Often life is hard, but God is always good

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

I believe in a loving God, and on the flip side, I also think there is a devil who definitely does not have my best interest at heart. How Jesus talks about Satan is recorded in the eighth chapter of the gospel of John: “He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:45)

So, in a very creepy sort of way, Satan will lie to us. Uh oh – that means that some of my thoughts might be influenced by an evil whisper with a whiff of sulphur.

I think I experienced a Satanic lie entering my thoughts just this week: “You are too late to do the great things you were meant to do. You have wasted time and your life’s work is not worth much.”

That’s a very dark thought, right?

Recognizing it as a thought to reject is the first step; as Jesus tells us, we must not listen to the “stranger’s voice”: “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10: 4, 5)

However, the most crucial step is to replace the lying voice with the truth – In my case, I chose to listen to this: “I have made sacrifices in my fifty years to stay at home with my kids and then to educate those same children at home and that means my “professional” credentials are not very robust. But it was all worth it – I have been following the very specific call of God on my very individual life and the rewards will look different than others’ who have followed their life callings.”

Since I am a counselor’s wife, I would like to present the psychological spin on this subject: Cognitive theory claims that ANTs: (Automatic negative thoughts) or what we think about things are important in determining how we feel. The Happiness Institute has a good handout about common ANTs; the one that fits my story best is “emotional reasoning: mistaking feelings for facts. Negative things you feel about yourself are held to be true because they feel true.”www.thehappinessinstitute.com

Paul’s command in Philippians chapter 4 is not just a list of what to think about, it is also a direct order to think – don’t be a victim who helplessly allows all thoughts to enter indiscriminately and swish around for any length of time and then allow them to have the power to influence our lives.

We must THINK on the truths and reject the lies – hear the good Shepherd’s loving voice, not the stranger’s lies.

What are the voices in your head saying today?

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Comments on: "I Think I’m Hearing Voices" (10)

  1. So true, Laure. I have recently tempted by similar thoughts. Upon searching God’s word, I was reminded of this verse. 1 Corinthians 15:58New International Version (NIV)

    58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

  2. Catherine said:

    When I think of you, Laure, I think of someone who has done GREAT things and is still doing GREAT things and knowing you, will continue to do GREAT things. YOUR blog is a timely reminder for me who is a few years past you in this life journey. Much appreciated!

  3. I had this same conversation – the one you just had with yourself – with my son not too long ago. He was angry because his “step-sister” spoke cuttingly about me being poor, while her mom had a good salary. I had to explain that I would not have traded the time I spent home with them for all the money and accolades from the business/publishing world. 20 years of time with him was worth more than gold. I’m playing catch-up now. But God is good, and He will not let even a moment of that time you spent investing in the next generation go to waste. You have traded your life for God’s best. What lies ahead for you only God knows, but you are already touching many, many lives with your words of truth and encouragement. And it counts on your eternal pay stub, every time one of your children…or grandchildren…or great grandchildren influences someone to choose Christ, to choose right, to choose God’s plan.

  4. Joan Liversidge said:

    One of my favorite passages in Romans – “All things work together for good for those who Love God and are called according to his purposes.” Having just completed a guided Silent Retreat using the spiritual practices of St. Ignatious, I recognize one of the ways the Devil works in me and maybe others is comparison. Some/many in this world do not recognize a call from God – either don’t hear the call or choose not to follow. The criteria for success in the world trips me up often and maybe is Satan’s way of tempting me off course. I, too, as a counselor have used the ANTs approach to help people flag those negative thoughts. We ask, is this 100% true?, What is the opposite of that thought?, How do I feel now? Adding to this for people who are “called according to his purposes”, is – Am I being faithful to the call which contributes to the Kingdom of God, both now and eternally? or the eternal pay stub? Then let’s pray together and give each other support in fending off the devil – like a blog where you allow yourself to be vulnerable and give others an opportunity to support you!!!! Love to both of you – Cec and Laure – you have been a blessing in my life and an example of faithfulness.

  5. I always hear the Spirit’s voice, when I think of God, especially after the praise begins! You are not alone!

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