Tag Archives: Faith

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Surviving and Thriving in an Anxiety-Filled Culture

Anxiety is a relentless foe, but it’s not an invincible one. Once you understand its tendencies in your life, you can map out a strategy that robs its power and weakens its impact on your life.

Find out what you’re up against.

The first step is to get an accurate read on the nature and severity of your anxiety. If your struggles with worry are debilitating, there may be a medical reason behind it. Changes in brain chemistry, among other things, can trigger anxiety. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor and get the treatment you need. If not, read on. There are practical, spiritual steps you can take to help you overcome anxiety.

Consult the Manufacturer.

The psalmist had this to say about God: “For You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). No one knows more about the inner workings of your mind and emotions than He does. Spending quiet time with Him on a daily basis will go a long way toward easing an anxious mind.

That’s why prayer is essential in the struggle against anxiety. And not just as a spiritual “emergency cord,” something we desperately grab for when our anxiety threatens to send us off the rails.

Preventive prayer—a daily quiet time spent talking and listening to God—can “change your spiritual soil” and make it difficult for anxiety to take root.

 

A morning prayer time can set the tone for an entire day.

If possible, find a place to pray that doubles as a refuge from the anxieties of daily life. A place where you won’t be disturbed. A place where you can get away from it all. A place where you can hear God’s voice and find peace in His comfort.

When you pray, follow the apostle Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:6-7. Unload your anxieties at the Lord’s feet and let Him take them. Pray about them and then do your best to forget them. After all, they’re not yours anymore.

Learn to counterpunch.

The word of God is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). That may explain why Jesus reached for it when the devil launched a stealth attack in the wilderness. According to Matthew 4, the devil tempted Jesus three times to abandon His earthly ministry. Jesus responded all three times by quoting Scripture. Powerless against such a weapon, the devil left.

What worked against one enemy can work against another. If you feel yourself under attack by anxiety, fight back. Use some carefully chosen words of Scripture, as Jesus did. Memorize key phrases in passages such as 1 Peter 5:7 (“Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you”) and Philippians 4:7 (“the peace of God … will guard your hearts”). Recite them over and over again to remind yourself of God’s power and to calm your fears.

Recruit teammates.

Many people who struggle with anxiety choose to do it alone, in silence. For some, it’s pride that keeps them from sharing their struggles. They don’t want to be seen as weak or unable to cope with adversity. For others, it’s denial. They don’t want to admit to themselves that they need help. For others, it’s fear or embarrassment. They’re afraid people will look at or treat them differently.

But silence only compounds the problem. A better strategy is to share your struggle with trusted friends and acquaintances. Break the silence—and encourage others to do so as well. Together you may be able to break anxiety’s grip.

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Many great Christian thinkers, past and present, have talked about the struggles of trusting God. Now you are explore what many of them say with the in-text commentary of the Ancient-Modern Bible. One Faith. Handed Down. For All The Saints.

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Think About It:

Can you think of specific Scriptures that have helped you during stressful times?

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The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament: Infographic

Some Bible readers assume that the Spirit’s activity in Scripture is limited to the New Testament. But actually He is just as active in the Old Testament.

 

This infographic illustrates 13 examples of the Holy Spirit working in the Old Testament.

For a more detailed look at seven ways the Holy Spirit works through the Old Testament, be sure to read this article.

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This commentary is from the New King James Study Bible. With more than 2 million copies sold, it’s no secret that the NKJV Study Bible is a reliable guide for your journey into God’s Word. This Bible provides a complete resource for study, including thousands of notes, articles, extensive cross-references, and features contributed by top evangelical scholars.

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What’s Preventing You from Trusting God?

It seems so easy in the Bible. People put their trust in God, and He rewards them by doing something miraculous in their lives. Why, then, is it sometimes so difficult for us to put our full trust in God?

We put our trust in lesser things every day, including weather forecasts and news sources—not to mention the online retailers and social media sites that promise to safeguard our personal information. So why can’t we extend the same trust to God? Here are four possible explanations.

We (consciously or subconsciously) blame God for things that go wrong.

When we suffer tragedy, or even a string of misfortunes, we face a very real temptation to place the blame at God’s feet. We may reckon that if He’s all-powerful, He could have intervened. The fact that He didn’t may cause us to question His reliability. Seeing His work in other people’s lives can exacerbate the problem. We may start to feel as though we’ve either been “targeted” or ignored by God. Trust is difficult for people who feel as though they’ve been burned before.

God often takes us out of our comfort zone.

Picture a little girl with floaties on each arm timidly making her way to the edge of a swimming pool. Her father stands chest-deep in the water below. His arms are outstretched. “Jump,” he urges her. “I’ll catch you.”

The girl hesitates. The pool deck is familiar and safe. The water isn’t. Her thought process is clouded by “what ifs.”
• What if I slip?
• What if the one who’s supposed to catch me isn’t strong enough or quick enough?
• What if he tricks me and lets me go under?

In order to demonstrate trust, she has to ignore the what-ifs and leave her comfort zone.

Sound familiar? Trusting God almost always involves a leap of faith away from what we know and where we’re comfortable. The fact that the leap inevitably lands us in a better place doesn’t make it any easier.

Trusting God has consequences.

To truly trust God is to acknowledge that His way is best and that His Word is the ultimate authority in our lives. But acknowledgement is only the beginning. Trusting God impacts the way live, the way we think, the priorities we establish and just about every other aspect of our lives.

Trusting God means that we can’t decide to overrule His Word when it comes to, say, the way we treat enemies or the choices we make. In order to trust Him, we must do what He says and ignore our own instincts and desires. Giving up that kind of control doesn’t come easily to most people.

We need help to trust God.

Maintaining a solid, unshakable trust in God is difficult—so difficult, in fact, that we can’t do it without God’s help. The father of the epileptic boy who begged Jesus to heal his son understood that. When Jesus told him “all things are possible to him who believes,” the man cried out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (see Mark 9:23-24).

God doesn’t take offense at our bouts of unbelief. He stands ready to strengthen our trust in Him whenever we need Him to.

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For further reading, check out 66 Reasons to Trust God.

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Many great Christian thinkers, past and present, have talked about the struggles of trusting God. Now you are explore what many of them say with the in-text commentary of the Ancient-Modern Bible. One Faith. Handed Down. For All The Saints.

Think About It:

What is a challenge you've faced in your life that have prevented you from putting your trust in God? How did you overcome this challenge? Please share with us in the comments below.

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The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

Feb 21, 2017 |

No clearer statement of the intimate interworking of the triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and especially of the Spirit’s powerful role can be found in the Old Testament than in Isaiah’s prophecy of the Servant of the Lord (Is. 42:1–9). The passage summarizes the redeeming work of all three Persons of the Trinity in the salvation of the lost. Thus it ties together in remarkable harmony both the Old Testament and New Testament understandings of God’s grace. It also sheds light on our understanding of the Holy Spirit.

Some Bible readers assume that the Spirit’s activity in Scripture is limited to the New Testament. But actually He is just as active in the Old Testament:

 

1. The Spirit participated in creation (Gen. 1:2; Job 26:13; Is. 32:15).

2. The Spirit gives life to humanity and the other creatures (Ps. 104:29, 30). It is interesting that when Genesis says God endows people with life by breathing into their nostrils the “breath of life” (Gen. 2:7), the word for “breath” is the same word translated elsewhere as “spirit.”

3. The Spirit strives with sinners (Gen. 6:3), which is perhaps related to His work in convicting people of sin (John 16:8–11).

4. The Spirit came upon certain judges, warriors, and prophets in a way that gave them extraordinary power: for example, Joshua (Num. 27:18), Othniel (Judg. 3:10), Gideon (6:34), Samson (13:25; 14:6), and Saul (1 Sam. 10:9, 10). However, the Spirit later departed from Saul because of his disobedience (16:14).

** Check out this free infographic illustrating 13 ways the Holy Spirit worked in the Old Testament.**

5. The Spirit played a prominent role in the long span of Old Testament prophecy. David declared that “the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2). Likewise, Ezekiel reported that “the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me” (Ezek. 2:2).

6. The Spirit inspired holiness in Old Testament believers (Ps. 143:10). And Scripture promised that someday God would put His Spirit in His people in a way that would cause them to live according to His statutes (Ezek. 36:27).

7. The Spirit was crucial in helping God’s people anticipate the ministry of the Messiah. For example, Isaiah 11:1–5 is a trinitarian preview of the working of the Father, the Spirit, and the Son, who is the Branch of Jesse. Looking forward to the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah to prophesy: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him” (Is. 11:2), inspiring God’s Chosen One with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord, righteousness, and faithfulness. Thus we come full cycle to the New Testament, where Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of this prophecy (Is. 61:1, 2; Luke 4:18, 19).

** Check out this free infographic illustrating 13 ways the Holy Spirit worked in the Old Testament.**

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This commentary is from the New King James Study Bible. With more than 2 million copies sold, it’s no secret that the NKJV Study Bible is a reliable guide for your journey into God’s Word. This Bible provides a complete resource for study, including thousands of notes, articles, extensive cross-references, and features contributed by top evangelical scholars.

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Think About It:

Some Bible readers assume that the Spirit’s activity in Scripture is limited to the New Testament. But actually He is just as active in the Old Testament