The following blog was written by guest blogger and friend Kimberleigh S Daniels. I asked her to write about the role of spirituality in facing problems. As I read, I found similarities to techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Ms. Daniels uses a combination of Christian counseling techniques that include prayer, Bible reading, speaking her faith out loud and reciting scriptures to overcome her problems. This is similar to the guidance and support I provide during a counseling session. Ms. Daniels does a fabulous job of being her “own therapist” and illustrating how one can use his or her own spirituality to overcome the challenges of life.
How Does My Faith Help Me Overcome My Problems?
I have experienced my share of problems, some brought on by my own poor choices and others brought on by various factors that I had no control over. Some have lasted for but a brief time and others have long ago worn out their welcome. I have made it through the darkest seasons of my life because the truth I know is greater than what I feel.
Dealing with My Problems without Faith
Sometimes in my problem, I begin to feel alone. I feel like no one cares, no one understands, and I have to do this on my own, whatever “this” is at that moment. When those thoughts start, I sink fast. I feel panicked because there’s no one to reach out to for help.
The Power of Words
I have to speak truth to the feelings that are taking over me. In these moments I have to remind myself that my feelings are not my reality, and I have to speak TRUTH…out loud!
- The LORD is going through this with me; He will never leave me or forsake me. (Deut. 31:6)
- Nothing can separate me from Jesus. (Romans 8:35-38)
- He is with me ALWAYS. (Matt. 28:20)
- I will not be afraid because You are with me God. I will not be dismayed because You are my God. You will strengthen and help me. You will uphold me. (Isaiah 41:10)
Feelings Can Take My Peace and Joy
When I more than feel my feelings, and I allow them to lead, it is easy to take on a victim mentality. All the things I hear from the media or misguided ministers begin to control my thoughts: If God is good, why is he letting me experience this? If He is all-powerful, then He would just end this. If He is my daddy, why doesn’t He just wipe out these bullies I keep having to deal with? If He is pleased with me, then why doesn’t He fill my coffers like that guy said He would? You get the idea. The longer I let them run rampant, the darker they get. And again … I have to take these wrong thoughts captive and speak TRUTH.
When My Plans Don’t Work Out
I know that this hasn’t surprised Him, and He has a plan.
Most of my problems have caught me off guard. I hadn’t planned on a lingering sickness. I thought they would be in my life longer. I had no idea that today would be my last day with income. Unplanned things leave my best-laid plans in chaos. No i’s dotted or t’s crossed…I can’t even read the print!!!! These events often leave me feeling confused, dazed, like I’m in a fog. Things that should remedy the problem don’t … and there I go again … panic!
Again, I have to speak what is my reality:
- You have plans for my life, and they are good. (Jer. 29:11)
- I know that even in this You are working for my benefit. (Romans 8:28)
- Lord, I have made plans for my life, but You establish my steps…including this one. ( Proverbs 16:9)
- As You have planned for my life, so shall it be. (Isaiah 14:24)
- You saw me and all my days before my mother was even aware of my existence. You had already written all of my days…including this one and all that it brings. It did not surprise you, and it is not too big for You! (Psalm 139:16)
I know that He is good.
- You do not want me to be anxious, so I give ALL of these things I am worried about to you. ( 1 Peter 5:7)
- You are good and what You do is good. (Psalm 119:58)
- Lord, I thank you for your goodness. (Psalm 107:1)
- You are good to all; you have compassion on all that you have made and that includes me. (Psalm 145:9)
- How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for me! (Psalm 31:9)
I know that He will deliver me.
The other lie that is easy for me to buy into is that this problem will never end.
- You will deliver me from this distress. (Psalm 107:6)
- You said I can call on you in the day of my trouble and you will deliver me. I give you glory for my deliverance! (Psalm 50:15)
- You are my rock, my fortress, and my DELIVERER!! (2 Sam. 22:2)
- Lord, deliver me from all of my fears. (Psalm 34:4)
- You know how to rescue me from this trial. (2 Peter 2:9)
- I will not fear for you have redeemed me. You have called me by name, and I am yours! Even in this you are walking with me. I am precious in your eyes, honored, and you love me. (Isaiah 43:1-5)
Our feelings are good. They were given to us by God to discern and to be able to experience the joy He has created for us. But in times of trouble or distress, they often get out of control and try to be dictators rather than informers. Faith helps to keep them in their right place. God encourages us to feel them, burying them only leads to greater trouble later. But His Word equips us with TRUTH for when they get out of their lane.
Problems and troubles lead to overwhelming feelings of fear and inadequacy. Faith plus speaking the Word and reading the Bible leads to thoughts of peace and strength. The individual is ready to overcome problems!
To read more by Kimberleigh S Daniels, please visit www.rootedgypsysite.wordpress.com