Jackelyn Viera Iloff, Sr. Advisor of Joel Osteen Ministries, Asks the Question “What if you Could?” – Guest Post from Eleni Schuurman

“You aren’t good enough.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“Everyone else is so much better than you.”

“Wait until they find out how mediocre you really are.”

“You can’t do anything.”

How often do we hear these voices in our head? Whether they originated by osmosis, or have been told to us over and over again, they continue playing as a broken record until we are just that… broken. How do we break this cycle? How do we choose to believe what the Bible says about us instead of what others have told us, or what we believe to be true about ourselves? What if we believed we actually could?

In Lucas’ latest interview on “The Lucas Miles Show,” he speaks with Senior Advisor of Joel Osteen Ministries, Jackelyn Viera Iloff, about her new book “What if you Could: Find Faith in the Face of Fear?” In this two-part interview, Jackelyn and Lucas discuss the power faith, taking responsibility for our own decisions, and stepping out of the cage of fear.

I believe truly believing in what God says about us is our greatest battle as human-beings and our greatest reward as Children of God.

If you are like the rest of us and have the sound of discouragement playing as the theme song in soundtrack of your life, where did these thoughts come from? Why do we place so much importance on what we perceive to be true, or what other people have said to us? When in reality these people are probably just as broken and discouraged as we are.

If we have a poor self-image, despite the encouragement of people around us…why do we think so low of ourselves? God created us in His image (Genesis 1:27). Surely, we don’t think we know better than God, do we?  The Bible says that God created our inmost being and knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Based on this scripture, we can be assured that God knows us and made us very well. So why do we insist on believing these lies?

Deep down, we may even believe that God’s promises are true for other people, but not ourselves. Why?

I think we choose to.

At the end of the day, what do we decide to believe? The lies, or what God says about us?

There is your answer.

I am very aware that the majority of people have been hurt and even abused by family, friends, strangers and possibly even important authority figures. Even though what people have said to you is not true, and what they have done makes you feel an array of emotions that are not true – it’s true for you. I believe this fact should not be taken lightly or brushed aside as if it were nothing. It is an incredible hurdle to overcome, especially for those suffering from PTDS. These traumatic episodes have constructed a cage of lies that you believe cannot get out of. This is the reason Jackelyn’s book is so helpful! She gives you the keys to get out. Not only that, but the Word of God melts the metaphorical iron bars of whatever prison you are in and helps you live a life of freedom.  This is the Good News of the Gospel! Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted and set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1b).

For all of you who think your life is too complicated, or you are too wounded for such a simple solution such as “faith” – what if the answer really is that simple? What if all it took was choosing to believe that God is who He says he is, and can do what He says he can do? My pastor says that if we do the man-sized task, God will do the God-sized task. What if we do it afraid? What if we took one step at a time, trusting that God will be faithful? The answer might just really be that simple.

You may not be able to wake up tomorrow and have perfect faith without those doubtful thoughts creeping in. It’s a process. I think the key is identifying the lie and choosing the believe the truth. I was reading Annie F. Downs’ devotional, “100 Days to Brave” and I love how she says that being courageous is not the absence of fear, it is deciding to move forward in the face of fear. The Good News is that we don’t have to walk alone. God is with us. He died for us. He will equip us for what He has called us to do.  We need to believe and focus on these truths. Take it one day at a time, or one minute at a time, if necessary.

For those who are currently in a ‘Faith Building’ season, I feel there is something else we need to hold onto in addition to faith, and that is hope. Hope that your story isn’t over yet. Hope that you can still dream, and hope that God will be faithful still.

We cannot use what has happened to us as an excuse to remain as frightened and insecure human-beings. This is not the life God wants for us. Jackelyn encourages us to decide to unlock the cage door and choose to step out in faith. It’s a decision we can make, one step at a time. Instead of choosing to find comfort in self pity, she motivates us to decide to believe we were created with a purpose. Believe that God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11). Believe you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

What would happen if we spoke these Scriptures every day?

Let’s find out!


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