Triggers. Some can be positive, some can be negative. What is our response to a negative trigger and the emotions that follow?
October 19, 2020
A trigger can cause an event or situation to occur, which can result in either a positive or negative response. What is our response to a negative trigger and the emotions that follow? It all depends on who we put our faith and trust in that allows us to walk confidently in the dark.
We have all experienced times when we feel sad, scared, discouraged, and overwhelmed. The negative triggers could be a reaction from something big or small. It doesn’t even matter what the trigger is because the enemy's purpose is to annoy and torment us. He will amplify the problem or situation to distract us so we take our eyes off God. The enemy is really good at it; he has been doing it for thousands of years. Oh, the side effects of living in a sin-filled world!
UNDERSTANDING NEGATIVE TRIGGERS
We know two things about the negative triggers that impact our life.
(1) They exist as a consequence of living in a sin-filled world, and they come from the enemy.
(2) We know that God is in total control. Sometimes, God will permit these negative triggers, which are really attacks from the enemy. Yet, these types of triggers can be growth experiences in our relationship with God. He will take what the enemy intended to be bad and turn it around for our good.
FOR OUR BEST INTEREST
God can turn something we feel as bad into something that will be for our best interest. As human beings, we don't always realize that until we have gone through a difficulty. We know this to be true because the Bible tells us so! “All things work together for good for those who love God.” (Romans 8:28).
I do not have to be afraid of anything bad happening to me. Why? It is because I believe in a God who genuinely loves me and always has my best interest at heart! I trust that it is impossible for God to hurt anybody or anything. So, when those ugly triggers get launched by the enemy, we do not need to be afraid of them. These experiences have a purpose.
WHAT DO I DO
We have five senses, i.e., sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. The moment the lights grow dim, which senses are impacted first? They are sight and sound. Without sight and sound, you are immobilized. You can do nothing at that moment but look around for any glimmer of light and listen. There is silence in the dark. It is the silence that stimulates thinking and self-examination.
We are brought into the dark to look for the light and to listen for the voice of God. We cannot always see or hear Him amid the noise and distractions of life. Many times the only way to see and hear Him is in the dark. What a way to get our attention! Would we listen, otherwise? I think not.
LEARN BY THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS CHRIST
We need to turn to scripture to find the answer in how we are supposed to respond to negative triggers. We are given evidence, instructions, and examples through all 66 books of the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation.
We need to look to the example of Jesus Christ and how He lived His life here on earth. How did He overcome the negative triggers that the enemy consistently put before Him? Jesus experienced plenty of times when the lights were dimmed and faded to black. Here are a few examples:
1) Jesus chose to leave the light, warmth, and beauty of heaven to come to this cold, dark, and scary world.
2) Consider how people treated Jesus while He was here on this earth. Many treated him unkindly and others with contempt even to the point of causing his death.
3) The intensity of Gethsemane where the fate of the world rested.
4) The pain, suffering, and humiliation at the trial.
5) The physical and emotional pain that took place at the Cross.
Of anyone on planet earth, Jesus was attacked the most. The enemy constantly assailed Him with negative triggers to get Him to break. But, we all know how that worked out! Amen!
JESUS EXPERIENCED WALKING IN THE DARK
Jesus walked in the same shoes we are walking in now. So, whatever we are experiencing, He has already gone through it. We can look to Jesus Christ as an example because He overcame negative triggers. How can we have victory over our negative triggers?
With hope in our hearts, we can find the answers in scripture. Read and cling to the promises He has given us. Be aware that the enemy will do everything he can to make us think God's promises are not true. Yet, these promises do work. When Jesus was here on earth, He was tempted to use His strength, we are tempted not to believe in His strength.
When it starts to get a little darker, don’t be afraid of it. God is bringing you there to talk to you, to show you something about yourself that you may not even realize. What gets our attention more? When things are good or when things do not look so good. I think we all know the answer to that question.
STAND ON THE PROMISES
As you walk through the dark WITH Jesus, LEAN into Him. Read and memorize His promises. Pray and send your petitions to Him. TALK to Him. Through scripture He has assured us of His presence and that He will never leave or forsake us no matter what we do.
THE NEXT TIME THE LIGHTS GO DIM
The next time the lights start to dim or go out, turn your eyes to Him. Look to Him, look for Him, and listen for His voice. He will help you through whatever difficulties you are experiencing and help you find your way. And, when you are passing through it, He will give you peace.
God often does not give us the answers to the tests of life because he has given us free will. By reason and conscience, we make our decisions. He does not force His will on us. Instead, it is as though He is sitting beside us, his arm around our shoulders, softly speaking to guide us along the way. It is our choice to listen and respond to His instructions. We do not have to worry about the negative triggers in life because we are not alone.
When the lights start to dim or go out, you run to the Mighty One and you say out loud, “The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid.” (Psalms 118.6)
That’s how you walk in the dark.