"Could your crushing period really be your growth period? God is adamantly invested in developing us into something we would never be without His direct intervention. When we find ourselves broken, battered, beaten, and bruised by our circumstances, it is possible that the Master to whom we’re praying to resolve the problem is the very One who sanctioned it and is using it to accomplish some greater effect. Could this current period merely be God’s way of tending to the soil He has planted you in? Don’t curse the very moment that may just be your blessing.
Holy One: I now know You may be using this trying time to develop me and cultivate me into the product You desire me to become. Through my pain and discomfort, help me to rely on You and Your maturing process. I want to be what You desire of me. In Jesus’ name. Amen."
from Daily Readings from Crushing: 90 Devotions to Reveal How God Turns Pressure into Power by T. D. Jakes
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays
Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen
Are your thoughts holding you captive? I’ll never be good enough. Other people have better lives than I do. God couldn’t really love me. Jennie Allen knows what it’s like to swirl in a spiral of destructive thoughts, but she also knows we don’t have to stay stuck in toxic thinking patterns.
As she discovered in her own life, God built a way for us to escape that downward spiral. Freedom comes when we refuse to be victims to our thoughts and realize we have already been equipped with power from God to fight and win the war for our minds.
In Get Out of Your Head, Jennie inspires and equips us to transform our emotions, our outlook, and even our circumstances by taking control of our thoughts. Our enemy is determined to get in our heads to make us feel helpless, overwhelmed, and incapable of making a difference for the kingdom of God. But when we submit our minds to Christ, the promises and goodness of God flood our lives in remarkable ways.
It starts in your head. And from there, the possibilities are endless.
Simple Unplugging | Ransomed Heart Podcast | John Eldredge
To celebrate the release of John Eldridge's new book, Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices For a World Gone Mad, this series reveals everyday practices to care for your soul in a world gone mad. Part 1 begins with a look at technology's assault on our attention.
Of course I sympathize with all your trials. The only thing I can do is pray that God will comfort you. You really need the Spirit of God to give you strength in your trials. His spirit will hold back the overpowering nature of your natural strength. It is natural to want to defend yourself against the problems you now face. But do not fight them with your own strength.
As far as the letter regarding your birth, I think you should give it to God. Ask for God's mercy on the one who wants to hurt you. I have always sensed that you were sensitive about this point.
God always attacks you on your weak side. You do not try to kill someone by hitting him where he is the strongest. You must aim for his vital organs: the seat of his life. When God aims to kill your old self-nature. He touches the tender-est spot—the spot full of life! This is why he gives you the kinds of trials that He does.
Allow yourself to be humbled. If you are silent and peaceful when humiliating things happen to you, you will grow in grace. I realize that you will be tempted to defend yourself for a thousand different reasons. But it is far better to be humbly silent. Humility that can still talk needs to be carefully watched. You will comfort yourself too much when you speak out.
Don't be so upset when things are said about you. Let the world talk; just seek to do the will of God. You will never be able to entirely satisfy people and it isn't worth the painful effort. Silent peace and sweet fellowship with God will repay you for every evil word spoken against you. Love your neighbor without expecting his friendship. People will come and go—let them do as they please. See only God. He is the One that afflicts or comforts you through people and circumstances. He does this for your benefit.
~Francois Fénelon (1651–1715)