Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ris'n with Healing in His Wings

Adam Lambert-Gowyn,
The aroma of quiche wafted from the oven as I gazed out the window. A moment to relax, to bask in the warmth of my cozy kitchen before heading out the door to Sunday school. Yet, so many concerns pressed in. Words, in keeping with the season, filled my mind ("ris'n with healing in His wings "), immediately followed by a familiar tune.

"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing!"

I smiled, shook my head. How did Charles Wesley, hymn writer from the 18th century, know I'd need this phrase on this December morning in 2016? Whether or not he thought of those yet to be born, God did. He knew I'd need to hear these reassuring words based on Malachi 4:2 and reiterated in Luke 1:78-79 once again. Actually, over and over again. As we all do.

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!

Pondering the words and the central phrase, "Ris'n with healing in His wings," I thought of our little foster granddaughter, Mia, whose court hearing would take place the next day to determine if she would remain with my daughter and family or return to her unwed teen mom. My heart hurt for all parties involved, for no matter how the judge ruled, someone and likely several someones would leave the courtroom with a huge hole in their heart.

How we'd prayed and fasted over the months, asking the Lord for a wise judge. One who could determine the best outcome for two-year-old Mia who'd been in foster care since she was three months old.

My thoughts shifted to all those hurting over the holidays due to serious illness and loss in so many forms. My nephew grieving the sudden death of his girlfriend. Church family battling cancer. A widow missing her husband. An elderly friend weeping in a nursing home. A lonely neighbor. Friends struggling to overcome addictions.

My stomach twisted as tears stung my eyes.

Yet the faithful phrase pressed through: "Ris'n with healing in His wings."
Andy Molina,
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness rose with healing in His wings. What beautiful imagery. The Son who conquered death and darkness sheds His light into our sinful and hurting hearts, making us aware of our need for salvation and healing. He alone can bring life. Out of His great loss (leaving the glories of heaven to live among us and die for us) and through His ultimate triumph over the grave, He brought light and life to all who will receive Him.

What glory! What joy!

The timer buzzed on the oven. I retrieved my steaming quiche to feed our Sunday school class. As I passed the foyer table on my way outside, I paused by a music box shaped in the form of an angel. I'll add that to the class table decoration this morning. I grabbed it, along with my coat and hurried to the car.

After I settled inside, Chuck backed out of the driveway. For fun, I turned the key on the bottom of the music box. The tinny tune of "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" erupted into the stillness.

I smiled. I'd forgotten the box played that carol.

A fitting affirmation to my morning reflection: "Ris'n with healing in His wings."

My heart filled with Abba Father's peace. He'd steadied my haphazard emotions with six simple yet profound words.

As He will do for all who trust in the Sun of Righteousness who has ris'n with healing in His wings.


Healing is a theme close to my heart. I married a licensed professional counselor and marriage/family therapist. I joke with readers that I was so messed up I had to marry a counselor to get fixed. Yet in reality, God has used my dear husband to minister to me in so many ways. For one, he's a great listener! And problem-solver, even when I only want him to listen. :) I believe God teamed us up in a way that best uses our gifts of counseling, writing, and speaking.

Most of my books and articles revolve around healing issues, thus the name of my website, "Healing Words for Hurting Hearts." I invite you to take a few minutes and visit my Home Page. 

Whether you enjoy fiction or nonfiction, consider browsing my titles on my Amazon Author Page.  There you'll discover a young man struggling to overcome homosexuality, a little girl with a huge Christmas wish, a couple longing for a baby, a newly wed with a dark secret, an inner city teen stuck in a gang he wants to leave, a mom grieving an empty nest, and others either fictional or real who need a healing touch from the Sun of Righteousness.

Stay current on what's happening in my world of writing (book offerings, contests, helpful articles) by liking My Author FaceBook Page. 

Thank you for your faithful readership via my blog, books, and/or articles! Knowing I serve you through the ideas God lays on my heart makes this ministry worth it. 

I pray you and your family have a meaningful Christmas celebrating Jesus!

Luke 1:78-79 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Experience the Sunrise this December

Most mornings I walk in my quiet place. As the sun peeks over the Blue Ridge Mountains with a wash of amber over the valley, I pause, close my eyes, stretch out my arms, and verbally praise my Savior. The warmth I feel in my body and in my spirit recharges me and fuels me for the day.

So smitten with the sunrise am I that I've often struggled to capture its beauty on paper, mostly with pen and ink with various pastel shadings. The exercise helps me feel close to Abba Father.

Yet, at no time did His sunrise mean more to me than after the loss of our second baby, a little boy born at four months gestation. In the aftermath, I longed to make sense of the senseless.

Alone and depressed one cold morning, I knelt in front of our living room recliner. With compelling cheeriness, the winter sun poured through the double windows as I poured out my heart to God. Exhausted, I reached for my Bible on the coffee table. Flipping the pages, I landed on Luke 1:78-79.

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.
To guide our feet into the way of peace.

I perked up. It was as though God faxed that scripture through rays of sunlight just for me that morning. Since we'd recently gone through the Christmas season, the passage was especially meaningful. My Sunrise, my Savior, had chosen to leave heaven in the form of a helpless babe in order to lift me out of my sin and darkness. On this life-changing morn, He reminded me that His light extended beyond my initial salvation to illumine every dark thing thereafter that tried to invade my soul, including depression in the aftermath of my loss.

This December Sunrise experience was a pivotal point in my healing journey in 1982.

Years later, Luke 1:78-79 continues to impact my life and prayerfully others' lives as I draw upon this scripture for my novel, December Sunrise.

 A young girl's heart for helping takes her to a dark place 
only the Light of Christmas can illumine. 

 A little girl’s Christmas wish comes at a high cost.

Emma’s Christmas list isn’t like other kids’. Instead of toys, she wants her mama’s cancer to go away, the town to stop arguing over the Ten Commandments, and nice Mr. Whitmire to reunite with his estranged daughter. Grandma Doreen holds the key to a family secret that just might fulfill some of Emma’s desires, but not before tragedy strikes.

Filled with the wonder and hope that only His December Sunrise can create . . . 

Experience the Sunrise this December!

December Sunrise available here.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

VOTING . . . What if?

Voting . . . what if we couldn't?

What might that look like?

Voting booths torn out of precincts?

Pad-locks on doors?

Signs posted around the country with only one face, one name, one person demanding allegiance?

Or else.

As disappointing as our current presidential candidates are, we still have an opportunity to vote. A privilege. A responsibility.
A freedom.

While neither candidate may scratch where our principles itch, one lines up more closely with the message of liberty, of which God is the author.

One who is willing to secure our borders. For without a border, we are not a country.

One who promotes free enterprise and champions small business owners. For without capitalism, socialism and communism take over.

One who supports limited governmental control in crucial areas of life, like parents' freedom to choose and guide their children's education.

One who acknowledges that life is sacred at every stage, and thus will work to protect pre-born children, the disabled, and the elderly.

One who believes a strong military is vital in establishing respect for America from both enemies and allies alike.

One who believes that a person's hard-earned money should not go to support healthcare mandates which fund abortion.

One who is closer in thought and practice to the ideas of our founding fathers and the Constitution.

One who believes that faith in God as recognized by our founding fathers is crucial to the moral fiber of our country. 

The candidate options may not be ideal on every front. I get that.

However, ONE is better. Closer to the tenets upon which our country was founded. One who will champion the liberties we hold dear, not strap Americans with more government control, ultimately and dangerously wooing us toward a dictatorship.

As a Christian citizen, I believe God directs me to be salt and light in my culture (Matt. 5: Phil. 2:15). In all areas of life, I am to shine forth Christ's grace and truth.

Ken Ham, speaker, author, and president of Answers in Genesis-USA writes that, "When Christians go to the polls, we are given the opportunity to vote for those candidates we believe will best enable us to continue to have as much freedom as possible to be light and salt in this world, as we need to be. This is particularly true today as we are seeing an increase of Christian persecution and the erosion of religious freedom and the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the US Constitution and its First Amendment."

Furthermore, he notes that "Christians should judge what candidates believe, say, and do against the absolute authority of the Word of God and vote accordingly . . . As Christians, we need to be active in preaching, and 'to contend earnestly for the faith' (Jude 1:3). As part of our contending for the faith, I suggest we should be active in taking every opportunity we can (such as voting) to be an influence of good in this earthly world's affairs."

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family adds: "As citizens of the United States, we are both decision-makers for our government and stewards of our nation's values and heritage. There is no getting around it: voting is both a right and a responsibility for each one of us in our representative form of government. So please, commit to vote in 2016!"

I echo his plea!

For the Christian, all of life is sacred. God expects us to influence all aspects of society, including the governmental process. To quote Edmund Burke, statesman, orator, and political thinker of the 1700s, "We are part of a contract between those who are dead, those who are living, and those who are to be born."

One way we can fulfill our contract to the community of the past, present, and future is to step into our privilege and responsibility of voting.

Voting may be a simple thing. But it's a precious freedom that we must not take for granted.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Name that Hymn

I love the book of Psalms. The largest book in the Bible is actually a music book. I like to call it a HIM book, because it's all about exalting and worshiping God! Many of our modern day praise and worship lyrics are taken from the Psalms.

In Colossians 3:16, the apostle Paul instructs, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (NIV).

One way the word of Christ can dwell in us richly is through song!

Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

During my quiet time walks with Abba Father in the morning, I sometimes take my hymnbook. I like to thoughtfully, prayerfully read the words out loud as I walk. Sometimes, I break out with the melody. What a special time entering into the heart of the hymn writer as s/he exalts God.

Revisiting old hymns may seem archaic for some Christians nowadays. How sad, since hymnology is rife with biblical doctrine about God, salvation (redemption), sanctification (growth in Christ), and the believer's future glorification. Hymns center in who God is and what He has done for us. When so much Christian music today focuses on self, hymns focus on God--the place to begin if we are ever to experience victory and the joy and peace we desire. 

In addition, hymns make us think. We're called upon to stop and ponder, chew on the words and the meaning. No burger and fries meal here; hymns offer a full course meal to digest and to satisfy. Don't get me wrong--I'm one of those Christian music lovers who likes variety (modern praise choruses, spiritual songs, and hymns), but once in a while, I like to pull out that old hymnal and sing a few tunes.  

As I revisit a five hymns in this post, perhaps you'd like to play along. Can you guess the name of the hymn from the line below?

1. " . . . . how sweet the sound; that saved a wretch like me." 

2. "There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not."

3. "I trust the Ever-living One--His wounds for me shall plead. I need no other argument,"

4. "Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,"

5. "I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me,"

So, any of the above lines ring a bell? Post your answers in the comments section below. 




Thursday, September 1, 2016

Living He Loved

The other day while walking in my quiet place and chewing on Philippians 2:1-8 (why God left heaven in the person of Jesus), an old hymn came to mind: "Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified, freely forever. One day He's coming, oh glorious day!" (One Day).

The phrase "living He loved me" kept rolling around in my head. Yes, He died, was buried, and rose again for my redemption and eternal life, but He lived for 33 years prior to that. Thirty-three years of living to show love to those around Him. Living in a human body with weakness and limitation, subject to ridicule and rejection (after all, in most eyes, He was the bastard boy of Mary). And He did so by choice . . . . because He loved. He knew His purpose and He glorified the Father by living out that purpose.

As Abba Father reminded me of this in the morning hour during my walk, I sensed Him speaking to my heart: "Eileen, I just want you to live. Live . . . and love as I loved while on earth. I have given you My purpose--to glorify Me by sharing Jesus's love with others."
That sharing of His love occurred when I stopped to engage the teens waiting at the street corner for the bus.

And that sharing continued with Chuck as soon as I walked back in the door; however on this morn, I addressed his needs with a greater strength and sensitivity.

That sharing progressed as I moved upstairs to interact with two-year-old Rivers and five-year-old Gabe. With just enough attention given to satisfy them and to release me to go back downstairs to my office and begin my morning work day.

All I could say in response was "Thank You, Abba! I can live and love because You continue to show me how, by Your mercy, grace, and strength."

What's God been showing you through His Word lately? Perhaps a take away from a sermon, a Sunday school lesson, a radio speaker, or your quiet time in the Word?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul!

God keeps taking me back to Psalm 103 the last couple weeks. What spiritual nourishment! Perhaps you too will wrap up in the truths of this lovely, richly meaningful psalm written by David . . .

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your [a]years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The Lord performs [b]righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who [c]fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who [d]fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows [e]our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who [f]fear Him,
And His [g]righteousness to children’s children,
18 To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His [h]sovereignty rules over [i]all.
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.
22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

(Text provided by

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

BOOK GIVEAWAY in Honor of my 40th Wedding Anniversary!

Redemption for a post-abortive woman and a foster mom. Both want the same child, but who will win?

Join me this Friday, July 15 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss my novel, Masquerade. FREE ebook copy to one participant!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Go Get Your Bride, Son!

She stood on the platform in glistening white. The mirrors surrounding her exposed the sweeping train trailing behind trimmed in tiny pearls and sparkling with sequins. She was so beautiful and so innocent. The sight of her took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.

“Oh, Mama,” my daughter exclaimed, her face reflecting uncertainty. “Will Jonathan think I’m beautiful?”

My first daughter to marry. No words could describe this moment or the emotion I felt at letting her go. Finally, the words pushed past the lump in my throat. I reached for her, taking her in my arms and embracing her. And we cried. Right there in the middle of the bridal shop with other mothers and daughters, brides maids, and boyfriends passing by. I didn’t care. This was our special moment.

“Oh, Michelle. If only you knew how beautiful you are! All Jonathan will be able to say is ‘Wow!’ I pulled back and held her at arms’ length, admiring the beautiful dress. I looked into her eyes. “But even more than how beautiful you look in this dress is how beautiful you are on the inside—your sweet and gentle spirit. That’s what Jonathan really sees and what he will be treasuring when you walk down the aisle to meet him at the altar.”

In the days leading up to the wedding, Michelle and I often talked about how Jesus, our beloved bridegroom, would one day step out of heaven at His Father’s command, “Go get your bride, Son!”

Michelle’s subsequent trip down the aisle in gleaming white was just a precious reminder of how our Lord views each one of His children who are covered by His blood. Pure. Spotless. Perfect. We may feel anything but perfect, but as we stand in the righteousness of Christ, the Father declares us spotless, because when He looks at us, He only sees the Son. 

One day our relentless Lover will erase all care and stress. We will see the Prince we only dream about on this side. He’s preparing a magnificent marriage supper for those who love Him. 

Kinda sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? But the beautiful thing is, it’s true! The most real thing that ever was! Those who trust in His relentless love will not be disappointed when the Father says, “Go get your bride, Son!”

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Am I Really In?

During a women’s Bible study session, Sally shared about the flood of doubts she’d been experiencing concerning her salvation. She testified to accepting the Lord at an earlier time in her life, but now she wasn’t so sure. “But do I really believe?” she said to the group. “Am I really in? Sometimes, I just get so scared.”

One woman in the group could not relate to this at all. Another woman nodded her head. “Yes, I’ve experienced that, too.” Though you’d never know it by her communication with her Father. She always takes us so beautifully to the throne of grace through her prayers.

I was one of those who could relate to Sally, even though I’d acknowledged my sin and its penalty (Romans 3:23; 6:23); believed that Jesus died and rose again for me (Romans 5:8); and received Him as my personal Savior (Romans 10:9, 10, 13). 

Satan knows exactly how to use our particular and peculiar weaknesses against us, fueling our flesh and turning up the volume on the world’s messages. He’s a master of manipulation and lies. 

But the God who dwells within us is greater than the world, the flesh, and the devil (1 John 4:4). He has helped me in the area of spiritual doubt in so many ways over the years. Perhaps the following can help you, too, if you struggle or have ever struggled in this area of your Christian life. 

Understand what the gospel is. According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the gospel is the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each playing His part) provides for and secures our salvation. Because of God’s mercy and grace, the Holy Spirit invites us to receive His gift of salvation (John 16:8). We bring nothing (no good works), just ourselves, kneeling in humility at the foot of the cross. Our redemption is based on God’s work alone (Ephesians 2:1-9). We simply receive what He’s provided as our own (John 1:12). 

We acknowledge the following to God in our own words as an expression of our heart’s desire. 

I am a sinner and deserve hell (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23).

Christ died on the cross to pay for my sin, shedding His blood to provide forgiveness (Romans 5:8-9; Hebrews 9:22).

Christ rose from the grave to secure my eternal life (Romans 10:9).

I choose to believe in my heart that He died, was buried, and rose again for me and confess Christ as my Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10, 13).

Belief takes place in the heart; confession takes place with the lips.

Once we have believed the gospel and received Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are forgiven and sealed by the Holy Spirit for all eternity. He lives within us! God’s wrath towards us has been satisfied in Christ. When He looks at us, He sees the righteousness of Christ. Nothing we do or don’t do can ever change that! We are part of God’s forever family (Ephesians, chapter 1). We don’t receive Christ by faith and then try to keep ourselves by works. The good we do, we do out of love for Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Colossians 2:6-7).

Other helps when dealing with the issue of doubting salvation . . .

Focus on Jesus, not on faith. When I try to look within and determine if I have enough faith, it’s a dead-end street. I only end up more frustrated. When I look to Jesus and what He did on the cross, faith follows, without my realizing it. 

A.W. Tozer addresses this in his book, The Pursuit of God. He writes, “Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God . . . . believing is directing the heart’s attention to Jesus. It is lifting the mind to ‘behold the Lamb of God,’ and never ceasing that beholding for the rest of our lives. At first this may be difficult, but it becomes easier as we look steadily at His wondrous Person, quietly and without strain . . . . (it begins) with one great volitional act which establishes the heart’s intention to gaze forever upon Jesus. God takes this intention for our choice and makes what allowances He must for the thousand distractions which beset us in this evil world. He knows that we have set the direction of our hearts toward Jesus, and we can know it too, and comfort ourselves with the knowledge that a habit of soul is forming which will become after a while a sort of spiritual reflex requiring no more conscious effort on our part . . . faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves—blessed riddance” (pp.82-84).

Thus, faith is simply the gaze of the heart at God. 

Distinguish between Satan’s accusations and the Holy Spirit’s conviction. The enemy of our souls wants to tear us away from God. He tells us what we are not. He raises questions in our minds: Are you sure you’re really saved? But you don’t really have enough faith. You didn’t pray that prayer good enough. You’re not good enough. God doesn’t really love you; look at all you’ve done wrong. Forget it, you’re hopeless. Satan focuses on the negative. He’s bent on destroying you. His words will sound plausible. Don’t stick around and argue with him. You will not win. Give his accusations immediately to Jesus. “Yes, I’m not good enough; yes, I deserve hell, but Jesus paid for my sin and forgives me. He is my eternal life. Take it up with Him!”

The Holy Spirit draws us to God. Through His convicting, reproving work, He points out a specific step we can take in obedience to God’s Word. He directs us to the Savior, focusing on the positive. He pulls us out of ourselves into Christ, if you will. He doesn’t beat us over the head with our sin; in love He shows us our sin and the consequences, but then quickly guides us to the remedy. 

Give Jesus the faith you do have. A wise counselor once stopped me in my “boo-who” tracks and said, “Okay, you’re concerned you don’t have enough faith; give Him the faith you do have.” Oh, okay, I can do that, I thought. Just like the man in Mark 9:20-24 who brought his son to Jesus for healing, we can say, “I do believe; help me in my unbelief.”

Get up each morning and reaffirm the faith you do have. Ask yourself: What do I believe? And how can I act on that belief today? I often stand in front of the mirror, breathe deeply, and verbally say, “Jesus is my Savior and Lord. He is my peace. I am chosen; I am adopted by God; I am forgiven; I am lavished upon by the riches of God’s grace; I am sealed by the Holy Spirit.” You can make your own list of statements to rehearse each day, multiple times if needed. 

Refuse to hide in your doubts. Let’s face it, doubt can sometimes be an attempt to run away from the realities of everyday life. Doubts become like old friends we turn to when we don’t want to face difficulties. We nurse them; indulge them. Don’t. Instead, turn quickly to the Father. Talk to Him about what’s going on in your life. Be honest with Him. He knows all about it anyway. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, show you the root of your doubt, and graciously change you to become more like Christ. This will take courage, but what blessing will follow if you stand your ground and refuse to let doubt take over your life. 

Cling to the Word of God. This powerful sword of the Spirit slashes through every one of Satan’s lies, if we will apply it. God has used so many precious Scriptures to help me, too many to include, but below are a few. Collect your own arsenal of passages to draw upon. 

Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thess. 3:3

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thess. 5:23-24

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. John 1:12

All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. John 10:27-30

The book of 1 John and Ephesians, chapters 1 – 3 are also wonderful for providing assurance. 

Turn every doubt into a thank you prayer to God. When you receive a gift, you say “thank you.” Thanking God for saving you shows that you have faith, that you have received His gift. Thank Him when you wake up, when you go throughout the day, when you retire at night. You will soon find this a way of life that lifts you out of doubt and fear and spills over into how you view the rest of your life. It can literally change your behavior, too!  

Strengthen your will, not your emotions. In Hannah Smith’s classic, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, she explains that our emotions are like unruly children who need to be reined in by their mother, the will. Like children, emotions may put up quite a fuss, but you don’t need to follow them. Like mom, your will is in charge. Your will directs your course, and this is what God honors. Over time, your emotions will follow the direction of your will. State plainly in the face of disturbing emotions that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord. “I choose to follow Him!”

Share Jesus with someone else. Even when your emotions scream otherwise, hold fast to the truth. Sharing the gospel will affirm its truth in your own life even as you light the way for another. You may feel like a hypocrite, but you are not. You have chosen to believe and receive Christ as your own. God honors your choice. When you obey the Holy Spirit’s prompting to speak to someone about Christ, He gives you the courage to follow through. What joy results in following His lead!

Be aware that some doubts arise out of weakness of personality. This is not to be used as an excuse for allowing doubts to fester and take over, but rather as awareness. Sometimes, doubts can be a symptom of deeper issues. In my case, obsessive-compulsive tendencies rooted in childhood trauma present themselves in all forms of checking. Check the stove, just one more time; check the door lock; check my salvation. Checking shows up in all areas of my life. Since I know this about myself, I can more easily defuse the accusations. Sometimes it helps simply to minimize the thought, recognizing that it’s coming from an obsessive-compulsive tendency, a weakness, that if left unchecked can become a besetting sin in my life (Hebrews 12:1). Again, the remedy is to quickly turn my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Some helpful resources that address root issues in our lives are Healing for Damaged Emotions workbook, Healing of Memories, and Putting Away Childish Things by Dr. David Seamands. Wounds That Heal: Bringing our Hurts to the Cross by Stephen Seamands is also a good resource. 

Be aware that some doubts result from a sinful action or lifestyle. This is a case where self-examination can be beneficial. When we commit a sin or persist in sin, we sometimes question our salvation. This self-assessment can be a good thing. If in our soul search, the Spirit identifies a sin, then confess it, receive His forgiveness and move forward. God will not rub your nose in your mistake. He delights in cleansing you and restoring you to fellowship with Him (1 John 1:9). However, the relationship has always been in tack. Nothing, nothing can destroy that! You are part of God’s family, just like you’re part of your earthly family. You can’t NOT become a part of it. You belong, even when you blow it! Run back to the Father, just like the prodigal did. He’s waiting with open arms for your return (Luke 15). 

Sometimes doubts follow a mountaintop experience or a period of intense spiritual growth. Often Satan is waiting to pounce after a spiritual high (a meaningful conference where you’ve made a life-changing decision; a victory over a certain area; a witness to someone; or more active involvement in exercising your spiritual gift, for example). You wonder what’s going on! I was so on top of things spiritually. And then, crash, boom! You’re in the depths of despair, having succumbed to Satan’s evil suggestions: Come on, you didn’t really mean that decision; you may have victory today, but it won’t last. Etc. etc. etc. On it goes . . .Don’t listen! Turn the intrusive thoughts over to Jesus at once. He is your advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). 

Sometimes doubts stem from a lack of direction or purpose. Most have floundered at some point in their lives. All have experienced times of grief, loss, transition, and change. During these seasons, we can be susceptible to doubt. Ask the Lord to help you know what step to take. Spend extra time talking with Him, reading His Word, and gathering with other faithful believers. Watch for where He may be leading you or how He may want you to use your interests, talents, time, and spiritual gifts to build His Kingdom. Have courage to teach that class, witness to that neighbor, lead that small group, or work on that character quality that needs tending in your life. 

Restructure your view of the heavenly Father. So much of our concept of God the Father is rooted in our childhood experiences with our parents. Even good parents parent imperfectly. As a result, we may picture God as a bully, a Santa Clause, or a distant being who really doesn’t care much about us. As the youngest in my family of much older siblings, I always felt as though I was on the outside looking in. The little child lost in grief over a brother who died all too soon by human standards. A little child who didn’t know how to deal with that grief and whose parents were baffled, too. No one wanted me to feel what I felt. Loving parents want their child to be happy and content. But I lived with a dark cloud over me that I couldn’t quite shake. Even when I came to Christ at age eight, the problems did not disappear. It’s taken a lifetime of godly counsel from others, Christian books and tapes, the body of Christ, the Word of God, and my own interactions with the Lord to help me sort through the pieces of my particular healing journey to press deeper into the love of the Father as demonstrated through Christ. 

But oh, how worth the effort! To catch a glimpse of His great love keeps us on the path of pursuit. Knowing Him and being known by Him! So many Scriptures speak to His love. I John 4:18 tells us that love is the antidote for fear. Focus on the Father’s love, and He will dispel all fear. 

 If we doubt His goodness, we need only look at the Cross, Joni Erickson Tada, quadriplegic, once said. Isaiah, chapter 53 is a powerful testimony to this fact. Jesus Christ was wounded so that we might be healed—in every way!

Read Psalm103 for a rich glimpse of all the LORD has done for us! Savor it; take your time. Pray it back to the LORD. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him (verses 10-13).

Another resource I’ve found beneficial that addresses this area is Into Abba’s Arms by Dr. Sandra Wilson. 

My prayer for you, dear reader, is that you will look to the One who has done everything in His power to love you, rescue you, and restore you. He died for all your sin, all your weaknesses, including fear and doubt. Continue to press deeper into the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dive deeply into the great ocean of the Father’s love for you (Ephesians 3:16-21). You have all of eternity to know and enjoy God. And that eternity begins when you repent of your sin, turn to God, and receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord. You simply say, “Yes, the best I know how, I receive your gift of salvation. Thank You! I choose to live for You.” 

So, keep your eyes on Him, the One who drew you to Himself in the first place and continues to work in you for His good pleasure (Philippians 1:6).

A resource that can help provide assurance and spiritual strength . . .

Breathe Deeply God's Grace devotional
Available here.

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