Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Have you been feelin' down and depressed lately? Hey, got some up-lift for ya!

Have you been troubled? How troubled, how down ..and for how long? Had some stress, loss or failure lately? Have you seen a doctor ...or better yet (or perhaps in addition to that).. have you run to visit the Great Physician (Christ) first? That's so advisable! He can do more and knows much better. 

He might not heal everyone out there on this side of eternity, but He does heal people. Need some healing, hope or comfort? Ask in faith. 

I want you to know that in no way are you alone in your sufferings. You are not an orphan, believer. God cares, He has a good plan, and He will not leave you there alone. Please know that Christ not only bore all of our sins up on that tree at Calvary, He also bore all of our sorrows, distresses, and heartaches... therefore fully cast all of your cares upon Him who indeed cares for you.    

You know it's been pretty crazy out there in the world lately. People all over need new hope, a touch, some protection and fresh vision. As I've been watching our world ..that's more and more gone far astray, I often wonder how savage will our times be? Do you as well? Yeah, I just get curious about this. 

"O come on, be positive, Kurt. Why should we think about those real issues that we and our troubled communities experience?" 

Well some say "It'll be better", but in reality it's going to get worse ...before it gets better for believers. 

Hearts down here will fail for fear. Lawlessness and iniquity will become more rampant than before and the love of many people will literally wax cold. We are already seeing countless young (and not so young) people suffer due to being deceived. They have all the latest tech widgets n toys and really hurting hearts. Many fathers have unreasonably ditched em. In fact minors, young adults and yes countless older folks say on a fixed income (pre-cost-of-Obamacare kickin' in) like never before have been running in the wrong direction ..away from their Heavenly Father for pleasure, for the world, for money, for some security etc. Some have long, long, no really long-term just turned away from their own folks and family members who love them. You know, they're quick to make their new lovers or misguided gang-banger buds their new families. Where did purity, responsibility, and wise maturity go? Where is faithfulness, loyalty, and stability any more?

Yes, these are now savage, perplexing, and for many people even desperate times. Other countries from centuries gone by would have already quickly repented and humbly returned to God by now if they had only seen what we are now seeing.. but us? No, we are too advanced for that (stubbornly, arrogantly independent, self-loving (too much), all kindsa pleasure-loving, and sin-loving (but not calling it sin - man, I've been there). Who was it here that turned the term "selfishness" into "fulfillment"? Why don't we as a people actually hang a U-turn back to God and to His Bible? We've been killing millions of babies (as uber-sexual and porn-grasping societies have done before). We've been teachin' our kids in our schools that they come from animals and then we scratch our heads in surprise and wonder why they go act like animals breedin' with so to speak (strangers even, minus marriage commitment) growling, clawin' at  (bullyin' like they see in their violent vid-games) and devouring each other.. youth killin' kids and other youth. It happens at the movies, in clubs , in wild house parties, on campuses and at now marathons like the one in Boston. Hello! With all due respect, it's time to board the clue-bus Mr. President and America.   

I talked with and prayed for Sam today, a bright young man under 25 years of age from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Really enjoyed it. Great guy!

He has been struggling tryin' to get out of a hefty bout with depression. He really wants to serve the Lord in complete freedom now, so he has just recommitted his life over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I believe that God will bless, comfort, restore and use Sam soon. I just encouraged him to read, meditate upon, pray over, and memorize verses in the Word of God daily... also to pray and mean it (developing close relationship and fellowship upwards), to go find fellowship with other growing believers. 

But perhaps you too have been fighting some depression and want to be liberated. It can happen as you simply call out to and look to the Lord. He's real good at that kind of setting free. Would you mind if I shared a few verses that I shared with Sam on this subject? I think they will bless you. 

The Bible says, "The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?" (Prov. 18:14).

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:4-5).

"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.." (2 Cor. 4:8-9).

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God.." (Gal. 2:20).

I hope these edify you gobs like they did me. I don't know how it currently is where you live, but here in the States where I am there is Jihad-terrorism. a lot of anxious unrest, partying, countless people feeling really down cuz they are out of work. There's some chaos and confusion (you know, that accompanies some of that stuff), real fear of the future and of lack and of failure. This is pretty prevalent now. And Americans are sadly 'snapping' by the millions. Yes, I run into so many and really feel for em. It's been distressing, savage and perplexing kinda times here lately, but Christ is still the same. He is the Answer for any of us no matter the question or need (see 21|25-27 in Luke). 

Now, I am not at all a medical professional who can precisely tell you about the chemical balance of your body or what you need in that area, but I know that discouragement and depression are probably responsible for more pain, anguish and distress than any other affliction of mankind of our era. Listen to one of my heroes...

"Discouragement often comes when we don't get our own way or when things don't work out the way we want them to. The children of Israel thought that because they were God's children they should be spared adversity and trouble, that Canaan should be captured without a struggle. But this was not God's plan. It never is. We must be willing to die to self before we can know the real meaning of life. We must often bleed (so to speak) before we can be blessed, and a cross must be endured before the crown is to be worn. Discouragement is the very opposite of faith. It is Satan's device to try to thwart the work of God in your life. Discouragement blinds our eyes to the mercy of God and makes us perceive only the unfavorable circumstances." ~ Billy Graham

"So Kurt, is there a way to dispel this dark blighting cloud of depression and discouragement? Kurt, are you saying that God can deal with this sort of thing the best?" That's exactly what I'm saying and that He also might lead you to some more help after you first turn to Him. Yes there is a way out, but if you are counting on your own power or inner strength and clever ingenuity to do this alone.. guess what Buckeroo.. you won't be real successful in that effort. Yeah, you'd sadly be doomed to continue feelin' down and discouraged longer (..and that's not at all what I want for you). The Bible says, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!" (Ps. 27:14). 

One good way that helps me when I get feeling down or depressed is to remember that Jesus Christ is coming again... coming first in the clouds with the Rapture of the Church and then in His Second Advent. It seems obvious to many that the birth-pangs He spoke of are increasing in intensity and in frequency. And scientists have confirmed this (no worries, I won't set any date). 

Yup, the most thrilling thing - a way-glorious truth is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It will be soon I'm pretty sure. Look around today and you might see gobs of pessimism on every side, but we all need to remember that the Bible is the only book in the world ..even among all religions that there are.. that accurately predicts what will happen in the future. God has thus far got it right 100% of the time and He will continue to. That's why we can trust what it says. He wants to hangout real tight with you and never part ways.  

Christ boldly told us, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me... I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (Jn. 14:1-3).

And God also gives us this prayer from King David to encourage us, "..O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! For Your arrows pierce me deeply, and Your hand presses me down. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me"..."Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!" (See Ps. 38:1-4 and it's context plus 21-22 nkjv).

Listen, if you've suffered loss ..little or much.. if your life or heart is just aching, dark, depressing and gloomy today, Christ can turn your dark clouds inside out. Yup, you've heard it all before I'm sure, but He can turn your whole situation around in a heart-beat. It's true. The bright shining sunlight of His agape-love and grace can still shine through to you. Yes, into that darkest part of your life to help you ..get up, try again or simply go forwards. Sure, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (Jn. 8:12).

As it was with the 
Jews of Israel out in the wilderness back in the day, we too believers, are travelers off to the Promised Land. Weren't made to stay in beat-down-defeat, depression, self-pity and unbelief. No way! Christ is our loyal Guide encouraging us to advance walking in victory, in the Spirit, in compassion, in faith, in His unchanging Word... and not one day in the flesh! And check it out.. as the Israelites did all their traveling through that vast dry desert area in order to cross over and "arrive," the Bible tells us, "The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way" (Ex. 13:21). So keep on asking Him to be Lord of every area of your life, and to lead you through as well. He'll do it.. Jesus so wants to bless you and more than you want to be blessed by Him! 
Never forget that you were not made to be in that barren wilderness permanently. No, no! You were made for God.. to worship and glorify Him. You matter gobs! There is a purpose for you. And hey, while we're at it.. longing for that better country ..a heavenly one.. while looking forward to that city which hath foundations whose Architect and Builder is God (Heb. 11:10 & 16).. yeah, while purposely exiting this dry fruitless turf for our home in Heaven, let's together do our best to know Him n bring some other weary travelers along with us. Sure, labor in love now while lives are so at stake, fully kick-back, feast and off-the-chain-celebrate (Rev. 19:9) with the Groom then. Sounds reasonable huh.. cuz it is! 

Want some prayer today? I'd be glad to pray for you. I'd be honored really. We can together pray for your life and future. God says, "Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jer. 33:3). Leave a comment below. 
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