Sunday, October 27, 2013

If You Are Depressed

A depressed man sitting on a bench
A depressed man sitting on a bench (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

New International Version (NIV)

       There seem to be many depressed people these days.  No small wonder when we consider the condition of the disintegrating family unit and the alienation felt by many people in our society.   Job loss, fear,  loneliness, and financial pressures are just a few of the situations that burden many and lead them to become depressed.

        Depressed people may turn to psychiatry, support groups, self-help programs, or New Age philosophies to help lift them out of the slumps they have fallen into.  They may look for the quick fix solutions to be found in drugs--prescription or otherwise.  Many try to lift themselves out of the depths with sex, partying, fast thrills, spendthrift shopping, exotic adventures, or a myriad of entertainment offerings.  These attempts to heal the depressed state may help for the short-term, but soon the depressed state returns.  Depression is deep within and is not eradicated until it is attacked at the very root of the matter.

        God doesn't mean for us to be depressed.  Depression is an unnatural state that is not a product of goodness.  Sin can lead to depression.  A lack of faith can steal away our joy.  Look to the source of life--the One who created us.  Be patient.  Pray.  Meditate.  Depression will be gone if you let God take it from you.  Accept the joy because that's what God wants for you.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

When You Are Fearful

Grand Canyon Thunder River Trail looking down ...
Grand Canyon Thunder River Trail looking down at Upper Tapeats Creek (Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4

King James Version (KJV)


        There are many things in today's world that can make us afraid.    If nature is not out to get us, then the evil in the hearts of men surely will hurt us or even kill us. Bad guys lurk in the shadows of the streets in the towns where we live while bad world leaders and armies gather in far off lands to destroy the nation where we live. If the criminally minded enemy in our own neighborhood doesn't harm us the larger powers will eventually do us in.

        So what should I fear most in this world? The government is supposed to take care of me aren't they? So why are they spying on all of us and coming up with those things that can take away our freedoms and enslave us under their evil rule? I am apprehensive about things to come, but also excited in many ways.

       We live in a wondrous time in respect to both the amazing accomplishments of humankind and the promise of things to come as prophesied in the Bible thousands of years ago. We should not be surprised about things that have happened already and the events yet to come. Nor should we be afraid as the pieces of God's great plan come together.

      Many people are afraid of that which is unknown. And many will be afraid as prophecies unfold. Then others know the comfort in God's love for us and know the end of the story that is in the telling.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

King James Version (KJV)

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

When Your Pockets Are Empty

Bible (Photo credit: Light from Light)

The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
    and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
    in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

Psalm 37:18-19

New International Version (NIV)

        We are in challenging times when many of us are feeling the burden of financial pressure.  The jobless numbers reported by the government are probably not even close to the reality of how many are out of work.   Many are living day by day and scraping together all available resources to get their bills payed.  More than a few have defaulted on their accounts and may be even one step closer to homelessness.

      A good number of the people in these positions probably have not given themselves over to a faith in Jesus Christ and doubt the power of God.   And some of these may be good Christians who truly believe in what God is capable of doing.   One big difference between these two sets of people is that those who have put their trust in God understand something about actual wealth--the riches that go beyond the earthly standards of measurement. 

       We can't rely solely on our jobs, our wealth, or the promise of being taken care of when we can no longer work.   People and governments can and will fail.    Prosperity as society typically sees it is a tenuous circumstance that can be taken from us at any second.

         Even if believers have to suffer and die along with the unbelievers, we have a joy within that will see us into eternity.   There's a good chance that God is going to see that our physical needs are taken care of in this life, but keep in mind that kept in perspective of the bigger picture this life is a blink of an eye. 

        A full belly and bank account is reassuring, but a soul full of joy and the Lord's assurance is the one thing the true believer in Christ can count on.  Think back on the metaphors Jesus often used about bread.  Food is not always something we eat with our mouths to fill our stomachs.  

 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

Acts 14:17

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

When the World Seems Bigger Than God

English: One of the finest forms of creations ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.

Psalm 90:4

New International Version (NIV)

         I often have to catch myself when I'm reflecting on life while talking to someone else.   I might say something like, "That was a long time ago".

        Then I think about God and the whole of creation and eternity.  It's tough for a small human mind to put into perspective.  When we're kids we might think of something that happened the previous year or sometime when we were younger.  The distance in the past might appear to be great to us, but at our young age we only have our own lives to compare events in the passing of time.

         As we get older and watch the years go by, see lives begin and end, and witness the parade of time pass before our eyes and minds, we gain more of an idea of what time is.  Yet do we ever get a true grasp on the vastness of it all?

        The world and all the people in it is far bigger than any of us will ever experience.   The media gives us a glimpse of much of what is out there.  Some of us have been fortunate enough to afford to travel to see some of these things first hand.  But there is always more to see and learn.  We never experience everything.

         We look into the skies and marvel at the mysteries of infinite space.  Science continues to provide us new information about the universe, yet every new bit of knowledge is an opening for new questions.  

          It's a big world. It's a bigger universe.  It takes a really big God to bring this into existence.  Our God is a big God.

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.

Acts 17:24

New International Version (NIV)

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Is a Massive West Coast Earthquake Coming on Thursday October 3rd?

English: San Francisco Mission District burnin...
 San Francisco Mission District burning in the aftermath of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.  1906 San Francisco  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Mark 13:8

New International Version (NIV)

           Of late there have been some predictions of a large earthquake that will occur on or around October 3rd.   The most specific prediction I've heard has been that a 9.7 quake will hit San Francisco on the morning of that day.   For the past few months my wife has been sensing that a large earthquake is coming.  She says that she has been having dreams.

         We live in California so it's not particularly surprising that these things might be on her mind.  I often have an expectation that an earthquake is coming.  We've had a few shakers in the past several years that have put us on edge.

        Events in today's world sound like the prophesies we read in the Bible.  These things have always been with us throughout history, yet more than ever they seem to be on many of our minds.  We seem to be getting closer, but no one knows for sure.

          It could happen, but will it?  Oh, it will, but is the end coming yet?   Or perhaps the more important question is are you ready for the time when it does?

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.
 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

Matthew 24:6-9

New International Version (NIV)

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