Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Looking back over notes I’ve taken over the years, I came across this one from one of Dr. Virginia Mayer’s teachings. Dr. Mayer and her husband are the founders of Living Waters Ministries, a Christian counseling service in Headland, Alabama.

‘Keep your focus on Jesus. Looking back to ‘self’ stops healing and causes stress. Stress makes us borrow trouble, makes us worry. Those “What if…?” questions are vain imaginations that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. Lift Jesus above everything.

God loves you. He sees your heart. He doesn’t require you to live up to His expectations. He is your provider and protector. He is merciful. People can’t fulfill our happiness, only Jesus can. His love, His peace, His joy are all unconditional. Give them to others the same way and be stress-free.

Stress is focusing on the bad things while the beautiful things are all around us and we don’t see them. It is “overwhelmingness.” When he finds a weak spot, the enemy piles things on you until you are overwhelmed. Stress is the opposite of flowing, living water. It short-circuits the power of God, which stops flowing in your life.

Chaotic stress stops miracles and healing for ourselves and others. Remember, “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.”

Stress leads to depression. It sneaks up on you. There is no joy, no life in your eyes. Anxiety blocks joy. It is fed by anger. Panic attacks keep you from breathing, can cause heart attacks, and block everything God has for you.

Stress comes from inappropriate expectations of others and of ourselves. Stress kills hope, joy, faith and love.

Smile! Don’t let dread choke the life out of you, and quench the Holy Spirit. The enemy tries to ground us to the world and sever the power of God! You become spiritually drained.

Take your eyes off ‘self’ and don’t depend on others for your happiness. Only Jesus can give you lasting peace and joy.

When you take your eyes off God, you open the door to stress. As the song says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” Discipline yourself to never take your eyes off Jesus.’

Job’s Trial and Health, Part 2

In Job 33:23-26, Job longs for a mediator, not knowing that God had made plans for just such a thing. But Elihu put Job’s longing into words:

23 But if an angel from Heaven appears – a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright – 24 He will be gracious and say, “Rescue him from the grave, for I have found a ransom for his life.” 25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s, firm and youthful again. 26 When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing. (NLT)

Job knew what mankind needed: a mediator between God and man. He also knew he didn’t have one. His only recourse, as he saw it, was to plead his case before God on his own. And he knew it would end with him being declared, “Guilty!”

He had no personal relationship with God; no redeemer; no mediator; and no hope. So he accused God of injustice. He complained bitterly about it. He didn’t know any better. He was ignorant (not stupid). It means he had a lack of knowledge, a lack of facts. He was ignorant of God’s nature.

But he knew a mediator, a redeemer, a savior, would be able to rescue him from God’s wrath and return him to right standing with God. As a result, he would have his health restored and be received with joy by God. Elihu was young, but wise. He prophesied about Jesus, the coming Savior, although he wasn’t aware he did so. That is amazing to me how he could know a mediator would save him!

God came to Job to correct his ignorance. After God finished speaking, Job says in chapter 42, 3 You asked, “Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorance?” It is I – and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me… 5 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.

7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about Me as My servant Job has. 8 So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to My servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about Me, as My servant Job has… 10 When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.

Job’s friends assumed troubles only come because people sin and have evil in their hearts.

In my final article on Job, I will address the issue of sickness being sent to try us.

Job’s Trial and Health, Part 1

Job 38:1-2 (NLT) – Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.”

These verses caught my attention. I have read the book of Job many times, but mostly just to get through it so I could say I’d read the Bible all the way through. It ranked right up there with Leviticus and Lamentations as “favorites.” This time I was looking for an answer to a specific question. Your attitude when reading the Bible has a lot to do with how much you get out of it.

Most of us know that Job lost his children, wealth, position in the community, and lastly his health. Because of this, we assume that God tries our faith by taking away our health. I will show you that this isn’t true.

In 1 Kings 19:11-12, God had Elijah stand on a mountain before Him. He passed by Elijah and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces. That had to be a fearsome wind! But the Lord was not in the wind. Then the Lord sent an earthquake, but He was not in the earthquake. He spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice.

Would Job have heard God’s still, small voice? He didn’t have the relationship with God that Elijah had. Elijah’s ministry and life depended on being able to hear God’s voice. At this point, he had let circumstances get in the way, and God had to get his attention before Elijah could hear Him.

Job didn’t have this relationship with the Lord and didn’t know how to listen for His voice. So, God spoke to him from a whirlwind. Can you imagine God speaking to you from a tornado or a hurricane? This was no gentle breeze. It was a whirlwind, a tornado that sprang up out of nowhere. It got Job’s attention.

Since Job had been held up by God as a man more righteous than any other living person, I wanted to know what Job had said that caused God to react so dramatically. What were Job’s ignorant questions? More importantly, since Job probably lived a more righteous life than I have, and did it without a personal relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit or scriptures to help him, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t asking the same ignorant questions!

By the way, ‘ignorant’ doesn’t mean ‘stupid.’ It means without knowledge, not knowing something.

Job was innocent. He had done nothing wrong, yet he was put through a severe trial. On top of that, instead of comforting Job, his friends insisted he must have sinned and that he must repent. They added insult to injury. (In all fairness, they spoke out of the limited knowledge they had of God – He rewards good and punishes evil.)

While Job was innocent of any wrongdoing, he became indignant at God for punishing him for no reason. He didn’t realize God wasn’t punishing him. God was allowing his faith to be tested by Satan. Job never wavered in his faith towards God. He did question God’s judgment.

However, even though he knew he was innocent and had obeyed all he knew to do, deep down he knew he was a sinful man. Still, he wanted a hearing with God so he could present his side.

– Wynne

Healing From Sexual Abuse

One of my readers contacted me to let me know how my book is helping her obtain healing from years of sexual abuse. We thought that her story might be helpful to others who are dealing with this painful experience.

It started when she was around 9 years old. A family member began by touching her in inappropriate ways. She told her mother about it and about the way he looked at her, making her feel ugly and dirty. But her mother did nothing. Within two years, he graduated to raping her. This time she told no one. The abuse continued for years. She tried to avoid him, but it wasn’t always possible. She felt betrayed by her parents for not protecting her. (In all fairness, her father never knew.)

This relative seemed to be an upstanding member of the community. He was even a lay preacher. She learned recently that he had been discharged from the military with a dishonorable discharge for sexually abusing a minor, but her mother had kept it a secret all those years to protect the family name.

At fifteen, she feared she was pregnant. At sixteen, desperate, she married the first person to promise relief and security to a scared young girl. Unfortunately, in her desperation to get away from abuse, she just walked into a marriage of physical abuse with a mean, twenty-three year-old man. In addition, the relative’s abuse continued.

At twenty, with two young children, she finally confronted him, telling him how much he had hurt her. He told her she watched too much TV and imagined too much. He never admitted he had done anything wrong. As a sexual predator, he needed power over his victims. But she vowed to never let him win. One victory was that she managed to protect her little sister from him.

Still, the struggle continues. The smell of the cologne he wore triggers panic. She won’t wear shorts for fear of giving the wrong impression to men. There are many other challenges and much more to the story, but this is enough detail for this time.

At church with her sister, the preacher told his story of abuse and after a great struggle, she ended up at the altar. She had blamed God for letting it all happen. He told her He had been there with her through it all, and she could use what happened to her to help others.

When she read my book and the experiences I had growing up with Scientology, it helped her cope with her emotions. She has quit having nightmares. The chapters on words and thoughts and emotions helped her, but it was the chapter on forgiveness that had the most impact. She has particularly had trouble with forgiving her parents for not protecting her. But there is no one worth losing God’s forgiveness! She is relying on faith in God and what He is willing to give her to replace her lost childhood and all she went through. She will see victory over this!

Telling her story is helping.