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Master Gaslighter

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

Good morning. It is Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.

If I am being honest, and I am, I am having a really hard time writing lately. My heart has been wounded recently and I am questioning my ability, even my right, to put thoughts and inspiration down on paper, or the screen as it were.

What right do I have to talk about Christ’s love, trying to encourage you when I am greatly discouraged myself? I took this to God. “Lord, do you want me to take a break until my heart heals? Do I even have a right to represent you?

And then two things happened, almost simultaneously. First, the word “gaslighting” popped in my head. Second, I received my morning inspiration from my friend Alta. I know! Talk about two extremes.

I knew immediately the answer to my question. When we are discouraged, that is the most important time to not stop doing what we believe God has put on our hearts to do. This world is FULL of disappointment and discouragement. If we relied on those feelings, nothing would get done.

This is what my friend sent me this morning:

“Look constantly to Jesus. Take all your troubles to Him. He will never misunderstand you. He is the refuge of His people. Under the shadow of His protection, they can pass unharmed. Believe in Him and trust in Him. He will not give you up to the spoiler. Flee to the stronghold and learn that the power of Christ to strengthen and to help passes all comprehension. Open the door of the heart, and let Jesus enter, to fill your life with His peace, His grace, His joy." Review and Herald, January 5, 1911

Instead of giving in and giving up, we should be giving it all to Jesus, which reminds me of one of my favorite songs: “Give Them All to Jesus”

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows

Are you tired of spinning round and round

Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life

And at the feet of Jesus lay them down

Give them all

Give them all

Give them all to Jesus

Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys

Give them all

Give them all

Give them all to Jesus

And he will turn your sorrows into joy

He never said you'd only see sunshine

He never said there'd be no rain

He only promised us a heart full of singing

About the very thing that once brought pain (repeat chorus)

Jesus is the only one that can give us a heart full of singing at the very thing that once brought us pain. We can rely on that! He is the only one that will NEVER misunderstand us. He is the only that will ALWAYS forgive us when we mess up. He is the only one that can fill our lives with peace and joy, consistently.

And now the word of the day: gaslighting.

Merriam-Webster defines it as this: to psychologically manipulate a person usually over an extended period of time so that the victim questions the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and experiences confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, and doubts concerning their own emotional or mental stability.

Satan is a master at gaslighting. He takes great pride in causing us to question our own thoughts and memories. He delights when we do not have a correct perception of reality. He loves to mess with our emotions.

I am reminded today that when people hurt us, and we them, we are playing right into the devil’s hand. He is the background trying to run the show and so often we allow him to do just that.

Ephesians 6:12 puts it very plainly. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” - NKJV

Satan is here to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus said “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10 NKJV

As we start a new year, let’s remember that Jesus is the way. He is the light. He is the bread and the living water. He offers us the gift of salvation. Open your heart and let Him in.

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