Pastor’s Desk December 9th

Scripture Passage:  “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”  I John 1: 5-7
Dear Friends,
     The holidays are a time of immense joy and fellowship.  They are also a time of deep depression and isolation for others.  I have two very good friends that are going through this right now and my heart breaks and goes out to them.  They are both believers in Christ, but have hit a roadblock in their walk with the Lord because of medical and family issues.  Often friend’s question why someone goes through this, and even claim God is punishing them for sins they have committed.  Sometimes this is true, but most times it is just a part of an emotional roller-coaster ride or chemical imbalance in the brain.  Both are situations beyond the person’s control. The point I want to stress is that light is associated with good, while darkness is associated with evil.  God would never put the darkness of depression upon someone, so it has to come from the evil one.  So why does God even allow one of his children to go through this awful condition?  There are a few reasons that I have found that come from my own personal experiences.  I hope they will help you if you are struggling with depression right now.
     We live in a society that boasts of self-sufficiency.  We do not need anyone or anything?  We can take care of ourselves.  If it is a financial problem, we can work harder, longer, or even get a better paying job.  If it is physical, we can take medicine, go to the doctor, or even have surgery to correct the problem.  We can go on vacation, take time off, or get actively involved with a hobby to distract us and help us rest.  If it is a spiritual problem, we go to church, pray, talk to our pastor, and even confide in friends.  But depression is a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.  When you are going through this malady, there is no one to go to but God.  We cry more, beg more, pray more and even admit how helpless we are without the Lord’s help.  It is in this condition we realize how much we need and want the Lord’s presence in our lives.  It is in this weakened state, that we can become strong in him.
      We also live in a time when the lines become blurred and our lives become darkened because of the dimming of the LIGHT!  There are things that go in on the world that everyone would agree is evil.  There other things that go on that we know are good. But what happens when you cannot tell the difference anymore?  There must be a proper discernment to tell the difference between good and evil or we live in a constant state of anarchy.  The only way a drug addict or alcoholic will ever change is if they become dissatisfied with the darkness they live in. A sexual pervert must become disillusioned with their perversion or they will progressively worsen their debauchery until nothing is ever enough.  A work-a-holic will never realize the futility of long hours and emptiness of money unless they reach a point of utter desperation and despondency.  So if reaching a point of utter desolation causes a person to want to change their lifestyle then the depression is worth it.
     Finally, depression humbles a person.  The Apostle Paul stated, “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.”  II Corinthians 12:7   Many proud and confident individuals have been humbled by depression.  To even admit you have a problem is humbling in itself.  I have seen grown men break down and cry because of deep mental anguish.  I have seen beautiful women let themselves go and never leave the house because of melancholy and anxiety.  Depression can turn a beauty queen into a pitiful woman overnight.  The problem lies in the fact the person feels helpless with no way out.  This is a lie from Satan.  John tells us the key is not to dwell in the darkness, but to walk in the light.  Two things come from this diagnosis.  1.  We have renewed fellowship with each other.  We are no longer by ourselves.  We come out of the darkness of isolation and walk with others in the “Sonshine.”  2.  If we have committed sins and confess them to the Father, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  Because of this, there is help for today and hope for tomorrow.  You can and will get better.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny