Friday, September 11, 2015
On this momentous day, I was reminded of the many people whose lives were shattered forever because of the events of that infamous September morning in New York City. It is pretty clear to me that if it was not for God’s grace, most people would not survive life’s trials. Even for those of us who know Jesus, life’s experiences can inflict some knockout blows on us every now and then. Many super spiritual types may boast that the storms of life don’t affect them one bit and if that were true, they would be mightier in the faith than many bible heroes ever were. This, of course, is not true and just one example was the prophet Elijah. He was one of the greatest prophets of God but if you closely examine the events set forth in 1 Kings, Chapter 19, which featured him fleeing in terror from the wicked Queen Jezebel’s threats, you will determine that he too suffered through a season of depression.
Since we are on this subject, I recently read with interest the tips given by a certain social website for fighting depression. Among the tips that were actually supported by scripture, were the following: (1) laugh more, (2) avoid alcohol, (3) focus on good things, (4) and be totally honest. Proverbs 17:22 says: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” I’m sure most of you are aware by now that I love funny stories. I’ve even been dubbed “Captain Corn.” Take this God given medicine and don’t take life more seriously than you have to, for laughter has the ability to lessen the pressure of life’s cares. Besides, all of us look a little bit better when we have a smile on our face.
As far as alcohol is concerned, it doesn’t apply to most of us although one bible teacher I know once gave a long and exhaustive study on the deadly effects of alcohol and dancing to his senior citizen class. Some of them would have been hard pressed to stand up, let alone dance. As far as focusing on good things goes, the idea is supported by the advice given to us in Philippians 4:8. By experience, I have learned that this is true. Those who focus on good things and stay busy serving others for the love of Christ, seldom have any time to dwell on matters that could depress them.
Finally, being honest honors God more than pretending that we’re so spiritually strong that nothing bothers us, and it goes a long way when we are going through spiritual or emotional valleys. David wrote: “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” (Psalm 51:6) Being honest with others, and especially with God will always hasten healing. Because Christ lives in us, there is absolutely nothing that can destroy us, and that includes depression.
Memory verse for the week: (1 Corinthians 13:4) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”