Saturday, April 25, 2009

Grace in Our Time of Need Part 4: Lies and Truth

Several years ago I was going through a period of depression, and I went to a Christian Counselor. The first thing he asked me to do when I went home was to write down all of my negative thoughts. Yeah, that sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Ha! My first thought was, “I don’t have any.” Then, when I started hearing them, I didn’t want to share them! But as I did, the counselor began to show me truth—what God’s word says, and how my negative thoughts were really lies.

I started keeping a “Lies and Truth” chart, and wow, was that transforming in my life! When you start identifying the thoughts, and asking God to show you what the lies are, and then what the truth is, and you write it down, it becomes a powerful tool for healing.

Here is a list of some of the lies we say to ourselves—maybe without even realizing that we are filling our mind with lies, and the truth of how God sees us, the truth in His word, the truth of His grace.

Lie: God is distant, He doesn’t care about me.
Truth: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." — Zephaniah 3:17

Truth: "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…" — Isaiah 40:11

Lie: I am worthless to God. He despises me.
Truth: "Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers." — Hebrews 2:11

(That one still startles me in amazement--God as Father has almost become cliche--but Jesus as brother--meditate and absorb the depth of that thought).

Truth: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. —Luke 12:32

Lie: God is mad at me.
Truth: "…We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." —Romans 5:1-2

Lie: God abandons us when we’re hurting.
Truth: "The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." —Psalm 34:18

Truth: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge." —Psalm 18:2

Truth: "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." —Psalm 119:50

Lie: God can’t still love me.
Truth: "'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord who has compassion on you." —Isaiah 54:10

Lie: I can never change, I don’t measure up.
Truth: "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with everincreasing glory."
—2 Corinthians 3:18

Truth: "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." —Lamentations 3:22-23

(That last one was written by the Prophet Jeremiah when the Israelites had been taken captive by the Babylonians.)

You might also want to see a copy of the “Identity in Christ” chart compiled by my husband and from Neil Anderson's Victory Over the Darkness.

When we want God to change our circumstances, I think it’s tempting to shrug off what God is offering, His Presence, a spiritual stronghold, a refuge for our souls from the assault of lies that tell us we must be unworthy or God would answer. And yet...Jesus, our brother, was not unworthy when He suffered. Maybe today, God wants you to know that even though you don’t understand why He doesn’t answer as you want, you are His worthy child, the one He cares for deeply as He seeks your trust in a difficult trial.

Next time: Part 5, God’s Protection

Grace in Our Time of Need, other posts:

~Part 1:  God's Joy
~Part 2:  God's Silence
~Part 3:  Can I Still Be Your God? 
~Part 4:  Lies and Truth
~Part 5:  God's Protection
~Part 6:  God Hears

See also Stories of Hope


Mark said...

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." — Zephaniah 3:17

I have a great personal story concerning God's grace and this verse, if it's ok w/you I can post it here or elsewhere.

Merry said...

you are welcome to comment here.

Mark said...

I came to the Lord back in 82 at the age of 19, out in 29 Palms while in the marines. I was in pretty bad shape from LSD abuse, was not even sure of what reality was anymore. They gave me the option of a medical discharge, but I decided to stick it out, and I believe God's grace got me through it. However over the years I began to backslide, falling back into old patterns of sin, and then just walking away from the Lord, though I nave went back to drugs. I wanted desperately to return to the Lord, but believed I had committed the unforgivable sin, and I labored under that condemnation for years. Then in 1998 I decided to go to the Cornerstone Festival in Illinois. Upon my first night there I picked up a cd by this band called "Wedding Party." Pretty dark/gothic music, just the way I like it! I listened to it in my truck that night and this one song came on, a female voice w/just a piano accompaniment. The song was called "Lamb", and it was about Jesus leaving the 99 to go find the one that strayed. I wept bitterly and asked God if I was that "Lamb", or was He done w/me. My last night there I hung out at "The Asylum",(a gathering of fellow freaks!), I ran into this guy and we struck up a conversation, which turned into me spilling my guts out. When we were done he said he had two women there that wanted to pray w/me, after they were done praying the one gave me a tape and said it was her band. I told her I already had the cd and the song "Lamb" really touched me, she said that was because it was written for me and she held me in her arms and sang it to me! As I walked away I realized that was the answer to my prayer when I first heard that song, and it was God who was really singing to me, and then I remembered that passage in Zephaniah!

Merry said...

Mark, what an amazing testimony, so beautiful, thanks for sharing! I think if we're honest, we've all wondered at times if we're that one--if God will come after us and rescue us one more time, or if he's "done" with us. My pastor reminded us this week that Jesus doesn't save us and dump us--he is united with us, he keeps us--he knows how prone to wander we are, how we struggle like sheep to keep track of the good shepherd, how we need constant care and provision. Thank the Lord that in Jesus, there is NO condemnation! Mind if I quote you in a blog post sometime? Praise God he loves the one, too!

Mark said...

Of course not Merry, who know but that the Lord may work through me yet?!