Welcome back to the Womens bible study as we discuss Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, week nine. Some of you have sent emails letting me know you’ve already finished the study. Others started late and are reading behind the group. Next week is our last week of study and then we’ll have a three week break. This will give everyonw time to finish the current study at the Womens Bible Cafe™
Our lesson this week examined lies we believe about our circumstances. The lesson was perfectly timed (as always) when I found myself encouraging my teenage daughter over her circumstances. In tears she cried “God hates me! He lets bad things happen to me and I just know He just hates me!” Sometimes as adults we can sound just like a teenage girl! We look up and instead of seeing a Father who loves us, our vision is clouded by our circumstances and we can’t see Truth. This is one reason why bBble study and reading Scripture is so very important.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss exposed these lies during week nine. Once we crawl out of this victim mentality, it’s easier to see its ugly head when it appears in others.
The victim mindset blames life on circumstances while the victor seeks Jesus.
The victim mindset stays in a comfort zone of depression, while the victor seeks healing.
The victim mindset lives in darkness, while the victor lives in the Light.
True identity theft is when Satan keeps you in bondage to victim mentality. He convinces you that you’re a victim of circumstances with no way out. -Christine Abraham
Nancy warns us “if we fail to see the hand of God behind our circumstances, we will be vulnerable to confusion, frustration, bitterness, anger and despair.”
Victim mindsets believe they are powerless and therefore do not seek the blood-stained hands of Jesus. They turn away from forgiveness, mercy, grace and love. They hide in their misery and their comfort zones.
As I explained to my teenager daughter, we will suffer on this side of eternity. Christian lives are filled with hope, not perfection. To be Christ-like and follow Him does not mean you will not suffer. Sometimes we suffer from our own actions, sometimes we suffer from the actions of others, and sometimes we suffer for unknown reasons. Yet in our suffering we find a magnificent God and an indescribable joy.
Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Revelation 2:10 NIV
You my dear daughter…are an Heiress.
Truth is….it’s all about God and His will. Live in obedience, in suffering and in joy.
Be blessed by your relationship with the King no matter your circumstance.
Circumstance: a condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner,agent, etc., that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event; a modifying or influencing factor: Source dictionary.com
Your circumstance is a condition and it changes over time, just as you went from being a teenager to an adult. May you persevere and walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7 NKJV
Assignment For Next Week
- Pray for the women who are doing this study with you.
- Read Chapter Ten and Eleven in your book and companion guide.
- Look at the list of Key Resources on page 269 for topics addressed in this book
- Check in with your Small Group Leader
Have a great week…share what you are learning with others as you grow in truth!
God is good…always!
1. The circumstances in my life, I lack for my joy are miostly myself. I seem not to be happy were I am in this season of my life. I just get so tired of just doing! Does anyone understand what I am trying to say please? Thanks.
Yes Sue,I understand what you are saying. Now that you are aware of your situation you have the option to walk by faith or walk by flesh. I know that you’ll choose 2 Corinthians 5:7 🙂
Yes, Sue Alice, I understand too. Because I have been where you are a lot of my life. Christine gave you a wonderful verse. Also from this chapter of the study, there are two points that Nancy makes that really stuck with me. That God’s grace IS sufficient and that all our circumstances have been filtered through God’s fingers of love. Our circumstances are not meant to tear us down but to build us up into the likeness of Jesus. That just made me straigthen up my shoulders and raise my chin and say “Yes, Lord, lead on!”
3. My fruit. I hope and pray is humility. Sweet spirit. Compassion. Understanding. Patience. For my current circumstances. Thank you Lord for never giving up on me.
#3 I was in a bad marriage. Suffering through this time taught me to look at people for who they are on the inside and not the GQ smiles, shiny Porsches, or meaningless gifts. I was taught what real love is (as if Christ’s example wasn’t enough) I learned that God is not about condemning; I had feared condemnation from my church because we didn’t believe in divorce. Instead, I found comfort, support and real empathy. I learned to look at both my relationship with God and my relationship with others through new eyes.
I blame my lack of joy at times for being selfish and for not having the perfect marriage that i thought i would have growing up. I am quick to blame instead of just looking to the Lord and being content with the many blessings He has given me in my life.
When i get down about the lack of communication and agreement spiritually with others, and especially when i know it must be affecting my children, i praise God that He is working on me, strengthening me to do better and remember what Chapter 9 spoke of:
Time is short, and eternity is long.
2 corinthians 4:16-18
“Therefore, we do not lose heart… for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
The fruits that my suffering has produced so far are: mercy, compassion, and faith, my spiritual gifts that i see them coming out in my daily life more each day as i try to sit back from my situation, observe, reflect, ask what God would do, and pray to God for how He wants me to handle my current situation.
My joy wanes (from time to time) because I have not fully embraced God’s will concerning our latest move. We are here for my husband’s training & things have been less than ideal for many reasons. I would have never in a million years decided to move/live here. While I am so grateful to God for the opportunity my husband has to further his career, I have whined & complained over the last couple years about this move. I look around at the mediocre spiritual environment, the racism, the classism, the crime, the separatist attitudes & I often feel like walking out on my lawn, looking up at the sky & screaming, “God get ME out of here…now!!” I feel like I’ve had to defend my faith to more people in my congregation than those outside of it. I consistently feel like I’m in a spiritual war zone…but I don’t know why I’m so surprised? Ephesians 6 encourages me to put on the full armor of God BECAUSE there’s a spiritual battle going on. At times I’ve stood around, wide-eyed & mystified. But I was designed with a purpose. I had to face the hard facts; I can either sit this one out or get up & bring glory to God by helping those around me. I have been given the sword of the Spirit, by God’s grace, but sometimes just need to be reminded of the Truth. Really appreciate this chapter. Each “lie” described convicted my heart. I have taken on a self- protective mentality since moving that I know has damaged my faith; I’ve become VERY self-centered in my actions/behaviors. But I’m no victim according to the Word of God. Jesus is the only one who suffered anguish until the point of shedding His own blood…and even then He earnestly prayed (Luke 22:44).
This weekend my husband & I are celebrating 40 years of marriage. There won’t be alot of fanfare, but there is a peace in me now that can Only be attributed to God’s grace! This chapter was an exclamation point of what the Lord has been teaching me over the past two years & I am so thankful. My circumstances haven’t changed very much NEVERTHELESS I have. I have taken back the ground that was stolen from me by the enemy – precious ground of Believing God, Standing on His Word, Looking to Him for the joy in my life, restoration of prayer & focus – getting my thoughts OFF of me, me, me!!!
What has my suffering produced? Love, faithfulness, hope, peace & kindness (most of the time!). As I have said before – I leak, so I need refilling by the Holy Spirit daily!!!
I have at one time or another believed all of these lies. This chapter has given me much encouragement and much to think and pray about. There are certain curcumstances in my life that will never get better here on earth unless God truly does a miracle–and He could. But until then, I must remember that it all has been filtered through His fingers of love for the purposes of growing me in the likeness of Christ. And that His grace is sufficient for me to bear it with joy and contentment and to allow Him to do the work.
I am praising Him for His goodness to me.
This week’s lesson caused me to pause and be grateful for what I have, basically combating discontentment with gratitude. We can all focus on what isn’t going right or well in our lives and continuing to share tragic stories and circumstances. We all need to be encouraged to look at the situations from a different view point…in light of eternity. 🙂
What circumstance do you blame for your lack of joy?
I struggled this week with a circumstance that has been in my life for a while. It was interesting that even my hiking (which I do a lot of) was a struggle, too. But God told me, “I have something for you and you need to go hiking”, so away I went up the steep mountain trail. I was up high and look down in our valley where everything looked so small and antlike. Then I turned around to look up to the peak which was majestic and reaching to the heavens. God told me, “When you are on this mountain you have a vertical view of me and down there is a horizontal view of your momentary problems on earth.” My favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.
What fruit has suffering produced in your life? Grace, mercy, empathy, patience, longsuffering, gratefulness that God is changing me and a deeper walk with Him through suffering.
Share your thoughts about this week’s lesson. This chapter ministered to my heart. 1 Peter 5:10
#1 My sister and only sibling was killed in an automobile accident on her way home from my high school graduation. In minutes I went from the highest point in my life to the lowest. Although it was not a conscious choice, I effectively resolved to cushion myself from future falls by not climbing too high either literally or figuratively. It was decades before I broke free from this pattern.
#3 I have always been a brooder, thinking too much for my own good, and this frequently resulted in a hardness of heart and a refusal to follow Jesus’ mandate to forgive. In 2002, I was diagnosed with the rare (7 in 2 million people) condition Atrial Myxoma (a benign tumor in my heart). The open heart surgery required to remove it, left me with a scar and a reminder not to harbor grudges and malice towards others.
I feel completely down all the time inside. Circumstances are overwhelming now days, I am struggling with trying to keep a smile on my face for others and the children, keep on going regardless and I always feel like today is the day I am going to lose it. It is increasingly difficult to really be happy for others when good things happen to them etc. I do not want to live in this pit. I am not sure what or where God wants me to be at this point so I was lead here accidentally (or not). so I am trusting God to lead the way.
Although I have not yet completed the homework, I have finished the book, and just wanted to encourage those who may be behind – Don’t Stop! Don’t give up, and determine yourself to see it through to the end. I am so thankful for this study; the exposure of the many lies that I have bought into over the years & God’s grace & mercy through His truths & unconditional love to guide & support me as I live in His freedom. May God’s truth continue to set each of us free and blessings on your Easter celebration!!
At least I haven’t given up yet. I keep coming back to this section.
But God says we are responsible – not for the failures of others – but for our own responses and lives.
Bad stuff happens. I am trying to have faith in God. I need forgive and realize she did the best she could. I may not know if she loved me, but she lived my kids. And that’s what’s important.
1.What circumstance do you blame for your lack of joy?
I blame the enemy for distracting me. I have a lot of circumstances right now that take me off of things that are of God & my joy. The circumstances get me upset & I realize that I lost my joy by being consumed by the situation. Yesterday, I found myself breaking down in the closet, then composing myself, praying & coming back more centered back to God. It is a cycle sometimes.
2.Why is suffering inescapable as a human?
It is part of life. We cannot control the actions of other & sometimes we need to suffer until God finishes using us for his purpose. We are in the midst of something right now that is making us suffer tremendously. We know God has a plan & we pray things through when it occurs.
3.What fruit has suffering produced in your life?
Patience & our desperate need for God.
4.Share your thoughts about this week’s lesson.
I used to be irritated when I was behind on my studies. I have seen a few times that the lesson is right what I needed at that time (being behind) I am currently dealing with circumstances that are way beyond my control. God is good!