Summary: The Holy Spirit helps us identify which unhappy memories are causes for some of our emotional difficulties

How the Holy Spirit Helps Leaders Mend Unhappy Memories

Illustration:Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace.

Oswald Chambers in Run Today’s Race.

1. The Holy Spirit helps us identify which unhappy memories are causes for some of our emotional difficulties. Whenever we are struggling to overcome feelings of irritability, the Spirit points out bad memories that may contribute to our angry reactions. Trust the Lord to help you to replace these negative memories with a pro-active faith and obedience to do God’s positive will.

Example: Paul wrote, "Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize which God in Christ is calling me upward." (Phil. 3:13,14 - Amplified)

Ask the Lord to help you identify experiences that may still contribute to your feelings of anxiety, insecurity or anger - surrender them to the Lord for His sovereign purposes.

2. The Holy Spirit helps us unlock emotional defenses that we have built up because of unhappy memories. Some people are overly defensive because they refuse to unlock emotions that may have been hurt in the past. The Spirit helps us refuse to give into the temptation to transfer negative memories of your Father to all authority figures.

Ask the Lord to help you to refuse to transfer your negative emotions with one person to others. Paul wrote, "God will provide a way of escape (from each temptation) so that you will be able to resist it." (I Cor. 10:13) Trust the Lord to help you to break the chain of negative emotions that you tend to associate from one person to another.

Illustration:John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station.

Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 18.

3. The Holy Spirit helps us overcome bad memories of insecurity by assuring us that we do not have to be in control to feel secure. Some people who were abused by an authority figure in their past tend to try to hide the past and ease the fear of insecurity by maintaining tight controls over their schedules, their relationships and their ministries.

Trust the Lord to help you replace the feelings of insecurity, resentment and abuse with the assurance of God’s sovereign controlling ability to fight your battles for you. Samuel wrote what David said to Goliath, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head... All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the BATTLE IS THE LORD’S and He will give all of you into our hands." (I Sam. 17:45-47)

Ask the Lord to help you let the Lord fight your battles so that you do not have to feel the necessity to be in control because of your fear of insecurity.

4. The Holy Spirit helps us overcome bad memories of hurt, rejection and emotional abuse through His gracious healing.

Many people suffer from the memories of past hurts so they subconsciously try to rationalize away their unwholesome behavior. Occasionally, people can fall into the temptations to give into addictions such as pornography, lying or stealing.

Only the Spirit of God can help us build Godly character. The Holy Spirit supplies us with the resolve to give up this unwholesome behavior realizing that God’s healing is sufficient to meet whatever subconscious need. The Spirit told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you." (2 Cor. 12:9)

Ask the Lord to help you rely more on His sufficient grace to supply whatever you feel is necessary to heal your wounded heart.

5. The Holy Spirit helps us overcome bad memories of neglect, shame and humiliation through His conquering love. Some of us share memories of painful neglect, humiliation and shame. The Spirit of God helps us conquer these deep feelings of pain with the infinite breadth, depth, length and height of God’s love.

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