Facing Your Fear, Doubt, and Unbelief

RESTNotes

When my husband sensed God’s call to move our family to a city we’d never even visited, I agreed to go because I believed it was the right thing to do.

It didn’t take long for my emotional connections to my past to deeply trouble me. I thought about the loved ones I had left behind. Looking back with regrets kept me from taking the necessary steps to settle our family in our new home and community.

I recalled a warning that Jesus offered his followers: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57–62 niv).

I wish I could say it didn’t take long to ascend from my deep disappointment. But it required time to defeat my negative habits and start seeking answers in God’s Word. In fact, I’m still tempted to look back at times. Now I remind myself to allow my emotional red flags to direct me back to the Lord.

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. (Phil. 3:12–14 The Message)

Red Flags

  • Have you ever been tempted to look back? What did you do?
  • Are you struggling with your faith today?
  • Do you think your plans or dreams are realistic and actually achievable?

GraceTalk

  • What scriptures have helped you get past a crisis of faith?
  • What promises in God’s Word are you depending on right now?

Reflection

Can you think of some moments when you have struggled with your faith?

This excerpt taken from my eBook, RESTNotes. Be sure to get your FREE copy today!

Speaking God’s Truth to Your Soul

RESTNotes

Image/KarenJordan

During my mother’s health crisis, I didn’t know what to say or do.

Overwhelmed by fearful emotions, I tried to pray. I knew God’s miraculous intervention was Mother’s only hope. But I still felt helpless and afraid. And I panicked.

Lord, I don’t know what to do? Help! I need you! Mother needs you! We all need you!

I didn’t know what to pray. And I knew I would need a prayer strategy to lean on as I faced the uncharted days ahead.

In Luke 4:1–13, Jesus battled with Satan in the wilderness. Each time Satan tempted him, Jesus responded with a promise from God’s Word.

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. (Heb. 4:12–13 The Message)

I’m never totally prepared for the difficulties that arise in my life. But I’m always amazed how the Lord gives me direction when I seek him first in a crisis. Studying God’s Word is essential to infusing his truth to my soul. Many times, his Word emerges in the heat of a conflict, reassuring me of his truth.

Red Flags.

  • What can you do when you don’t know what to do?
  • What can you say when you don’t know what to pray?

GraceTalk

  • What scriptures remind you of the power of God’s Word?
  • What scriptures have helped you learn how to pray?

Reflection

How has God’s Word given you direction in your life?

This excerpt taken from my eBook, RESTNotes. Be sure to get your FREE copy today!

Navigating Your Negative Self-Talk and Overwhelming Anxiety

RESTNotes

How do you respond to overwhelming emotions? Positive or negative self-talk?

Fearful thoughts escalated into a full-blown panic attack as I faced a crisis with my mother over a decade ago. As I waited for the doctors to diagnose her medical condition, I began to do some research of my own. And everywhere I turned, the facts were grim.

I knew my mother was facing a battle for her life. And my emotional red flags were rippling high overhead. I had many questions but very few answers.

But I remembered seemingly impossible situations where God had intervened. And I knew who I needed to turn to in a battle. I also knew my emotions and logic are always unreliable in a tough situation.

Jesus warned his disciples that there would be a day coming when they would endure difficult times. “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33 The Message).

What is Jesus saying here? I believe he’s reminding his disciples to turn to him when they find themselves in trouble. But how do we seek the Lord during difficult days? I believe the answer lies in prayer and meditating on God’s Word.

RedFlags

How do you respond to overwhelming emotions? What are you worried about today? Are you anxious about something beyond your control? How would you describe your emotional reactions when you are worried?

  • Past. List some of your past worries. How did you deal with them?
  • Present. List the issues that worry you today. Are you anxious, fearful, or in a panic about them now? How are you responding to them?
  • Future. What fears do you have about the future? Are you worried about things that you have no control over right now?

GraceTalk

Which scriptures help you seek God in a crisis? Which verses help you manage your emotional reactions?

Reflection

Do you recall some of the struggles you’ve been through involving your faith?

 

This excerpt taken from my eBook, RESTNotes. Be sure to get your FREE copy today!

We Will All Be Changed

Applying God's Word to Our Lives

Image/KarenJordan

 

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— (1 Cor. 15:51 NIV)

I first noticed this scripture from 1 Corinthians 15:51 about “change” a few years ago on a hallway mural in our church nursery.

I laughed at the clever connection to taking care of the babies in the nursery. But the quote also prompted me to discover the context of the scripture.

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Interview: Cynthia L. Simmons, Heart of the Matter Radio

Words That Change Everything

Cynthia L. Simmons

I’m honored to share my interview with Cynthia L. Simmons of Heart of the Matter Radio that airs August 10, 2017, at 9:30 PM CDT (10:30 PM EDT).

My interview with Cynthia proved to be one of the highlights of my June trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I attended the Advanced Writers and Speakers (AWSA) conference and Unite 2017, the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) international convention.

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