“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:11)
Even as a young girl growing up in a Jewish home, I remember feeling sad much of the time. I internalized my sadness, not wanting for others to think that there was something wrong with me.
I was an awkward teen; skinny with curly hair — nothing like my gorgeous sisters. They teased me unmercifully. I was told by my sisters that I was adopted, and I believed this for several years. Many years later my mom asked my forgiveness for not attempting to stop my sisters from doing these things to me. She said that she and dad saw it, but looked the other way. Of course I forgave her.
As an older teen, things got worse. I tried to numb my pain with drugs. That was a vicious cycle – I always ended up where I began.
When I got married and had kids, I thought that this would help to stabilize my moods. It did help somewhat. By that time I realized that I was a person who was prone to depression. I never wanted any medication to help me. I wanted to deal with my depression head on.
I was born-again in 1983. I had met my Savior and I was filled with joy. At first, I thought that there would surely be no more sadness or depression. Everything was going to be wonderful! I really wish that someone had discipled me and told me that if anything, things would probably get worse; but that God would be with me through it all.
The rejection by my family because of my conversion was the first indication that my walk with Jesus was not going to be smooth sailing. A friend showed me this passage of Scripture, which I still refer to in times of sorrow over missing my family:
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:51-53)
When I feel sad over being ostracized by my family, I immediately remember that my decision to love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ was the most important event in my entire life. I would never change that. Jesus is more important to me than anyone in the world.
One Sunday when the kids were young, I was having a less than wonderful morning. I suppose that my face told the story, and a woman said to me “How can you look so forlorn, especially in the house of God? Smile!” I tried to smile as best I could, but as I thought about what she had said, I wondered to myself if I was not allowed to be real in God’s house.
Being Jewish, guilt comes easily to me. I felt terribly guilty over the incident in church. I didn’t want people to think that I was unhappy. After that, I tried very hard to keep a smile on my face in church.
One Sunday, I noticed a sister in Christ whose eyes were red as though she had been crying. I approached her and asked if everything was okay. She was having some personal problems and we talked. She said that just talking had helped her. We hugged and after that became quite close. It was then that I realized the importance of being real and not hiding behind a fake smile.
Of course there are times when we must push our own problems aside, in order to be available for others. But always having a facade about us which says “Everything is great and there is never anything wrong with me” is extremely insincere. God knows the truth, and often He uses brothers and sisters to encourage one another during difficult times.
IN THESE END TIMES
I never thought that I would live to see the things which are happening in these days. I suspect that many readers feel the same way.
Think back to when prayer was removed from the public schools. Seems like eons ago, doesn’t it? Then we quickly moved to legalized abortion. Now, we are living in times when the SCOTUS redefined the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman — to any two people, even of the same sex.
Our children are being indoctrinated with these evil and false beliefs. Good is evil, and evil good. As I speak to many brethren, they talk about being depressed. To say that these times are difficult would be a gross understatement. These times are despicable and should cause any child of God to be alarmed!
COUNTY CLERK INCARCERATED
A county clerk who is a born-again believer, refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples because she said that she followed “God’s Law.” She is now in jail.
This is just the beginning. Pastors who refuse to marry same sex couples, will be jailed for breaking the law, and also for so-called “Hate speech.” The PC police are out in full force.
TURNING FROM DEPRESSION TO FAITH
If ever there was a time that God’s people would be sad and depressed, it certainly is now. I find myself thinking about where this is going. I believe that most of us know where it’s going.
The SCOTUS decision to redefine marriage was not so much for the LGBT crowd, as it was to demonize Christians. It was all calculated. Remember – good is evil and evil good.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Brethren, we must remember that God is not surprised by any event upon this earth. He knew that this would happen, and it’s happening to further His prophetic Word.
We must believe God — have faith in Him and trust Him!
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:9-12).
WE WILL GO TO JAIL
If we will stand on God’s Word as the highest Law, we will be incarcerated. Will we be depressed? I think that when this time comes we will be so involved with doing what is right in the eyes of God, depression will quickly dissipate! I also believe that as we read God’s Word and pray to Him, He will send angels to encourage us.
Remember when the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness before he began his ministry, and Satan was there – tempting Him and twisting Scripture? After Jesus fought the devil by telling him “It is written….”, and when the evil one finally departed, God sent angels to minister to our Lord.
“Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him” (Matthew 4:11).
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
None of us know with certainty what Paul’s thorn was, but we do know that it was from Satan to buffet him. Many Bible scholars have discerned the thorn to be depression. I have always thought this to be true.
But look, brethren, at what the Word says in this passage. God intended for Paul to have this thorn, and He allowed Satan to inflict Paul with whatever it was. In Satan’s arrogance, he always thinks that he will wreak havoc on God’s children, when all the time God allows him certain liberties with us — but always for our good!
God showed Paul that His Grace was sufficient for him, and that in his weakness, he would be made strong. God would make Paul strong. And He will do the same for us.
Be strong in Him!