VIDEO Christian Despondency

I was despondent. They dug a pit ahead of me, but they fell into it! Psalm 57:6


In his book, A Spiritual Clinic, J. Oswald Sanders devotes a chapter to despondency among Christians. “Who among us has not experienced that nameless feeling of misery and hopelessness?” he wrote. Sanders points out that such biblical heroes as Moses and Elijah had moments of great discouragement. For Moses, God prescribed the help of seventy elders; for Elijah, a time of withdrawal in a solitary place where the Lord met him.

“God prescribes individually for each of His patients. God delights to restore each depressed soul to a sphere of increased usefulness,” said Sanders.[1]

When we face daunting challenges, we can remember that God is always with us. He will give us wisdom and courage. He will deal with us individually, prescribing what is best. Take a moment to ask the Lord to show you the next immediate step you should take toward restoration and increased usefulness. He doesn’t want you to live in chronic despondency when His joy can be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

It is not without its comfort that the two men who conversed with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration both broke under the strain of their ministry and prayed that they might die. J. Oswald Sanders

The Secret Of David That Every Believer Should Know – POWERFUL VIDEO

All Alone?

God heard the boy crying. Genesis 21:17

Sue’s family was falling apart before her eyes. Her husband had suddenly left the home, and she and her children were confused and angry. She asked him to go for marriage counseling with her, but he wouldn’t because he claimed the problems were hers. Panic and hopelessness set in when she realized he might never come back. Would she be able to care for herself and her children alone?

Hagar, a servant of Abraham and Sarah, faced those thoughts as well. Impatient for God to give them a son as promised (Genesis 1215), Sarah gave Hagar to her husband, and Hagar gave birth to Ishmael (16:1–4, 15). However, when God fulfilled His promise and Sarah gave birth to Isaac, family tensions erupted such that Abraham sent Hagar away with their son Ishmael with just some water and food (21:–21). Can you imagine her desperation? Soon they ran out of provisions in the desert. Not knowing what to do and not wanting to see her son die, Hagar put Ishmael under a bush and walked a distance away. They both began to sob. But “God heard the boy crying” (v. 17). He heard their cries, provided for their needs, and was with them.

Times of desperation when we feel all alone cause us to cry out to God. What a comfort to know that during those moments and throughout our lives, He hears us, provides for us, and stays near to us.

By:  Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

How has God provided for you when you’ve felt alone? How have you responded to Him?

I’m grateful, God, that I never really walk alone. Help me in my desperation.

Learn more about communicating with God.

God’s Call to Genuine Repentance

Healing comes when our heart’s desire is to please our heavenly Father. 2 Corinthians 7:8-11

In the kitchen sits a full cookie jar, and 6-year-old Todd is determined to have one. When his mom walks in, she finds him—one arm still in the jar—chewing fast. The first words out of his mouth are, “I’m sorry.” He obviously regrets being caught and is unhappy about the punishment that may follow, but he’s probably not remorseful for eating the cookies. 

Believers sometimes approach confession and repentance the same way. Sorrow usually accompanies admission of guilt, and feelings of shame and remorse are labeled as repentance. Yet too often our repentance is shallow. We’re sad over the consequences of our actions and upset that we’ve failed to live up to our own standards of good behavior. But genuine repentance goes deeper than self-reproach; it involves a sense of grief over having wronged God by sinning against Him. 

Our desire should be to please our heavenly Father, not grieve Him. So genuine repentance leads us to forsake the sin and practice obedience. When we humble ourselves and truly repent, the Holy Spirit pours His power and strength into our life. Then we are enabled to turn from that sin in order to walk in obedience to our Lord.  

Living Truths

“He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.” (Mark 12:27)

Sin and death are grim realities in the world, but these are only temporary intruders, as it were. The God of creation is the living God; and “Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) is our living Savior, alive forevermore. It is appropriate, therefore, that the term “living” is applied over and over again to great truths of the Christian faith.

For example, the Holy Scriptures are called “the lively oracles” (Acts 7:38). “Lively” and “living” represent the same Greek word zao; thus, the Bible is God’s “living word.” Jesus Christ called Himself “the living bread which came down from heaven,” sent down by “the living Father” (John 6:51, 57). He also promised that all who believe on Him would find “living water” flowing through their lives (John 7:38).

He has opened for us through His substitutionary death and justifying resurrection “a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:20). Furthermore, He has thereby “begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

The Lord Jesus is the foundation of the great house of the Lord into which we come through Him. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:4-5). In this holy temple, we are therefore urged to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [our] reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Our God is, indeed, the God of the living! HMM

“Tempted Like As We”

Luke 4:1-13

THE threefold temptation of our Lord corresponds to the temptation of the first Adam in Genesis. John tells us (1 John 2:16) that the threefold appeal is by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. This appeal was used with Eve: “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6).

Luke, in his account of the Son of Man, follows the Genesis order; but Matthew puts the third appeal second, making the order that which would appeal most to a king, with its offers of a quick way to the throne.

Jesus meets the appeal to the flesh with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. He could have readily provided Himself with a meal, for God can set a table in the wilderness whenever He likes; but our Lord was willing to trust His Father to supply His need without resorting to the suggestion of the devil. He will not selfishly use His power.

Then the devil undertook to pervert the Word of God and lead Jesus to resort to the spectacular to prove God’s care. He quotes a messianic psalm in which God promises to protect the Messiah because He is obedient and trustful. Had Jesus listened to Satan, He would have broken the condition. To ever ask for signs and wonders of God—to demand some sensational proof of His love and care—is to follow this same suggestion of the devil.

Then the adversary offered the Lord the kingdoms of this world. They really were his to offer, for this present world-system is under him. In John 12:31 and 14:30 our Lord speaks of Satan as the “prince of this world,” and in 2 Corinthians 4:4 calls him the “god of this world.” God owns the world, but the devil possesses it in the present age. But Jesus defeated the tempter again with a sword-thrust from Deuteronomy. No wonder the devil has fought Deuteronomy so and has sought to destroy it with higher criticism! The Lord defeated him each time with a verse from that book. If the Lord used only three verses from Deuteronomy to whip the devil, we ought to put up a good fight with the whole Bible!

Mark adds that our Lord was with the wild beasts. The first Adam was tempted in a lovely garden with all creation at peace. The second Adam was tempted in a wilderness typical of the earth spoiled by sin. But one day, by reason of His victory, He shall reign over the earth… redeemed from the curse and with creation at peace (Isa. 11:6-8; Rom. 8:18-25).

After the devil left Him, angels ministered to Jesus. After each victory over evil, we are visited by His strengthening Presence in fresh power, in joy, and in confidence. Luke adds significantly that the devil departed “for a season.” Again and again through His life, our Lord suffered being tempted, and He is even now able to succor them that are tempted (Heb. 2:18).

“He shall deliver thee in six troubles.”

Job 4:12-21

Eliphaz, the Temanite, though he took a wrong and cruel line of argument with Job, nevertheless, in the course of his reasoning, uttered some grand things: we will read two passages of his first speech. In the first, he shows that weak and erring man must not question the wisdom and justice of God’s actions.

Job 4:12-21

In comparison with God what are men or even angels? Angels have but finite wisdom, and where their wisdom ends folly begins; theirs is not sinful folly, but such as ever must be in creatures when compared with the Omniscient One. Even angels know but little in comparison with God. How then can we think highly of frail beings, who from day to day are dying, and are so accustomed to see each other turn to dust that they think nothing of it? How can a mere insect like man, who is moreover foolish and sinful, dare to call in question the doings of the Eternal God?

Job 5:17-27

In our second extract Eliphaz teaches us not to repine under divine chastisements, for they will be blessed to our highest good.

Job 5:17

Be not averse to it, rebel not against it, ascribe it not to anger, and do not disregard it as if it were a trifle.

Job 5:18

The same Lord is in both our afflictions and our consolations, and he arranges that the one shall be surely followed by the other.

Job 5:19

Trouble may roar upon us, but it cannot devour us. It may vex us, but it shall not do us real harm. If we suffer a perfect number of trials we shall also have an all-sufficient degree of grace.

Job 5:21

a mercy indeed

Job 5:23

The Great Masters dogs will not bite his friends.

Job 5:25

The Friend of the father will be gracious to the children.

Job 5:26-27

We have not only been told this, but we have assured ourselves of it—”We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

Why should I doubt his love at last,

With anxious thoughts perplex’d?

Who saved me in the troubles pass’d,

Will save me in the next.

Will save, till at my latest hour,

With more than conquest bless’d,

I soar beyond temptation’s power,

To my Redeemer’s breast.

You Will Find Christ Everywhere in the Bible

...To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.... 1 Corinthians 8:6

I do not mind telling you that I have always found Jesus Christ beckoning to me throughout the Scriptures. I am convinced that it was God’s design that we should find the divine Creator, Redeemer and Lord whenever we search the Scriptures.

The Son of God is described by almost every fair and worthy name in the creation. He is called the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings. He is called the Star that shone on Jacob. He is described as coming forth with His bride, clear as the moon. His Presence is likened unto the rain coming down upon the earth, bringing beauty and fruitfulness. He is pictured as the great sea and as the towering rock. He is likened to the strong cedars. A figure is used of Him as of a great eagle, going literally over the earth.

Where the person of Jesus Christ does not stand out tall and beautiful and commanding, as a pine tree against the sky, you will find Him behind the lattice, but stretching forth His hand. If He does not appear as the sun shining in his strength, He may be discerned in the reviving by the promised gentle rains.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was that One divinely commissioned to set forth the mystery and the majesty and the wonder and the glory of the Godhead throughout the universe. It is more than an accident that both the Old and New Testaments comb heaven and earth for figures of speech or simile to set forth the wonder and glory of God!