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This post was published to Finding-Hope.com at 9:39:57 AM 4/23/2020
Wisdom from 25 Years of Biblical Counseling!
Following are truths that changed my life and brought hope and a Biblical perspective!
*God loves us more than we can comprehend. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV) Value is determined by the one willing to pay the price. God values each person enough to send Jesus to pay the debt for our sin. So God loves us as much as He loves Jesus!
*When I am living in the Abnormal Fear Reaction Mode (see illustration below), I am living in sin. This causes destruction in our relationship with God, ourselves and others. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NIV) “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a NIV) When I lean on my own understanding allowing my thoughts to have more power than God’s Word, I am in sin. When I allow my feelings to have more power than God’s Word, I am in sin.
*God has defined sin. “Everyone who sins breaks the law, in fact, sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4 NIV) “And everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23b NIV) While I am tempted to define right and wrong, God has a higher, different standard. When I decide right and wrong, rather than honoring God’s Word, I am in sin.
*God has provided both payment for my sin and the option of no longer being controlled by sin. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)
*As a child of God (having been forgiven and born again) we are more secure than we can comprehend. “For I am convinced that neither death no life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NIV) Our security is accepted by faith, not based on feelings or logic.
*We have a choice (having been born again) in dealing with anxiety, worry and fear. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV) Our choice is activated by the Normal Faith Response Mode (see illustration below) when we choose to trust God, regardless of feelings and logical reasoning. God gives us the courage, wisdom and strength to trust Him. But it is only give minute by minute, not hour by hour, not day by day.
*Trusting God begins with a choice in our soul, not our mind or feelings. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2-3 NIV) This is not a matter of turning off our mind or totally disregarding our feelings, but rather not allowing them to have the same authority as God’s Word and Character.
*”And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrew 11:6) God measures our success by how we respond to all of life. If we choose to respond in faith, He is pleased!
Today, I have a choice. I chose to focus on what I do know and trust God with what I don’t know. I chose to trust God’s Word, character, love and plan for my life. I refuse to focus on what I don’t know and to try to control people and circumstances around me. I choose to rest in God’s grace and provisions. I choose to trust God enough to allow Him to produce the Fruit of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
This is our first book that includes some of my personal testimony and tools we have developed and use in counseling.
Forgive: The Journey Toward Peace
This is our second book, which is a revision of the first, but includes study questions at the end of each chapter.
Forgive: The Journey Toward Peace
Revised with study questions.
This is our third book. Rejoicing in Hope: A Brief History of Hope Family Ministries. It includes interviews with my wife Rosemary, our son Matt and me. It includes an outline of the nonprofit Biblical Counseling ministry we started in May of 1995. It is written by Joann Wilbanks, LPC. She is a member of the Ladies Sunday School class Rosemary teaches and is a counselor at Hope Family Ministries.
Since May, 1995 we have provided Biblical, Pastoral counseling on a donation basis. But we couldn’t have done it without people praying for and supporting us.
Please consider praying for and supporting Hope Family Ministries!