Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Health Scare-Having Joy in Trials-End of 30 Day Negativity Fast

Congratulations! Yesterday you finished 30 days of Feasting on Gratitude and Fasting from Negativity. What a journey!
During this 30 days my family had one of the biggest health scares ever. My wife had the worst asthma flare up she has ever had in her life. Along with that, a speculative diagnosis of bronchitis and pneumonia. If that wasn't enough, they found a spot on her lung and we had to go through a series of test to determine what it was. So how are you suppose to stay negative free in the middle of a bombardment of negative doctor reports? That is where the challenge came in. Immediately fear and worry began to hover over my wife. All of the thoughts of "what might happen" and "what could be" began to flood her mind. The physical symptoms associated with fear, worry, and anxiety are amazingly real. Each time we took a test there was this agonizing waiting game that drove us to our knees. Each time we got a report back that was inconclusive, disappointment would wrestle for our affections. Here are ten things I learned on this 30 day journey.
  1. It is a minute by minute battle to combat negative words and thoughts.
  2. You can not tame your tongue you must tend to the condition of your heart
  3. The only way to get your heart right is to allow the forgiving and cleansing power of Jesus' sacrifice to cleanse it properly.
  4. Filling your heart with the Word of God smothers the negative thoughts and leaves them powerless.
  5. You really can address negative circumstances in a hopeful way. I learned to say "let me rephrase that" alot over the last 30 days.
  6. The greatest challenge to stay positive is often with the people you are closest to. (i.e. marriage, family, friends, and coworkers)
  7. Discouragement is real and leads to other things like: Fear, dismay, feelings of abandonment, sadness, forgetting what God has said, terror, weakness, disobedience out of fear, resignation, doubt, intimidatation, dread, and you begin to believe lies about you.
  8. Encouragement is real too. We have the power to put courage in our hearts and other's hearts through our words and through the Word of God.
  9. God has given us a wonderful tool in our words and we can create an atmosphere of peace and life or turmoil and death.
  10. That joy is a choice that takes courage to choose.
Hourly my wife and I had to confess the word of God out of our mouths to overcome the fear. She wrote out things from the word of God that she believes were promises from God in regards to her circumstance and would confess them throughout the day. She started journaling her prayers daily, stating truly how she felt but also stating truly who she was trusting in. We would pray together often and when we got done she would feel strong and fit for the task of believing in the face of this trial. However, an hour later the same negative feelings would begin to hover again. We realized that prayer is not a one stop shop and that we needed to pray and confess the word continually through this trial (See below for some scriptures). We learned that no matter what the circumstance is it all falls under the heading "Trial of your Faith", James 1:2-4. We took time to remember times in our past when God was faithful and brought us through. We enlisted several friends and family to pray for us and to be an encouragement for us.

After plenty of time, money, three different scans, shots and antibiotics we got a report back that the spot on her lungs was benign and there was nothing to be concerned about. They didn't even bother to call us or set up an appointment to tell us; they just sent a letter. In essence the spot had nothing to do with all of the other bronchial symptoms she was experiencing. This was great news! The greatest thing for us was that the Sunday before we got the results back we made our confession before the entire church that no matter what the doctors report said we would be standing with our faith in God and not in the outcome. So this entire exercise was a strengthening of our faith muscles and also an opportunity for my wife and I to increase our spiritual intimacy. My wife and I have a new appreciation for those that struggle with anxiety, but we also got a renewal in the importance of feasting on faith-filled words. God showed us how to "count it all joy" even when the circumstances look bleak. We were turning over rocks searching for joy during this 30 day challenge. We found a joy that is not rooted in our circumstance but is anchored in God and his promises that can shine bright even in the face of the toughest trials. Truly the joy of the Lord became our strength. We have lessons to carry with us and to pass on to others that we will never forget. Part of this trial was expressed in this message: "Feasting on Faith-filled Words"
Download here: "Feasting on Faith-filled Words"
Play at Sermon Network here: "Feasting on Faith-filled words"

I'm sure you have had a testimony similar to ours. Let's take all of our lessons into this new year and live a lifestyle of feasting on gratitude and starving negatitivy.

Here are a few passages of scripture to carry you through trials with joy:
Phil. 4:13; Isaiah 40:29; Psalms 119:28; Eph 6:10; Isaiah 40:31; II Cor. 12:9-10; Psalms 46:1; Neh. 8:10; Psalms 28:7-8; James 1:2-4; Psalms 118:17; Prov. 3:5-6; II Sam. 22:33; II Tim 1:7; I John 4:18

Past Post:
-Read about A Broken Record-Murmuring
-Get your free Fast and Feast Poster
-Read about Overcoming the Flesh
-Read about Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty-5 Observations on Choosing a Joyful Perspective.
-Read about How to Wash Your Mouth
-Read about The Anatomy of the Mouth a hidden component.
-Read about Fast to Feast-30 Day Challenge
-Read about 15 Viable Reasons to join this campaign.

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