-producing, ungodly, or negative. Feed your mind daily input that is encouraging, godly, uplifting, and positive.

And do a reboot, a software update on your thoughts. Choose to focus on the truth, on things you can change, and on what God says about the situation.

As you care for your mind’s hardware, input, and software, your thoughts and emotions—the output your mind produces—will better correspond with “these things” Paul encourages us to think about.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." - Philippians 4:8

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ," - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

 * Adopted from YouVersion Bible Plan: Overcoming Fear And Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Be Anxious for Nothing

Be Anxious for Nothing

Be Anxious for Nothing
| Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley |

Anxiety can take over your thoughts and emotions and often lead to physical symptoms. In our world there’s plenty to worry about—financial pressure, family or marriage problems, political unrest, and so much more.

How can you not worry about what other people think about tomorrow, about success or failure, about your spouse or children?

Jesus said don’t worry about it. Don’t be anxious. But how?

The Greek word translated “casting your care” in 1 Peter 5:7 paints a colorful picture of taking what you have and throwing it onto something else. It’s the same word used to describe the way Jesus’s disciples threw their garments on the donkey He rode into Jerusalem (Luke 19:35).

Imagine your worry as something tangible, like a garment you’re wearing. Write down what worries you, or draw a picture symbolizing your worry.

Then imagine taking off that garment of anxiety and throwing it onto Jesus. Do something physical to symbolize casting your worry on Him. Take what you wrote or drew, crumple it up and burn it, or tear it up, or place it at the altar at your church.

Cast your worry onto Jesus, and leave it there. He can handle it.

"...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." - Philippians 4:6

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." - Matthew 6:34

"...casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

 * Adopted from YouVersion Bible Plan: Overcoming Fear And Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare