Friday, March 8, 2013

Don't Feed the Trolls

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio 

Don't Feed The Trolls by Margot Cioccio
I am sitting in a little diner waiting for the second oil change of the day. It has been one of those kind of days that I feel like I have driving around the city in big circles. Between getting cars and kids to where they need to be on time.  At this moment I don't have internet on my lap top but can access some things using my phone. So I've managed to get as far as finding out what the verse of the day is at Bible Gateway. 
"Praise be to the God and Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 the Father of compassion 
and the God of all comfort, 
who comforts us in all our troubles, 
so that we can comfort 
those in any trouble with the comfort that we ourselves receive from God.  
Corinthians 1: 3-4

Then I decided that it was not really enough time to get very far on this so I put it aside, enjoyed lunch and read my current Kindle book. So it is afternoon in my corner of the world and I have some time before I need to pick up a friend from the airport. I felt I needed to do a drawing to go with my catchy post title. I had someone comment that my titles were boring. So this one is a bit more catchy. 

I spent some time looking though the influx of mostly anonymous comments. I do try to respond to those that seem legit. I told my son that I should go post comments on all the pages that try to use this as a place to leave their site links. He told me it is better not to feed the trolls. Anyway thank you to those of you readers who have commented recently. 

Do you realize there are verses that promise us comfort when we are worried, lonely, tired or weary. Even when we are discouraged. I thought we would just look at the promise verses God's comfort for the worried. Here are links to verses for some of the others that I found at Bible Gateway in the Dictionary of Bible Themes. 
When tired or weary Isa 40:28-31Mt 11:28-302Co 4:16-18Php 4:12-13
When discouraged Ps 34:18Ps 42:5La 3:20-23Ro 8:28-39

God's promises for when you are worried.
Isa 43:1-13; But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze...

You may want to check out the entire passage I have only used the frist few verses. There is comfort in knowing that our God knows our names. That when we are going though situations where it feels like we are drowning that he promise that He will be with us. He will not let the waters sweep over you. Even the flames perhaps those forest fires set ablaze by the tongue spoken of in the book of James. Even the fire will not set you ablaze. 

Mt 6:25-34; 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"  28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 I have noticed that I have lots more energy if I don't spend it on worry. It is a conscious choice that I have to make to trust the Lord to work things out. I have to concentrate on being sensitive to be led by the Holy Spirit. When worry tries to overtake me as soon as I realize it I make point to do the opposite of what the fear is. For example if the worry is money and how I will make ends meet, I look for ways to give. If it is fear about the future and taking a step of faith, I push through and take the step. The enemy gives up as we resist him. Push past it. 

Php 4:4-7;
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Do you see what it says "Do not be anxious about anything" Here's what you should do instead. Pray and bring your petition to the Lord. Be thankful for what He has and is doing in your situation. Present your requests to him knowing that he is working. Allow his peace to guard your heart and mind. 

1Pe 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
We are not really built for anxiety and stress. It does bad things to our physical bodies and our mental health. The temptation to worry is common to all of us. We however stand at a crossroad do we continue to worry even thought it really produces no solutions or do choose the road of faith and trust. I may not know the answer yet but I can trust that as I settle down and silence the fear and panic that the Lord will show me the very things I need to see. Just like he showed Hagar a well in the desert that she had not seen because she was wrapped up in the fear of having to watch her son die in he desert of thirst before her very eyes. 

We do get worried. Sometimes the things we suddenly find ourselves having to face and deal with can be overwhelming. When you feel like that stop because it is not God's plan or design for you to remain in such a state. Find a quiet place (sometimes I will shut myself in a bathroom) and take some deep breaths and release your fears and worries to God. Trust that He will guide you safely through this situation as you yield yourself to the gentle leading of His Holy Spirit. 

So my title Don't feed the trolls is a reminder. The trolls are the keepers of worry, fear, doubt, unbelief and the like. Stop feeding them. Rather take heed of Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." 

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