Saturday, March 3, 2018

The ministry and depressed Christians, Part 1

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As I pondered my present situation, I thanked the Lord for my not so "broken mind." I reflected on how God in His great mercy helped me, when the howling winds of depression were making my life miserable. I was at the end of my puny resources.    There was nothing that encouraged me.  I remember a pastor's sermon saying, "God will never give you more than you can handle" In my opinion that is a bit of a trite saying.;

Foe example, Look at Heman in Psalm 88:3-5. 


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For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol.  I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave. (NASB).


  

  2 Corinthians 1;8-11
 For we do not want you to be unaware,brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively , beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;  you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many, indeed we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead


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The great Apostle Paul and his missionary team were very serious about their depression. There is some difficulty in believing that all the missionaries were clinically depressed at the same time.  But their testimony is that they all were saying, "I can't stand this any more. I have reached my optimal level of stress.  I feel that I an going to die." They were like those who were on death row. I wonder how many of Paul's teammates,who were very depressed at that time, if it were today, would be  yanked from the mission field because of depression.  It does happen today. If any one reads this blog,and  is in a position of  leadership for  an evangelical, mission agency; and there is someone who is on the field,who may be depressed, someone who suffers from a mental illness, please contact us at Heartfelt Counseling Ministries. Be careful not to call the missionary back home and let the churches drop his support.
 When Paul said he was beyond what he could bear, he did not mean that he had to sin. No, they had the sentence of death in them. This could also be translated, "we were on death row."
 The Father of Mercies and the God of all comfort  helped them and the prayers of the saints were  part of their deliverance.


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