Suppose you have a thought that is heart-stopping blasphemous, maybe an image of yourself stabbing a loved one, an urge to desecrate a picture of Jesus, or an idea that you are a sexual pedophile. Shocks of anxiety surge through your whole body. You try to shove it out of your mind, but you can’t. You must do something to deal with it right now.

In your better moments you know, because your therapist has told you so, that you suffer from classic obsessional thoughts. They issue not from you, but rather from OCD. They are meaningless and hollow, and kept in your mind only by the fear that they cause and the compulsions you do to get rid of them. You know that you should “ignore” the thoughts and stop the rituals. You try your best, and this helps some…but they keep on coming. What’s the next step?

For the Christian, it is to move on to the therapy of trust. It is to leave in God’s hands the occurrence of the obsessional thought as well as its accompanying anxiety. If God wants to allow the painful thought to occur; well, that’s up to him. If he wants to allow it to get better or worse, that’s up to him. If he wants to allow you to live in severe anxiety all day all day long, that’s up to him. We leave the occurrence of all of it to God.

But why, you ask, would God want that? “What I want,” you say, “is to get rid of these awful obsessions, and to stop feeling anxious!” But that’s the point. Maybe God wants you to give up what you want, and to consent to what he wants. Maybe he wants you to simply accept this trial, and to put your trust in him. Isn’t it clear that God tests us for our own good? To bear obsessional thoughts without fighting, to willingly endure painful anxiety, to hold on just to his grace: This is the weakness through which we become stronger (2Cor 7). Perhaps you are too self centered right now, feeling that you must be in control of everything.

We must be willing to let God mold us into better people. In the therapy of trust, we do nothing to curtail an obsessional thought when it occurs. We do not attempt to put the terrible thought out of mind. We also do not perform compulsive acts to correct it. We accept the presence painful anxiety, uncertainty and guilt; and we move on to doing what is important in our lives. Our attitude is simply: “If this is what you want, Lord, then bring it on. Your grace is enough or me.”

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20 Response Comments

  • Nick  September 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I have not yet employed this absolute trust in God. I intend daily to surrender my will to God’s Will, but your writing here inspires me to surrender deeper and deeper. I think this is why I continue to suffer, because on a deep level, I am still holding on to my own will about OCD.

    For the Christian, it is to move on to the therapy of trust. It is to leave in God’s hands the occurrence of the obsessional thought as well as its accompanying anxiety. If God wants to allow the painful thought to occur; well, that’s up to him. If he wants to allow it to get better or worse, that’s up to him. If he wants to allow you to live in severe anxiety all day all day long, that’s up to him. We leave the occurrence of all of it to God.
    ~~

    This is a much deeper level of trust that I would like to develop.

    Reply
    • admin  September 26, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Thanks for the comments, Nick. When OCD strikes, of course, all this will become fuzzy. Doubts will fly. That is part of the suffering that will bring you closer to God. In that situation, we’ve got to just hope for grace, and wait for it, and willingly suffer on our cross of fear and doubt.

      Reply
      • Nick  September 30, 2015 at 12:43 am

        Wow, the timing of reading your comment comes at the perfect moment. I really needed this.

        Yesterday I was triggered and an obsession took hold, and desire for reassurance and other compulsions.

        I chose to trust. However, it was as you said – fuzzy! I felt like I might be failing because of the fuzziness and lack of perfect surrender, and strong urges to seek reassurance from others.

        Of course, this was only OCD pride speaking, perfectionism.

        Your comment here guides me in that process when the doubts and fuzziness are present.

        Reply
    • Rita  January 19, 2020 at 12:28 am

      It’s not the LORD’S will to be anxious. He commands us to give our anxieties to Him, so
      to say it may be His will to be anxious is contrary to Scripture

      Reply
      • Joshua garman  April 26, 2020 at 9:09 pm

        You’re right, and no guilt either if the thoughts are not your thoughts.

        Reply
        • Joshua garman  April 26, 2020 at 9:18 pm

          Or if you confess and are forgiven there is no condemnation!!! Roman’s 8:1

          Reply
  • Ben Delp  December 16, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Powerful! Printed this out and am practicing this with everything that I am. I also love this approch because it honors God and if this is the way to honor Him- so be it! That’s all us OCD’rs want anyway- to trust and to love the Lord.

    Reply
  • David  September 12, 2018 at 12:41 am

    This is a great post, i just hope i can do this and over come these Horrible thought’s. I Trust you Jesus, give me strength.

    Reply
  • Nathanael  December 6, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    I have issue applying this because if my blasphemous thoughts are real, and sinful, then simply going about my day ignoring them and not curtailing the thought seems against scripture, and everything I’ve been taught as a Christian, and sense with my conscience. The blashemous thoughts I have are tied to visceral emotion and myself, not just white noise. If my will and my heart are involved, how do I move on? I try to say I trust in the blood of Christ but it just feels like a cop out as I go do fun things.

    Reply
    • G  February 27, 2019 at 4:43 pm

      Hi nathan, the same thing for me. Sometimes when I am angry i get the thoughts and then I have a hard time believing its just ocd. So i have a hard time ignoring it

      Reply
  • Karyn neal  December 23, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Do you suffer all day long and end up with insomnia. I’m so tired of the vile thoughts about father holy spirit now I’ll just let them pass

    Reply
    • André  December 25, 2019 at 2:17 am

      I’ve had many sleepless nights too. I think insomnia it’s chastisement from the LORD but sometimes we can’t really control what comes to our minds

      Reply
  • Tania  February 3, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I have a hard time trusting in Christ because I feel numb when I sin. I only have a mental want to be with God and want forgiveness but because I have numbness, I feel I have been given over. I struggle with unwanted thoughts commiting blasphemy.

    Reply
    • Grant Dietrich  July 8, 2020 at 8:31 pm

      God doesn’t even want the wicked to perish don’t give up! Jesus is Lord

      Reply
  • ann  March 4, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    How can you let your thoughts flow when there’s an urge/like a feeling you want to commit the sin and agree with the thoughts? This is my fear all day and night. I’m at loss as to what to do. I have to constantly make sure my mind is blank. Don’t know how much longer I can do this……

    Reply
    • admin  March 7, 2020 at 9:38 am

      We need to recognize when we are being tested. That’s when we call it OCD.The urge/feeling that you talk about is undoubtedly an obsession. We need to identify it as such, and treat it differently then a normalconcern. We treat it differently by trying to stay in the uncertainty and fear that it generates, while waiting and hoping for God to give us peace.

      Reply
      • April  July 5, 2020 at 4:28 pm

        I think what everyone here is trying to convey is this- how can we determine if they are really coming from us or ocd? Surely out of 100 thoughts some come from us. If that’s the case how do we know which ones to ask forgiveness for and pay attention to versus the ocd thoughts? If we don’t ask for forgiveness for the ones that belong to us then we’re singing right? It’s so hard to differentiate if they’re coming from you or OCD because sometimes it feels like you do agree with them and you’re purposely thinking them. I think this is where it gets really tricky for OCD people

        Reply
    • Becka  June 12, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      I feel exactly the same, I know I don’t agree with my thoughts and love God very much, but it feels like I have an urge to say bad things which then makes it not feel intrusive as I’ve had the urge. I find it hard to know if this is really ocd although it’s been going on for over three months everyday, I am in constant fear everyday if I have committed the unforgivable sin

      Reply
  • Honey Coleman  June 18, 2020 at 6:29 am

    I have had these thoughts for a few years, my family say ignore them but I find it hard to ignore, when they are blasphemous. God comforts me but I know that I have got to make that change, I’m not to sure how God bless everyone I really hope that you all get the help you need xxAmen

    Reply
  • Sandy Larios  June 24, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    I’m no therapist by all means although I wish I were. Seeing as though there’s so many of us that suffer with blasphemous or intrusive thoughts makes me want to go to school and take psychology courses and study the mind and how I can help people who struggle with mental illness and anxiety, depression, you name it. Although it may take a lot out of me but it may help me as well as understanding people and how I can ask God to give me the wisdom and sensitivity to give them hope and encouragement through Him. If only I could afford to go to college or maybe just take online classes especially during this pandemic cause I don’t think it’s safe for me to be out and about when people are still getting sick from Covid-19 without putting on their masks. 😫😞 but either way, we just let ourselves give up on our fight against ocd and COVID-19 but that we have to keep believing in Christ that it’ll all end for us soon, whether we live or die but as long as we know who we are and where we’re going in the end. This world is never meant for us so we shouldn’t hold on to it or the things of it for we need to look above instead. It’s hard to focus on the things of God and heaven believe me, I know but we must! We can not afford to get comfortable with our lives anymore for Jesus Christ is coming soon! We must do everything we can to fight until our last breath! God be with us all. ❤️ I can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Philippians 4:13

    Reply

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