The world is full of self help books on how to overcome depression, anxiety and despair. According to most publications that are available today, these afflictions are caused by physical and psychological problems that originate in chemical imbalances and physiological abnormalities. According to the One who created us, the reason for these difficulties are not physical, they are spiritual.
Our hearts and minds are the methods by which we are able to think, feel, and express our feelings. When the mind is in conflict due to unresolved issues, the heart responds with sadness and despair. One of the greatest causes of depression in human life is unresolved guilt. When we say or do things that we know are not correct, we build up a debt of remorse in our mind. If we have had terrible things said or done to us by other people, and the feelings that flow out from these traumas, are unresolved, a sense of guilt also ensues. Guilt is not necessarily caused by our own actions, they can also accumulate when unjust actions are committed against us. Over time, this mounting guilt builds until we can no longer cope with the burden. We begin to feel hopeless, helpless, and are filled with sadness and despair.
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25 Continue reading “The Key to Overcoming Depression, Anxiety, Suffering, and Despair: Remember”
The Book of Genesis contains an incredible story of the faithfulness of God. Joseph, who is hated by his brothers, is cast into a well and later picked up by Midian slave traders. He is sold to Potiphar in the Pharaoh of Egypt’s service and spends many years in great trials.
Back at home, Joseph’s father; Jacob, is told by the brothers who threw him into the well, that Joseph is dead; killed by a wild beast. Immediately Jacob begins to accept the worst and grieve for his son. Continue reading “The Danger of Believing the Worst”
There are many moments in the course of our lives when we find it difficult to trust the Lord. Even after experiencing a wonderful miracle or incredible moving of God in our lives—when a trial follows, we may find trust a difficult issue. For some reason we seem to focus more on the things that we do not have, rather than the many blessings that God has already given to us.
As I write these words, my dear wife lays in a bed across from me in the Intensive Care unit of a hospital. Two months ago, she began to experience headaches and a loss of vision. An M.R.I., revealed that she has a craniopharyngioma; a tumor, about the size of a golf ball, inside the very center of her brain. The optic nerves of her eyes, as well as the Pituitary gland, have been compressed by the presence of this slow growing tumor—during her entire forty-eight years, until it has finally robbed her of all vitality of life. Two months previous to my wife’s awareness that she would require two intensive brain surgeries, I suffered a heart attack on a remote island in the Philippines. We had been working together for the past five years, to bring some relief to the poor of an forgotten people, who live in object poverty. Just after midnight on October 10, 2014, I awoke with a searing pain in the center of my back, left shoulder, and chest. I didn’t know at the time that I was having a heart attack. I had been working so hard that I believed my pain was caused by a torn muscle in my back. I did not receive any treatment for my heart attack for another three weeks. I should have died during the early weeks after this event, but I did not. A blood clot had formed in the lower part of my heart that doctors describe as a “Thrombosis.” Nearly one-third of my heart muscle had died during this attack. Shortly after arriving back in the United States for treatment in late November of 2014, we learned of my wife’s brain tumor. Continue reading “Though He Slay Me, Yet Will I Trust Him”
When Jesus came to earth to inhabit the body of a man, it was for the purpose of becoming one of us, thereby qualifying Him to be the Savior of all people. Before Jesus offered His life, He counted the cost of the sacrifice that He was going to make. He knew ahead of time that it would involve the laying aside of many of His former rights and privileges as the God of the universe. All these things, He knew beforehand and He was willing to do, because He loves us all so very much.
For 33½ years, Jesus placed himself in total obedience to the Father on our behalf, as a man. It was necessary that He be tested in every area that all of us are tested. It was necessary that He would feel every pain and emotion which we all feel as human beings. We can have great confidence and comfort today in knowing that we have a Savior who understands us. He knows what it is like to be human and He is therefore able to help us in all our trials and difficulties.
If you have experienced difficult moments during your life, which caused you great despair and suffering, Jesus understands your pain. He is able to offer relief and comfort for your broken heart and tormented mind. If you have been tempted by sin and failed, Jesus understands—for He was tempted in all things, yet never sinned. He is able to exercise great compassion and tenderness towards us when we sin and fail over and over again. He does understand how you feel when the guilt and regrets of past mistakes take hold of your heart. Jesus will always show mercy and forgiveness to you when you come to Him humbly with your sin and are ready to repent and be forgiven. Even before the words are spoken: “I am sorry Lord,” He has already begun the healing process for your brokenness. Jesus will always receive you and is always ready to forgive you and set you back on a path of blessing, if you will only come to Him.
Jesus’ obedience to the Father allowed us to have the opportunity to be forgiven when we fail to be obedient. He marked out a path of righteousness for us to follow. He offers strength to the weary and guidance to the lost. His mercy is greater than all of your sins and His forgiveness stretches to the heavens.
Revelation 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.”
Today, the term I am the first and the last, has lost its original meaning. At the time that John penned these words in the Book of Revelation, anyone hearing this term spoken by an individual, understood that they were claiming to be the eternal God.
Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.’ ” Continue reading “God Will Have the Last Word in Our Lives”
Every year of our lives, we are faced with circumstances that sometimes appear impossible to overcome. We have two choices: we can become discouraged and give up, or we can trust in the Lord–who has the ability to overcome any difficult circumstance.
We see this ability demonstrated over and over again, by the lives of real people–in the Old Testament. David, though he was a man who failed miserably in many of the decisions that he made during his life, the Lord was still faithful to keep the promises that He had made to this imperfect man.
Some of the ways in which the Lord brought about the fulfillment of His promises–are truly miraculous. Though some obstacles were clearly impossible for men, with God nothing is impossible. Continue reading “How God Keeps His Promises, Despite Impossible Circumstances”
Life is full of trials. If you have people in your life, at some point, they will hurt or disappoint you. If you live long enough on the earth, life will frequently become hard to handle. There are many trials to which we simply cannot stand up to. The reason that our moments of difficulties are so hard for us–is due to our lack of knowledge in understanding how to deal with these issues.
In David’s 91st Psalm, he graphically describes the future temptation of Jesus–by the devil, in the wilderness of Judea. In this example by Jesus–when He was suffering unimaginable mental stress and physical suffering in His body, we learn how to overcome our own suffering. Continue reading “Our Trials, Suffering, and Pain, and How Jesus Overcame His Own”