waitingGrief of soul demonstrates the great value someone has placed upon a person, place or thing.

Anyone who has passed through the dark valley of grief knows what a painful trek it is. Death, divorce or some major loss brings us to this difficult journey. Whether the event was expected or not, it requires diligence to come out on the other side with a healthy sense of acceptance and closure.

Moving God into the center of your world is important during this process. Perhaps He has been a small piece of your pie and grief has brought you to a place of desperation, asking “How will I get through this?” I believe that unless we place God largely in the center of our circle, we will have deleterious ramifications from the loss we’ve suffered.

Sometimes we realize through our grief that we had placed too much hope or confidence in a person, place or thing. It often takes losing, before we realize this. (Psalm 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.)

His Faithfulness
God alone is sinless, faithful, and completely true; He will never default on anything He has promised. He will go with us through every heartache and trial we face. He is the supreme companion every sojourner in life should have. Some have chosen wisely and have clasped His outstretched hand; others refuse and commiserate through life’s difficulties, coping with poor substitutes. God is the only one worthy of all of our love, devotion and complete dedication. When we suffer a major loss, we have Him and that makes all the difference. We will never come up short or empty-handed when we are holding onto Him.

I have gone through great loss and grief over the separation and ending of my marriage of 36 years. Even though I have held tightly to God’s Hand throughout these years, I have experienced much grief.

When we love someone and then lose them, a part of us goes missing. This new life without them causes us to feel awkward and it becomes difficult to adjust. Grief is a necessary part of the loss but left unchecked and lingering too long, it can be destructive to our soul. When loneliness sets in, close friends can fill that gap for a while but eventually, you will need to choose how to fill the hole left in your heart. Too often, many choose another substitute — a person perhaps, but find out that nothing should fill this void but God.

Those who choose to place God and His love in the center of their heart (on the throne) will come through this difficult period by God’s grace and will have grown. You’ve heard the better vs. bitter quote, and it’s true! If there remains unforgiveness toward God over your loss — or unforgiveness toward another person — bitterness will ruin you. Grief is designed to realign us with God, our Creator and the lover of our soul.

backlit-dusk-evening-696208 (1)If you have suffered loss and are walking through the minefield of grief, consider trusting God by handing it ALL over to Him, asking Him to fill you afresh with hope for your future. (May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 ESV). God’s Manual explains and offers this hope in its pages; having a mentor to guide through this time is helpful too. God supplied me with some wonderful people who counseled me through the most difficult days. I was hungry and eager to learn; I wanted God to remake me through this experience. How I thank Him for abundant goodness and the abounding Hope He has placed within my soul.

A friend recently asked why I felt she was struggling so in her situation. I replied that I believe for anyone of us the difference lay in these two places:

1. Believing that God can use all of your trials for His glory if you seek to understand the formula He has for us in His Word. Restructuring your thought-life is necessary for receiving this miracle from God. 2. Choosing to live victoriously through God’s provision versus dwelling in victimization and ruminating upon what has happened to you. We can all understand betrayal and abuse at some level. In order to move forward, we must forgive and leave the results with God.

rearview mirrorRecently, my pastor shared an illustration concerning where we place our focus and the results of looking back in the rear-view mirror versus looking forward at the road ahead and all its possibilities. I’ve set my gaze upon Heaven, my only true home, everything between here and there is in God’s Hands. The words of a contemporary worship song says: Lord, I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed, You’re where my help comes from, give me vision, to see things like you do… He gives me vision to see things like He does or to simply trust Him when I cannot see ahead.

Keep your eyes ahead, Keep your hand in His, forgive and move toward Heaven, no turning back… no turning back.

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Are You Struggling with Fear?

Fear filled womanHave you ever been so convinced of something, that you made a decision and took action and then wondered how or why you did that? … How could I have been so sure then and wondering why now? What can cause this to occur?

Fear is the enemy we struggle with when doubt is given a resting place. Is there something today that you are confused over or being tormented about? Perhaps a vital relationship that is in trouble; your spouse, child, parents – something is amiss and you are ready to walk away. In these moments there is only one remedy; open the Word of God and search out an answer (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus spoke in various places about His Kingdom and what it is like (Read Matthew 13). Yes, our faith-filled friends can come alongside to encourage us, but in the end we must search and find for ourselves. We must discover faith that overcomes fear.

Consider the disciples during the last week of Jesus life. Place yourself in their shoes: think about what they walked through in the days leading up to Christ’s crucifixion. They Discipleshad come to a place of believing, knowing that He was the promised Messiah, yet they struggled through feelings of doubt and fear. They saw the miracles He performed to rescue people from sickness, disease and death, yet they doubted at times… “Was He really who He said he is?”, they thought. They faced this kind of fear often while journeying with Jesus and especially after he was crucified. They were in constant threat of persecution, arrest or even death. Self-preservation was all they knew up to this point in life; it is our natural course. Yet, down the road, something would happen to cause them to become fearless (Acts 4:31), in the face of threats and death.

The battle between our natural-man and the new-man, seated in Christ, is what reveals our faith. The ability to overcome our natural fears is found through our identification with Christ Himself, living on the inside by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless, but I will come to you…” (Please read John Chapter 14.) Remember, growing our faith through wise choices is important.

If you are facing fear today, of any sort, remember that Jesus has come to give you life in Himself (John 10:10). The Holy Spirit living inside of us gives us the ability to overcome fear. There are practices that will help you become strong in your relationship with Him. Reading His Word daily and surrendering your life afresh to Him each day is the starting point. Without the power of God’s words to renew our minds, we will be subject to our own human weakness and Satan’s devices; we will succumb to double-mindedness as James tells us (James 1:6-8). The way to lay hold of stability in our thinking is by building up our faith through the scripture. Pray, talk to your Heavenly Father, just as Jesus did, and as He taught His disciples to do (Matthew 6:9-13). Confess any sin He shows you, turn from it and make things right. You will find closeness with Him greater than what you can share with any person.

We have an enemy that plays with our minds, attempting to destroy our faith andfear woman separate us from the love of God. Once you’ve entered God’s Kingdom you gain power against the workers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Have you discovered yet, how real they are? Perhaps not. Perhaps you’re still thinking that dark thoughts come from your own shame, but they actually are planted; sown by your enemy. Satan has a host of “workers of darkness” that come to destroy faith.

There’s a couple of songs we sing that reminds me often of how much we live in a culture filled with manifestations of the enemies success in deceiving people into fear, doubt, shame, and sin. I’m thankful for these lyrics that remind us how to counter-act the schemes of the enemy, how to fight our battles, that fear is a liar, we are no longer slaves to fear, and of the relentless, reckless love of God in seeking after us (Read Luke 15). He rescues us if we let Him; that’s what the cross for Christ was all about.

bloom-1839679__480Today, if you hear His voice, surrender to it. Do not harden your heart because of past pain, experience or failure. Come into the shelter of His arms and find rest. He will hold you there. There will still be battles until we get home to Heaven, but we will learn how to fight them and like Jesus disciples, we can become fearless in His name and by His power at work in us.

Hebrews 11:6 ESV And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Acts 4:31 ESV And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

James 1:6-8 ESV But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Matthew 6:9-13 ESV Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

1 John 1:9 ESV  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

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What is Biblical Counseling?

Biblical Counseling is using God’s Word (the Bible) as the foundational manual from which to answer every question and concern in a Christian’s life. It is discipleship and the process of growing in wisdom, understanding and application of the Word of God to our life. Whatever our situation is, God has provided an answer and remedy for us.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (II Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

Our knowledge of God and man comes directly from His Word and when we allow the Holy Spirit to indwell us, He gives us the power to become partakers of God’s nature over our sinful nature. As Christ pleased the Father, we may also as we desire to glorify mind-2197437__480God through our lives. In order to do this, we need to change our thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word. He helps us with this. God’s Word is capable of restructuring our thought patterns as we choose to renew our minds daily, desire to have the mind of Christ and walk in obedience to His teachings.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:2 ESV)

Put off  your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:23 ESV).

This means our thinking will change and become pleasing to God in accordance with His desires for us. He always has our best interests in mind and as we submit ourselves to His instruction a beautiful transformation occurs. This is where a biblical counselor is helpful in this process providing assignments that will help someone think in a healthy God-ordained way. The result we want to achieve is to THINK – DO – FEEL, in that order.

The process of change in us is made possible by Christ’s sacrifice for sin, the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word at work in our hearts. The threefold process is: we discard old patterns of ungodly behavior, reconstruct our thinking based upon God’s Word, and adopt new patterns of godly behavior.[1]


In summary, biblical counselors work with people to apply God’s Word as the solution to man’s fallen condition (Genesis 3). Our Creator knows us inside and out and offers us hope in any situation.

Credit: Much of the information I am sharing here comes from my studies in the book: [1] Curing the Heart by Howard Eyrich and William Hines 2002.

Resources: Insightful Testimony (11 min.) by Heath Lambert of childhood abuse he suffered and God’s redemptive work in his life; Heath is the Director of ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). Discussion on “Differences and Overlap of Biblical Counseling and Clinical Therapy” (80 min.) by Heath Lambert.

For additional Resources Tab here

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