What has got you down?


OurGodisAbleMany people need to hear from someone today. Friends, family, pastors, spouses all need to hear from those that they care for. But what about those people that you don’t know? The people who are hurting but if you see them or talk to them they will tell you that they are doing fine. How can we touch their lives in a positive way? This is a hard question because most people who feel depressed don’t want to tell others. They consider this to be a burden that they alone can or should carry alone.

Depression is one of the weapons which Satan uses to discourage us before we become a believer, possibly enough to cause someone to take their own life. He also uses it to bring a Christian down so that their life gets out of control and feels hopeless. This is when we should be proactive about reading and meditating on God’s Word. Although, when depression hits you so hard that you feel overwhelmed its hard to think about much of anything except how you feel at the time.

Rest assured in the knowledge that God cares for you, even if you don’t know Him yet.

Psalm 42:11
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Being depressed seems to be normal for prophets and preachers as well as any other Christians. Charles Spurgeon was depressed for much of his life and he was one of the most successful preachers of 19th century England. God gives each of us the strength to make it through our troubles although sometimes we may not feel that strong. Lean on God and seek His wisdom in helping you to get through your trials no matter what they might be!

Many things get people down in their spirit or just plain depressed and sometimes it gets to the point of darkness when you feel that nobody cares…but God cares more about your trials and your life than you could possibly know. He came down to Earth as a baby to be the Perfect Lamb for our sins but He knew the sorrows of humanity and all of the problems which go along with being human. He knew the pain, the heartache and the loneliness of humanity, which is why He can give you the strength to get through all of your troubles.

God loves you so deeply until we can’t understand it! We may be able to feel it when we are in Heaven with Him but while we are yet alive here, our understanding doesn’t go deep enough to comprehend the depth of God’s love for us. Seek Him in your good days so that He will be with you on those days when life doesn’t feel very good. Especially when it gets to the point of feeling like it is out of your control and it won’t get better.

4-ways-to-turn-weaknesses-into-strengthDon’t give up on yourself or on His Presence in your life. Seek Him through the Psalms and Proverbs when your life feels out of your control. He will come near to comfort you in the time of need that you have regardless of the depth of need or the darkness that it feels like.

Sadness and heartache


So many people go through these feelings and problems, I say problems because of the things which cause sadness and heartache. What causes these feelings? It can be a divorce, or the loss of a job, or the loss of a spouse. Honestly, any number of things which happen every day to people all over the world can cause them. Why am I bringing all of this up? Because many people who have lost loved ones, whether it is a recent loss or it may have happened over a year ago, are still grieving and in mourning.

I went through a divorce twenty-seven years ago and my mother and grandfather died twenty-one years ago. I am not saying that losing a parent or grandparent is the same as losing a spouse because it isn’t. A divorce is not the same either because your spouse is still living, the only thing which died was the marriage itself which can die for a number of reasons.

Sadness, depression and heartache do happen to all people and they are tough to get through without an anchor, without something to lean on. Some people look at Christianity as a crutch and think that Christians are weak, but that isn’t true. Meekness is valued in our so-called religion, but being meek is just controlled strength. Life challenges us to be better than we can be on our own, whether it is through loss of someone important or a job or whatever it is which you have lost.

God can guide you through these problems with His Word and show you exactly what being a child of God really means. The depression which accompanies these problems is usually not very easy to handle either, which I found out about in 2014. Again, why am I bringing all of this up? Because, I feel there are many people who truly need to know that God loves them, regardless of their place in life or their needs. HE is there and all you need to do to enjoy His Presence is to seek Him out. Will He listen to your problems? Yes, He will. Go through His Word and read as many Psalms as you feel that you need to. Pray about all of the suggestions and the love that is contained in them.

Then, ask Jesus to come into your life and into your heart. Repent of your sins and begin life with Him in a Bible-teaching church. Why do I say this? Because He is necessary to a full and abundant life.

If you have ever felt an empty place in your heart or your life, that is the place where Jesus fits. Nothing else fits in that place, but many people try to put something else in it all of the time. Some try drugs, some use alcohol, some place their family in there, some put their career in it, but the problem with all of these is that they don’t fit exactly and they still feel like something is missing. It is because Jesus is missing and until you realize it, there will always be an empty feeling there.

Alienated….


Does anyone feel this way today? There are days when I feel this way and it even encroaches upon lonely, even with friends and family around. Why is that? Mostly it is because, I think, of my disability. I don’t have a daily job to go to, I don’t work except when I preach at church on Sunday. My “self-worth” isn’t tied to a career or a job anymore.

The good news about this is that God sees me as being worth His grace and His love! Just as He sees you and every other person on this planet, He looks at us with eyes that have seen all of the good and the truly horrible in humanity, and He still loves us! Why is that?

Because He is God! He can do whatever He pleases and it pleases Him to love us!

His love is so far above what we know and feel until it won’t be known by us until we are in His Presence…if we are born-again Christians. If you haven’t given your heart to Him and asked His forgiveness for your ways, then you will face Him as a person being judged for their life, their words and deeds, and everything that you gave approval of in your life.

Alienation is loneliness but it can bring you closer to Jesus if you will seek Him in it. Depression can be overcome by Him in your life by seeking His guidance through prayer, and reading the Psalms. All of our hindrances and limitations can be brought under His strength and under His tutorship if we will let Him take the wheel of our life.

We weren’t meant to do everything alone and without Him in our lives. We try to do a lot before we find out about Jesus and we try to do it with our own strength, our own ideas, our way of fixing things. Until we find that most of the time, our way is not going to work. We still feel empty and inadequate, unable to meet the deadlines and the requirements with our strengths and our ideas.

What are we to do?

Submit your life to Jesus and ask Him to cleanse your heart and your life so that you will be part of the family of God. Believe that He died for your sins and took the punishment for them, then ask Him to forgive you and He will. The grace of God has been extended to you through Jesus, all you have to do is ask for it and it is yours. You won’t be alone anymore because a part of God’s Spirit will live in your heart from that point on!

Are you for real?!


Many times when we are honest about our faith with someone, this may be the response. But, Jesus told us that if we deny that we know Him here then He will deny us in Heaven. I don’t want that on my conscience and I would rather be true to my faith in Him than not. Am I a Jesus freak? Well, I am a pastor of a small church and I have a ministry on facebook and here too, so I would say that yes, I am a bit of a “Jesus freak”. That is just fine with me actually. Why? Because it is my job and my calling. Why do Christians think that we are not supposed to tell others when Jesus Himself told the disciples to go and tell everyone about the Gospel? We are part of that company if we have given our life and our hearts to Him!
Is Christianity real? The religion is but the commitment of the believers is questionable. Why? If you were told that you had a gift waiting for you, if you would claim it and tell others how to get the same gift, would you?

In today’s world, if that gift were a million dollars, some would claim it and then tell others how they could get it. Some would hoard the information and not tell anyone else, why? If you knew that there was a cure for cancer would you give it to just someone in your family or would you spread the news about this cure, particularly if it was a simple cure that anyone could have? Some would and some would keep this information to themselves. Why?

If you knew about the end of life result for someone that would result in their eternity being an endless torment and you knew that they needed Jesus in their heart…wouldn’t you tell them about Him? Wouldn’t you read the Bible to them and try to explain the salvation message to them? Some people would tell them, others would say that is someone else’s job, not mine. Everyone needs to know about the way to salvation whether they choose to act on that knowledge or not is their decision.

What do you depend on?


We all have different ways of making it through our days. Some of us start off the morning with a cup of tea or coffee and the paper. Some people get online with a cup of coffee and try to catch up with what is happening. But, who do you go to and depend upon when things go terribly wrong? I don’t mean when you spill the milk or break a nail, I mean when you get a diagnosis which makes you sit down. When someone in your family comes home with a letter that says you are being sued for something, or maybe they are the one that gets the diagnosis which is like a hammer to your head and your heart, what do you do then?

Many people turn to their best friends or even to their church, if they go to one. So, what or Who do you depend on for assurance or hope or healing? Many people look to their doctor if they get one of those diagnoses, some look to him as well if there is a wreck or accident. The Person that you and I and everyone else should be looking to and praying to FIRST, before going to the doctor or anyone else is God! He is bigger and able to handle all of your problems, to give you strength to get through them all and if it is His will to do so, He will heal you of whatever the diagnosis may be. He may do it through the doctor’s skills or it may happen by His power and your faith before your next doctor visit.

Bad days are going to happen. Accidents and diseases are going to crop up in your life and mine, we are human and that is just the way our fallen world is. Good people and bad get these circumstances added to their lives all the time, it doesn’t matter how good you are or how bad you may be. The reality you have to remember is that God loves you and will not forsake you in any of your problems, you must have faith in him and ask Him for wisdom.

You don’t have to accept a “bad day”, God can make a day which seems bad turn into a good day. Love, especially between two people as husband and wife, can make a shack into a home. Expressing your love for your children is something that many people seem to have forgotten how to do these days. Wake up people, they need to know that they are loved by you just as much as you need to know that God loves you!

If you truly want a successful life and a happy home, even if it is in a two room shack with cracks wide enough to throw a cat through, love works much better to bring this about than alcohol or drugs or anger! Where love is anger cannot stay, when you truly love your children and your wife there is no fire too hot that could keep you from rescuing them! God is the answer that everyone is looking for, they just don’t know it yet. Many people say that they can worship God in a fishing boat or a deer stand just as well as they can in church. NO YOU CANNOT! You are looking for a trophy bass or antlers that will strain the wall to hold them up, you don’t go out there thinking of worshiping God!

I used to think that too and I would pray and talk to God while I was out there. That’s probably why I don’t have any trophies on my walls. I would thank Him for His beautiful creation and the sunrise that many don’t get to see. I would praise Him for the beautiful birds and the chipmunks as they scurry around trying to find all the acorns they have hidden for the winter. Yes, praising God and thanking Him for these things is good, but worshiping Him with other believers is more gratifying and humbling than any deer or turkey. Yes, they are God’s creation and He takes care of them just as He does each one of us, but they don’t worship Him. Their instinct tells them that He will feed them so they don’t know Him like we can.

Your Spirit is lifted up and refreshed every time you hear God’s Word preached. Your soul shouts for joy and it is heard in Heaven especially when you find that the diagnosis that you thought you had is just some cells that are causing trouble and making you feel bad. Satan and his followers know how to make you feel this way and will convince you that you are going to die. They can make it so convincing that you will die, if you allow them to take it that far.

We have power through Jesus’ name to renounce the feelings of deathly diagnoses, and depression that makes you want to crawl under a rock, but it does you and me no good at all if we don’t claim the Word of God and tell Satan to back off because I am a child of God! God’s Word and the promises in it are more powerful than any drug or any situation that you have or that you will ever encounter. Don’t forsake the Word or prayer and call on His name because He can heal you of all the afflictions that Satan has placed on you and in your life.

Love, what is it really?


This being a day that many of us associate with relationships and the feelings associated with them and yet many people don’t know what love really is.

Love is not sex or lust, those are associated with erotic love (lust), but that is not the emotion which would bring about a lasting relationship. One which would grow deeper with time regardless of the health of the one that you love or the amount of money that you have.

There is a movie in the theatres today that is making the erotic lust of someone into a “relationship”. It will be like burning a candle with a blow-torch, it is fun for a while but if it doesn’t grow into something far deeper and even more intimate, then it will burn out like that candle.

Many people chase after feelings like those from a sexual relationship or even the feeling that comes with getting high from drugs or adrenaline or even alcohol. These things are temporary and don’t last at all, but the love that doesn’t ask for anything in return, like the love that comes from God, that is mature love. The kind of deep love that lasts through sickness, heartache, poverty and wealth. It doesn’t matter what happens in your life, that kind of love is what we all search for and yet it is the kind that is so hard to find.

It is the kind of love that only God can bring into your life, whether it is through Jesus or by God bringing you and your “soul-mate” together. He is the only One, the only match-maker Who can answer the prayer of someone who is looking for that special someone who will be there for life, regardless of what life may bring. He is the only Person who can show you the very one who will be faithful and true to you just as He is. That is the relationship that we all are looking for, whether it is an intimate relationship with your spouse or with Jesus.

A relationship that is strong and enduring, whether it is between friends or your spouse or children, is what we crave and hunger for in our lives. Yet, even that relationship can’t take the place of the Relationship between you and Jesus. That One is more deep and connected than any that you can have if you will seek Him out when you feel that call on your life. If you haven’t felt that call yet, then I pray that you will seek Him out by going to church and open your heart to Him. Ask Him into your life and read the Bible, pray that God will give you the wisdom to understand its words and the Truth contained in it and He will.

The Love of Christ is the deepest and most enduring Love that is more than you can imagine or comprehend, yet it is available to you any time. Regardless of how your day is going, good or bad, Jesus is there to comfort and to strengthen you. He is there to heal when you feel broken by depression or injury or sickness, just call to Him. Coming to Him is easy if you believe that He will answer you. He doesn’t turn down anyone who genuinely seeks Him with an open heart asking Him to come and heal their lives.

God’s love for us, all of us, has been present since the first day of Creation. He saw down through the ages who would be needing and seeking Him. He knows you and your life, your problems and your pain and He has the answers for those too. No, I can tell you that your disease or other health problems  won’t immediately go away, but He will be with you and help you through them. In some cases, He may heal you immediately so praise the Lord for it when it comes.

Time for our world is growing short, so I urge you to seek God and His grace for your life. Believe it and in Jesus’ sacrifice for you and ask Him to come into your life so that God can give you eternal life with Him. If you choose not to believe in Jesus or in anything that you may read here, eternity will come for you but it will not be pleasant.

Is today a really bad day?


Are you under the bus? Is that how it feels today? How bad are you feeling today? Are you in a place where you feel like you are under the bus?

We all have days, sometimes weeks, where we may not feel good about the situation that we are in, whether it is one that we put ourselves in or our health may have put us in this spot. Did you do it to yourself or did God allow it to happen? For some of us, it is something which we actually are responsible for the situation, good or bad but usually bad, that we find ourselves in. Then, depending on how bad it may be we get into a pity party over it and carry it into other people’s lives so we won’t be alone. Is your situation caused by dependency on drugs or alcohol? Then, you got yourself into it and nobody can get you out until you make that decision to do so. God can give you the strength and the courage to get out, but it is still your decision to take the first step away from where you are.

For many people, that first step is the hardest one to take, especially if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Why is that? Because, our body reacts with the chemicals which we put into it and depending upon how they make us feel, we get strongly addicted to them. The stronger the so-called “good feeling” is, then the stronger the addiction is which makes it harder for you to break the addiction and get away from it. Why am I bringing this up during the holidays? Because, during the holidays is the time when many people get depressed over money or relationships or ??? Who knows what can cause these feelings, but it seems to happen during Christmas more often than it should.

We see people who seem to be happy in their lives, smiling and laughing and getting stuff to give to each other and if we aren’t able to do the same thing, then it makes us miserable. How do you know that they really are happy? That may just be a “fake happy face” that they use during this time of year! We don’t let people see the real us most of the time, that is reserved for close family or sometimes nobody knows the “real me”, you know how that feels? I do.

I have lived it and been that way for years and didn’t realize how much damage that I caused in my own life and in my own relationships until recently. I went into a real depressive state earlier this year and it took reading and praying my way through the Psalms to get me out of it. Depression can make you feel like you are not just under the bus, but that the bus is parked on top of you and you feel like there is nothing or nobody who cares enough about you to help get you out! Although, sometimes we want to stay in that condition. We don’t really care to get out or maybe we don’t want to get out from under this cloud and feel better.

Well, I am here today to tell you that you can do it! It is possible to come out from under the cloud and the bust and the addiction because there is Someone Who loves you dearly, even if you don’t feel lovable and may not even love yourself! God loves you and has loved you for thousands of years. Jesus came and died on the cross for you, so that you can come to know Him and the Father because of His sacrifice which covered not only your sins, but everyone else’s sins in the world as well! He came down to Earth in human form but with God as His Father and He had no “sinful nature” inside of Him like we do, and yet He still died for our sins, our weaknesses, our problems even though He didn’t have to…He did it because He loves us. Not because we are lovable, but because if He hadn’t, we would be doomed to eternity without knowing Him or God. We wouldn’t have been able to make ourselves right with God because it just isn’t part of our nature.

Jesus came into the manger as a babe in swaddling clothes, clothed in flesh so that He could know our troubles, our weaknesses, our fears, our heartaches and give us comfort through all of them because He has been there. He knows about your trouble and your triumph, your fear and your joy. He knows your pain and the pleasure of love without the sinful nature that we have to deal with. He and the Father love each one of us regardless of our trials and faults. All that we have to do is believe that He conquered our troublemaker and our sickness and then ask Him to come into our lives and give us the strength to make it out from our place of pain…out from under the bus. Then, pray and seek His strength to do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Being free from the pain of addiction is possible, but it takes us and Jesus to move, to take that first step, and then another and another until we are clear of it and we can see the Light and His love for us.

When you are down


1623771_736809902997332_1536594980_nThe times that I have been down in my life and not realized what I was going through, I don’t think that I could count them. I was very likely depressed more than I thought but I just thought that I was having a bad day. In truth, I was having a bad day but it also involved being at school or being with my family which really didn’t help much and sometimes made it worse.

They tried to help cheer me up or make me laugh. It worked sometimes, but more often than not it didn’t and it just compounded the problem. Family members, Mom, grandmother and grandfather and friends from school all would try to “help” in their own ways but the depression was still there, sometimes it was less cumbersome than before but often I would just lie and tell them that I was OK, and we would get on with the day.

True, that was not the right way to handle it but I didn’t know that at the time and neither did you. The point that I am making here is not one to bring up old habits or memories from this past week or in your life. My point on this site is to point you to the One person Who can help heal the dark areas of your mind and bring you back into the light of day. He won’t force you to worship Him and I won’t bring up the sinful life that we have all lived, because you know what you have done or what you may be doing today.

God loves you so much that He allowed His Son to give His life on a cross in order to take the penalty for your sins, regardless of how bad you think that you are. He came so that you can have an abundant life, one that is full of purpose and hope, not depression and thoughts of death and despair. I have had them myself, but I have conquered them through Jesus and His strength not on my own.

Give your life and REAL purpose, follow Jesus and do what the other disciples did…make disciples of others, become His disciple not because you are required to but because you are grateful that you have the chance. God has a place for you in eternity, and all that you or I have to do to get there is to believe in the saving power of Jesus and what He did for all of us on that cross.

What has been your “test”?


Have you been blessed with a “test” in your life? Many people don’t think of these as tests but as trials. In reality, it is a learning time or a teachable moment, even if the so-called moment lasts longer than you wish or want it to. Think of Job, in the Bible, his teachable “moment” took away everything that he had including his health. So much so that his wife advised him: “His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!“. ( Job 2:9)  What kind of nonsense it that!?

Giving up on life or cursing God…neither option is a good one and could actually make things much worse! God loves each of us far more than we can understand and He is always near us, especially if you are a Christian. Although many who are going through times that are hard, especially now, may not be Christians. So, what can they do? If things seem to be too hard to bear, cry out to God! He is the Great Physician and is able to do above and beyond what we can know or think to ask for!

Jesus died for us so that we can come to the Father at any time and if your heart feels that there is no hope, there really is! Through Jesus’ sacrifice for us, He gave us the access to God directly. We no longer have to go to a priest or a rabbi to know that our prayers are being heard. There is nothing that we can do that will aid our prayers about whatever it might be that is tasking us and trying our faith. God hears what you need, especially when we are seeking Him for His ever-present help and understanding!

We are not to test God with irrational things like jumping from a building or handling snakes or drinking poison. Our faith may save us in some of those situations, but God will allow gravity to have its way. The other so-called “tests” are just against common sense, period!

The point that I am trying to make is that God loves us and will save our souls if we come to Him, seeking Him for our salvation. When we add suicide into the mix of “issues”, God will allow your soul to be saved if you have given your heart to Him prior to this, even though some might argue this point. My actual point is that if you have given your heart to Jesus and truly asked Him into your life, I don’t believe that He will allow you to get so far down that you take your life. During my month of feeling this way, I have thought of suicide but that is as far as it went…just thoughts and nothing more.

I love my wife and son too much to leave them like that and even though I love Jesus more, I don’t believe that He wants me to do something that stupid with my life. If for no other reason than it doesn’t honour Him at all if I kill myself! Writing this out seems to be helping in many ways because it is almost like talking to a therapist without the bill. Besides, they have no interest in you anyway. All that they want is their fee. I may be wrong about that, but consider that they don’t really know you at all, you are just a patient to them.

Anyway, God created you and knows you far more intimately than anyone. He knew that this was coming and why. He also knows when it will end and will enable you to get through it, and you will by depending upon Him, trusting Him and having faith in His provisions for you.

 

Blue, down or depressed..which is it?


When you feel down, you don’t want to do anything. When you feel blue, you just don’t feel right. Depression makes you feel this way too, but in a more concrete way, by that I mean in a way that is not easily gotten over. Which of course is another thing that many people will tell you with all of the insensitivity that this contains, “Get over it!”.

When you feel like you are blue or you are just having a bad day, nothing seems to go right.
Depression and feeling depressed gives you a bad day which lasts much longer, sometimes, than you would care for it to.

Feeling blue or down in the dumps can be fixed by a lively song or a cheerful child or even a happy book or movie. The “blues” go away and you are yourself again. Depression is something which cannot be fixed by a happy song or any of the things which help a “blue” day. As a matter of fact, some of these so-called fixes can make the depression worse…can make it even deeper than it was.

Feeling sorry for yourself is another form of the “blues”, but it is nothing in comparison to depression at all. It’s like comparing a fire-cracker to an atomic bomb, they both go “BOOM”, but with far greater intensity and destruction in the atomic bomb’s case.

It is the same with depression, feeling blue is easily fixed…while depression is like an ongoing “bad day”. Drugs can help, but chemicals only go as far as they can go. Therapy can help, but confession to others only gives you a support group to spread the pain around with.

Time, prayer, and faith in God’s healing power is the only real cure for depression. Although, Satan will try to derail that with more intense feelings of despair and depression. The answer….I don’t have it. It is found in God’s Word, in faith and in fellowship with God’s people. Fellowship and the caring love demonstrated by them toward you, as a child of God, is the only REAL cure but it still takes time. It is not a quick fix, like we expect in our society today.

It is not easy and coming to the church is hard to do especially when you are depressed, because there will always be someone who thinks that you are just feeling sorry for yourself, when that is far from the truth. Whether they voice their opinion or not doesn’t matter, the look that you may get are just as cutting…just as hurtful.

You can fake “getting better”, but inside depression doesn’t go away like “feeling blue or down”. It is more similar to an alcoholic. Some think that it is a personal demon to be conquered, but it is one that truly doesn’t go away entirely. An alcoholic may be sober for years, but one drink can send them back and depression is like that. You might be OK for a while, but one trigger, one bad day can send you right back into the well of depression again.

Prayer and fellowship is the only real helpful fix for your state of mind. Intercessory prayer from friends is more helpful than anyone can know, so I am asking for this from all of you, and I Thank you in advance for your prayers.