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Author Topic:   Encouragement From A Believers Perspective
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12974
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1 of 37 (808173)
05-03-2017 10:11 AM


Two Bible Studies on fear and trust
As a Christian, I am encouraged many ways and am told many things by fellow believers...some good wisdom and some not so good. From a believers perspective, A peaceful, successful, and mentally healthy life can not be gained solely through secular psychology---we need our belief and the stories that come with it.

Here at EvC, I have spent many years attempting to support the belief which I was taught---often to no avail.

I believe that God(Creator of all seen and unseen rather than storybook characters invented by humans) desires to communicate wisdom and encourage us as we learn how to live in this world. Critics often point to evidence and the lack thereof. It can be frustrating going around and around and getting nowhere---as if the merry-go-round never stops where I want it to stop.

What prompted me to start this new thread was a message shared with me on facebook. People whom I would consider solid Bible students send a message every day at this site, and I respect the wisdom that is gleaned from the Bible stories...admittedly because what is said is agreeable to my personal belief and expresses what to me anyway is an obvious extrapolation of the truth found in the story. I thought I would share his message today to start off this topic and get opinions and feedback from the loyal EvC peanut gallery. We Christians here at EvC are a Motley Crew--we rarely even agree with each other much except as regards to the living truth spoken of in the Bible. Only jar among us disagrees even with that. Anyway, let's get on with this.......

Here was one message:

DEAD BUT STILL DEADLY writes:

The epic tale of David and Goliath is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. On one side of the Valley of Elah stands the Philistine army, with their nine-foot-tall champion named Goliath. On the other side of valley stands the Israelite army, cowering in fear under the leadership of their king named Saul. For forty days Goliath has been taunting the Israelites and holding them in the grip of fear. Day after day he has been challenging them to send out one soldier to face him man to man. But so far, nobody has volunteered.

Perhaps you can relate to the plight of the Israelites. Some kind of giant is standing before you, taunting you, harassing you, and insulting you. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s anger. Maybe it’s a feeling of rejection. Maybe it’s the sneaky but all-too-familiar giant of comfort that compels you to live for something lesser. It might even be an addiction.

Whatever this giant is in your life, day after day it has been robbing you of power. You’ve tried to stop the taunts, but you feel immobilized. Held back. Paralyzed from moving forward. Ultimately, you know you’re not living the fullness and freedom of life that God intends for you.

The good news is that God has made a way for these giants to fall. It starts with believing that even though the giant you’re battling might be big, it’s not bigger than Jesus. In fact, He has already defeated the giants in your life. When He came to this earth, He endured hell for you on the cross and rose from the grave so you could shake off the prospect of a doomed life. He came to set you free from the giants who rise up against you and hold you paralyzed in fear.

Jesus has already overcome the enemy. However, as we read in 1 Peter 5:8, the devil still “prowls around . . . looking for someone to devour.” In many ways, he is like a snake with its head cut off. When you kill a snake, you have to be sure to bury its head, because even after death the serpent holds a lethal dose of venom in its fangs. If you step on a dead snake’s head, you can still get poisoned. In the same way, even though Jesus broke the power of Satan at the cross, he can still inject his deadly poison into our lives. He is dead but still deadly.

The goal then, as we will discuss in this study, is not to step on the snake’s head. In practical terms, this means resisting the devil (see James 4:7), equipping the defenses Jesus has provided (see Ephesians 6:10–18), and leaning into his sufficiency (see Proverbs 3:5). It means remembering that he is your David in the story—and you can never bring down giants through your own courage, willpower, or efforts. It’s always Jesus who brings the giant down.

If you truly want to see victory over the giants in your life, you need to understand your dependency on the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Victory is all about trusting in Christ and not about trying to succeed. To take the first step against your dead-but-still-deadly enemy, you’ve got to make this paradigm shift in your mind. Christ is the only force that brings change.

Here is today's additional segment:

When you read the story of David and Goliath in the Bible, one of the first things you notice is that the Israelite army was “dismayed and terrified” of the giant (1 Samuel 17:11). Goliath started each day with taunts and ended each day with taunts. As time went by, all that demoralizing and diminishing had an effect on the Israelites. They began to believe in spite of their best efforts, something undesirable was going to happen to them . . . their defeat.

This is basically the definition of fear—the belief that something is out there that is going to get you that you can’t do anything to stop. This fear can manifest itself in many different ways—anxiety, nervousness, worry, stress, dread, hopelessness, panic, to name a few—and can spring up in your life from a variety of sources. Perhaps you experience fear as a result of the environment in which you were raised. Maybe your family treated life like one big threat that never diminished. At any minute, something could go wrong . . . and it probably would.

Or perhaps you experience fear as a result of trying to conceal mistakes and imperfections in your life. You are ashamed of something you’ve done in the past, and you worry that one day it will be made public and brought to light. Or perhaps you experience fear as a result of trying to control too many things in your life. You’ve realized that most things in life are out of your control, and this makes you fearful about what will happen in the future.

The giant of fear can get a foothold in your life and begin to dominate you. It can demoralize you and ultimately diminish God’s glory in your life. It can chew away at your life, erode your sense of confidence, rob you of sleep, blind you, and steal your praise to God. Fear is a relentless giant. And it is one that must fall through the power of Jesus.

The solution to facing the giant of fear is not determination but faith in Jesus. It isn’t so much saying, “Fear, go away,” but confessing, “I have confidence that Jesus is bigger than this giant and has already defeated it.” In Romans 10:17, Paul states, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). When you see and hear God in and through his Word, the Word allows you to see and hear that He is bigger than your giant. That builds up your faith, and your faith, in turn, becomes the stone that shuts up the giant that’s already defeated.

So today, identify the source of your fear and place it in the hands of Jesus. Remind yourself that with God all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26) and he is able to overcome this giant. Remember that Jesus has promised to always be with you (see Hebrews 13:5). Name what is keeping you up at night, and then offload those cares to the One who has promised to care for you (see 1 Peter 5:7). Then fill your mouth with praise because you see God’s might.. recognize his love for you, and know that he will always come through. His mercy will never fail (see Lamentations 3:22).

As you do this, even though the cause of your fear may not be removed, you will be actively relegating fear to its proper place: into the hands of Christ.

The opposite of fear isn’t courage but faith. What does faith in Jesus involve when you’re up against the giant of fear? What do you need to believe? What do you need to do?

What helps you become convinced that God is bigger than your fears and has overcome whatever you fear?

What role do praise and worship have in dealing with fear? Why are they so important?

Both of these studies are based on what is seen among the so-called "clubs" of Christianity as being quite unanimously common. Only jars interpretations of scripture disagree widely with most of the club interpretations. To his credit, he can support and back up much of his argument...but the main difference remains and that is why we have division among the believers.

In this topic, I wish to discuss what I have shared and why it is or is not "good advice".

Faith & Belief, please.

Edited by Phat, : fixed quote

Edited by Phat, : more specific

Edited by Phat, : editing

Edited by Phat, : Title


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Tangle, posted 05-09-2017 4:49 AM Thugpreacha has responded
 Message 9 by Stile, posted 05-09-2017 9:19 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12974
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 5 of 37 (808197)
05-09-2017 2:23 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by LamarkNewAge
05-09-2017 12:38 AM


Re: I think most fundamentalists have read a similar devotional.
There seems to be an obsession with conquering "fear " among almost every fundi I have ever talked to.
We are taught that faith is the antidote to fear. Faith is the opposite. Every angel that ever showed up usually began their announcement with "fear not"...

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by LamarkNewAge, posted 05-09-2017 12:38 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Davidjay, posted 05-09-2017 9:05 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12974
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 18 of 37 (820471)
09-21-2017 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Tangle
05-09-2017 4:49 AM


From "A Tension Of Faith"
In another topic, you commented to percy
...it's more important that those who believe in these things actually justify what they believe and the justification is not in the bible stories, it's in the logic of their belief in them. eg how can you believe in a loving god that condemns 90% of all humanity to everlasting torture for something a distant parent allegedly did?
You do have a valid point that few believers share rationale for what they believe or why they believe it.

In this thread, you also commented when I stated that A peaceful, successful, and mentally healthy life can not be gained solely through secular psychology---we need our belief and the stories that come with it.

Tangle writes:

The problem you have Phat is that your premise is just wrong. Billions of people lead content and happy lives without the prop of an imaginary god looking afetr them. I'm one of them.

You live in your own bubble and can't imagine how people outside it live. Western Europe is mostly secular you know. Scandinavia is 80% atheist but has the happiest countries in the world. Relieving yourself from the obvious burden of your conflicting religious beliefs would do you a power of good.

You claim that believers are becoming a dwindling minority and will soon be such, but I estimate that your prognosis is quite a long way off. Rationality can still be hopefully discussed between us, however.

Lets take this most recent hurricane, Maria. It devastated Puerto Rico, and a local mayor commented:

quote:
As the storm's intense winds and high storm surge wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico yesterday, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz called for help from the mainland U.S., saying, "The Puerto Rico and San Juan we knew yesterday is no longer there."

It is that bad," she said. "I mean, there is devastation. People with wooden houses are no longer there. And all of the forests and palm trees — they're not there. It's bare soil. It is devastating, and I hope we can recover soon."


To me, you have illogical assumptions about God---and resort to the Bible to rest your case---even though you tell Percy that a believer shouldn't believe based on the stories but on logic, reason, and reality.

As a believer, I can assure you that many people prayed during that hurricane. They never saw the hurricane as an act of God...chiefly because most of the believers I know believe that God desires what is best for humans and is not vindicative. A hurricane is simply an act of the weather on the planet on which we all live. I believe that God is not out to punish atheists for not believing and understands you much better than you could even conceive of Him, Her, or It.

My point regarding the hurricane is that many people prayed---and whether or not their prayers fell upon a void or not is irrelevant. It gave them comfort in something they believe to be greater than themselves...something apart from the hurricane that also was greater than they and which smashed their world into rubble.

Tangle writes:

Billions of people lead content and happy lives without the prop of an imaginary god looking after them.

And nobody has to pray when their life suddenly becomes less content. We choose to pray.
tangle writes:

Relieving yourself from the obvious burden of your conflicting religious beliefs would do you a power of good.

Perhaps it did you a world of good, but not I.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Tangle, posted 05-09-2017 4:49 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by ringo, posted 09-21-2017 11:59 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded
 Message 20 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2017 1:42 PM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12974
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 27 of 37 (820585)
09-23-2017 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Tangle
09-23-2017 3:22 AM


Primitive Beliefs
Tangle writes:

What I'm saying is that people are dropping their primitive beliefs all across the modern world.

What makes a belief primitive? Are you saying that all unevidenced belief is primitive or are you saying that the books in religion need updating? Do you think that belief in general is daft?

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Tangle, posted 09-23-2017 3:22 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Tangle, posted 09-23-2017 3:40 PM Thugpreacha has responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12974
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 29 of 37 (820604)
09-24-2017 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Tangle
09-23-2017 3:40 PM


Re: Primitive Beliefs
For many years, religion kept the poor impoverished masses from revolting against the established wealthy and powerful. The more secular the world at large becomes, the better a possibility for mass revolution will occur.

You seem too sure that its all made up...though I will admit that much is.

thoughtCo writes:

While atheists can't typically deny that a person believes in some god, they can deny that believers have sufficient justification for their belief. Atheists may go further and deny that it is true that any gods exist, but even if it is true that something warranting the label "god" is out there, none of the reasons offered by theists justifies accepting their claims as true.

Would you agree with the above quote and suggest that I have no valid reasons to justify my beliefs as true?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Tangle, posted 09-23-2017 3:40 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Tangle, posted 09-24-2017 12:08 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12974
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 37 of 37 (850028)
03-28-2019 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Faith
09-21-2017 3:23 PM


Re: From "A Tension Of Faith"
I had a wild thing happen to me just this last week. First, some perspective: I was with a friend and I was sharing old audio tapes with him. (I make a diary...an audio diary, and sometimes I was with him when I made my sessions. )

He went out on the porch for a smoke break (no smoking in my house) and I continued thinking about the past. Suddenly a story reemerged in my mind...no doubt from the subconscious to the conscious. I want to share it with you in our private Great Debate thread.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Faith, posted 09-21-2017 3:23 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
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