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When my husband sensed God’s call to move our family to a city we’d never even visited, I agreed to go because I believed it was the right thing to do.
It didn’t take long for my emotional connections to my past to deeply trouble me. I thought about the loved ones I had left behind. Looking back with regrets kept me from taking the necessary steps to settle our family in our new home and community.
I recalled a warning that Jesus offered his followers: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57–62 niv).
I wish I could say it didn’t take long to ascend from my deep disappointment. But it required time to defeat my negative habits and start seeking answers in God’s Word. In fact, I’m still tempted to look back at times. Now I remind myself to allow my emotional red flags to direct me back to the Lord.
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. (Phil. 3:12–14 The Message)
Can you think of some moments when you have struggled with your faith?
How do you respond to overwhelming emotions? Positive or negative self-talk?
Fearful thoughts escalated into a full-blown panic attack as I faced a crisis with my mother over a decade ago. As I waited for the doctors to diagnose her medical condition, I began to do some research of my own. And everywhere I turned, the facts were grim.
I knew my mother was facing a battle for her life. And my emotional red flags were rippling high overhead. I had many questions but very few answers.
But I remembered seemingly impossible situations where God had intervened. And I knew who I needed to turn to in a battle. I also knew my emotions and logic are always unreliable in a tough situation.
Jesus warned his disciples that there would be a day coming when they would endure difficult times. “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33 The Message).
What is Jesus saying here? I believe he’s reminding his disciples to turn to him when they find themselves in trouble. But how do we seek the Lord during difficult days? I believe the answer lies in prayer and meditating on God’s Word.
How do you respond to overwhelming emotions? What are you worried about today? Are you anxious about something beyond your control? How would you describe your emotional reactions when you are worried?
Which scriptures help you seek God in a crisis? Which verses help you manage your emotional reactions?
Do you recall some of the struggles you’ve been through involving your faith?