Episode 159

Disciple Up #159
Freedom & Control
By Louie Marsh, 5-13-2020

Intro. Where the idea for this episode came from.

1) The Article: http://www.parkerliveonline.com/2020/05/08/theres-something-happening/

 

I’ve been noticing something lately with a lot of the people I interact with and that I see and hear online. There seems to be a certain feeling they are projecting that I’ve had a hard time putting my finger on. It’s there, it’s real, but what is it?

 

Yesterday I remembered a song from my youth that seems to sum up very well what I’m sensing. It was written in a different time and place and about a different situation, but the words still work (by the way if you haven’t heard this song find it online and listen to it as soon as your done reading this article!)

 

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

 

  • Written by Stephen Stills, 1966. Performed by Buffalo Springfield, it was recorded on December 5, 1966; released as a single on Atco Records on December 23, 1966;

 

Clearly COVID-19 and our response to it is oppressing if not downright depressing people. I’ve seen people exhibiting some of the classic signs of depression, being tired all the time, not sleeping well, finding it hard to get motivated, etc.

 

Once this clicked with me I began to wonder why. Now if you’ve lost your job then it’s completely understandable that you’d be down about that. But I know lots of people who haven’t lost their job but they are still showing clear signs of what I’ll call COVID-19 Syndrome.

 

To tell the truth I’ve felt some of it myself. But why? I don’t know anyone who’s starving, or being kicked out of their home, or who don’t have clothes to wear, etc.  Most of us are doing ok, if not great in terms of survival. Things could be a lot worse that’s for sure. So what’s going on here?

 

And then something hit me. What I’ve found frustrating about this, and many people throughout the country seem to be pushing back against, is the lack of control. All of a sudden the government is telling us what we can and can’t do, how we can do it and even when by setting up curfews. As Americans we value our rights to control our lives.

 

But now we are not in control.

 

Leaving the law aside for the purposes of this column, we are not in control of the virus itself. There’s nothing any of us regular people can do directly to effect either the virus itself or what it does. We can try and avoid it, but we have absolutely zero control over it and what it’s done to our culture.

 

I had to smile when this popped into my little mind because it took me straight back to Spiritual Kindergarten. And I mean that literally because currently in our Wednesday night Bible study we’re going through a book with that title, it’s a look at the 12 Steps from a Christian Perspective. So far we’ve done the first two steps.

 

You’ve probably heard the first two steps, here they are as a reminder:

  • We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

 

If you substitute the phrase our powerlessness over our life in general for “alcohol” it begins to make some sense doesn’t it? Kinda sounds like what many of us are living, but perhaps not admitting, right now.

 

I really believe that much if not most of our current malaise is directly connected to that feeling of helplessness that stems from not being able to control what’s happening in our lives. It’s a terrible feeling because people desperately want to be in control. That makes us feel both powerful and safe and both feelings have a huge appeal to the human ego.

 

But the truth is neither you nor I have control over much of anything at all. The only thing I really have control of in my life is what I say and do, and at least half the time I’m not doing such a great job of controlling that.

 

Control is an illusion. It is a comforting, desirable, and seductive illusion to be sure. But it is an illusion none the less.

 

So, if you’re feeling that COVID-19 Syndrome take those first two steps, realize that you aren’t in control, and then rejoice in the freedom that recognizing and living in the truth can bring.

 

2) The Response:

 

Had one response saying it was the lack of freedom that bothered them more than control.

 

Is that true? What is freedom and control anyway?

 

Freedom:

  • the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
  • exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  • the power to determine action without restraint.
  • political or national independence.
  • personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery:

 

Control:

verb

  • to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command:
  • to hold in check; curb:
  • to control a horse; to control one’s emotions.

noun

  • the act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command:
  • Who’s in control here?

 

  • My realization – being in control IS being free!

 

What else is freedom but the ability and license to make choices and do what you choose to do or not do what you choose not to do? You can’t be free without control of your choices and, to a certain extent, your circumstances.

 

So this feeling I’m getting from people really IS about control. Although that feeling is often misunderstood as a lack of freedom. They don’t understand the real relationship between these two states of being.

 

We see this here now all the time and especially on the weekends when we have hundreds of Californians flock to the river where they are FREE – i.e. have the ability to control their choices – to play on the river and beaches, something not allowed right now in CA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The only way you know they are free is because they are in control of their situation enough to carry out their wishes – that is to bring their boats and play on the river. If they weren’t able to do that then they wouldn’t really be free.

 

So – Control Is Freedom! Or control is the application of freedom.

 

But wait! Now I’m going to throw a wrench into all of this by looking at the teachings of Jesus!

 

11  The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12 (ESV)

 

32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (ESV)

 

So Truth Brings Freedom!

 

Whose really in charge here? The free Pilate or the Prisoner Jesus?

 

37  Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38  Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. John 18:37-38 (ESV)

 

10  So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” John 19:10-11 (ESV)

 

Jesus isn’t free, yet he is in control. We see the same thing with Paul

 

25  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26  and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27  When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29  And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32  And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33  And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34  Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. Acts 16:25-34 (ESV)

 

So, spiritually speaking, being free and exerting control is found in the spirit not in the physical world. They can imprison your body but not your soul.

 

So it seems that from a Biblical perspective the main concern we should be having is our spiritual freedom, that would include our intellectual and emotional freedom as well.

 

This can’t be taken from us because we are always free to choose to follow Jesus. Even locked in a cell no one can take that choice and that reality from me. So yes, freedom and control are the same thing but you can’t have either one without the truth that only Jesus brings.

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Episode 153

Disciple Up Show Notes # 153
Christian Confessions During A Crisis
By Louie Marsh, 4-1-2020

1) “I CONFESS I’M DISCOURAGED”

Refocus on Jesus –

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Recognize what’s causing your discouragement

3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)

Remember that God is in this situation and is ultimately in control

10  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

8  For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (ESV)

Repent – if necessary – of any ungodly thoughts and actions

 5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 (ESV)

Reject your discouragement and embrace God’s abundance

 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ Ephesians 1:3-9 (ESV)

Restart yourself in the race God has called you to run.

7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12  So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)

2) “I FEEL COMPLETELY INADEQUATE”

Resume for Failure
1) I don’t know enough.
2) I’m not good enough.
3) I’ve made too many mistakes.

YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR GOD TO USE IF

1) YOU HAVE MESSED UP BIG.
‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips…’ Isaiah 6:5

 Moses murdered a man.

  • Abraham was a liar.
  • Jacob was a cheater.
  • Rahab was prostitute.
  • David committed adultery.
  • Paul murdered Christians.Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ Isaiah 6:8

    2) YOU ARE UNSURE OF YOURSELF.
    Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ Exodus 4:10

 God doesn’t choose the prepared, He prepares the chosen.

  • The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”‘ Exodus 4:11-12

    3) OTHERS THINK YOU ARE NOT.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

What is God calling you to do?

3) “I DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING”

WHY PEOPLE DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING

1) You’re not sure God will answer your prayers.
2) You’re not sure you really know how to pray.
3) You get bored praying.
4) You think your requests are too small to bother God.

REDEFINE PRAYER

Prayer – communicating with God.

1) JEREMIAH: PRAY HONESTLY.

O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Jeremiah 20:7

Two Prayer Don’ts:

  • Don’t pray to be seen.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray… to be seen by men. Matthew 6:5

  • Don’t pray long, empty prayers.They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” Mark 12:40

2) DAVID: PRAY CREATIVELY.

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. Psalm 5:1-2

Creative Praying
1) Try writing your prayers.
2) Try praying during routine tasks.
3) Try praying in different places.
4) Try praying in different positions.
5) Try praying by listening to God.

3) NEHEMIAH: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.

The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king… Nehemiah 2:4-5

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

4) HANNAH: PRAY CONTINUALLY.
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. 1 Samuel 1:12-13

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

4) “I DON’T LIKE A LOT OF CHRISTIANS”

Why I Don’t Like A Lot of Christians:
1. Christians can be judgmental.
2. Christians can be weird.
3. Christians can be hypocritical.

WE FORGET THE MAIN POINT

1) ABOUT OURSELVES.

… do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. 1 Peter 1:14-15

hagios – sacred, pure, morally blameless, consecrated, set apart.

                                                                    Non-Christian       Christian

Volunteered at non-profit last month                        27%               29%

Donated to non-profit last month                              48%               47%

Gave money to the poor in last year                        34%               24%

Read their Horoscope                                              36%               36%

Have been divorced                                                  23%               27%

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking… Ephesians 5:3-4

  • We tend to accuse others.
  • We tend to excuse ourselves.2) ABOUT OTHERS.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

 We judge rather than love.

  • We shoot our wounded.
  • We stop caring.Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

    3) ABOUT CHURCH.
    …on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

 The church loses touch with the world.

  • Some Christians think they can make it without church.
  • The people start thinking the church is here for us.All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Acts 2:44-45

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 105

Disciple Up #105
Dealing with Discouragement
By Louie Marsh, 4-24-2019

Everyone gets discouraged sometimes.

Job felt discouraged with his wife and friends.

1  Then Job answered and said: 2  “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all. 3  Shall windy words have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? 4  I also could speak as you do, if you were in my place; I could join words together against you and shake my head at you. 5  I could strengthen you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain. 6  “If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me? 7  Surely now God has worn me out; he has made desolate all my company. Job 16:1-7 (ESV)

Elijah became discouraged with life’s circumstances & himself.

4  But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:4 (ESV)

Jeremiah felt angry and discouraged with God

1  I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; 2  he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; 3  surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long. 4  He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; he has broken my bones; 5  he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6  he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. 7  He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; 8  though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; 9  he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked. 10  He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding; 11  he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate; 12  he bent his bow and set me as a target for his arrow. 13  He drove into my kidneys the arrows of his quiver; 14  I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the object of their taunts all day long. 15  He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood. Lamentations 3:1-15 (ESV)

Peter felt discouraged with himself, his theology & God.

69  Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70  But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71  And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72  And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73  After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74  Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75  And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75 (ESV)

21  But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Luke 24:21 (ESV)

How to Deal with Discouragement

 Check Yourself

  • Check My Ego
  • Check my physical condition
  • Check my relationship with God
  • Check my relationships with others
  • Reconfirm or reorient and then reengage and get going!

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 20

Disciple Up #20
Dealing with Depression Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh 8-30-2017

Depression is a component of human existence.
Hippocrates, the ancient physician, wrote a treatise on melancholy.
Winston Churchill underwent severe bouts of depression.
Edgar Allan Poe is said to have been depressed after writing “The Pit and the Pendulum.”
Stalin’s daughter said that he was the victim of deep and dark depression.
Martin “Luther himself endured many instances of depression. He described the experience in varied terms: melancholy, heaviness, depression, dejection of spirit; downcast, sad, downhearted. He suffered in this area for much of his life and often revealed these struggles in his works. Evidently he did not think it a shameful problem to be hidden.”
Charles Spurgeon, a great preacher suffered lengthy bouts of darkness and melancholy.

And then there’s Jeremiah, known for good reason as the weeping prophet. If we’re going to look at depression and serving God we’ve got to look at him.

The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month. Jeremiah 1:1-3 (ESV)

The exact meaning of Jeremiah is not certain: it may mean “the LORD exalts”; it may mean “the LORD hurls.” What is certain is that “the LORD,” the personal name of God, is in his name.
Jeremiah Endured Because…

Jeremiah as almost all the prophets, saw themselves as people being acted upon by God. This is God’s call, God’s will, God’s plan, NOT his! If we are to endure the hardships of ministry we must understand that this is all about God and what HE wants, not about us.
1:4-5: …of his call. See Eph. 2:10, etc.

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5 (ESV)
1:10: His Mission Statement – get examples of Jesus, Paul, etc.

See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10 (ESV)

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:11-12 (ESV)
The almond tree is one of the earliest trees to bloom in Palestine. Before it puts forth leaves, it puts forth blossoms, white and snowy.
The vision is accented with a word play. The word almond and the word watching are nearly identical in Hebrew. “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I see a shaped (“almond”). “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you. I am shoqed (“watching”) my word to make every word I give you come true. I am watching my word like a shepherd watching his flock.
1:17b-19: God’s promise of strength to Jeremiah

… Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.” Jeremiah 1:17b-19 (ESV)

SIGNS OF DEPRESSION

1. I do things slowly.
2. My future seems hopeless.
3. It is hard for me to concentrate on reading.
4. The pleasure and joy has gone out of my life.
5. I have difficulty making decisions.
6. I have lost interest in aspects of life that used to be important to me.
7. I feel sad, blue, and unhappy.
8. I am agitated and keep moving around.
9. I feel fatigued.
10. It takes great effort for me to do simple things.
11. I feel that I am a guilty person who deserves to be punished.
12. I feel like a failure.
13. I feel lifeless — more dead than alive.
14. My sleep has been disturbed — too little, too much, or broken sleep.
15. I spend time thinking about HOW I might kill myself.
16. I feel trapped or caught.
17. I feel depressed even when good things happen to me.
18. Without trying to diet, I have lost, or gained, weight.

JEREMIAH’S SOFT HEART – WE NEED THIS TOO BUT THE COST IS HIGH:

My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me. Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land: “Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” “Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols?” “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored? Jeremiah 8:18-22 (ESV)

JEREMIAH’S HONESTY WITH GOD:

He complains to God about all this:

Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, “He will not see our latter end.” Jeremiah 12:1-4 (ESV)
God Answer him:

“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? Jer. 12:5

JEREMIAH COMPLAINS AGAIN

You who know, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable? Jeremiah 15:15-18 (NASB)

GOD’S INCREDIBLE ANSWER!!

Therefore, thus says the LORD, “If you return, then I will restore you— Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them.
“Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” declares the LORD.
“So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.” Jeremiah 15:19-21 (NASB)

The Disciple Up Low Down On Depression, Pt. 2

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Episode 19

Disciple Up #19
Dealing with Depression
By Louie Marsh, 8-23-2017

Did You Know?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. In 2014, around 15.7 million adults age 18 or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year, which represented 6.7 percent of all American adults. At any point in time, 3 to 5 percent of adults suffer from major depression; the lifetime risk is about 17 percent. As many as 2 out of 100 young children and 8 out of 100 teens may have serious depression.

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year. (National Institute of Mental Health)

Depression is common worldwide, with more than 300 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.

Although there are known, effective treatments for depression, fewer than half of those affected in the world (in many countries, fewer than 10%) receive such treatments. Barriers to effective care include a lack of resources, lack of trained health-care providers, and social stigma associated with mental disorders. Source

One Cause of Depression

1) Our Emotions are caused or influenced by our THOUGHTS.

 1  Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2  Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3  Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 1 Kings 19:1-3 (ESV)

 4 Emotional Games NOT to Play!

  • Focus on the FACTS NOT on your FEELINGS

 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life… 1 Kings 19:3

 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

 FOCUS on the TRUTH NOT your

    Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

 DON’T COMPARE yourself to others!

while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4

 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, Galatians 6:4

 DON’T t BLAME/SHAME others either.

He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword….” 1 Kings 19:10

 4) DON’T EXAGGERATE your situation.

 …I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:10

 QUOTES:

Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.

I find myself frequently depressed – perhaps more so than any other person here. And I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek to realize afresh the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying upon the cross to put away all my transgressions. – Charles Spurgeon

In American culture we are supposed to take a pill when we’re depressed or in grief as opposed to actually feeling. Laura Dern

Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” — Madeleine L’Engle (author Wrinkle In Time, etc.

“There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” — C. S. Lewis

 Some Remedies For Depression

1) Give Your FEELINGS to God.

 He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4

2) Take Care of Your PHYSICAL NEEDS.

 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.  All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 1 Kings 19:5

3) Draw CLOSER to God.

 11  And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12  And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12 (ESV)

 4) Start doing what God has CALLED ME TO DO.

 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus…1 Kings 19:15

 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Matthew 16:25

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