Category Archives: Depression / Discouragement

Remove Grief and Anger From Your Heart

Ecclesiastes 11 is an interesting chapter. He seems to suddenly give financial advice. I would need to reflect or study longer on verse 1, but in verse 2 he is clearly talking about diversifying assets / investments. He then seems to lay out some principles about rain and trees which seem to indicate that there are simply some things we cannot predict perfectly or control. It builds upon the end of verse 2.I find it particularly on point when he points out that those of us who are looking for a perfect time to do something, he refers to sowing seed, may never have a harvest. If we always wait for the perfect time, it never comes.

He then ties it back in towards YHWH by reminding us that just as in these events (e.g. rain, wind, trees falling, etc.), we will not always understand the will of YHWH, our Father.

He finishes the financial advice by encouraging us to diversify again. Do not sow all your seed in the morning or evening, but do both.

He then pivots in verse 7 and highlights that we should enjoy the good times in life because there will certainly be hard times. I think he gives forth bad advice in verse 9, encouraging us to follow the impulses of our heart and then promptly warns us that we will be judged by YHWH for these actions. Following impulses by our hearts is plain bad advice. Perhaps he did not mean it the way it sounds. After all, he clearly warns that we will be judged for it.

Jeremiah 17:9

   9“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?

Clearly we should not “follow our hearts, but rather YHWH himself”.

He closes with some very good advice to not let grief and anger in our heart pull down our joy in life. Life is fleeting and we must not waste it on our own impulses or on grief and anger in our heart.

Ecclesiastes 11

Cast Your Bread on the Waters

      1Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days. 2Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth. 3If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies. 4He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap. 5Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

      6Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

      7The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. 8Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.

      9Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. 10So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Comfort In Trouble From Recalling God’s Mighty Deeds

Sometimes we experience times of difficulty where we feel distant from God. Perhaps it is because of our own sin or perhaps not. Not all suffering is the direct result of our own sin (consider Job). We may feel as if God has withdrawn from us or is angry with us.

Whether we are experiencing accountability for our sins or just going through tough times we can remember an important lesson to encourage and sustain us. God does not change. He is eternal and unchanging. We can look back at the incredible record of His mighty deeds and power, and of course forgiveness and love, and be encouraged.

Psalm 77

Comfort in Trouble from Recalling God’s Mighty Deeds.

For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

1My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud;
My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.

      2In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.

      3When I remember God, then I am disturbed;
When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint.

Selah.

      4You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

      5I have considered the days of old,
The years of long ago.

      6I will remember my song in the night;
I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit ponders:

      7Will the Lord reject forever?
And will He never be favorable again?

      8Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?
Has His promise come to an end forever?

      9Has God forgotten to be gracious,
Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?

Selah.

      10Then I said, “It is my grief,
That the right hand of the Most High has changed.”

      11I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

      12I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.

      13Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?

      14You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.

      15You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.

Selah.

      16The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were in anguish;
The deeps also trembled.

      17The clouds poured out water;
The skies gave forth a sound;
Your arrows flashed here and there.

      18The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.

      19Your way was in the sea
And Your paths in the mighty waters,
And Your footprints may not be known.

      20You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Praise Him even in the tough times and remember who He is and what He has done. Let that encourage and sustain you through the tough times. Approach Him humbly in prayer and repent from your sins.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Broken Spirit

Sickness and hardship can be endured, but a broken spirit is devastating. It drains away our hope.

Proverbs 18:14

      14The spirit of a man can endure his sickness,
But as for a broken spirit who can bear it?

There are many difficulties which we can confront and endure, but hope and a strong spirit are necessary to thrive or even survive these situations. Put your hope in Christ and His promises. He will never leave us or forsake us once we wholeheartedly submit to Him.

Hebrew 13:5b-6

5b for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”

6so that we confidently say,
“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.
WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”

It sounds cliché, but it is true… there is no hurt too big for God nor any situation which is beyond His ability to handle. Put your faith and trust in Him and ask Him for help.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Living Hope No Matter What We Face

As followers of Christ, we have much to find comfort in, even while we experience grief in this world. We will have hard times. It is nothing new for believers to be scattered amongst pagan countries and cultures. Though we have essentially a pagan and not a Christian nation even in the USA now, there is still much freedom to worship Christ without the type of persecution that His followers have had to experience throughout history… still experience in many other nations around the world even today.

Whether we experience grief from persecution, from the difficulties of living amongst pagan peoples, loss of a loved one, or from other personal situations and trials… we can be comforted, encouraged and find hope in God’s offer and promise of salvation.

1 Peter 1

A Living Hope, and a Sure Salvation

      1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

      3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

      10As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

      13Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

      17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

      22Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

24For,
“ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,
AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.
THE GRASS WITHERS,
AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,

      25BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.”
And this is the word which was preached to you.

The grief and pain of this world only lasts for a time. But we are called to action to prepare and to take hold of the offer of salvation. It will not just be given to us if we ignore or dismiss Christ. Taking Christ as Lord of our life should be reflected in changes to how we live. Less of our own selfish, sinful nature… more of Him.

      13Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

     17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

      22Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

The things of the flesh will fall away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.

Absent of the Body Is Home With The Lord

All who live face suffering and trials.  All who live at some point die. These are truths no one can credibly argue against. However there is so much more! For the righteous who submit to and follow Jehovah through Jesus Christ, there is much comfort for the sorrows and difficulties we face in this world. As disciples of Christ, we seek to please Jehovah and know that when we die we will leave our earthly bodies and go to be at home with our Father.  We understand that everyone will face judgment and be welcomed to heaven or condemned to hell based on their own choices made during their life to truly accept or reject Jesus Christ. We are ambassadors from Him to come and share the truth of the gospel with others who do not know Him. We are to bring the joy and hope we find in knowing our Father to others and try to lead them to the grace that is offered in forgiveness of sin.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10

      1For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

      6Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

We, as followers of Christ, have hope in our Father in heaven. We trust in His promises and in the salvation He offers. What greater joy than to be able to share such good news with others? Let us seek to please Him while in this earth!

If someone was giving out $100 bills for free, you would tell everyone you know so they too could be blessed. So if Jehovah offers us forgiveness of sin by grace… eternal life in heaven with Him… should we not also be excited and joyful to tell others?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

You Will Keep In Perfect Peace All Who Trust In You

In this world there is much suffering and discouragement. Many fall even into depression. There is hope in the word of our God to encourage us and bring us joy even in trials.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! [Isaiah 26:3]

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. [Romans 12:1-2]

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. [Proverbs 3:5-6]

We are all susceptible to discouragement in our lives. None of us are above it. However, we can find much comfort in seeking God in prayer and through study of His word in the Bible. We depend on Him and trust Him rather than trusting our own understanding. We live God’s way instead of the world’s way.  Jesus is a source of hope and encouragement even when we do not fully understand why He allows difficult things to happen in our lives.

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