Christians Struggle With Life.
How Should Christians Deal with Life’s Events?
How to respond to emotions of Fear, Worry and Anxiety
Sunday Evening I spoke from Philippians 1 again (as a matter of fact I have taught in this book now since I have pastored Rivers of Joy Baptist Church.) THE INTEGRITY OF WEARING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST PERSONALLY An exhortation to steadfastness, unity, fearlessness.
- 27 Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. Phil 1:27-30.
Now that does not sound like we as Christians should get into the condition that is called clinical depression. IF YOU GO TWO WEEKS WITHOUT PRAYER, BIBLE STUDY, AND BIBLICAL TEACHING, WISDOM, AND WORSHIP, AND YOU ARE HIT BY DAILY EVENTS IN OUR LIVES, YOU COULD GET YOURSELVE TO THE POINT OF BEING OVER COME WITH FEAR, WORRY AND ANXIETY.
We hear the term so much "depression" most of us will use the term to describe us when we have the “symptoms” quote of depression. According to the DSM-IV, major depressive disorder (or "depression") is diagnosed when five or more of the following symptoms of depression are present for most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks. At least one of the symptoms must be either persistent sad or "empty" feelings or loss of interest in activities.
- Constant sadness
- Trouble sleeping
- Low energy or fatigue
- Feeling worthless or guilty for no reason
- Significant weight change
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
As I am doing research on this subject, I note there are a number of definitions of terms we use to describe ourselves.
Sadness, empty feelings, loss of interest, feelings of lack of fulfillment, downturn in mood or frame of mind, a feeling or display of gloom or anger or irritability over something perhaps trivial.
So would you say any of the above or below symptoms are to characterize a Christian?
And I WOULD say all people could describe themselves in these terms at times
Our “emotional state of mind,” our “mood today is”, our “feeling today could be described as”,
So I am taking a look at terms that are used in our description of ourselves. The process of giving an account or explanation of events in our lives.
Depression (mood), a common term for a sad or low mood or emotional state, or the loss of pleasure.
An emotion is a "complex reaction pattern, involving experiential, behavioral, and physiological elements, by which the individual attempts to deal with a personally significant matter or event." It arises without conscious effort and is either positive or negative in its valence.
Other closely related terms are:
- affect, a synonym for emotion
- affect display, external display of emotion
- disposition, referring to a durable differentiating characteristic of a person, a tendency to react to situations with a certain emotion
- mood, which refers to an emotional state of duration intermediate between an emotion and a disposition
Of course we all know people who have such emotions, moods, sorrow, fear, worry and anxiety.
I OFTEN GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF MY PAST EXPERIENCES. Charity and I often hear accounts of people’s experiences in life. This process of giving an account of our experiences sometimes are pleasant, sometimes they are heart wrenching, your emotions are forcibly moved to one level to another level of feelings, some good and some bad.
So to get an idea of what we are dealing in terms we use, I am trying to understand what is meant by the terms we use.
“Emotion is generally regarded by Western civilization as the antithesis of reason. This distinction stems from Western philosophy specifically Cartesian dualism and modern interpretations of Stoicism, and is reflected in common phrases like appeal to emotion or your emotions have taken over.”
“Depression is a serious biologic disease that affects millions of people each year. The encouraging news is that it may be successfully treated. Learn how you can manage your depression by reaching out to others such as a health care professional or family and friends.”
- Melancholic depression, characterized by the inability to find pleasure in positive things combined with physical agitation, insomnia, or decreased appetite.
Now do Christians get into these kinds of “depressions”? And if so how do they deal with them.
I often hear that Charles Spurgeon had “depression”? And I ask myself how is that possible?
So I found this article about Charles Spurgeon:
- “Few men in God’s army have been as faithful and productive as Charles Spurgeon. His work output, as it is recounted, seems almost superhuman: The church had many institutions which needed constant input from Spurgeon, such as the Pastor’s College, the Almshouses, the Orphanage, the Colportage Association and many evangelistic and compassionate societies, the latter usually being chaired by the elders. There were 66 of these by the time Spurgeon had been pastor for 25 years. The Pastor’s College generated a great deal of work, not only in the regular interviewing, lecturing and oversight, but also in the endeavors and cares of the churches founded by former students . . . Spurgeon’s literary work was immense. He compiled more than 140 books, maintained the monthly The Sword and the Trowel magazine (from 1865), and edited the weekly sermon (The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit) . . . [and] he responded to an average of 500 letters each week (p. 11). What is even more amazing is that he accomplished all this while having regular bouts with serious illness throughout the last 24 years of his life. These letters, many of which were written from France while on leaves of absence due to illness, are addressed to his congregation. Many of them speak of his pain and his trials, many of them speak of his great passion for the salvation of the lost, but all of them reflect the love and concern of a true pastor. The letters are divided into three time periods, Part 1: 1876-83; Part 2: 1884-90; Part 3: 1891-92. At the end of the book appear several short articles and sermons written by Spurgeon. This attractive volume includes pictures, illustrations, annotations regarding the circumstances referred to in the letters, and pictures of some of the original letters.”
Then I have read D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Spiritual Depression (the book is not about depression) which is used to say that Christians can have depression.
- “Very well, that is what I regard as perhaps the most important rule of all, that we must not concentrate overmuch upon our feelings. Do not spend too much time feeling your own pulse taking your own spiritual temperature, do not spend too much time analyzing your feelings. That is the high road to morbidity (p. 115);”
- “If you want to be truly happy and blessed, if you would like to know true joy as a Christian, here is the prescription: ‘Blessed (truly happy) are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness’ not after happiness.”
This book is not so much about depression (a word that has taken on official, clinical connotations), as it is about a lack of joy in the Christian life.
End of this post, maybe. Thanks dear, deer, doe, Charity. Your buck Charles.