depression

YOUR MOURNING WILL TURN INTO JOY!

(July 21, 2022) S. Sam Selva Raj shares hope to troubled Christians, indeed everyone…

During times of adversity, when we approach our friends or doctors to get counsel, they may comfort us by saying, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be all right.’

Many children of God live in sorrow, pain and affliction. When our problems multiply, we lose hope. When we are not very clear about the leading of God in our lives, we worry much. For instance, people worldwide  have suffered a lot due to the impact of Covid-19… but any sorrow, trouble, punishment of sickness is painful.

Never lose hope!
Contemplating any sorrowful events that have happened to us, we might think, ‘Has this happened without the ‘Lord’s knowledge? Hasn’t He taken note of my problems?’  We must remember that nothing happens in our lives without the Lord’s knowledge!

 As we go through painful experiences trusting God, He turns our sorrows and troubles into joy! So, your present sorrow will surely be turned into joy (John 16:20)! Do not be afraid!

We also find in Matthew 5:4, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ We think that blessed people are those who enjoy all sorts of material comforts in this world. But Jesus says that those who mourn are blessed! Why? He also knows that mourning will be turned into joy!

Jesus promised comfort
It is very difficult for the people to agree with this, even some sad Christians. A silent and depressed state of mind can bind those who are in deep sorrow.

Read more

Sorrows may arise due to unemployment, sickness, lack of money, work difficulties, family problems, worries about the future, and so on. Whatever our sorrow, the Lord says that all of us who pass through such difficult times are blessed and will be comforted. Those difficult situations would turn into joyful ones.

And although Jesus promised this long time ago, it is still relevant today. Therefore be happy and rejoiceful. Peter wrote, ‘Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time’ (1 Peter 5:6). ‘Exalt’ is hupsoō… to lift you up.

It is not that God sends sorrows… such happen in life! And if such sorrows come our way, we look to the Lord to encourage us. We can hear His voice and sense His touch.

When we are in deep trouble, we often try  to wriggle out of by our own effort. But, instead of depending on our own strength, if we lean on God, we can surely feel his touch.

King David’s experience
With a grateful heart, David said firmly in Psalm 30:11 that our mourning would be turned in to joy!

When David encountered problems, many of them huge, and be surrounded by evils, he would go into the Lord’s presence and plead before Him (1 Samuel 30:6 is a good example). And God delivered him from all problems, blessed and comforted him  and turned all his sorrows into joy!

Are your problems overwhelming you? Don’t only look for ways outside of God to come out of your problems. You could be led into greater dangers, troubles and failures! Seek the Holy Spirit’s voice that tells you if you fully trust the Lord and have faith in Him, believing that He will fulfill your desires and bring blessing (in whatever way and time God chooses of course).

When one is overwhelmed with troubles…

1. The soul wearies!
David faced numerous problems – through his father-in-law, King Saul, his son, Absalom, many times through the people and kings of other countries. But because he leaned on his Lord who had called him, God turned all his afflictions and troubles into great joy!

No wonder he would pray often to his God! The composer of Psalm 119:28 reflects a David-like prayer: My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word’

Many of us also have to walk through difficult times and rarely can any of us avoid worrying at the times of sufferings. Some are heart-broken and attempt  to commit suicide. If we turn to mere humans to get advice, they may deceive us. Some may mislead us. In the midst of worries and shedding of tears, if we wholly rely on and keep faith in the Lord, He will definitely lead us out from sufferings and surprisingly keep us comforted.

When  troubles multiply, we should spend more time in reading the Bible louder! We should believe and expect a wonderful deliverance from God. Surely He will do greater things than what you expect in your life.

Please know this: I’m speaking from personal experience! When various hardships have hit me, I have wholly depended only on God, reading His word and meditating on it in full faith. I have several verses marked with dates on which I heard God’s voice, and obtained unbelievable great victories!

If you also do the same, victory is sure!

2. Eyes dim with grief!
Although not written by David, I feel verse of nine of Psalm 88 reflects his thoughts many times, ‘My eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you.’

‘Dim’ is daab, mournful and sorrowful. The psalmist says that out of afflictions his eyes grew dim from misery (NASB). If one is very sad, one can feel a change in their sight. Sadness makes one faint, reduces the thinking capacity, causes sleeplessness and losing all hope about the future. The help we get from others is also reduced. What can we do to come out of this? Without giving place to discouragements, we can do two things:

(i) Pray about our concerns
Psalm 119:26, ‘I have declared my ways, and You answered me…’ would be David’s solution to concerns. Taking time to talk to God brings great victories.

Unfortunately these days, troubled Christians can spend more time on their themselves, worldly causes, entertainment, even on Christian television programs than talking to God in prayer! Sadly, certain TV preachers have caused many Christians to be lazy and static, no longer prayerful or Bible-reading.

But you could watch genuine Christ-centred presentations and after shutting off, engross in prayer, Bible reading and meditation! Then you can be sure of victory. Your eyes will not ‘waste away.’

(ii) Trust  God!
This means that your attention and trust are on God only. After all, your thoughts and actions should please Him. There is no use praying long prayers and observing many days of fasting, if you don’t believe He is the answer, your comforter!

Regarding your troubles, where is your attention today? From whom do you expect help? Which way do you search? ‘… the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him that follows after righteousness’ comforts Proverbs 15:8-9.

Praying to God in faith and trusting Him, you won’t have eyes dim with misery!

3.  The spirit is broken!
Proverbs 17:22 declares that ‘A merry heart does good, like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.’

Certain objects can be glued together if broken. But if the spirit hidden in our heart is broken, no expert doctor or psychiatrist can mend it. The failures we face in this world, such as economic confusion, sickness and family problems are but some of the causes of broken hearts.

There is only one way to overcome these setbacks and that is by going to the Lord. ‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord”’ wrote David in Psalm 122:1.

It is very important to meet with people, if covid and variation safe, who truly praise and worship the Lord. You can be refreshed with the Holy Spirit as you too worship, clapping hands and lifting them up in praise, even kneeling, in a church where the Lord is being worshipped in spirit and truth. There you’ll be filled with joy and happiness; your broken spirit will be healed as assurance that God is in control comes to your heart.

4.  ‘Big’ trouble hits!
‘Anxiety weighs down the heart. But a good word makes it glad’ (Proverbs 12:25).

David was certainly weighed down in 1 Samuel 30:6! Several Bible versions translate this verse as ‘David was now in great trouble.’ Other translations read distressed. The Hebrew word is yaw-tsar’, meaning to be vexed, narrowed in thinking. In considering David’s problems – and our own – we’d probably think of ‘big troubles’ as depression (a word slightly similar to distress)!

Whichever word you would use, troubles not dealt with actually cause one to function normally,  When people are distressed, they cannot think freely. Changes happen in the mind causing some problems to lead to taking extreme decision. Some try many ways to solve their problems and when they fail, they  go for extreme steps. Sadly, some have committed suicide. Deep distress is very deceptive, very sidetracking!

David always met with his numerous  problems by standing strong  faith in the Lord. He knew his God could give him needed courage. ‘David strengthened (encouraged) himself in the Lord his God’ concludes (1 Samuel  30:6ESB).

5. Trouble can be daily!
Sometimes we lose confidence in ourselves and because of this state of mind we end up with a very dangerous disposition. David, under such situations, even daily (Psalm 56:5NLT) would seek his Lord’s help: ‘Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack’(Psalm 56:1).

Fear and doubts will make even a powerful person like David feel useless. When we walk through difficult times, we shouldn’t think that it is the end! No, we must understand that when upright Christians face troubles, and evils, God will deliver us from every situation and cause us to live happily.

We read in Psalms 34:19NLT, ‘The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.’

But… are you a righteous person? Have you genuinely repented and know that your sins have been forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ? God is powerful enough to compensate all that we have lost and bless us with long life and happiness. And if you suffer of being righteous, fear not!

In these days of adversity, Edward Mote’s great old hymn (1834) is so encouraging…

‘My hope is right built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetness frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

May David’s encouragement in Psalm 30:11 be yours and you know that ‘your mourning will turn into joy!’

(more…)

WINTER’S HERE… DEPRESSION SINKHOLES AHEAD?

(June 11, 2022) Maureen McQuillan shares some wintery thoughts…

Recently we were warned by various weather newscasters that summer was over and the days ahead would be colder. They certainly are! Brrrr!

Robert keeps asking me each new morning, ‘Where would you like to go today, Darling? Short drive around the countryside, have a meal or even a cuppa somewhere?’

I normally reply, ‘But the sun’s not shining, it’s cloudy and dull.’ To which Robert says, ‘We’ll be in the car, nice and warm’ and I – not depressed, mind you – respond, ‘It may look okay outside but it’s overcast. It may not be snowing but just open the front door and you’ll feel the cold. Let’s wait until a better day, we’ll enjoy it more. Here at home we can enjoy a nice meal or coffee… by the fire.’

Winter woes
Now I deliberately mentioned above that I’m not depressed by cold weather, nor any dark thoughts about winter time. But cold days could have some people longing for springtime, dreaming of warmer locations… and depressed.

(more…)

PRODIGAL PARABLE RECONCILES SUICIDAL JEWISH MAN TO GOD

(March 9, 2022) David Calderon shares a good news reconciliation story…

Trevor Rubenstein got mad when some Christians approached him at a mall and talked about Jesus.

Trevor – his Hebrew name is Tuvia – grew up in an affluent family. His parents did well; his grandparents did very well, he says on a video posted Chosen People Ministries, formerly One for Israel.

Experiencing depression
Despite living in the lap of luxury, Trevor experienced significant depression to the point of being suicidal.

‘I would often contemplate killing myself,’ he said. ‘There was this overlying feeling that I’m not loved like I want to be loved.’  The inner emptiness prompted him to look for acceptance, which he found among the druggies. He began to drink and abuse drugs.

‘That really affected my grades and my education,’ he says. With plummeting grades and behavioural issues, he got kicked out of school. ‘You’re not coming back to this school,’ the principal told him in his office. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure you don’t come back to this school.’’

At college, a friend invited Trevor to a Bible study. Without really listening to what the activity was, Trevor acceded. Only too late did he realise he was in a Bible study.

(more…)

MOVING ON FROM A BAD RELATIONSHIP

(July 28, 2021) Bonnie-Jane shares an encouraging word from her heart…

That 10 Year Challenge Photo/Image Meme phase was popular a while back, and had people reflecting on their past.

As I reminiscence myself, I feel to share some things from my heart and trust they will help someone else who has gone through similar hurtful and damaging experiences in the past as I did. So here goes…

Suffering from a broken heart
Just over some 10 years ago I met someone who at first seemed to be interested in me and a relationship began. But as the months went by he proved to be most insincere and the relationship became an abusive one.

It was a hard and grim time for me. Always considered a gentle-spirited person, easy-going, thoughtful and kind, able to deal with situations, my heart was being broken and even my very personality was changing.

I praise God for his strength to make a most important decision… with his help I decided that enough was enough and broke that relationship!

From depression to renewed confidence
That decision was so important… but now I was feeling that I would never find anyone who genuinely cared and whom I could trust.

(more…)

THAT BLACK DOG

(March 22, 2021) Trevor Pugh shares his testimony…

Thank you, Connecting with You contributors Pastor Charles Schwab, Dr Jim McClure, Geraldine Brandt, and Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan for your articles this month (Links below*).

I appreciate you all sharing this journey, especially Pastor Charles’ very open candidness.

That constant companion
DepressionThe Black Dog – has been a constant companion, biting away at me since l was young – unloved, uncared for, and hurting so much inside.

It was while being ‘bitten yet again’ at age 40 that I thought I had the final solution to such ‘bites’… suicide!

That dark night l held a rifle under my chin and was pressing on the trigger, when l suddenly stopped and decided to go outside and call into the night sky.

‘Why?’ I wondered as I stood there outside, making a lot of noise and shouting inanely.

My shouting woke my wife, Jan, and she rushed out to see what was going on, who or what I was yelling at.  With her help I sensed God speaking to my heart and l quieted down. I ended up going back to bed, although secretly thinking, ‘Anyway, I can suicide tomorrow.’

But praise God in the morning, l felt different! I had called out to God and he had heard me! (more…)

THAT DREADED ‘D’ WORD — DEPRESSION

(March 19, 2021) Charles Schwab shares very openly, very personally from his heart and life experience…

The ‘D’ word – Depression – is extremely relevant to Christians today! Depression is real, and the church needs to face that reality appropriately.

‘Mental illness and Christians’ is in the news fairly regularly.  In 2013 Matthew Warren, the youngest son of high-profile mega-church pastors Rick and Kay Warren (Saddleback Community Church, California), took his own life after a long struggle with unrelenting depressive illness.  Reports are that he had received the best medical, counselling and pastoral support available. And there have been others before and after that.

Later, Matthew’s grieving father tweeted caring supporters, ‘Grieving is hard.  Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest.  Your notes sustained us.’

Failing to understand
The church and Christians have often failed to understand depression and how to deal with it.  Consequently, there are some shocking and demeaning views held by people who ideally should be able to show positive care, understanding and help towards the mentally afflicted.  So often, for various reasons, this has not been the case.

Depressive illness has a special meaning for me, not the least reason being that in 1998, at age 53, I had to leave my pastoral role because of it.  I had been diagnosed by a psychiatrist as suffering from chronic anxiety and depressive illness that rendered me unemployable. Unemployable in any field!

Some years later I asked him again for his professional view about my situation and the future. His reply was in words I could understand, and I received them kindly in the spirit in which they were given.  They were not offensive, but illustrative of the truth as it is medically understood.  My psychiatrist is exceptionally good at his profession, someone I respect and admire who has helped me a lot.

His words were, ‘You can’t unscramble an egg.’  So, medically speaking, I’m stuck with it. (more…)

DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL

(March 10, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan touch on something not many are open about…

The poem Dark Night of the Soul begins with ‘In an obscure night…’ and the third line mentions ‘a hapless plight.’

Written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St John of the Cross (although he didn’t actually title it himself), it has been regarded by many as some deep spiritual, painful depression.

Depression, as Geraldine Brandt points out (The-Too-Hard-Basket) indicates, among other things that a person is low in their spirit,pressed down.’

In modern terms… hampered by what we term a downer!

Reality
As we’ve ministered to church people at the altar prayer line sometimes someone – wrongly feeling ashamed and not wanting anyone else to hear – would whisper that he (or she) was suffering from depression, experiencing dark nights of the soul.

And, not just what’s badly termed as ‘ordinary Christians’ but as it happens, we’ve had to encourage a number of leaders to look beyond troubling dark nights of the soul experiences that have (are) hindering them in their ministry.

Geraldine Brandt writes about hampered ministers needing our prayers. And theologian Dr Jim McClure points out that Depression – or any aspect of mental illness – is not something of which we should be ashamed. Nor should it be kept hidden’ (Mental-Illness-Realites).

We would add this – If depression were to hit, it’s definitely not something to be quiet about in case someone accuses us of having lost our faith. If they do, that’s their problem, not ours!

The reality is that anyone – church attender or leader – could become afflicted with depression. (more…)

MEANINGFUL KICK-STARTS

(September 17, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

Seems that every day TV newscasts share more bad news stories either about the current worldwide pandemic or crime, rebellion against authorities, government opposition groans instead of encouraging support… it’s rare to hear some good news, something to makes you laugh, even smile.

So let’s begin this article with a good news item!

Zimbabwean friend Raviro emailed a very touching story about a 93 year-old Italian being told the hospital bill for ventilator one-day usage was 5,000Euro (approx.. $8100AUD).

As he suddenly began weeping a doctor kindly advised him not to cry over the bill.

To his surprise the old man responded, ‘I don’t cry because I have to pay. I cry because I’ve been breathing God’s air every day for 93 years and never had to pay anything for it.’

He added, ‘But for using a ventilator in your hospital for just one day, I have to pay EU5000! I realise now how much I owe God… I never thanked him before for his free air!’

Now doesn’t that makes you smile – and think?

Powerful kick-start
Genesis 2:7 confirms that God himself gave his creation the ability to breathe and live life – ‘he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live’ (GNB). (more…)

HANDLING THE BLACK DOG OF DEPRESSION (July 31, 2016)

Fred & Betty EvansFred and Betty Evans share good news…

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the western world affecting 40 million adults in the United States alone or 18% of the population.

According to Beyondblue on average, one in four people will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. Over two million Australians experience anxiety.

Recently a good pastor friend of ours, Ian Parker, preached a sermon on this subject which we thought was a succinct prescription of how to deal with this malady.

Here are some of his notes on how to deal with this often private and painful subject:

Depression is the most common form of emotional pain. There are levels of depression. Normal – Clinical – Manic. While some depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, most is caused by unfulfilled expectations. (more…)

CHURCHES MUST REACH OUT TO THOSE SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION, BI-POLAR DISORDER AND SCHIZOPHRENIA

Michael IrelandMichael Ireland, ASSIST Senior Reporter, shares…

Pastor Rick and Kay Warren launched Saddleback Church‘s second Gathering on Mental Health and the Church October 8/9 with a call for faith communities to take the lead in caring for those with mental illnesses.

According to the Christian Examiner in the opening session of the conference, Rick Warren, Saddleback’s founding pastor, argued the church has a biblical, historical and practical responsibility to make a priority of caring for those with mental illnesses. (more…)