The Depths of Despair Are No Place For a Christian

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

Just this week when things in my world were going splendidly (which should always give us pause), there was a glitch. A wrench in the gears. A leak in the boat…You get the idea. Something unexpected and potentially catastrophic occurred. In a moment, I went from being emotionally on top of the world to the backside of the desert. I received news that made my heart turn to lead in my chest.

My first reaction was disbelief. Immediately after I realized this new turn of events was really happening, I was engulfed by a wave of negative thoughts:

I should have known it was too good to be true. I was foolish to think it would go smoothly. We’ll probably never be truly peaceful. I’ll never let myself hope like that again.

Wait. What?

Those weren’t even my thoughts. An enemy had done this. Planted tares of negativity and hopelessness into my mind, and disguised them as my own thoughts. The Holy Ghost immediately rose up in me and helped me to think Truth. He helped me to remember how the Lord had recently turned this same horrible situation into a masterpiece. He had just given us beauty for ashes, and it only took one bump in the road for us to forget. I had gone from the pinnacle of glory to the depths of despair that easily.

In the beloved children’s book, Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Anne asks Marilla, “Can’t you even IMAGINE you are in the depths of despair?”  To which Marilla abruptly replies, “No. I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.”

According to God’s Word, I must agree with Marilla.

 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6)

If we allow ourselves to sink into despair, we definitely are not manifesting faith. Instead, we are letting negative emotions take over our thinking. When people are consumed with doubt, fear and unbelief, they cannot pray in faith. They cannot say to this mountain, be removed and cast into the sea.

This is the woeful condition that satan wants to trap us in. He knows that for every second he can get us to think negatively, it is  more probable that we will speak negatively. Once we speak negatively, we set a whole alternate set of circumstances in motion. What blessing the Lord wanted to bring, is derailed by our careless words.

Once we speak negatively, we set a whole alternate set of circumstances in motion. What blessing the Lord wanted to bring, is derailed by our careless words. Click To Tweet

How do we stop this landslide of negative consequences?

RECOGNIZE
First, we must recognize the attack for what it is. A trap of the enemy. We must know enough of God’s Word to recognize the devil’s work.

REMEMBER
Second, we must remember how God has worked on our behalf in the past. When was the last prayer that God answered for us? When did we feel defeated, and yet He intervened?

REMIND
Third, we must remind ourselves of all the wonders that God has specifically done for us. We must remind ourselves that we are children of the Great King.

RESIST
Fourth, we must resist the devil, submit ourselves to God, and he will flee from us. We must resist his influence in our lives and his impression in our minds.

RETURN
Fifth, we must return to the path of faith in God. We must begin to pray with power. Begging is not mountain-moving prayer. We must pray with the spiritual authority that Jesus name permits us.

REFUSE
Sixth, we must be aware of how the enemy works, and refuse to be deceived again. We must refuse to be emotionally corralled into a trap of despair.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;”(2 Cor. 4:7-8)

Within just a few minutes of giving in to the feelings of despair, I remembered the goodness of God toward me. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, and started praying. I spoke faith-filled words in Jesus’ name until I felt them. I repented to the Lord of losing faith so quickly, and asked Him to forgive me. I committed to trust Him. After all, He has proven time and again to me that He is able to turn any situation around in a moment of time for His glory.

In case you doubted, He did it again, and He’ll do it for you! Praise God!

Warm Regards, -Pat

INVITATION TO SHARE

-Have you ever found yourself in the depths of despair even when you know God has been so good to you?

-What steps did you take to get out of that negative frame of mind?

-What scriptures would you share with someone who is struggling with despair?

As always, feel free to leave a comment, subscribe to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM.

 

Early Morning Angel Visit

Several years ago the Lord began waking me up at 4:30 a.m. to spend time with Him. He desires to spend quality time with His people. His bride.

Once the day gets started, there is rarely a stopping place to break away and spend time basking in His Presence. The Word tells us to pray without ceasing. We should have a prayer in our hearts and on our lips at any given time throughout the day. Yet, to sit at His feet requires pulling away from other things. Hence the reason God likes to wake us up to spend that quality time before our days begin.

Since those 4:30 a.m. training sessions, the Lord and I have reached a mutually agreeable time that we like to meet. That is at 6:00 a.m. I have become very serious about this spiritual discipline…most of the time. Winter seems to be more difficult, especially when it is cold and wet outside, or when I am extra fatigued from a busy schedule or sickness. This morning was all of the above.

I woke up, rolled over and looked at the clock. 5:30 a.m. I mentally calculated how much time I still had to sleep. Thirty more minutes. On the heels of that thought came the nudge of the Holy Ghost that assured me if I went back to sleep, I would likely sleep past my 6:00 wake up time. These were my thoughts as I sunk back down into the hazy mist of slumber.

That’s when the angel came. In that fuzzy place between awake and asleep. The visit was neither imagination, nor a dream. My eyes were closed, yet I saw it come rapidly face to face with me. I’m not sure if it flew, as I saw no wings, but only knew that it rushed up to my face. I also say “it” because the face seemed neither male nor female. This could be due to its close proximity to my face.

The angel said clearly, “You know you should get up. Come on!,” and motioned urgently with its hand to follow. Just as fast, it was gone. It was as real as a breath expelled from my body.

In the two seconds that I took to consider these instructions, I slipped back into slumber. When I woke up again, it was almost 7:00 a.m., and time to get up to get ready for Church.

I knew I had missed a great opportunity to be with the Lord. He had desired so much to spend time with me, that He sent His angel messenger to wake me. Two seconds of hesitation robbed me of something precious.

Don’t let anything rob you of time alone with God. Click To Tweet

In the few moments I had, I knelt and repented that I hadn’t come earlier. When I got to prayer meeting at church, I spent more time repenting. I know absolutely that I’m forgiven, but whatever the Lord wanted to share with me is either forfeited, or at least delayed.

The Spirit of the Lord was so precious during worship service, for which I’m thankful. I just wonder what might have happened if I had met with the Lord when He first shook me awake that morning. What blessing might He still be waiting to pour out when intercession has built a wall of petitions high enough to reach His Throne? What healing? What deliverance? What victory?

In my prayer of repentance, I asked the Lord to help me have the withal to recognize and respond immediately at the unction of the Holy Ghost. The Word says to be instant in season and out of season. This morning was definitely a cold, wet winter season that I needed to be instant in. I’m sure there will be upcoming opportunities to see if I learned the lesson.

May you be blessed by Sis. Mickey Mangun (The Pentecostals Of Alexandria) singing, “I Miss My Time With You.”

INVITATION TO SHARE YOUR STORY:

– Do you and God have a mutually agreed upon meeting time and place?

– Have you ever missed a special time or blessing with God because you hesitated to act?

-What spiritual discipline do you have the most trouble mastering?

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM.

A Lesson On Living (Not Dying)

“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”
(Psalm 118:17)

Death is inevitable. This reality strikes fear into most people’s hearts, but when you learn the lesson of this thing called life, it will bring you comfort. The truth is you cannot live to the fullest until you acknowledge your mortality. Then, and only then, can you start truly living.

God’s Word instructs us to number our days. When you consider the brevity of twenty-four hours, then you can begin to appreciate a week, a year, a decade and a generation. You must then ask yourself, what can I do with this allotment of time that God has granted me?

I visited in the hospital today with a friend who is on a heart transplant waiting list. Even though his body is weakened and frail, he is possibly more alive than he has ever been. His senses were heightened. Every word was chosen meticulously for the meaning he wanted to convey. No trivial conversation polluted his speech.

He’s living for today. This minute. This hour. This breath. And it’s enough, because he knows it’s all he’s promised. He doesn’t feel cheated, as it’s all any of us are promised. Right now. He has simply learned to appreciate the gift of now.

How can I make now worthwhile? What can I talk about that will bring value to this moment? What can I think about that will proliferate goodness into the gift of now? What eye contact can I make that will infuse depth into this conversation? Will they feel the gratitude that I am willing my flesh to convey in this embrace? These are the questions he is asking himself, and we should ask ourselves, while we are living.

His eyes follow his wife around the small hospital room with admiration as she organizes their lives. Forty years of til death do us part, and all they know for sure is they have this moment. They’ve said all the things, and tied up all the loose ends. All that’s left to do is love deeply and hope, “and hope maketh not ashamed…” (Romans 5:5)

My friend was surrounded with lines, and probes, and beeping things. He was also surrounded with books. Two stacks within touching distance, and one under his hand. Lifelines. Why does a man who isn’t promised tomorrow read books? Why does he give himself to learning and growing? Because he isn’t dying. He’s living.

Also within reach were prayer cloths. A multicolored stack, as varied as the people who sent them. Flimsy little scraps of material that shouted, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE! WE AGREE TOGETHER IN JESUS’ NAME THAT YOU ARE VICTORIOUS! YOU ARE NOT DYING! YOU ARE LIVING!” I could tell by the way he pulled them close and gave them a squeeze that he believes their message.

I knew he had figured it out, this thing called living, as he spoke about people. Family members, grandchildren, Church family, visiting ministers. This one called. That one said. Lord Jesus, bless them. The law of kindness was in his mouth, and thankfulness was in his eyes, as he spoke about the people. He’s learned that stuff and flesh are temporal, but souls are eternal.

The final way I knew he had decided to live, wasn’t in what I saw, but what I felt and heard. The witness of God’s Holy Spirit declared to everyone in the room, and spilled into the corridor with utterances assuring,

“LIFE is here!”

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.“ (Ezekiel 36:26)

Gray Hair. Don’t Care. (It’s My Birthday, After All;)

My fifty-first year was short, but mighty. It’s been my favorite so far. I did a lot of living, a lot of learning and a lot of loving in the past three hundred sixty-five days.
A LOT OF LIVING
January brought our fourteenth trip to Belize. We think of it as our home away from home. I climbed Mayan ruins for the fourteenth time, and saw the country through the fresh eyes of my youngest son and nephew.
In March, I conquered my fears, and pushed past preconceived notions, when I flew Etihad Air to the Middle East. In Oman, I trekked sand dunes, swam in the Indian Ocean, and ate the best food I have ever eaten in my life. I was mesmerized by the brilliant fabrics, frankincense wafting in the air, and the gorgeous doors of hospitality.
In the UAE, I took in Dubai from the bird’s eye view of the Bourj Kalifa.
I saw an indoor ski slope in a Dubai mall (AN INDOOR SKI SLOPE!!!), and stood in the hush under what must have been thousands of butterflies in the Butterfly Room.
Covered from head to toe, I toured the magnificent Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
June brought our thirtieth anniversary trip to Jamaica where I did nothing but soak up sun, sand and food. Oh, and I did meet a husband and wife, also on their anniversary trip, who had also recently visited Dubai. The big world is getting very small, indeed.
July took me to Trinidad where, at the lowest point of the Pitch Lake, I walked on a molten sea of tar, and at the highest vantage point of St. George Fort, I prayed a blessing over the country with outstretched hands.
August was my tour guide to Malaysia. Both Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur (via Hong Kong). I have yet to sort out my feelings from this trip, as there was so much of…everything. Sights, sounds, smells, people. So many people. No more space to spread out, so everything climbs up, up, up.
Besides traveling outside of the country, there were plenty of trips interspersed stateside to make most people dizzy. School of Missions in St. Louis, Missouri. Family vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama, Ladies Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,  Ministering in Tulsa, Oklahoma, UPCI General Conference in Kansas City, Missouri…I digress…
  A LOT OF LEARNING
I learned that people are people all over the world, and that God is God in every nook and cranny of it, as well.
I learned that no matter what language a person speaks, you can always communicate with a smile, a hug, or the squeeze of a hand.
I learned that people can tell you are sincere if you show respect and appreciation for their customs.
I learned that preconceived notions about people only breeds fear and hate.
I learned that these bodies we live in are fragile, yet they can be sturdy as nails when the need arises.
I learned to wear compression socks when I fly long distances.
I learned that eyes leak when hearts are longing to reconnect across datelines and timezones.
I learned that food poisoning makes you feel like you are dying, and wish you could, but then you don’t, and you are glad.
I learned that when you travel with friends, the journey is so much sweeter.
I learned that the work of God is bigger than me, and I will do just about anything to be a part of it.
A LOT OF LOVING
Husband, Children, Daughter-in-Love, Grandson, Twin Grandsons on the way, Men and Women of God, Family, Extended Family, Church Family, Community, Friends. Heart Connections. I love them all even more as I turn fifty-one than I did when I turned fifty.
So what if I’ve got more gray hair than I did last year. I’ve done a lot of living, learning and loving over the last three hundred sixty-five days to get it. Gray Hair. Don’t Care…It’s my birthday, after all;)

Sweet Little Hand In Mine

This morning at Church, while waiting for service to start, I snapped this sweet photo of mine and my grandson’s hands. The sweetness of the moment reminded me of a memory twenty-five years earlier.

My grandson’s daddy, my oldest child, was three, the age of my grandson now.

I was standing in the kitchen, holding his hand. My husband’s Great Aunt Edna was visiting.

She was a classy lady. Always well-dressed, hair fixed, nails manicured. Her home was full of polished antique furniture, draped with crocheted doilies. She brought out the good china for every day occasions, and no one would dare think of accidentally breaking a piece. Kids behaved in her presence because of the formality that she brought into a room with her.

If her appearance and carriage weren’t enough to cause you to take notice, when she spoke, everyone listened. With one sentence, it was apparent that she was a genteel, southern lady.

Aunt Edna saw me holding my son’s hand, and commented wisely, “Right now his little hand fits inside yours, but it won’t be long before yours will fit inside his.”

How right she was.

One day, when Logan was a teenager, he held my hand in his and said, “Look Mom, Aunt Edna was right.”

And so she was.

Through the years, a squeeze of our hands has always been an unspoken conversation between us. Now that my boy has his own boy, those old memories carry an extra sweetness.

As I looked at my grandson’s hand on mine this morning, I was thankful.

Thankful that Aunt Edna spoke a word into my life all those years ago that would cause me to value time with my children.

Thankful that even though they are grown, they were all raised in Church.

Thankful that through the crazy busyness of our lives, we somehow made the time to instill into our kids that God comes first, and Church is a priority, not just something we add on to our lives.

Thankful that all my family was in Church together on the last service of the year.

Thankful that all my children and daughter-in-love are used in the ministry.

Thankful that my three year old grandson loves to raise his hands and worship Jesus.

I’m thankful that men and women of God are my children’s heroes. Click To Tweet

Ma’am, Sir, as the old year rolls up like a scroll that has been read, and the new year is spread out like a blank page, I urge you to take your children’s and grandchildren’s hands in yours.

Three or forty-three, no matter.

Give them a squeeze. Study them carefully. They won’t look like that next year, or in ten years, or in twenty.

Show them by example how to reach high in worship, how to locate the books of the Bible, how to play an instrument in praise, how to clean the Church house.

Time is no respecter of persons. When those youthful hands are wrinkled with age, they’ll be glad someone taught them what is most important.

Trust me.

Warm Regards, -Pat

Seasons Change, So Don’t Be Afraid Of What’s Around The Corner

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

This time of the year always makes me a bit wistful, like something is slipping through my fingers that I want to grasp and hold tightly to. Beach sand. Warm breezes. An incomplete thought. Relationships.

This unsettledness seems to be brought on by two things. One is the crisp morning air. I can look out the window and see the horse and cows lift their faces in the morning coolness, breathing it in. Even they know change is coming.

The second is my hummingbird feeder. In the middle of summer, it is the center of much activity. Once the weather starts to cool, it hangs idle. I leave nectar in it longer than most, because you never know when a lone traveler will need energy for her journey. But sooner or later, all my beautiful jeweled hummers leave for warmer places.

It reminds me of a time in my life about twenty-five years ago. We were living in Birmingham, Alabama, and were very active in the Church there. There was a young man in the Church who was from Florida, but was attending college in Birmingham. He spent a lot of time in our home. Everyone who ever met him, loved him. When it came time for his graduation, and for him to move back home, I was so distraught that I could hardly stand it. I just couldn’t bear the thought of him not being in our day to day lives.

Fast forward a quarter of a century…Our family is now very involved with the Global Missions department of the United Pentecostal Church International, something we could have never foreseen twenty-five years ago. My husband schedules Missionaries to be in Church services all over our state while they are traveling on deputation.

Would you believe that young man from our Birmingham days is now involved in the Associates In Missions program of the United Pentecostal Church?! This means that one day in the future, this man’s family will travel through our state on deputation and my husband is likely to be the one scheduling his services in our Churches. I am looking forward to catching up and enjoying with him the season of life he is in now.

As I’ve grown older and matured a little, I’ve realized that not everyone that God brings into my life is going to be a permanent fixture. We must allow people to follow the path God is leading them down. There are seasons in each of our lives. Often, those seasons overlap, and occasionally diverge.

We must allow people to follow the path God is leading them down. Click To Tweet

People come and go in our lives for many reasons. Schooling, jobs, illness, vacations, military, dreams, passions, travels, bad decisions, good decisions, death and endless other reasons that we often have no control over.

Just remember, life and relationships are a series of changing seasons. Whoever God has placed in your life during this season of time, be a true friend to them. Cherish them. Add value to their lives. Then, when a season of change is in the air, don’t hold on so tightly that you, nor they, can enjoy what is right around the corner.

Life is a series of changing seasons. Click To Tweet

INVITATION FOR FEEDBACK

  • Have you ever been afraid of change?
  • Do you or someone you love feel the need to control every aspect of a relationship?
  • Have you ever held on so tightly that a relationship was damaged?
  • How has God taught you to trust Him through changing seasons?
  • Has God ever restored a relationship that you thought was lost?

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, subscribe to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM.

 

 

How To Get Back Up After Failing God…Again

“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7:8)

I have loved this verse of scripture from the first time that I heard it preached. It gives such a sense of power and determination to get up and keep fighting the good fight.

THE CRUCIAL TEN SECONDS
The execution of getting up isn’t always as easy as it seems, however. When a fighter has been knocked down, there is a time limit involved. He only has a short ten seconds to get back up on his feet and show the referee that he is fit to continue fighting. If he fails to get up, he is “down for the count,” and the fight is over. His opponent wins.

GET UP QUICK!
The key to winning, both naturally and spirituality, is in learning to get up quick. The devil knows every second that he can keep you down makes you more likely to stay down. Moments turn into days, days into weeks, and weeks into years.

It sounds easy enough. Just get back up. But if you have ever failed God, you know it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is a mental process that begins the moment you realize you have failed God. It is the same thing that happened in Adam & Eve’s minds that caused them to hide themselves from His Presence.

“What’s the use? I might as well stay down.”

Do these thoughts sound familiar? Guilt, shame and embarrassment are overwhelming. Even though these feelings are necessary for true repentance, there must be a PROCESS to get from guilt to victory.

“I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” (Micah 7:9)

CONDEMNATION VERSES CONVICTION
Satan will do anything within his power to keep you under condemnation. Jesus will always bring you under conviction. They both feel terrible, so what’s the difference?

-Condemnation is a destination that offers hopelessness.
-Conviction is a starting point that promises restoration
.

Condemnation is a destination. Conviction is a starting point. Click To Tweet

If Satan has his way, he will keep you in the place of wretched condemnation forever. How does that feel? Like you are hopeless, without options, and there’s no use trying to move forward.

Jesus will continue to reach out to you through conviction. How does that feel? Like a breath of air to a dying soul. Like your heart will explode in your chest if you don’t try to move forward.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

1st Step: TRUE REPENTANCE
The purpose of conviction is to bring people to repentance. True repentance is accompanied by godly sorrow, which is followed by a change of course, whether in thought, word or action. People often say they have repented of their sins without changing any of their actions. Repentance without godly sorrow and a course correction is no repentance at all.

2nd Step: ACCEPT FORGIVENESS
If you have truly repented of your sins, then you must accept Jesus’ forgiveness. This shouldn’t be difficult, but it often is. This is the point that so many get stuck and never come back to God. The anguish of knowing that we failed Him and our sense of unworthiness keeps us from reaching out and taking the forgiveness that He so willingly offers. Walking by faith involves accepting forgiveness.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

3rd Step: WALK SOFTLY
Everyone is susceptible to failure, so it behooves us to walk softly before God. We should never get to a place in our spiritual walk that we feel like we can’t fall. We should spend more time looking inward at ourselves, rather than outward at others.

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

4th Step: SET BOUNDARIES
It is astounding how many people fall into the same sinful habits again and again. Don’t be one of those people. Redeem your failures. Make them count for something. Take mental notes of what triggered the failure, and set boundaries to protect yourself from future temptation.

IN CONCLUSION: Every fighter gets knocked down at some point. Every Christian falls short in his walk with God at some point. This is in no way a license to sin. God forbid. It is simply an acknowledgment that we live in flesh, and are in a continuing fight. If you have found yourself in a place of failure, begin this process now to get from guilt to victory:

-Repent with godly sorrow and a course correction.
-Accept forgiveness.
-Walk softly before God and your fellow man.
-Set boundaries.
-Get up quick!

Warm Regards,
-Pat Vick

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and email me Pat@PATVICK.COM

Lies Suicide Will Tell You

There is an enemy among us. She has crept in with subtlety. Into our homes, into our schools, into our workplaces, and even into our churches. She has begun to tear away the very fabric of our society by devaluing the gift of life, itself. She has worked quietly and purposefully while we have looked the other way. She has filled the minds of our loved ones with lies as they go silently about their days. We must expose SUICIDE for the liar she is.

LIE #1: No One Loves You.

The Truth is there are a lot of people who love you. You have family members and friends who love you. You may not understand one another, or have an easy time communicating. Even if your relationships are on rocky ground because of misunderstandings or hurtful words and actions, that doesn’t diminish their love for you.

Furthermore, and most importantly, God loves you. The Creator of the universe was manifest in the flesh as the man, Jesus Christ. He was born, lived, suffered, died for your sins, and rose victorious because He loves you. Yes, He did it to offer all of humanity a way of salvation…but if there had been no other people to save, He would have done it just for you. He loves you that much.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

LIE #2: You Are All Alone.

The Truth is you have family, friends, church congregations, and a community that cares about you. There are people all around you that care how you feel, and want you to be okay. Many of them are people you have never met or gotten to know yet. It may be difficult and embarrassing, but please reach out to someone around you. If that person doesn’t take you seriously, reach out to another person. They might not be equipped to help you themselves, but they can point you to someone who can.

Even beyond all of these is Jesus. People will fail us, but God never will. Be filled with His Spirit as the scripture says, and you will truly never be alone.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:17-18)

LIE #3: They’ll Be Better Off Without You.

The Truth is suicide is the most hurtful thing you could ever do to your family, friends, church family and community. They would NEVER get over it. They would NEVER recover from losing you. They would think of their loss EVERY DAY for the rest of their lives. Even rare joyful days would leave them wondering how you might have enjoyed it. Your death would impose a life sentence of sorrow on those you love the most.

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:” (1 Corinthians 12:18-22)

LIE #4: Death Is The Only Way Out.

The Truth is Jesus has a plan for your life, and if you walk in His ways, He will guide you through your problems. That doesn’t mean life won’t be difficult or painful. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have to suffer repercussions for your actions. It doesn’t mean you won’t have to endure hardship. What it DOES mean is that you will never be alone, and if you will be attentive to God’s Word and Spirit, He will lead you the best path through your circumstances.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

LIE #5: Death Is Like Falling Asleep.

The Truth is death is more like waking up. There is no long night of peaceful slumber after you die. There are no sweet dreams after death. Your body may rest in the ground, but your soul (the part of you that thinks, knows and is aware) awakes immediately to eternal reality.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

LIE #6: Your body is yours.

The Truth is your body is on loan from God, its Creator. It is the very first thing He entrusted to your care, and He expects you keep it in good repair and use it for His glory.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

LIE #7: You can finally have peace.

The Truth is there is no peace outside of God’s will. He created you to be filled with His Spirit, live according to His Word, and be beneficial to His Kingdom. Living for Jesus brings true peace.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

LIE #8: Suicide Is Your Friend.

The Truth is Suicide is the enemy of your soul. It is of the devil. It comes only to steal, kill and destroy your mind, your body, your soul, your hope and your future. Living for Jesus brings life.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

LIE #9: God will forgive you.

The Truth is that God is a God of mercy, but He is also a God of judgment. His Word assures us that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins if we repent. However, you cannot repent of suicide. Once it is done, it cannot be undone. Nor can you repent and ask the Lord to forgive you for what you are going to do. That is not true repentance, and will not be accepted as such by God.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-29)

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30)

LIE #10: Suicide Is Your Idea.

The Truth is suicide is a spirit. It is unholy. It roams the earth in search of hopeless people to seduce into following it into the lake of fire, which is its eternal judgement. This ungodly spirit cannot force you to do anything, but it uses the power of suggestion, lies and every negative emotion to persuade you into harming yourself. If you are having thoughts of suicide, I assure you, it is not your idea.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

LIE #11: You shouldn’t say anything.

The Truth is keeping you silent is the biggest deception of all. As long as you are silent, the lies suicide tells you are all you can hear.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

~~~~~~~

*** I am not a counselor; nor am I a medical professional. I am simply someone who loves you, and wants God’s best for you. If you are toying with the idea of suicide, I beg you to reach out to someone.

!!!FOR HELP!!! Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255                                   or follow this link to the SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE WEBSITE.

Follow this link to LOCATE A MINISTER who will pray with you..

Other choices include a Pastor, Counselor, Teacher, Coach, Friend or Family Member. There are people who care. Make them understand you are in trouble. Let them point you in the right direction.

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM.

Choosing To Live In The Face Of Terror On 9/11

Anyone who knows my husband and me very well, knows that in recent months we have ramped up our travels out of the country doing Missions work. Today, in light of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, I will answer the question that people have begun to ask me on a regular basis, “Aren’t you afraid to travel so far?”  The answer to that question is, “Yes, sometimes I am.”

FEAR ISN’T ALWAYS BAD
That being said, fear isn’t always a bad thing. It actually causes you to live your life on purpose. Fear is only bad when it paralyzes you from living. Healthy fear should cause you to keep your head up and your senses alert to make wise choices. It causes you to take inventory of your life, and make sure it is filled with worthwhile endeavors. Living fully for God, and working for His Kingdom, are definitely worth a calculated risk.

King David declared in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”

DEATH IS UNAVOIDABLE
I have a newsflash for you: Everyone dies. We had just lost a close family member when I turned to my oldest son, looked him square in the eyes, and spoke these words. They washed over him the same way they just washed over you -thick, cold and sticky. I don’t regret saying them. I wanted him to know he only has one life, and it needs to be spent wisely.

THE TROUBLE WITH PLAYING IT SAFE
Here’s another newsflash for you: Living in certain safety doesn’t keep you from dying; It only keeps you from living. I choose to think of my life as currency. It’s going to be spent on something. That something might as well be eternal.

Living in certain safety doesn't keep you from dying; It only keeps you from living. Click To Tweet

NOT A LICENSE FOR FOOLISH LIVING
Healthy fear should cause you to move cautiously, not foolishly, forward. People that are running from God live foolishly. Taking crazy chances with your life is not using wisdom. Living strung out on whatever new and exciting high is just around the corner doesn’t bring glory to God. Get yourself under control and live with eternity in mind!

FEAR VERSUS TERROR
On September 11th, 2001, weak and foolish people attacked our country. They spent their lives in one swift payment to induce a state of terror upon their perceived enemies.

I’ll admit that in the wake of those events, I was panicked. Then I was numb. Then I was angry. After a while, I realized I wasn’t really living anymore. I was paralyzed by my fear…just like the terrorists wanted all along. It’s what they spent themselves for. One day I decided to send all that terror back for a refund. I refuse to give them what they paid for.

HONOR WHERE HONOR IS DUE
Who do you want to honor with your life? Terrorists? When you allow yourself to live in terror, that’s who gets the honor. Do you want to honor the victims? Our military? Our first responders? God? That won’t be done by hunkering down in a quivering puddle and refusing to live your life.

Are there more bad guys? Affirmative. Could something really bad happen again? Absolutely. Do bad things happen to good people? Unfortunately so.

When I’m tempted to allow my fear to paralyze me, I remind myself of the text that my friend in the Middle East sent me the night before I flew.

“Pat, I want to thank you for conquering your fear and getting on that plane…”

Because we got on that plane in the face of our fear, thirty-three people received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost for the first time. Most, if not all, of those thirty-three people have now been baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of their sins. Thirty-three faces that I will see in Heaven when my life is spent.

Lest you think I am promoting self, and are tempted to say, “God could have done that without you,”…Yes, but He chooses to use people.

So, today, in light of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, I will not cower and give place to terror. Instead, I choose to live fully and on purpose for the glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom.

I will leave you with one of my very favorite quotes:

Safety is not in the absence of danger, but in the presence of the Lord.” -Unknown

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and email me: Pat@PATVICK.COM

 

Too Big

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

One evening, when my middle child was fifteen, he came up the basement stairs at a fast clip, very excited about something he had just seen. It seems he was shooting ball when he spotted a slim stream of ants coming from a small crevice beside the concrete court. The exodus was getting wider and longer. Going where? On a whim, he followed the little soldiers, and followed…and followed…

He told me how they marched on and on, making grand detours for no apparent reason, until they disappeared en masse into a miniature canyon in the field behind our house. He was so animated that I decided to see for myself.

He showed me where the small battalion trickled from the crack, and together we weaved in and out, round and round, to where thousands, perhaps millions, were vanishing beneath the earth. As we backtracked toward the house, I picked up a small stick and put it in their path. It was if they hardly even noticed the obstacle. We bent down so close that they should have felt our breath as we tried to corral them with the stick, and yet, they just kept on their detour-ridden journey.

In amazement, I said to my son, “We’re too big. They can’t even see us.”

There was a time when God was too big for us to see. Immense. Infinite. Immeasurable. He watched us on our hopeless journey, knowing that we were making it much more arduous than necessary. He intervened in the lives of mankind time after time, often coming so close that we should have felt His Breath through prophets, angels and theophanies.

Still, He remained too big for us to perceive, until the day that He became small. God became man. Suddenly, Visible. Tangible. Knowable.

If I could have stepped into that miniature world and taken on the form of an ant, they could have seen me. They could have perceived me. They could have come to know, trust and even love me. They could have understood I was working for their good.

But why would I do such a thing? Unimaginable. Unthinkable. Inconceivable. Yet, exactly what our omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Creator did when…

God became small for me. (1 Timothy 3:16) Click To Tweet

Warm Regards, -Pat

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