Thoughts

June 24, 2015
by Rod Marshall

Romans 8:31-35 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (ESV)

There are things in my life that I have done that I am not proud of, and bad events that I have witnessed. These memories embarrass me when I look back, because I know that I failed myself and God. These are all things that the devil would condemn me for out of hand, skewering, twisting, and turning me on the rotisserie of guilt, shame, and self-condemnation, if I let him. Often, I become too embarrassed, fearful, feeling silly about a "small thing", or just too ashamed before God to place it into His hands.

These days, however, I know that there is a solution to the problem: Ask Jesus into the situation. Tell the truth. I am reminded of the crossroad reminder for pedestrians: Stop, Look, and Listen.

Stop – Stop going over the same ground again and again without deciding to take action. Decide once and for all to break the cycle of destructive repetition, running away from it, or even into it, and leaving it as it is, unsorted, only to revisit it again later. This statement of intent can be done wherever/whenever the memory occurs.

Look – Ask God to show you what/where the real truth is, and trust Him to do just that. If nothing is forthcoming straight away, sleep on it. Allow the truth to bubble up. In a few days' time ask: has anything changed about how I feel? If not, ask again and leave it with Him until you sense His peace. If you are not prepared to let go, do not fret over it. It may take years for your circumstances to change.

Keep asking for help to want to want to allow God into memories to purify your heart and mind.

For some this may be a tough ask. God understands and respects that, and so it may be done a little at a time, not at all, or all at once. (It took several years of marriage to recognize, and finally to lay down, pictures of an old relationship before God finally healed the past. It may help to calculatedly visualize Jesus into the memory/dream as a deliberate act of intent or an active defence against a spiral downwards.

Listen – To God's love. Trust that God has the willingness, the power, and the authority to forgive and break the chains of fear, failure, lust, guilt, shame, and condemnation. That is why Jesus came.

Rest assured that if we are truly willing to ask and receive, He is more than able to stay with us and redeem all of us. Do not be surprised if people see the difference, because even if you are not aware of it, an increase in God's love and peace in our lives sooner or later will not be hidden!

A caveat: If you are a new Christian, been involved in the occult, or just struggling with God's love for you, it may be wise first to ask for a mature Christian's prayer support, or, indeed, to ask for specific prayer counselling.

Prayer: Lord, it is a mystery how we have wallowed for so long in our failures, spiritually starving, but yet, like the prodigal son's father, You are keen to give us a helping hand to bring us back safe home at last. Please show us the way forward, rejoicing in Your great love. May the Holy Spirit be a light for our path today, in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A very fresh and insightful word Rod.


    Thank you. This should help me with my trouble. Thank you.


    Thank you for this uplifting message. It comforted my grief. Blessings.


    Dear Rod;
    Wonderfully written, thank you.


    I have just read your contribution Rod and deeply appreciate your words. Blessings to you and yours.


    Hello Rod. I have very much enjoyed your article tonight – super!
    Blessings.


    I need this! Thank you for sharing this with your friends through Presbycan. Blessings,
    (BC Canada)


    Rod – I loved your approach to a sometime difficult thought process which we have all had a turn or two at, what I call, “being hard on ourselves.” I thank God for the love He has bestowed upon me-time and time again. Thanks for writing this.


    Oh a definite AMEN to all these.
    Been there, done that too.
    The good part is that calling out to Jesus really works. I, like you, am so thankful for that.
    Keep up the good work – writing – Rod.
    Blessings to you and yours
    (Ontario, Canada)


    You daily devotional on THOUGHTS is so wise and filled with experience.
    Thank you for this message of Christ’s love of forgiveness an assurance.
    This applies not only to many failures we perfectionists must face and deal with but also to those facing condemnation in some part of their life for which they feel responsible.
    Onward with Christ’s love and forgiveness,
    (Ontario, Canada)


    Hello Rod
    While the suggestions you make in today’s PCC Daily Devotional will be helpful to some in the first instance, many who experience the problem of obsessive thoughts (coulda/woulda/shoulda thoughts) will require professional assistance to address the problem in the first instance. By that I mean psychotherapy at least – and often medication.
    Once the problem has been addressed professionally, the suggestions that you put forth can begin to be implemented and will contribute to the healing process and to the person’s spiritual maturation.
    (AB, CANADA)


    Encouraging message Rod.
    Keep up the good writing!
    Blessings.


    Yes, Rod Marshall, Stop, Look, and Listen — and keep reading your Bible and praying.
    YOUR DEVOTIONAL KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER:
    And YES, read the best of Christian books as well as reading your Bible, and be with Christian people who are being a blessing to you. Try reading Lee Strobel, C.S.Lewis, Philip Yancey, etc., and George MacDonald’s novels — if you are not already doing this.
    And keep writing for Jesus’ sake.

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