Mental and Emotional Security



By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

What is the state of your mind? Is it tranquil? It is trouble free? Is it disciplined? Is it controlled? Are you able to concentrate or are there a lot of short circuits in the brain tortured by troublesome thoughts, guilty memories and unhappy feelings? How do you handle your thoughts when they run away with all manner of material that has been accumulated in your mind?

At night, do you find it hard to go to sleep as you can’t stop your thoughts, or do you wake up at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning and the thoughts flood in and you can’t stop them? The time in which we live at the end of this world, our brain is inundated by so many different experiences and perplexities that we are living in a time worse than ever before. How are you coping? We are heading rapidly into the time of Jacob’s trouble. We have a vision into the future of the time of Jacob’s trouble.

As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins, the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested. As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole lives they can see little good. They are fully conscious of their weakness and unworthiness. Satan endeavors to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away. He hopes so to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations and turn from their allegiance to God. {GC 618.3}

There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence. {RH, March 27, 1888 par. 15}

We want to address how we can find security of our mental and emotional experiences. Do you feel secure when your thoughts run away with you? How can I find security mentally and emotionally when I am overwhelmed by these aroused and suggested thoughts and feelings?

Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. 20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. 21 As for me, this [is] my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that [is] upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.

Here are some beautiful thoughts to deal with the thoughts that overwhelm us at times when the enemy shall come in like a flood. That is what it feels like. The enemy comes in with suggestions of thoughts and feelings and they become so overpowering like a flood that you are just about threatened to drown in them. When that happens, where is the security? The Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. To the people who desire to turn from transgression in Jacob, the Redeemer will come to them. The covenant that we know is contained in the gospel is there to put words into our mouth, thoughts to counter the floods of thoughts and feelings. As you get on in years you gather a record in your brain of memories of perplexities, memories of indulgences, memories of actions that have been sinful, memories of all the perplexities that this world throws at you, and Satan is there to suggest and stir them up.

They are accumulated from the past. They come in upon you like a flood at times. Have you experienced that? It drives you to near insanity. Have you gone through something like that? I watched in my nursing years and I watched it in my own father who I knew from my childhood up, he ended up with dementia. I watched it developing. I watched people with dementia closely; people with insanity. I was watching to learn. Where did it come from? I’m telling you, it comes from just what we have read. It comes from thoughts and feelings that come in like a flood and people cannot see their way out of them. It drives them into demented responses.

When the enemy comes in like a flood, can we find security to prevent us from entering into dementia? The Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. He will lift up a standard.

Lift up the standard, the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. {Ev 229.3}

We are told as ministers to lift up the standard. What is the standard? It is the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Is the faith of Jesus a standard that will deal with the flood of overwhelming thoughts and feelings, that have accumulated, that have been realities in your past life? Now Satan comes along and wants to disturb your sanity, wants to take you away from perfect restfulness in your mind. What is the standard that the Spirit will raise up against him? It is the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you.

When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God will lift up a standard against him, the faith of Jesus, He will take of Jesus and show it unto you. When our internal and emotional turmoil endangers us to lose our stability and our sanity, when we are most endangered to lose that, we can find security in the Holy Spirit taking of Jesus and showing it unto us; lifting the standard of the faith of Jesus in those times, to bring us back into a stable-mindedness.

The Standard of the Faith of Jesus

We want to spend this time to examine the mind exercises in Jesus Christ that we can see what is meant that there are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoyed even Jesus, the best of men. We need to behold, we need to examine the faith of Jesus as the standard that is to be raised up in our mind when the flood comes in. Let us gaze upon the mental suffering that is the experience of Jesus according to the prophecy when Jesus was upon this planet. It is the plaintive cry that the Holy Spirit is throwing up before us in Jesus Christ.

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger. 13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate [and] faint all the day. 14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, [and] come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into [their] hands, [from whom] I am not able to rise up.

Lamentations 1:16 For these [things] I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.

When the enemy came in like a flood and he prevailed, the comforter wasn’t there. These are the experiences of Jesus. Is it nothing to us, He says? Behold, look at my sorrow, because if you will behold then when your experience comes, which is my experience says Jesus, when all the flood of thoughts and transgressions and feelings that are laid upon Him, when they come to you if you will behold you will find the answer to your mental need of security.

From above hath he sent fire into my bones. In Great Controversy we read the Lord will permit Satan to do that to us. He permitted Satan to do it to Jesus. What drieth your bones? A broken spirit drieth your bones. Jesus went through that. It prevailed against them. He was desolate and fainting. All my transgression is bound by His hand, they are wreathed and come upon His neck, and they choked Him; those thoughts and feelings. The One who is the best of men has been stirred by the flood of thoughts and feelings.

Psalm 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. 11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. 12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. 13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

This is Jesus speaking. He is praying to be relieved from this horrendous mind-wrenching experience. The sins, the transgressions are more than the hair of His head, they flood in with horrifying persistence and nothing can remove them. The Comforter isn’t there. In the human frame, in the human genome, sin is recorded and is within the very biological fibre. We read of that also in Jeremiah and Isaiah. They are written with the point of a diamond upon the very mind of the person. At any given moment they can burst out like a flood upon our consciousness; that is what happened to Jesus. When this happens to you, all toxins of sin flood the system, paralyse, and kill. Is there relief?

God gave a beautiful object lesson by which we may find relief. As the Hebrews in the wilderness were bitten by the serpents, where lay their remedy? When the toxin of those serpents was surging through their system and was overwhelming their bodily functions and was affecting their brain and they began to become paralysed, where was their relief? It was by beholding. They said, could you take away these snakes? No, they weren’t taken away. We live in a snake-infested planet, serpents and the serpent’s seed. They are not removed, but what can happen while those thoughts and feelings come to paralyse, and as it happened with Jesus His heart failed. It is a reality, brethren and sisters, when these thoughts and feelings come in and overwhelm your physical nature it will kill you. Your heart will start to skip beats and with Jesus it went further, it killed Him.

The antidote that will neutralise those terrible thoughts and feelings, those mind activities is found in the standard that comes up by the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that raises this remedy before our mind. It is whether I will respond to that work of the Holy Spirit as to whether I will benefit from that. When the Hebrews looked at that serpent that was erected before them, they were recovered. When we go through these horrendous experiences there lays the precious privilege that I may benefit from what the Holy Spirit raises up before me. What is the thing I must do so that those horrendous thoughts and feelings that have been stirred up, that Satan says, see, look at your past; look what you’ve done there, and it just floods in upon you all at once. When people die and have recovered again they tell you that the whole past comes up before them in one foul swoop; everything at once. This is what happens to us when all the memories are released by Satan.

What is it that I must do to apply the remedy? What is it that will give me security at such a time?

But faith is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it will flourish only as it is cherished. {ML 182.5} 

The faith I need when my brain is in this turmoil is provided by the Holy Spirit. He will take of Jesus and will show it to my mind. How will it function and flourish, how will it multiply and diffuse the poison? It will happen only as it is cherished. Cherish is a good word. It has to do with your affections to foster, nurse, or keep warm, value or hold in one’s heart, cling to. That is what it means to cherish. We are to cherish the faith of Jesus that the Holy Spirit will inspire by taking of Jesus and showing it unto you. As my brain is there and it’s horrible and I can’t stop the thoughts, there is the picture that is given. If I have the picture of Jesus right, the Holy Spirit will take of Jesus and place it in front of my thoughts, include it in my thoughts and if I will cherish that, if I am affectionately bound with that beautiful picture of Jesus; as I love that as my thoughts and my mind is wrapped up with it and I hold it and cling to it; then while all those other thoughts keep on wanting to disturb it, it starts to flourish. It starts to control, it starts to diffuse that which will make you demented. It will take away the sharpness of your self-condemnation which is threatening to flourish under Satan’s influence, but it will conquer that.

When you are drowning in the flood of thoughts and feelings, watch and cherish Jesus. You will see that as your experience of flooded mind-madness is taking place, Jesus is right there in it with you. You will see that and you will think, is that right? You will be tempted to say, it can’t be right. You will be tempted to feel that Jesus could never go through something that I am going through; it is too bad; it is too horrendous. Remember what Jesus said, is it nothing to you? Have a look at His sorrow, His sorrow is much worse than yours. He had all the sins of the whole world upon Him from the thief to the murderer to the homosexual to the adulterer; everything He has in His experience as a memory. It has been stirred up and it choked and killed Him. He has yours and everybody else’s. Is my sorrow worse than yours, He says? Yes, so mine is not such a bad case after all, His is worse than mine; He is in a worse situation. All of a sudden your thoughts begin to become diffused from looking upon your own feelings and thoughts. That is what happens.

With the sufferings of Jesus in front of me, while in my sufferings and I am trying to swim in the flood of thoughts and feelings, Jesus is swimming beside me. When a flood rushes in it just whooshes you off and right beside you is Jesus. You cling to Him. Look at the faith of Jesus in such a circumstance.

Psalm 69:1 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. 2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. 14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Here is the faith of Jesus. The floods overflow me and I can’t think straight anymore, I am entering dementia. I am not going to let you go, Lord, help me. As I see Him doing that with my dementia, something begins to work in the brain. It starts to give me a remedial healing of thoughts and feelings. No matter how hopeless the experience is, all those sins, all those obnoxious things, the commandments of God broken and the faith of Jesus applied.

Psalm 71:14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

In the midst of that, Jesus held on in faith to the Father and He says, even if I die with this I am going to continue to praise you. I am going to continue to cherish you Father, no matter what is happening to me. These are the words of Jesus. He had no sense of the Comforter, He just prayed and threw Himself upon God. This is the reality of an experience with Jesus which you and I, when we are bitten, must understand.

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, {DA 756.3}

He was apparently forsaken of God because my sins are separating me from my God in my experience.

Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. Ibid

At that time He didn’t have it but He remembered the past. In the midst of all these horrifying thoughts He remembers God’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He remembers in His memory different scenes of God speaking and helping Him.

He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. Ibid

There is the standard; the faith of Jesus. As He experienced what you and I experience and worse, as He experienced these mind-bending insane influences that killed Him; just before He died under the oppression of that. His physical frame giving way, His heart ready to burst; just at that moment He cast Himself entirely at the mercy of God and momentarily He was victor with the joy and light that shone about Him. He said, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit, in total faith no matter how hopeless it appeared, He threw Himself upon the mercy of God. Why did He do that? He did it because that is what will happen to you and me. If I will cherish this picture I will not die eternally. I will conquer as He did.

Here lies the security for our minds. We don’t have to give over to dementia. If my body can’t cope with it anymore, that is fine, I will die, but I will not go insane. I will be comforted in the mercies of God’s goodness and even if I can’t talk anymore, even if I can’t do anything I will be calm and placid in the arms of the Lord. I have seen such people through my nursing, who have trusted God. I have wondered why there are some people that have dementia and can’t find peace and others who are just as old who have just as many conflicts don’t have dementia. The medical profession thinks they can look in there and say, it’s because the brain has been damaged. Of course the brain is damaged. It is damaged by unbelief, by lack of perfect trust, to release all those toxins that destroy the brain material. This is what the Lord wants us to cherish, that Jesus has been through it.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.

Rejoice in the Lord, He is right beside you in your turmoil.

Philippians4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand…. He is right there in the flood with you.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing;

Don’t worry. As all these thoughts come flooding in, don’t worry about any of those thoughts.

Philippians 4:6 …but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Jesus said to the Father, I will love you more and more. What will happen?

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

How meaningful! You will not lose your mind. It says the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your heart and mind. That is where your security lies, through Christ Jesus because if I will look to Jesus through that, I will not lose my mind. Your security, my security, of mind lies in this.

The only security for any soul is right thinking. As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. The power of self-restraint strengthens by exercise. {MH 491.3}

By exercise it will flourish if we cherish it. Cherish the right thoughts; that is our security.

God has given us precious thoughts to display before our mind’s eye those precious cherishable items of truth. Did you notice it boils down to one function and one function in me alone; to place my affections upon the Jesus whom I am to foster the picture of, to nurse, to keep warm, to value, to hold in my heart and cling to with all my soul. This is the answer to the inroads of mind-bending hopelessness. What I cherish.

What Do We Cherish?

What have you cherished in the past? What have we cherished that has so indelibly been recorded into the fibre of my being and plays back to bite me? Why are we in this mad state? Why are our brains functioning like this? Does Satan manage to stir up something that isn’t there? No, I have cherished something.

Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. {TMK 34.4}

I know that so well. As the thoughts crowd in, Satan uses the indulgence; he uses the cherishing of some desire that was sinful. This is how he overwhelms us. I enjoyed it back there and it now bites me. I have cherished it.

…through the contemplation of sin, the sure result has followed, and their God-given faculties have been weakened and unfitted for moral advancement, because they have been misapplied. There are many who admit this as the truth. They have cherished pride and self-conceit, {FE 134.2}

Pride is something that makes you feel good. I have achieved something, I am the best at this particular thing, I am better than somebody else here or there. It’s a good feeling and we cherish that

…until these evil traits of character have become a ruling power, controlling their desires and inclinations. While they have had a form of godliness, and have performed many acts of self-righteousness, there has been no real heart change. They have not brought their life practices into definite and close measurement with the great standard of righteousness, the law of God. Should they critically compare their life with this standard, they could not but feel that they were deficient, sinsick, and in need of a physician. They can only understand the depth to which they have fallen, by beholding the infinite sacrifice that has been made by Jesus Christ, to lift them out of their degradation. Ibid

I love this combination of thoughts. What is it that has brought us to the point where we go into a state of mental dilemma? We have cherished things that were sinful, that is why. Should they critically compare their life with this standard, they could not but feel that they were deficient, sinsick, and in need of a physician. There we have the physician. Do we cherish Him? This is the biggest problem. You can hardly cherish Him because it is your fault anyway. Why should He go through this trauma when it is my fault anyway? There is pride again. You can’t even give over properly. We hold on, we cling to our guilt, when the Lord says; will you give over to me? I love you, I have given this exercise for you who have cherished evil. People admit this that this is their problem.

Our intelligent minds actually engage in beholding the mind activity of Jesus in unison with us if we will cherish that. We begin to see through our intelligent understanding, we will settle into the truth both intellectually and spiritually. We now see if we will actually intelligently see this that Jesus is right there beside me and my mind exercises are His mind exercises. I now must understand how to deal with that mind exercise that Jesus met for me.

There is temptation but no sin. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away thus and enticed. When lust hath conceived, when that desire is cherished, then it brings forth sin. When sin is finished brings forth death. Thus you see that where the victory comes, where the battle field is, is right upon the line between the flesh and the mind. The battle is fought in the realm of the thoughts. The battle against the flesh, I mean, is fought altogether and the victory won in the realm of the thoughts. Therefore, Jesus Christ came in just such a flesh as ours, but with a mind that held its integrity against every temptation, against every inducement to sin. A mind that never consented to sin. No, never in the least conceivable shadow of a thought. AT Jones 1895 General Conference Bulletin.

What was the temptation at the Cross? It was the same temptation that Job was told, curse God and die. You’re a hopeless case. There was Jesus in such a predicament but not by a thought did He cherish such a direction. What did He cherish instead? He cherished His trust in God, His Father, in the memory of His mercy. When we face whatever it is and the most horrifying power of what we have cherished in our life of the past, as we have cherished this it becomes a dominating power. As I am now waking up with these horrifying thoughts, powerful thoughts that will not abate because of my own sins, then comes the thought that I have no hope because I can’t even stop my thoughts.

I can’t even conquer these feelings. Then comes the Holy Spirit and He says, remember Jesus. As you remember Jesus, slowly the picture of what Jesus is to you begins to melt down and diffuse those cherished thoughts that become a dominating power. It is in the mind; the battle ground is in the mind. Will you gain the victory in your mind?

In the past sins we have cherished served to our undoing, now to undo our undoing cherish the thoughts of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations…

If you look in the margin it means reasoning’s. We reason in our brain and when these horrifying thoughts come and want to conquer, we are to cast down all those reasoning’s.

2 Corinthians 10:5 …and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The faith of Jesus. Get rid of those thoughts by replacing them in obedience to what Jesus did when He was in the predicament in which you find yourself.

Cherish the love of Jesus in the heart, respect each other; for Christ has given His life for you. Every soul is precious in the sight of God. It is a wonderful thing to be remembered and cared for every hour by God. If we should be left alone to ourselves, what a terrible alone it would be. {7MR 204.2}

Satan would immediately take us up and force his terrible companionship upon us. Oh, let us seek every day to obtain a deeper experience, cultivating the love of Jesus. {7MR 205.1}

Cherishing and cultivating the love of Jesus. If we would cherish the faith of Jesus it will flourish because we are cultivating it. Here is the answer to our problems and any sinner, no matter what we have done in the past, can enjoy this. Here is a description of the home life and what we should do to cherish this.

The home should be made a school of instruction, rather than a place of monotonous drudgery. The evenings should be cherished a precious seasons, to be devoted to the instruction of the children in the way of righteousness. But how many children are sadly neglected! They are not educated in the home, that they may comprehend the truth of God, and are not trained to love justice and to do judgment. They should be patiently instructed, that they may understand the laws that govern them, and that they may know the springs of their actions. {CSW 48.2}

Oh, to help our children so they don’t have to go through what we have to such a large degree.

They are to be brought into harmony with the laws of heaven, to cherish the truth as it is in Jesus. Ibid

This needs to be taught, to cherish the truth as it is in Jesus.

In this way they may be fitted to join the society of the angels, and to stand in the presence of the adorable Redeemer. Ibid

There may be implanted in every human soul hopes and aspirations that will be of a right character, and youth may see beauty in the way of holiness. In every case it may be necessary to employ decided measures in dealing with the young, that they may be trained, cultivated, and perfected for the highest usefulness in life. How few appreciate the value of the talents that God has bestowed upon them! How few parents and educators realize the fact that there can be a full development of mind and heart only by having a living connection with the Source of all wisdom, power, and holiness! Truth is infinite, and he whose mind is enlightened and led by the Spirit of God, will go from strength to strength, finding his path growing brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. {CSW 49.1}

As this is written to implant that in children, can you see what we must do? We must embrace and cherish the truth as it is in Jesus and as that will flourish, as the Holy Spirit will implant this faith in us, it will flourish, and then our path will indeed grow brighter and brighter to the perfect day.

We have wonderful answers. Again we have the precious answer to deal with our inward perplexities as we have contemplated. As I have shared this with you, because I have practiced this to help me remain sane, I hope that none of us here will walk away from this. Here is our answer. When Satan is permitted to sift you to the core, you will need this message that I have shared with you. When thoughts crowd your mind to distraction and you are on the verge of cracking, on the verge of irreparable dementia, remember the Scripture reading, remember what I have shared with you, remember the atonement of Jesus, that He is right there and He was right on the verge of that too. When my thoughts are overwhelming me, when they come in like a flood, aroused and suggested by Satan and by my own indulgences and cherished sins of the past recorded there, there is this to remember:

Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

Cherish the vision of Jesus, the best man.

There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence. {RH, March 27, 1888 par. 15}

Ensure the quick return of the picture of Jesus by frequently employing our minds, our thoughts with Him. Do it frequently. Take hold of the faith that the Holy Spirit will remind you of when you are in the depths of it. If you haven’t cherished it beforehand, it is very hard, it is nearly impossible, so now, in this hour of divine service, cherish the truth as it is in Jesus. Next week I want to enlarge the truth that Satan could find nothing in Him as he had found with us, and we can come to the same position if we will cherish the truth as it is in Jesus.

Amen.

Posted on July 11, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: