recovery in Christ when life is broken

Showing items filed under “August 2015”
in Fear

Finding God through Facing our Fears

InsideoutFear

I recently watched the Disney film Inside Out, where Riley, an 11-year-old girl, faces unknowns when her family moves across the country. In the “control room” of Riley’s mind, five emotions are personified and guide her life. One of these emotions is Fear, whose job is to protect Riley from danger. He is constantly on the lookout and evaluating potential risks. But unregulated, Fear is very unsure, panicky and, at times, completely ruling Riley’s life.

Similar to Riley, apart from Christ, unhealthy fear can rule my life. There is a healthy God given-fear to help and protect us. It warns us of danger and draws us close to God for his courage, strength and direction.

There are unhealthy fears, too. Fears of our sinful human nature distort what is true about our circumstances, identity, and most importantly, God Himself. Unhealthy fears push us away from God and protect sin. These fears tell us that God is not good, he does not love us, he cannot be trusted and he will not provide. They urge us to take matters into our own hands and to not trust God.

Fear has had various “flavors” throughout my own life. I’ve had fear of: rejection, failure, not belonging, hardship, aging, loss of beauty/health, and being unsupported without direction. When I don’t admit and bring my fears to Jesus, I choose to be a slave to fear. And as a result, I live with unhealthy patterns. I self-protect. I over-work or withdraw to avoid failure or rejection. I worry. I avoid the risks of truly loving someone because it may be hard. The root of my fear is that I don’t trust God for my significance and fail to rely upon Him to meet my needs. I am afraid that God is not enough for me or that His plans for me won’t be best.

But there is great hope! When I admit my lack of faith to God and I am honest about my fears, He leads me step-by-step on the healing path. He reveals unhealed wounds, false beliefs or idols affecting my life. These things get in the way of my relationship with God and my relationships with others. When I let God address my heart’s distractions, God begins to heal me and recapture my heart. He leads me through my fears into real truth, intimacy, freedom and love.

Being courageous doesn’t mean you will never have fears. Courage is coming to God when you are afraid, trusting Him with your fear and allowing Him to lead you through the unknown. Here are a few questions to help you turn to God when you are afraid:

  • What is your specific fear?
  • What is the root of your fear? Are you trying to protect, avoid or gain something?
  • What do you believe about your circumstances, or yourself?
  • What do you believe about God?
  • What does God say in His Word about your answers above?

Below are a few wonderful truths about God and how we can trust Him with our fears. These scriptures would be great to memorize if you struggle with fear:

  • “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
  • “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:14-15)
  • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

If nothing can separate us from a good, loving and powerful God, then we can trust God’s control rather than submit to our fears. Through Christ, we can trust God to lead us in love through any adventure.

-Liz B.

If you want more information on this topic, check out these stories about trusting God when you are afraid or anxious

Can Desperation Be A Gift?

Many of us come to recovery out of desperation. After repeated failed attempts to get well on our own, our lives are filled with heartache and a succession of broken relationships with little hope of finding recovery. The desperation of pain can look different for each of us: addiction, sickness, frustration, anger, divorce, abortion, adultery, job loss, depression. Rarely is the desperation we feel considered to be a gift.

The fact is that God often uses the desperation we feel as a starting point to heal and change our lives. God loves us. He draws near to desperate hearts that are open to Him. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  

New life begins when we face pain that we can’t fix on our own—when we reach the end of ourselves. Then, we become willing to listen to God and accept the help of others. Desperation makes us willing to do what is asked of us. Desperation combined with willingness propels us forward into God’s will. God brings new life to those who are desperate enough to trust and follow Him.

Three years ago I realized that I had reached the end of myself. My husband and I were filling out divorce papers to end our 8-month marriage. My roommate moved out. I lost my job and maxed out my credit cards. I was desperately looking for love and to fill the void in my life through drugs and sexual encounters. I believed the lie that even though last night didn't bring happiness, tonight would.

I walked into recovery not knowing what to expect. I didn’t even believe in Christ. All I knew was I couldn't “do this” anymore. What kept me coming back was hearing how others began to find healing in Christ at their most desperate times. I knew that the people at re:generation cared about more than just my struggle with drugs and finding my worth in others—they cared about my relationship with God. I needed to stop spinning in circles and look to the One who was calling my name. When I truly opened my desperate heart to God, He began to change me.

The grace of God (which is always pursuing us) picks us up at the point of desperation and leads us to life in Him. All we have to do is turn to follow Him. God can save us.

If you are desperate right now, here is a prayer for you to pray:

Dear God, please help me to trust you. Be close to my broken heart. Will You show me who You are? Will You heal my wounds? Help me to become willing to do whatever it takes to be well.

Know that no matter where you are, no matter how desperate you have become, God is pursuing you. He loves you and wants to heal you if you are desperate enough to invite Him to do so. There is recovery in Christ when life is broken.

-Rena L.

If you would like to hear more stories about how God met people at their most desperate times, listen to Gini's and Andrew's stories.

 

recovery in Christ when life is broken.