Biblical Hope for Hurting Hearts
NOTE: Escape from the Land of If Only, Biblical hope for Hurting Hearts is the name of a book that I recently wrote. It will be released soon for publication. We will post a publication date here when it becomes available.
The Land of If Only is Real
No one goes through life without emotional and physical pain. And, the effects of such experiences may hold a person captive behind the barbed wire fence that surrounds the Land of If Only. In the book Escape from the Land of If Only, any child of God will find biblical truth and the tools she needs to cut through the fence. She will learn the attributes of God and his promises that can free her. Each chapter features the stories of deeply wounded women, along with the biblical escape route they used to break free. Any child of God can follow the same path they used to regain emotional health as well as spiritual healing, and restoration.
You CAN Escape from the Land of If Only
God Will Free His Children
Right now, you may be thinking “If only I could undo what I did.” Or, “If only I hadn’t suffered in that particular way.” Your own sins and the ones committed against you can certainly hold you captive to guilt and shame. But God has the power to mend your broken heart and cleanse your soul. The biblical promises and principles included in Escape from the Land of If Only are designed to help you access God’s power and love so you can live as his free and victorious child.
Because of God’s goodness, love and power, you can “Escape”. This is what Scripture says in 2 Peter 1:3-4: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” through our knowledge of him and his promises. God is good, loving, and infinitely powerful. Jesus’ death and resurrection made it possible for you to break through the walls of your particular prison. As his child, you have every reason to believe you can be free and victorious. In the Bible, God offers you Biblical Hope for your Hurting Heart.
You Can Discover the Escape Route
Each chapter in Escape from the Land of if Only deals with an issue that keeps women in spiritual and emotional bondage. It features a testimony of a person who broke out of that captivity by trusting God and acting upon the promises of his Word. It also includes biblical instruction about the spiritual roots of the issue. But it also details the many blessings God lavishly gives his children. Readers will be encouraged to allow God to redeem, restore, and release them. And, they will be equipped with biblical knowledge and strategies they can use at any time on any issue they face. In that way, they will be able to live as more than conquerors instead of prisoners in the Land of If Only.
You CAN Escape from the Land of If Only
Chapter 1 ~ If Only I Hadn’t Sinned
We’ve all experienced things we would love to erase from our memories. And, we’ve done things we regret. Many of us also suffered abuse and betrayal at some level, even if it was as simple as feeling left out at school. That’s because we exist as flawed human beings living in a fallen world.
However, God made and enacted a plan to free us from our flaws and heal our hearts. It required him to send his only Son Jesus to live on earth as one of us. Jesus had to die in order to pay the sin-debt we owe God because of our sins. But Jesus didn’t just die, he also rose from the grave, proving his power to overcome the effects of both sin and death. So, when we believe in him to forgive us, we become adopted and beloved children of God. From then on, our Father God protects and provides for us out of his infinite resources and his lavish love. His provision includes healing our wounded, sinful hearts and changing us into people who look and act like Jesus did.
In this chapter you will learn how to begin a close personal relationship with God. You will discover some of the benefits of being his child, including how to be free from the bondage of a broken and betrayed heart and Escape from the Land of If Only.
Chapter 2 ~If Only the Demons Would Flee
Satan is real and he continues to hassle men and women who worship and serve God. However, God’s children do not have to be afraid of demons. In fact, the Bible instructs us not to fear the forces of evil because “greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Instead, we can walk confidently through spiritual battlefields using Scripture as Jesus did when the devil tempted him.
In this chapter, you will learn how to use the armor of God to stand your ground against the enemy of your soul and fight spiritual battles with divine power (Ephesians 6:12-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Chapter 3 ~ If Only He Hadn’t Abused Me
Whether it’s physical or verbal, abuse injures a person’s soul. That’s one reason abused women often find it hard to forgive the person who hurt them. Unfortunately, failing to forgive builds strongholds of bitterness in one’s heart. The only way to escape is to forgive as God has forgiven us. God stands ready to help us forgive those who have wronged us.
This chapter explains that forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. It also assures us of God’s presence and power to help us forgive those who have mistreated us. And, it points to God’s promise to punish those who have hurt us, removing our desire to have justice for what we’ve suffered.
Chapter 4 ~ If Only I could Forgive Myself
Because sinfulness remains in our flesh even after we accept Jesus as Savior, we can fall back into a sinful lifestyle or commit a serious act of rebellion at any time. When we sin, Satan tells us we must not really be a child of God, or we couldn’t possibly have done that. After that, it doesn’t take much convincing for us to fall into depression and self-loathing. We might even give up and go back to destructive habits and relationships. However, you don’t have to stay in a pit of self-recrimination.
In this chapter, you will discover that God forgave every one of your sins when you placed your faith in Jesus. All of them, past, present, and future. In fact, he anxiously waits for you to confess your sin, so he can restore the joy and peace you felt before you messed up.
Chapter 5 ~ If Only I could Feel Safe
Sometimes life makes us feel like we’re lost at sea in a hurricane. We might feel threatened by illness, broken relationships, or the loss of a job. No matter what causes our anxiety, we yearn for something solid to hold onto or someone wise to guide us to a place of safety. As God’s children, we can hold onto his infinite strength and follow his wise and compassionate leadership.
In this chapter you will learn how to find true peace and safety in God alone. He has the power and love necessary to calm your storms and lead you to a place of safety and rest.
Chapter 6 ~ If Only I could get my Life Under Control
We tend believe we are in control. After all, we decide what to eat, when to get up, and what to do in our spare time. However, it only takes an illness, a financial loss, or the death of a loved one to prove how little we truly control. The COVID-19 pandemic made that very clear to the whole world. But God offers his children a strong anchor and a sure foundation they can depend upon to Escape from the Land of If Only.
As you study this chapter, you will be assured that even though we face chaotic times, God has already overcome the worst we could encounter in this world (John 16:33). And even though uncertainties, tragedies, and confusion make us fearful, God will be with us in the middle of whatever storms we face. He will speak peace to our terrorized hearts and assure us of His unfailing love and infinite power.
Chapter 7 ~ If Only the Pain would go Away
If God is all-powerful and infinitely loving, why do godly people suffer agonizing pain for years? And, why are Christians maligned and persecuted? Questions like these need to be answered. But not with pie in the sky platitudes or promises of silver linings in the clouds. They require answers based on gems of truth mined from the pages of the Bible.
In this chapter you will explore the origins of suffering, pain, and death. In addition, you will discover how God uses hardships to strengthen your faith and to help you understand his infinite, Lavish Grace and love.
Chapter 8 ~ If Only Someone Had Wanted Me
Husbands leave their wives. Mothers give their babies away. Parents abuse their children instead of protecting them. Abandonment and betrayal often create deep wounds that fester into depression, paranoia, or self-deprecation. Those soul injuries require the healing touch of the Master to Escape from the Land of If Only.
As you study this chapter, you will determine how God’s attributes of holiness, love, and power can bind up your broken heart. In fact, God makes you the same promise he made to Joshua as he prepared to conquer the walled city of Jericho: “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). That means you will never walk through dark times alone. God will be with you, loving you and keeping you eternally safe.
Chapter 9 ~ If Only I could get out of This Pit
Bitterness and anger, guilt and shame, abuse and anxiety, illness and injury—any of these can plunge a person into depression. In Psalm 38, King David said he felt like a man in mourning. Every particle of light had gone out of him. Before the advent of psychology in the early 20thCentury, pastors and lay counselors used the teachings of the Bible to help Christian people find joy and peace of mind. God hasn’t changed. He can still free people from the pit of depression.
In this chapter you will discover that God applies the healing salve of his Word to his grieving children so they don’t have to look to the world’s “broken cisterns that hold no water” (Jeremiah 8:22; 2:13). By observing how God ministered to Job, the reader will find principles and promises that have proven to be effective treatments for thousands of years.
Chapter 10 ~ If Only I Hadn’t Taken the First Drink
Satan is a liar. He tells the fearful and desperate person she will feel better if she takes a drink or swallows a pill. She will feel alive if only she can win the jackpot at the casino or find a lover who will make her feel beautiful. Satan fails to warn her that the first dose may cause an addiction that will enslave and destroy her. But the Bible teaches God’s addicted children to rely on him for the comfort they need, rather than their addiction.
This chapter reveals that addiction is a type of idolatry. The addict relies on the drink, pill, gambling, or pornography instead of seeking her peace and contentment in God. It also compares the secular and biblical approaches to recovery. And, it shows how God can free addicts because of his faithfulness, power, and lavish love.
Chapter 11 ~ If Only the Shame Would go Away
Almost all of the issues addressed in the previous chapters carry an element
of shame. Adam and Eve felt guilty and ashamed after they disobeyed God. We do too. But God can rescue and restore us. First, he covers our shame with the righteousness of Christ and then he begins to heal our wounded hearts.
In this chapter, the reader will explore the Bible’s teaching on the lavish nature of God’s grace and love for shame-filled people. Through trust in God and obedience to his commands, you can be free of every particle of shame you feel. You can Escape from the Land of If Only because Jesus’ blood covers your Guilt and Shame.
Jesus was beaten so our wounded minds, hearts, and bodies can be healed. On the cross, he endured the punishment we deserve because of the sins we have done and will do in the future. So, the burden of our sin is gone, and our shame is covered. As God’s adopted daughters, we can face all kinds of trials, traumas, and tragedies in life with confidence.
And, after our lives on earth are over, we will dance down the golden streets of heaven with our glorious Bridegroom. In that moment, we will stand “blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 24). We will spend eternity worshipping our Savior without even a distant memory of the terrible things we experienced because we have Escaped from the Land of If Only
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