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Speaking the Truth In Love May 2016

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I recently attended a counseling conference at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on the topics of depression and hope in Christ.  I would venture to say that many members in our church wrestle with what Charles Spurgeon called, “the dark night of the soul.”  Christians become depressed. There is so much more to be said about this, but I want to encourage you that in the midst of your sadness it is possible to hope in Christ and strive for joy.

One of the speakers at this conference, Dr. Stuart Scott, gave an incredibly hopeful and practical lecture on seven biblical truths that help us remain steadfast in the midst of our depression.

  1. Rehearse the gospel of Jesus daily. (Titus 3:3-7; 2 Timothy 1:12)

¨ There is nothing inconsistent with an unbeliever being depressed, but the Christian has the truth and hope of the Gospel to rely on.  Remind yourself of it daily.

  1. “Believing” and “hoping” in God are verbs. (1 Peter 1:13)

¨ Our hearts will wander away from concentrating on God if we let them.  Actively pursue Him in belief and hope by getting to know Him through His Word.

  1. This is a spiritual war - "fight the good fight of faith". (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

¨ The world, the flesh, and the devil are our enemies.  Fighting them requires extreme effort and endurance.  We will either make wise choices by God’s grace through faith or foolish choices by the flesh through unbelief.

  1. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by renewing your mind one thought at a time. (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 4:4-9; Lamentations 3:1-20, 21)

¨ Knowing God’s Word is crucial to being able to renew your thoughts, your affections, and your actions.  Take each thought or feeling captive and seek to renew it with Scripture in the power of the Spirit.

  1. Joy and sorrow are inseparable. (2 Corinthians 6:10; Philippians 4:4)

¨ We live in a world where joy and sorrow are completely inseparable.  To some extent, until Christ comes and renews the created world everyone will be affected by suffering and sorrow. But we have the power to rejoice in the Lord despite this reality.

  1. We must be others-minded and not self-focused. (Proverbs 18:1; Philippians 2:3-4)

¨ The most depressing thing is to be self-focused.  Isolation is destructive and disastrous.  We must have the counsel of God’s Word because it is our daily bread. We should not starve ourselves from what we most need.  It is through the meditation of Scripture that we are led to pray and to know what to pray.  

  1. We must have an eternal perspective. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Revelation 21:4)

¨ We must be focused on the long term and not only the short term.  Our ultimate hope is found in Christ and the hope for the new creation to come.

These truths can help equip you with hope to combat the sadness and sorrow that you might be experiencing.  “Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings; It is the Lord, who rises with healing in His wings; when comforts are declining, He grants the soul again, a season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.” (“Sometimes a Light Surprises” by William Cowper; ref. Malachi 4:2, 1 Peter 5:7)

Suggested Resources for Further Reading:

Robert B. Somerville, If I’m a Christian, Why am I Depressed?, 2014.

Ed Welch, Depression: Looking Up From a Stubborn Darkness, 2011.

Charles Hodge, Good Mood, Bad Mood: Help and Hope for Depression and Bipolar Disorder, 2012.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, 1965

Speaking the Truth in Love,

Nick

Posted by Nick Scott with

Worship May 2016

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Church Family,

What a great time this past month has been! God is moving in our Church, and I am so thankful to be able to experience it with you all. Thank you for singing. One of the
greatest aspects of corporate worship is that we get to come together as the Church, and we worship in unity. The reality is that every Sunday, each one of us comes to worship with a different story. Our lives are unique from one another, and we all bear different burdens. My life is telling a different story than your life, and your life is telling a different story than mine.

But the great thing about Corporate Worship is that we all get to bring our stories to the same place, together. We all have a song to sing, and we get to sing that song together.  Isaiah 55:1 says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat!.” Remember this week, no matter your story, there’s room for you at the table of God, and my prayer for all of us is that we would, “taste and see that the Lord is good”, as Psalm 34:8 says.

I encourage you in your own life, point your story to the Cross, and come and worship with us on Sundays, as we bring our stories to the same place, where we focus on the Cross, and sing in response to what Christ has done for us.

With Love,

Jared

 

Posted by Jared Mitchell with

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