Spiritual Union

Grumbling to Gratitude

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Prayer, Persistence, Patience, Deliverance, Trust

11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

In this sinful, fallen world, it can often be difficult to see the positives in your life. I, for one, when life knocks me down, sometimes look at worldly disappoints and find myself feeling hopeless and defeated. I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full kind of guy, but it is not always easy.

For a while now, I have felt flustered and sometimes in a panic. 2021 has been kind to me but at the same time there have been moments that have really knocked me down and I am not proud of how I have responded to those moments. The morning wake-up calls from my alarm on my phone has seemed even more shrill than usual, sending the low-grade headaches I’ve been nursing into full-on migraine status. I open the shower door, take a deep breath and sigh because the day ahead already feels like it’s going to be tough.

I grumpily make my way to the kitchen to brew the first of many much-needed cups of coffee. I take another deep breath as I head back to my home office, saying a quick, silent prayer that everyone else would wake up on the right side of the bed.

In the grand scheme of things, most mornings aren’t horrible. Nothing major goes wrong, but nothing goes particularly right, either, and I sometimes do not feel anything like my normally positive self.

Sometimes those not-quite-right days can be even trickier than times of full-on crisis because we are not technically supposed to be grumbling or complaining over such trivial things. Let’s face it, no one is sending flowers or handing out casseroles to comfort you.

I feel the old familiar sting of conviction in Philippians 2:14-15 when we’re told to “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” (NIV)

God has blessed me abundantly. I’m certain it’s frustrating to Him when I complain, just like it’s frustrating to me when someone complains to me (or how I don’t feel any better if I complain).

Misery loves company. And if I grumble my way throughout the day, my attitude would have be picked up by others that interact with me.

We must decide each morning to rise above the annoyances. I’d much rather “shine like stars in the sky” than gather others to stand under my own personal cloud.

Isaiah 58:11 says, “The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

Guide you always?

Satisfy your needs in sun-scorched places?

Be like a well-watered garden?

Yes, please!

If I’m feeling parched, I can imagine that my family, my friends and my co-workers might be, too. But rather than fostering a dreary drought, I can consciously choose to lift others by rising above my own trivial complaints.

What wonderful news that the Lord is with us during days of crisis as well as the mediocre days filled with mundane tasks amd migraines. Remembering this grace in our weakness easily becomes a shining moment for God’s heavenly strength.

God never promised us smooth sailing, but He does promise that He will be right there beside us, restoring us and urging us onward. He is there to fill us up so we can continue to fill others.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to accept both life’s little challenges and Your restoring help with grace and gratitude. Help me remember that no problem is too large or too small for me to call out to You. Please help me remember that a heart can be filled in with joy every day, not just the easy days. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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He promises to be our refuge and strength.

David goes on in Psalm 10 and says…

His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;     he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor;he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net. 10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

The ungodly are compared to a preying lion.  They prey on the weak, helpless and poor.

And David questions again…

  • Has God forgotten?
  • Is God hiding?
  • Does he see all of this pain that is happening?
  • Why is God not stopping it?

Oh I have been there! Many many times I have been there. I am there now.


Where are you God? My life is a mess!
I have wondered these same thoughts and I love David’s example to us.

Where does he go with his questions?

  — He goes straight to God.

Where should we go with our questions? 

 — Straight to God.

In the final 7 verses of Psalm 10 – David gives a call to action.

Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted 13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.16 The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land.17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear 18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

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It is a great privilege that we can go to the God of the universe in prayer – do not miss this!!  He loves us and wants us to cry out to him. He wants to comfort us and help us.

We may not always understand God’s ways but we can go to God’s throne and say – God – don’t forget about me! Help me! Protect me!

In difficult times, I have asked God to intervene and in that moment – it has not felt like God intervened.  But who knows what he has protected me from – perhaps things could have been ten times worse than they were and I will never know it.  God has protected me and brought me through every trial I have ever faced.  He is faithful!

Are you facing the impossible?  Or maybe struggling with anxiety about something that feels impossible?  That roadblock in front of you may not disappear with one prayer.  But this I can assure you of…

God is not hiding from you.

God does hear your prayers.

And God loves you.

So keep on talking to God about it!

While we may not like the hard circumstances we are stuck in – we can have hope. A day will come when there will be no more tears and no more pain.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:4)

Pray Pray Pray

Prayer is the most powerful weapon, the most powerful connection you have with the Father. Pray through your journey and you will succeed.

James 5:15-16 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Rejoice in your sufferings

Romans 5:3-5 – More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Everyone in this world will experience trials and tribulations. God knows that we can become stronger through conflict. God’s ultimate love is our redemption from the suffering we experience as we navigate through the difficult times in our lives. Our moment of rejoicing comes when we realise that no matter how bad our lives are, there is always hope and a chance for a new life. God’s love is always there and we can find hope, courage and strength through a relationship with our Lord.

I must learn to trust God is control. I must listen to His voice for guidance and then obey Him.

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God’s not listening?

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Maybe you are waiting on a prayer to be answered, a baby to be conceived, a problem to be resolved, a chance to be promoted or a debt to be paid off.

Are you in a season of waiting? Do you feel like God’s not listening or not doing anything about your prayers.

I know I do. That’s the season I’m in.

I don’t know what you are waiting for – but this I know – during your season of waiting…

God has not forgotten you.

David was anointed King around the age of 15 but he did not take the throne until he was 30!  And during that waiting period David faced a lot of hardship.  I’m sure there were days that David felt forgotten by God.

I sit and reflect on the messes in my life and wonder where God is.  The hope of God swooping in and fixing certain problems – which I know he can do – does not always happen.

I know that I am not alone and that God is always with me.  But look at David’s words in Psalm 10 verse 1.  David says:

Why O Lord, do you stand far away?Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

David not only felt like God was distant but he felt like God was intentionally hiding himself.

Friends, if you have felt this feeling before – it can be intensely painful.

In times of loss, death, divorce, depression, a lackluster feeling toward life and other life struggles even the strongest believer is forced to ask God – where are you in this?

In Psalm 10 – David goes on to write…

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”


David describes those who are oppressing him as arrogant, wicked, boastful, and greedy.  In their scheming they say “There is no God.”

They don’t think they will ever get caught and David feels like what’s happening!  Read on in Psalm 10:

His ways prosper at all times;your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his foes, he puffs at them.He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”

This Psalm is as true today as it was when it was written.  Often times it seems that the ungodly are prosperous and nothing is stopping them. But they have a false sense of security. They think they are invincible but they are wrong.

We may look at the success of those who do not honor God and feel frustrated.  We may wonder why they seem to have it so easy while we struggle through hard things.

But God does not promise to remove the troubles of the righteous but rather he promises to help us in times of trouble.

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He promises to be our refuge and strength.

David goes on in Psalm 10 and says…

His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;     he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor;he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net. 10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

The ungodly are compared to a preying lion.  They prey on the weak, helpless and poor.

And David questions again…

  • Has God forgotten?
  • Is God hiding?
  • Does he see all of this pain that is happening?
  • Why is God not stopping it?

Oh I have been there! Many many times I have been there. I am there now.


Where are you God? My life is a mess!
I have wondered these same thoughts and I love David’s example to us.

Where does he go with his questions?

  — He goes straight to God.

Where should we go with our questions? 

 — Straight to God.

In the final 7 verses of Psalm 10 – David gives a call to action.

Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted 13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.16 The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land.17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear 18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

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It is a great privilege that we can go to the God of the universe in prayer – do not miss this!!  He loves us and wants us to cry out to him. He wants to comfort us and help us.

We may not always understand God’s ways but we can go to God’s throne and say – God – don’t forget about me! Help me! Protect me!

In difficult times, I have asked God to intervene and in that moment – it has not felt like God intervened.  But who knows what he has protected me from – perhaps things could have been ten times worse than they were and I will never know it.  God has protected me and brought me through every trial I have ever faced.  He is faithful!

Are you facing the impossible?  Or maybe struggling with anxiety about something that feels impossible?  That roadblock in front of you may not disappear with one prayer.  But this I can assure you of…

God is not hiding from you.

God does hear your prayers.

And God loves you.

So keep on talking to God about it!

While we may not like the hard circumstances we are stuck in – we can have hope. A day will come when there will be no more tears and no more pain.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:4)

Pray Pray Pray

Prayer is the most powerful weapon, the most powerful connection you have with the Father. Pray through your journey and you will succeed.

James 5:15-16 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Rejoice in your sufferings

Romans 5:3-5 – More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Everyone in this world will experience trials and tribulations. God knows that we can become stronger through conflict. God’s ultimate love is our redemption from the suffering we experience as we navigate through the difficult times in our lives. Our moment of rejoicing comes when we realise that no matter how bad our lives are, there is always hope and a chance for a new life. God’s love is always there and we can find hope, courage and strength through a relationship with our Lord.

I must learn to trust God is control. I must listen to His voice for guidance and then obey Him.

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Breaking Addiction

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Addiction is a serious, chronic disease with far-reaching consequences for you and your relationships with your loved ones. It also affects your body and brain physically, with both short-term and long-term consequences.

As you or someone you know may be struggling with long term addiction, whether alcoholism or recreational or prescription drug abuse, the Bible gives a source of light in what can only be described as an otherwise dark and lonely world. Many have struggled to find sobriety (to be sober) and many have received a helping hand through their own spirituality with a personal connection to Jesus Christ.

How addiction affects your brain

The brain regulates important life-sustaining functions, like thoughtmemory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates our body. It allows you to interpret all the sensory impressions you are constantly picking up. These factors all influence your behaviour. Drug and alcohol use has a tremendous effect on the brain and severely diminishes your brain’s ability to perform these important functions.

There is a part of the brain that contains the “pleasure centre”. It controls and regulates our ability to experience pleasure. When activities are pleasurable, we tend to repeat them. This system is stimulated by healthy, positive activities, such as eating, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

Drugs affect the way the brain normally sends, receives, and processes information. Some drugs activate the “pleasure centres” in the brain by “fooling” the brain’s receptors and attaching onto cells in the brain. They mimic the action of the brain’s natural chemicals but don’t activate the brain in the same manner as its natural messengers.

When addictive drugs are taken, they release much more dopamine than the brain can produce on its own. Most addictive drugs give off these effects and are felt almost immediately. They also last longer than the pleasure felt by natural means. This reward can be so powerful that it motivates users to repeat the experience, over and over and over again.

God is love

God’s love for us burns so strong, so hot, so brightly. You just have to read the word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18), to know and to feel His unconditional love. He loves us so much, that even though we fail Him daily, He sent His Son, the light of the world, to die for sin our place. When Christ ascended into heaven, God loved us so much, that He didn’t leave us alone – He left us a helper, a comforter, a guide, The Holy Spirit, to be with us through everything, including addiction.

God loves us so much that He wants the best for us. Yes, sometimes He takes us on difficult paths to reach and become the best He wants us to be, such as experiencing drug or alcohol addiction, but ultimately His agape (unconditional) love will win. The bible promises that God is always with us. Through our faith in God we will receive help when we are weak, God will forgive our sins and heal our hearts. In the darkness of addiction, we shut ourselves out from the rest of the world. When we lead a lifestyle controlled by alcohol or drugs, we avoid our family, our friends, we struggle to find pleasure in anything and we ultimately disconnect ourselves from God’s unconditional love.

People struggling with addiction or are in recovery have been greatly helped by a the higher power, by having a personal relationship to God a relationship with boundless benefits such as forgiveness, healing and hope. This personal relationship can give a person the motivation to stay on track towards recovery and sober living. Once they surrender themselves to God, they can find their commitment to real recovery. This experience is exemplary of various biblical scriptures that anyone battling drug abuse and addiction can relate to.

1 Corinthians 6:11-1311 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Sexual Immorality

12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Although this passage of scripture relates specifically to sexual temptation and sexual immorality, you can apply the greater psychological concept towards any form of negative temptation. You may have the lawful right, for example, to consume any substance you could imagine but not all things are helpful to you. Other things like alcohol or rugs have the ability to dominate you and turn you into someone who you truly are not. Paul seems to preach moderation here but the point is that while all things could be legal, not all are beneficial to you. Ultimately, you should not allow yourself to become a slave to your own personal liberties.

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Addiction and your Life

Once an addiction to alcohol or drugs takes hold of you, it becomes the main priority in your life. If you are addicted to drugs, you would find yourself spending more time and money acquiring and using your drug of choice. This means you would have less time for activities you used to enjoy, such as sports, reading, watching movies, spending meaningful and memorable time with family and friends and other hobbies. You may even start to staying away from family events and beg off from plans you had previously made with your family to get high and be alone. It also gets more difficult to keep up your regular schedule and keep your addiction fed; you will need time to recover from being high.

The addiction will also take a toll on your work or school life. Your attendance to wor and work performance will suffer since your full attention will not be on your employment duties or studies.

Alcohol and drug use to the point of intoxication puts you at increased risk of injury, both at home and on the job. You are also at increased risk of being involved in a car accident, which could lead to serious injuries to yourself or others.

Bad company destroys good character

1 Corinthians 15:32-34 – 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

“Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

The moments in life where we find ourselves swayed by bad influences are always much easier to identify in hindsight. We are always vulnerable in life and our experience reacting to these vulnerabilities can potentially make us stronger or weaker. Here, Paul warned about false teachers leading people astray from the teachings of Jesus Christ. But this is pertinent to patients in struggling with drug abuse too – as addicts may have been led astray by their dark lifestyle that surrounded them during their period of substance abuse.

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How Addiction Affects your Family

Addiction isn’t just a disease that affects you personally. It also takes a toll on your entire family.

My name is drugs!

Since addiction leads to irresistible cravings and urges to use to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms, people who are addicted make substances their priority. They no longer have a choice in the matter.

Even though it may not seem like something you would normally do but if you are addicted you would likely find yourself lying to your family members about whether you are using and how much you are using. You may take money that is earmarked for paying bills and use it to support your addiction.

These types of actions destroy the trust built up between you and your family members, leading to increased conflict. Over time, relationships between you and your family will suffer due to multiple occurrences of lies, half-truths, and broken promises.

Once trust has been broken, it’s very difficult to rebuild it.

Someone who is living with an addiction can start to find their way back by seeking professional help at a drug a treatment centre. Long-term recovery and sobriety is possible with individualised addiction treatment. Just stick with the treatment and you will reap the benefits of been drug free.

Break the addiction

You may be seeking professional help for the first time or you may need to seek professional help again – either way, you do need professional help, preferably in a medically controlled environment. That way you have professionals giving you the tools, methods and techniques and appropriate medication to help you break the addiction.

Please – professional and medically controlled help is so important. Start it, finish it, and stick with it.

Most importantly, take God with you. Keep His Word with you at all times. His love, His grace, His forgiveness will be the ultimate help you will receive.

Pray Pray Pray

Prayer is the most powerful weapon, the most powerful connection you have with the Father. Pray through your journey to recovery and you will succeed.

James 5:15-16 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

For anyone in recovery, hope is a cornerstone in the path towards sobriety. This verse is a reminder that God can heal you, forgive you and give you the strength to carry on. When you are going through drug rehab, the temptation can seemingly lurk around every corner. While attending a rehab centre, God’s Word reminds us to be honest and good in personal character.

Through God’s watchful eye, we can maintain constant vigilance to keep us in the light and away from the darkness.  Jesus is the light of the world.  

Rejoice in your sufferings

Romans 5:3-5 – More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Everyone in this world will experience trials and tribulations. God knows that we can become stronger through conflict. God’s ultimate love is our redemption from the suffering we experience as we navigate through the difficult times in our lives. Our moment of rejoicing comes when we realise that no matter how bad our lives are, no matter how long we were addicted, there is always hope and a chance for a new life. God’s love is always there and we can find hope, courage and strength throughout our recovery if we remember this one simple fact.

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