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Tag: care

Does God Care About Your Depression?

You are not alone.

Written by Emilia Alza on 02/07/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AnxietyDepressionSuffering


The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

I’m sure we’ve never met before, but I wish I could take you to my favorite coffee shop. As we drank a cup of coffee together and talked, you would know that I’m not here to shame you but to help you get out of the place of bondage that I’ve found myself in before. Depression and anxiety are complex issues, and we need to address them with the same love that Jesus embraces us with each and every day. (Psalm 34:18)

You see, about four years ago, I was in a dark place. Depression and anxiety had taken up every space of my life, and it was destroying me from the inside and out. Even with professional help, the support from family and friends — and praying more than ever before — I still struggled. 

It felt that I was losing the battle. But I saw God’s grace and redemption (which had been there all along!) when I took my eyes off of my myself, my feelings and circumstances and set them back upon Jesus. (Psalm 34:8-10

What does the Bible say about depression?

In the Bible, there are many stories that remind us that we are not alone when depression and anxiety come knocking on our door. Let’s take David for example, the king of Israel, a biblical hero, author of many Psalms…one would think he had it together, right? Far from it! In many of the Psalms he wrote, he expressed anguish, grief, loneliness, fear and guilt: 

“For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.” (Psalm 38:4)

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

Even Jesus himself faced anguish over what lay before Him. He knew what God had called to a journey of suffering so that we could be truly free. In Isaiah, it was prophesied that Jesus would be “despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” (Isaiah 53:3

Did you get that? Even the Savior of all mankind faced suffering when He was on this earth. To put it in simpler terms, Jesus understands our weaknesses, suffering, depression and despair because “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18). He faced the same circumstances we are all going through when He was on earth, yet without sin. 

So take courage, my friend!

I don’t know your brokenness. Maybe you cry yourself to sleep every night, or maybe you mask your depression with fake smiles, and so the whole world thinks you’re the happiest person on earth. Today, I want you to hold onto this truth: 

He listens, He cares, He loves you, He has compassion, He offers mercy, He brings hope, and His character will never change, because He is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8

So, when you’re in the midst of depression, cling to His promises and endure, because Jesus has already walked before you and has felt your suffering, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33

Your sister in Christ and friend, 

Emilia


Pray this week:

“Lord, I give you my suffering, take what’s broken and make me new. Today, I choose to rely on your promises. Please help me take my eyes off of me and set them back to You.” Amen. 


It’s no coincidence that you are here today. God wants to have a relationship with you regardless of your past or present decisions. Are you ready to answer His calling?

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Don’t Forget Who You Belong To

You have been given many gifts, but it’s up to you to use them correctly.

Written by GodLife on 19/02/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: BibleCharacterLeadershipObedience


She said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!’ And he awoke from his sleep and said, ‘I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes, and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.

Judges 16:20-21

When I was in grade school, my homeroom teacher nominated me to be a ‘super kid.’ This recognition was for all the kids who received good grades, had exemplary behavior and showed great leadership skills. As a reward, we would get prizes and even a t-shirt with the Superman logo on it to show that we were ‘special.’ 

In the Bible, there are many examples of people who were special, too. Today, I want to talk about Samson. Maybe you know him as the strong guy with super long hair who defeated the Philistines (Judges 15:16), but there is so much more to his story, his character, and his supernatural strength. Let’s dig a little deeper into his life.

Samson was chosen and set apart 

Even before he was born, Samson was blessed and set apart (Judges 13: 4-6). He dedicated himself to God as a Nazarite, a person entirely set apart for God. As a sign of obedience, a Nazarite drank no wine, would not go near a corpse or make himself unclean and would let his hair grow as a sign to his commitment to the Lord (Numbers 6:1-8). 

Samson looked the perfect example of a Nazarite. With his long hair and mighty strength, he had everything that identified him as a follower of God at first glance. He was also known as an Israelite warrior and a judge who led Israel for 20 years (Judges 16:31). Even his name, which means ‘little light’ or ‘little sun,’ served as a symbol in a time when the people of Israel were walking in so much sin and darkness. (Judges 13:1

Samson was a leader Israel deserved 

With all the titles and his outside appearance, one would think Samson lived a life according to his vow, but the truth is, he was far from obedient. Whatever he set his eyes upon, he wanted. For example, he first broke his vow as a Nazarite when he chose his wife. “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife,” he told his parents. The Philistines didn’t serve God and were mortal enemies of the people of Israel. But his disobedience didn’t end there. Later on, “Samson went to Gaza… saw a prostitute and went to bed with her” (Judges 16:1). 

Samson is defeated 

Ultimately, Samson’s fall began when fell in love with Delilah, a woman who betrayed him for silver and turned him in to the Philistines. “My hair has never been cut because I am a Nazarite to God from birth,” he revealed to Delilah, “If I am shaved, my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any other man” (Judges 16:17).

Delilah betrayed him by cutting his hair while he slept, and the Philistines took him as a prisoner. Gouging his eyes out, they forced him to grind grain in prison. 

In his brokenness and humiliation, Samson pleaded to God, and the Lord listened. “Lord God, please remember me,” Samson implored. “Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” The Lord gave Samson his strength back, and he used it to kill the Philistines by pushing the pillars of the temple. (Judges 16: 28-30).

So, What can you learn from Samson? 

Samson’s story serves as a warning to every believer. He used supernatural strength to kill a lion with his bare hands (Judges 14:6), but couldn’t break the chains of sin. Instead of becoming a great leader to turn his people back to God, he lived, married, coexisted and died with the Philistines.

As believers, we have a ‘spirit of power’ (2 Timothy 1:7), but we must not use it for our benefit. We must compliment it with love and self-control so that we guard what the Lord has given us, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit living within us, His name will be glorified. 


Pray this week:

“Lord, forgive me if I’ve ever acted upon my own will and not yours. Give me the opportunity to show those around me that I belong to you. Amen.” 


Where has the Lord called you to be obedient to Him in your life? Have you listened?

Do you want to reach your full potential for the Lord but need spiritual guidance? Connect with a caring Christian friend today! 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Son of God

Who is Jesus?

Series: Jesus Booklet
Who is Jesus Christ?
He is the founder of the largest religion — Christianity — with over two billion followers. Those two billion believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God. He is completely unique. The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). The most important decision you will make in your entire life is whether to believe in Jesus Christ or not — on that rests your eternal destiny.

Are you willing to learn about Jesus Christ today?
What makes it possible to study Jesus is that His life was one of the most well documented of any in ancient times. Three of His followers, Peter, Matthew, and John, wrote books about Jesus in the New Testament. The apostle Paul wrote extensively about Jesus within the first thirty years after His death. Two other Gospels, Luke and Mark, were written by people who traveled and spoke extensively with Peter and Paul.

Jesus can change your life today, even as He has changed others’ lives throughout history.
Come on a journey as we learn about Jesus Christ — who He really was and is today. You will find out why He is the most important Person in the world — and what He can mean to your life today.

Who did you think Jesus is? Do you believe that Jesus really was the Son of God? If you're not sure, talk to a caring Christian about it!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Who Am I?

Your Secret Identity in Christ

Written by Dan Lee on 17/10/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: IdentityFriendship


For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:3-4

Literature is full of secret or hidden identities. Many superheroes, such as Superman or Spiderman, spend most of their time disguised as a regular person. In the old fable of Beauty and the Beast, a prince is trapped in the body of an ugly, scary monster. At the end, when all hope seems lost, he is magically transformed back into a handsome prince.

It’s only a fairy tale, right? Yes, but every good story is a a small picture of the great Story, written by our Creator. And for those who know Him, this Story ends with a glorious revealing of our true self, more wonderful by far than the old.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Until that great day of revealing, we don’t look different from anyone else. Yet we are new inside.

Here are a few more important identities of a true follower of Christ:

Identity #1: We are his children

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1a)

American President John F. Kennedy famously allowed his young children to roam around the White House and come to him at almost any time. While civilians and even powerful people often could not approach the president, Caroline and John, Jr. had access to him — not because of anything they did, but just because they were his children.

Having rich and powerful parents is great. But the Bible tells us that we are far more blessed than that. We are beloved children of God, the Creator and Owner of all, with unlimited access to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). And we are heirs, not just of money and possessions, but of God’s eternal, unshakable kingdom (Hebrews 12:28).

Identity #2: We are a chosen race

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God’s original chosen people were the Israelites — descendants of Jacob. But now in Christ, we are also the chosen people, adopted by God into His family. Note that this is not for our benefit only, but so that we can tell others about God’s greatness and excellence.

Identity #3: We are God’s friends

Being God’s servant would be a great honor, but Jesus goes beyond that, telling us, “You are my friends, if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his Master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15).

This statement comes with a condition: “if you do what I command you.” That does not mean we are perfect, but it refers to a lifestyle, a pattern, of seeking to know and obey God’s will. A person who doesn't know or care what God wants him to do is probably not even a true believer.

And the result of friendship in this verse is that Christ shares with us, through the Holy Spirit, what He hears from the Father. So the more we obey Him, the more He will reveal to us, and the deeper our friendship can grow.

If you ever struggle with feelings of unworthiness or unimportance, spend some time re-reading and meditating on the passages in this article. Let God’s word renew your mind (Romans 12:2), and ask Him to give you a greater understanding of your great worth — your infinite value — in the eyes of God, the Creator of the Universe. And remember that for those who know and follow Jesus, “happily ever after” is not a dream from a fairy tale, but a solid promise from God.


Pray this week:

Thank You, Father, that because of Jesus, I now have infinite worth and am completely loved by You — as your child and Your friend. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to know and believe this truth more and more, and to live with confidence as a Child of the King, proclaiming Your excellence to others and bringing You glory.


Need more encouragement about your identity in Christ? Connect with one of our caring volunteers to learn more.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member