Despair and depression, where do they come from?

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11

The words above were written for us today. Because they speak to the depression and the solitude which Satan uses to take over our life and make it one which is filled with despair and heartache. Why does he do this? Because he doesn’t want you to tell anyone about Jesus and he knows that if you are “down in the dumps”, you won’t feel like spreading the Good News of Jesus to anyone! If he can stop you from telling one person, he has done his duty. Because, that one that you might miss because of your depression just might be the next great evangelist and he doesn’t want them to be that.

Satan hates us as human beings because God loved us more than He loved the angels, of which Satan was a principle cherub, the guardians of God. Not only does he hate humanity because of God’s love for us but because of the special position that God gave to us, the relationship that we can have with God through His Son. So, you see it isn’t personal, he just hates us with such a deep and abiding hatred that no human could ever understand it. Satan will make people think that he will reward them with power and wealth and he might for a time, but the day will come when your “contract” will be up. No amount of money or power will save you from the eternal punishment that will fall on you because you chose to align yourself with the consummate liar and deceiver that is Satan.

Some religions teach that there is no eternal punishment for us because Jesus paid that price and we are all saved through Him. Well, technically that is true but if you have not repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart and your life, you don’t have Him as Lord and Savior to keep you from being thrown into the lake of fire with Satan and his followers. Just as if I told you that I have one hundred dollars that I will give you, if you don’t come to my home and claim it then you still don’t have it. The offer of salvation is there, the price has been paid and once you take hold of it then your salvation cannot be un-done, but if you don’t grasp it and repent of your sinful ways and follow Jesus when you ask Him into your heart, then they were just words and nothing more. You can even get baptised in front of a church or in a stream, but without repentance and a commitment to follow Jesus, you just got wet in front of an audience and nothing more.

The Church which was started on the day of Pentecost was not a specific denomination. It wasn’t called the Church of God or the Church of Christ or the Pentecostal church. At the time, the Jews in Israel called them believers of the Way, a sect that they wanted to crush and destroy. Which is why they sent Saul to imprison and beat the believers in this “Way”. The persecution of believers began then and it has not stopped since. It may be subtle here in America, in other countries it is more pronounced and vigorous. Elsewhere, Christians are imprisoned, beaten, and sometimes killed because of their belief in Jesus.

Satan has used this jealousy and animosity against the Church to destroy and persecute it for centuries simply because he wants to undo the plans of God as much as he can. That is why there is so much suffering in the world and so much pain and death. God allows this because He gives each of us a choice, whether to follow Him or not. Without a choice, there is no real love. Think about this, if someone tried to force you to follow them or love them….would you? I wouldn’t.

Are we there yet?

Did you ever hear this from your kids? I know that nearly every parent has heard it a few times. So what about all of us who live in the world today? Do you ever wonder about when or where you might end up when this life is over? Well, the when I can’t help you with and to be truthful I personally can’t help much when where either unless you listen carefully to some of the writings that I have placed here.

First, the when is entirely up to God. He knows specifically when and how you will die and leave this life, so you need to consult Him about that. Although, He won’t give you that information. We never find out when or how we die ahead of time, because that would make things too easy. The Bible says that no one knows the time or the hour of the second coming of Jesus and we also don’t know our own time of departure from this life. I really don’t want to get into the “when I will die” discussion because I don’t want to know for myself. When God decides it is time, I will go..period.

What can I tell you about the part of life concerning “are we there yet?” ? Well, with all of the movies which show aliens or asteroids or some other “end of the world” scenario, I believe that there are many people who are wondering just that very thing, are we there yet? The answer is…..we are getting close. I know, for many people this will be a let-down and a non-answer, but it is the truth and its the only answer that I can truthfully give you. No man knows when these things are going to take place, unless God gives him that information and He won’t likely do that until it is very close to happening. Even then, they won’t be given an exact day or hour if they are given any information at all!

We are to be watching and seeking Him until that day. We are also to be doing His work until that day and it will come because it has been foretold, regardless of the fact that it has been over two thousand years since Jesus’ time. Our life and everything that goes on in this world will go on as it has until the events foretold in the book of Revelation begin to happen. Paul said that we would not see any events until the “man of sin is revealed”, even though many Christians are taught that we will be “taken up” before any of the events in the book of Revelation come about.

I don’t want to get into a debate about interpretations of scripture either so I am going to stop there. The point of my writing is that we are not there yet, but the time is growing shorter by the day. Step up the attack, tell as many people as you can about Jesus, teach as many as you can about Him, because the time is right. Your Salvation and your Savior draws nearer with each passing hour and day that goes by.

Too much information

Our world, and our everyday lives are drowning under a tidal wave of information. Some, we don’t truly need and some is just too repulsive to look at or read and yet we see it on the news and television, on the Internet and in our homes. Degradation in the world is rampant and meaninglessness is felt by many who should be too young to feel that way, but they do.

There seems to be a fogginess in our way of thinking and living which clouds people’s minds to what is right and what is wrong. Cults of all kinds are rampant, gangs and drugs assault our young people in grammar school with poisonous teachings and ideas. Paganism is deemed to be acceptable yet Jesus is not. Any religion apart from Christianity is fine and will be allowed in all areas, but don’t you dare mention Jesus or try to tell someone about Him.

The information that is needed in our world is being rejected by most, even in countries which were founded upon Christian principles. Yes, many Americans claim to believe in God but so does Satan! Yet, one out of three is the best you can find who truly claim to be Christians that attend a service once a week, and of those, some statistics show that only one in ten actually practice what they claim to believe.

Information has had a powerful impact on our world, especially in the past twenty years or so. Because of the “world-wide web”, information is available to everyone at any time of the day or night on computers, smart phones and tablets. The biggest problem is that most of the information out there is of the variety that you can’t discuss or show to a mixed crowd. That statement may strike some as odd, but I don’t believe that much of the content out there should be discussed between men and women or especially with your kids.

The “dark side” of the web is or seems to be bigger than the “good side”. It is more prominent, more out there so to speak. Just as the few in the media seem to be louder than the majority, from the gay agenda to the lobbyists who are trying to take our right to keep and bear arms to those who don’t want any religion in America at all, the side of the Internet that is more visible is really visible because people are looking for it.

Just as when you find a treasure of yours, whatever it might be, you didn’t just happen to find it…you were looking for it. That is the way that the information on the Internet works too. You didn’t just “accidentally” run upon that site that had pictures that you wouldn’t show your mother. You didn’t just happen to find the recipe for making a bomb by accident, you were looking for it. When we get into trouble, regardless of the kind of trouble it might be, it is not by accident. We were trying to find something or trying something out that we hadn’t tried before, but it was not an accident.

Just as when you come to the knowledge of Jesus, it wasn’t by accident, it was and is because you were called and chosen by God. You can fight it, you can attempt to run from the knowledge if you wish, but by revelation through a dream or by a visit by an angel or by going to a worship service, you will come to Him once you have felt that call. God knows each of us, intimately, and He knows who will answer the call on their lives and who will not answer immediately. The love and patience that He has is far above what we can exercise ourselves.

The information that is in the Bible is enough to keep you searching and looking for a way to tell others for the rest of your life. That one book is not out-dated or just a collection of stories, but it has been inspired by God’s Spirit and as such it is the Truth. That is why the focus of the entire Bible is the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Believe it, as Satan does, or not…that is your choice, but at least give Jesus a chance to show you Who He is and what He can do in your life. You only have the time allotted to you on Earth, so make sure as soon as you can.

Can God use you for His purposes?

Are you willing to let God use you in your life? Have you given your heart to Him so that He can use you? There are many people who don’t know about the Bible or what is in it these days in America. It really isn’t hard to understand why though. We have pushed the Bible, prayer, reading the Bible and many other activities related to being a Christian completely out of our lives. There are many who don’t know the first book in the Bible and many others who can’t even name the four gospels telling of the life of Jesus and the good news that was His life and ministry. I use “was” to denote that it happened about two thousand years ago, not that He is dead because He isn’t, Jesus sits at the right hand of God awaiting the time that He will come back and get the Church.

I am getting a bit ahead of myself here though. Are you a Christian or do you want to be a Christian? If you do, then ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you for the life that you have lived. He will show you how to live a different way with a new purpose and a new attitude. Once you have done this, pick up a Bible and pray that God will teach you through it because He will do that. Just reading it will help, but asking God to show you the things that you need to learn will help more than even going to church.

Although you will want to attend a church which teaches from the Bible soon because meeting with others who believe like you do is necessary. The early church in Jerusalem met in their homes, but they did meet together. The fellowship gained during this time is necessary for your growth in Christ as well as your learning more about Him. It is also necessary to your growth as a Christian because the fellowship that you enjoy with other believers grows sweeter and more like family as you grow in your faith!

Now, to get to the issue of being used for His purpose…first of course you have to be a believer and you should be willing to do the will of God. That being said, it is not an automatic thing that every believer is going to work for God in some way. The easiest way to do this is by studying God’s Word daily, then praying about what you have read and seeking His will for your life. He will answer your prayers in His time, of course, not yours so be patient. The best advice I can give you at this point is DON’T EVER ASK GOD FOR PATIENCE! He will hear that prayer and you will learn patience but you may not like the lessons!

God loves you and all of humanity and He does answer prayers, just realize that some of those answers are His way of testing you and teaching you. So, don’t be surprised with the answers that you get especially those that don’t seem to be what you asked for. God loves each of us and He does take care of our needs every day, but He is not One that you can ask for money and it will just fall into your account. Prosperity comes with sacrifice and work, not from schemes and gambling. Read through Proverbs carefully in either the Living Bible translation or the English Standard Version, then you will understand His view toward work and laziness and debt.

The Bible can teach you more than a college can in four years, but you have to meditate on it, pray about it and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand His message for your situation when you are reading it. Believe me, I used to think that it was just an old book until I became a Christian and started really studying it and praying about what I read. Then I learned that your education is severely lacking if the Bible is not part of it. Give God’s Word and Jesus a chance in your life and your life will never be the same again…it will be one hundred percent BETTER!!!

Where are you?

Many of us, at one point or another, have wondered this about God. “Where are You, God?”

How many times have you said that?

How many times have you heard someone say it?
Yes, it is hard to make it through the day sometimes when things are not going right but why not do something about it? To that, many people would ask me, “OK, what can I do about it? I don’t see Him doing anything!”

The best that you can do is stop blaming God for your problems. First of all, He gives us a choice in everything, every decision that we make whether it is good or bad. Second, and for many this would be the tough part, ….start your day off with prayer and reading some verses in the Bible. Begin your day by thanking Him that you are awake and alive to see this day, then pray that your day will be fruitful for His Kingdom and read a verse from Proverbs or Psalms or any other verse that has meaning for you. Jesus did this by getting up early and praying before the day began and that is how we should live our lives too.

Being grounded in the Word and beginning the day with God starts the day in the right way, then everything else that follows will have His Spirit in it, covering it and giving you the strength to get through it and the problems that may come during your day at home or at work. Once you get into a habit of doing this, it won’t be hard at all to do it all during the day. Pray about the problems which come up, the traffic jam that you are in on the way to or from work, someone else’s trouble during the day. Cover the day and all that is in it with prayer.

God asked Adam the same question about where he was, but God knew all along. The important thing that we have to realize is that God never leaves us, especially if we are Christians. He is always in our hearts and as close as our skin. We are never alone, even if you aren’t a believer. He knows you and knows about you and what you do. If you have felt His call or tug on your heart, please consider answering that call. He has a plan for you.

He loves you deeply and never leaves you alone.

Think on that and give God a call, His line is never busy and the signal never fades.

The mouth can get you into a LOT of trouble

The problem with this is that the words which come from the mouth, regardless of who it is that is saying something, come from the heart. It shows exactly who that person is in reality. Words are windows into a man’s soul because they are a reflection of his character. Whatever is inside a man will ultimately come out when they open their mouth. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but at some point it will. People, whether they are politicians, news people, owners of athletic teams, or celebrities get into trouble by what they say all of the time. Some of it may have been said when they thought they were “off the mike”, or it may have been said in an angry outburst which they regret later, but the point is that their character shows through regardless in every word that they say.

It, whether it is their words or the attitude which accompany those words, will convict them either in a court of law or in front of God and man. The proof will be what they do about their attitude and the words which proceeded from their lips. If they are cut to the core and ask forgiveness or if they just shrug it off and act as if it isn’t important, these actions will tell the world exactly who this person really is.

What about the force which is shown in the media against them? Is it righteous indignation that drives it or is it just political correctness? I am all for being politically correct, but we as people have driven it to a level which goes beyond understanding. PC as it is called, can and has been taken to the point of absurdity in our culture and it needs to be backed up with a true belief in God and the Bible, and not the anxiety of offending someone in some way or another. God’s Word is absolute and the Truth contained in it is too and we don’t need to apologize for it at all! It has been used in ways that have likely made God cry over the past two thousand years, but that was because of the people who used it not because there was anything wrong with God’s Word!

Get into the Word of God and study it to be approved as a person who knows the Truth, not just his or her own version of the truth but God’s Truth. Because if we, as Christians and as children of God, don’t begin acting like His children then we will be punished for it. He reproves those who claim Him and yet do not do His commandments just as much as we would our own children (at least I hope that you discipline your kids)!

If more people would come back to the Bible and believe in the One Who inspired it and the wisdom contained in it, our world would be a very different place and a much more peaceful place too. Look to the One Who created everything with a word, until He came to mankind. We are special to God because He took the care to create us in His image with His hands. He didn’t just speak us into existence, He blew the breath of Life into mankind and he became a living soul. That is why we are hated by Satan and why he has never stopped trying to take us away from God, to keep us turned away from the One, the only One, Who can help in any and all situations.

Your character, just as you are, is important to God because it reflects Him if you are His but it also reflects Satan and his influence on you if you don’t believe and trust in God

Culturally Christian

Do you fit the mold and profile of a follower of Jesus? If you were to stand before a judge and be tried as a Christian, is there enough evidence in your life and your actions to convict you of being a Christian?

What do I mean when I am talking of “culturally Christian”? I am speaking of having your life so invested and intertwined with Christ until you are more like Him than your “self”. Few people are this committed to being like Christ and I am not saying that you would be perfect in your life because we can’t be perfectly in God’s will as Jesus was. What I am referring to is your character and whether it is identifiable as being like Christ and not like the world around you.

Can we do this as flawed human beings? Not in our own strength, but with the strength of the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart, you can. Living your life through the Spirit is essential to being a Christian but do you know many people who actually do this? So many go to church and go through the motions of what is required or thought of as identifying them as Christians yet “their heart is far from me” as the Lord says.

The only way to bring your life into the culture and character of being a Christian is to give your heart to Him and learn about Him and His ways. Study the Bible and pray about your life in Christ and His life in your heart, then God will answer your prayers and help you learn His ways so that you can be more like Christ. There are many people who don’t believe in Jesus and some who reject Him and the Bible too. This is okay, but what if the words and the prophecies of the Bible are true?

Living your life in denial of the truth doesn’t change the truth, it just allows you to go on with your life thinking that your “truth” is right and others are wrong. Truly, there are those who say that the Bible is full of false claims and lies but there has never been anyone who can prove it. The Bible does contain history and historical places that have been proven by archaeology to have existed in the past. Since it is truthful in this, then the other words contained within it are true as well since God cannot lie.

All of the words in God’s Word were penned by flawed men, but they were being led and given the words by the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit had not been giving them the words to write, then the prophecies would never have come true and the Bible would be just a collection of words from history. But, the prophecies have come true and some have not, but they will. Belief in Jesus and taking the Word into your heart and your life is a part of being a Christian. If you can’t do that and live your life accordingly then why call yourself a Christian? If you have chosen to be like the world and not allow Jesus into your life, then you need to think about your life, not just the one you have now but the eternal one that you will have later.

The time that you have now is not all that there is, as some seem to think. God designed us to have an eternity and for that eternity to be His children. Living your life as you see fit and in whatever way you wish to live is fine, but what will you do when you wake on the other side of this life in the next one? If you haven’t given your heart and your life to Jesus here, then where will you be then? If you have attended church or heard a sermon anywhere then you know that there are only two destinations, Heaven or hell.

Think about it.

What is happening?

People are going completely crazy it seems! On the news someone beat up their grandmother, and of course there are other uprisings going on all over the world because of one thing or another. How can this world be so mixed up and messed up? The reason is Satan’s hatred for us and his attempts at keeping as many people from God as he can.

The problems and craziness that is happening now and the terrible horrors of war and violence that has been going on throughout ages past is his doing as well. All of it can be laid at his feet because he wants to mess up this world and the people in it as much as possible while he can. His time is growing short and he knows it so the news is getting more graphic and horrible every week. 

Many people don’t think that he exists and that is fine with him, because if no one believes in him then they won’t realize that it is him and his demon’s influence in this world and over people’s minds that is the cause of all of our woes and heartaches. Satan has been biding his time for thousands of years and he is the prince of lies. He knows exactly what your weakness is and what mine is and how to exploit them.

When the Bible says that “Satan prowls around like a ravenous lion, seeking whom he might devour” (1 Peter 5:8), it is not a figure of speech or a metaphor but it is the truth. To those who might want to pick at what I wrote about the scripture, it is a paraphrase of the verse that I quoted. In either version, it is the truth and whether you believe it or not doesn’t change it.

Belief in the truth doesn’t change it, belief or unbelief in something that is true doesn’t change it either. Satan and his demons are real. The cause death by any means available to them and they are good at it. Cancer, bacteria which can’t be controlled or killed, viruses that were once wiped out have come back, these are examples of their work. Science may not believe it, scientists may not believe it, and I am trained as a laboratory scientist myself. But since Satan is a better theologian than any evangelist, I believe he is also a very good geneticist as well.

The problem is his pride and his ego. He thinks that he can win against God, the Creator of all including him! 

The tricks that he has devised against us have grown exponentially over the millennia as well as his ability to manipulate us and our emotions and the thoughts in our minds. He can appear as an angel of light, which he was before he tried to ascend above the stars of God.

Satan is an adversary and a liar, but with Jesus in our lives he can be defeated. Carrying the Word of Truth in your heart and reading it daily can give you protection from his ways. But, only if you do it!! 

Sitting in church doesn’t do it, reading your Bible once or twice during the week or the month doesn’t do it. He knows the scriptures like the back of his hand, so he can manipulate them so that you could believe a lie from the Word and think it was the truth. Playing at being a Christian is a very dangerous thing and it will cause you to spend eternity with Satan and his demons because that is who God created hell for. We were never intended to go there, but if you are not a child of God then you are in Satan’s camp.

Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Faith, do you have any?

We are supposed to have faith in God and in His Son, if you are a believer. Those who don’t believe in Him, for whatever reason, don’t have faith in God although they know of Him. Knowing about a person, whether it is a celebrity, a sports figure or an entertainer or God Himself, does not amount to truly knowing that person. Do you know someone in a political office or just know about them? How about those players on the national football or basketball teams, do you know them personally? No, you can quote statistics about their ability to play their respective games but you don’t know them.

Faith_in_God

That is the difference between knowing about someone and really knowing them. That is why God created the relationship of marriage between a man and a woman, so we can have an idea of what our relationship with Him is supposed to be. Faith in God and in His provisions.

Living as a Christian gives you freedom and it really doesn’t hinder your life. The problem that many people have with it is that they see all of the things that they can’t do after becoming a Christian. Jesus never told anyone that you can’t do this or that, He just told them to go and sin no more. Although it is true that we can’t successfully do that in our own strength, we can with His Spirit living in our hearts. It is a lie that some believe that they can be righteous and holy after becoming a Christian, you can be but not twenty-four hours a day! You will have sinful thoughts, you will say things or think things about someone that are sinful, we are not perfect. We can strive to be perfect in our ways and follow His example, as long as we are truly His and follow Him by reading and learning the wisdom of God from the Bible. Apply this wisdom to your life, your family and your business practices and you are a few steps down the road toward Jesus.

This is the only way to truly belong to Him. If your salvation experience did not bring you to the cross to lay your sins down and walk away from them then you may need to check to see if you are His. God loves you more than you can realize, but if you keep pushing Him away and putting the leading of the Holy Spirit on your heart off, then He may give you over to your sins and to Satan. If God has a purpose for you to fulfill, then He will get your attention and you will come to Him. If you are being stubborn about it, the consequences could be like Job in the Bible, but then again they might not be.

We are not guaranteed our next breath, let alone tomorrow or next week, so putting off God’s call on your life is not a good or wise choice. Give your heart to Him, follow His steps and His purpose for your life. It doesn’t mean that you will be a missionary in some foreign land or a preacher but be willing to be whatever God calls you to be. The rewards may not be such that the world will take notice, but your impact on your world locally could be tremendous and the seeds that you plant may take root in someone’s heart on the other side of the world. God may use t hem to make an even larger impact, but the seed that started it all can come from something as simple as this page, this message. All you have to do is be receptive to the call, the pull of the Holy Spirit in your life and your heart. Let God do the rest.

Do you believe in….

Many people seem to have a stance on faith which says that they either don’t have any at all, which makes them an agnostic or an atheist or they are totally committed to God and try to serve Him to the best of their ability. Then there are those who have other belief systems, which I will not try to name because I would offend someone just because I left their’s out of the list.

The point of this is to say that your beliefs or your lack of belief is your business. It is not mine nor anyone else’s, nor is it my job to try to convert you to my belief system, whether it is Christian or otherwise. Yes, my site is about my own faith in Jesus and I do write to bring the Truth of Jesus and His role in Salvation to the world but I am not such a zealot as to get upset because you may not have the same beliefs that I do.

God loves all of us, each person on the Earth is watched over by Him, yet He doesn’t interfere in your life. He is not going to knock you down just because you did something that He doesn’t agree with. God is not a vengeful, racist and merciless dictator! He is God, the Creator of all and He loves you with all of your quirks and imperfections because He made you that way! God created you as a unique creation, a person which is one-of-a-kind.

There is nothing strange about any one of us, we are all just different. We come from different backgrounds, different cultures, different belief systems and countries and yet we are all human beings and we are loved by God! Doesn’t that make you feel special? The Creator of everything knows you! We are not just random collections of chemicals which happened to form into the shape and abilities that we have because nothing happens by accident or chance. Your life is and always has been mapped out by God, but He doesn’t force you to go in any one direction. He just knows which step you will take because of Who He is! He is outside of time so He can see all of your life and mine.

God has a purpose for each one of us and all we have to do is to get it through our mind and our own stubborn nature that we need to find out what that is and then strive to accomplish it! Your life is in God’s hands and always has been, whether you believe in Him or not. Our purpose cannot be done on our own strength yet we must rely on God and His strength to carry us to the point of completion regardless of the amount of work that it requires.

The work that I am speaking of is the work that God has for us to do. We cannot work our way into heaven on our own merits, the things that we must do because God has done the work to bring us to Himself are the things that He has for us to do for Him.

If you have not given your life and your heart to Jesus and asked Him to come into your life, then please do so. If this has been a thought in your mind even just once, then that is the calling on your life to be a child of God and one who can do whatever you are called to do. Consider this, pray about it even if you have never prayed before to God, He will hear you and will answer you because He loves you.

Think about it.