How bad can heart pain get?

What would happen if we claim we believe in Jesus and then commit suicide.

When did the idea start that someone who ended their life would go to hell,

no matter what faith the person professed before,

yes this certainly causes a lot of grief.

What if someone has spoken strongly and often about love for Jesus,

They share with others God’s good news,

They live a kind and open life.

But then as the years collapse in life has become very hard.

At the end, there was a harsh note filled with despair and pain and they end their physical life.

So, what happened to this “formerly” strong believer?

No! Not Straight to hell?

No! We can’t find that in Scripture.

Jesus holds on to His people even when they can no longer hold on to Him.

“Neither death nor life” will be able to separate us from Him.

We need to be honest.

Believers can go through unbelieving times.

Times filled with such heart pain that an end seems better than another day.

I wish that were not true.

I wish every believer would be able to look with joy and hope to the Lord’s face

every moment of every day.

I wish I could.

But sometimes the pain is so strong that it’s all you can think about is the pain.

Do you make good decisions when you are in pain?

Do you “keep your hopes up,” as they say?

Or are you like the rest of us, doing stupid things just to get it to stop—

or even for a few moments of some better feeling?

We all make bad decisions.

Another cookie, another online purchase, another drink—

these are small things that can appear to offer relief.

But often the relief ends up burying us in deeper pain.

Sometimes it looks so hopeless as if a mountain of pain caved in on top of us.

We may do something we will regret for the rest of our life

It would feel good for a while,

It take our mind and heart away from the pain that won’t stop,

even though we know it won’t be good in the long run.

What about spending and spending. Buying one crazy thing after another.

Johnny Cash was the one who sang, “I hurt myself today,”

When I first heard the song. “I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.”

(I don’t think I have ever heard the Nine Inch Nails version.)

Some give up by having an affair,

Some give up by cutting themselves off from others,

Some give up by spending money they don’t have—these are ways of hurting ourselves.

(we know it will hurt us),

for some weird impossible feeling to affirm that we can still feel.

We do stupid acts with lasting consequences,

but the things we do is often from becoming numb from so much pain.

The folks who claim to know say statistics claim

that 10 million Americans seriously considered suicide in the past year.

About a third of them made a plan.

You might be one of them.

Or maybe you were a few years ago.

Yes, it would have been stupid, especially as we look back from today.

Today, for some, that pain is a memory.

A new life has begun.

There was hope, but you couldn’t see it.

Some will actually do it.

They will hurt themselves to a point from which there is no return.

Even the fear of hell will not stop them, because the pain is already hell.

And, like many other bad decisions, there is no turning back.

Once you have had the affair, you can’t undo it.

And you may call for help and be saved in time from your suicide attempt,

or you might not be able to. Some decisions are like that.

Please, there is hope.

Find some help if you are going through this kind of pain.

There are other ways to end it. There really are.

Cry out to Jesus, He loves you.

Find your way back to Him.

Find someone who can help you find your way back.

Don’t take your own life. There are many who care.

They may not realize how much you hurt.

And, if you have had these thoughts, don’t think about them as sin,

think of them as desperation.

Severe heart pain is also real.

Pain so great that you long for a way out, no matter what options are offered.

If you have had such thoughts, don’t feel guilty.

If you are having these thoughts now, you are not evil.

But you are hurting at a level that may be out of control.

Please stop everything and find help. Please.

There are so many people that can help.

Get away from the people Who hurt you.

Get around a supportive surrounding.

Let Jesus hold us together in our pain and heart aches.

Adapted from Dave Orisson

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God with us and we with Him is present

What if we didn’t have to go looking for God’s presence?

What if you could enjoy it all the time?

Glenna Marshall’s awakening to God’s presence began in the depths of winter.

Rereading her journal, she realized that for six months

she’d been cataloging all the ways God had abandoned her.

What if that . . . wasn’t true?

Interweaving her own story of faith and doubt amid suffering,

Glenna traces the theme of God’s presence from Genesis to Revelation

She shows what it means for us in our own daily joys and struggles.

God’s presence among his people set us apart

We are separate from the pagan gods of ancient times that presses in around us.

His presence on earth as God Incarnate split history in two.

And today His presence is one of the most significant means of his goodness to us

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We’re saved by Grace

Now God has us where he wants us,

Our Lord has all the time in this world

And God has all eternity in Heaven

to shower grace and kindness on us in Christ Jesus.

Saving us is all God’s idea, and all His work.

All we do is trust Jesus to let Him do it.

It’s God’s gift from start to finish!

We don’t play the major role.

If we did, we’d probably go around bragging

that we’d done the whole thing!

No, we neither make nor save ourselves.

God does both the making and saving.

He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work he does,

We are His workmanship

We are His good work

Christ is working in and through His Grace

And this work of Grace is what He has gotten ready for us to do,

So we yield into His Grace and His work

That’s the best and only way we are at our best doing what He is doing.

By Grace His Grace we are doing what He is doing through and in us.

By Grace we are saved

Ephesians 2:8-10 personalized perspective

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Our God gives songs in the night

Blessed is the one whose strength is in You Lord…

who passing through the valley of weeping,

make it a well.

Psalm 84:5, 6

Mrs. Cowman points out

That comfort is not experienced lightly

We must go down into “depths”

If we are to experience this most precious gift of God’s gifts of comfort

He’s preparing us through testing adversities to be co-workers together with Him.

When night falls on us over the garden of our souls,

when the fall leaves close up the blooms of our heart,

when the flowers of our life no longer soak in any sunlight within their folded petals,

there shall never be wanting,

even in the thickest darkness, drops of heavenly dew which falls only when the sun has gone.

The poets tone is birthed within:

“We have been through the valley of weeping.

The valley of sorrow and pain;

But the `God of all comfort’ is with us.

At hand to uphold and sustain.

“As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,

Our souls need both sorrow and joy;

So He places us oft in the furnace,

The dross from the gold to destroy.

“When He leads thro’ some valley of trouble,

His omnipotent hand we can trace;

For the trials and sorrows He sends us,

Are part of His lessons in grace.

“Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,

Forgetting our gardener knows

That the deeper the cutting and paring,

The richer the cluster that grows.

“Well He knows that affliction is needed;

He has a wise purpose in view,

And in the dark valley He whispers,

`Hereafter thou’lt know what I do.’

“As we travel thro’ life’s shadow’d valley,

Fresh springs of His love ever rise;

And we learn that our sorrow and losses,

Are blessings just sent in disguise.

“So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth,

Let the path be dreary or bright;

For we’ve proved that our God can give comfort;

Our God can give songs in the night.”

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Our advocate

I watched intently as someone I know was deposed

This poem from an unknown source came to mind

Finding joy in our Advocate

The day I went to court, and stood before the Judge…

I tried to gain His favor.

But eyes He would not meet-there to my defeat,

so much my spirit wavered.

I actually thought my dress, my manner

could make a good impression.

But it wasn’t me He looked to see

or graced with an expression.

I was good, or so I thought, in this, a civil matter.

I’d done no crime so feared no time…myself,

I came to flatter.

But I was nothing, standing there—

this, the Judge made plain.

Because he would not look at me despite my efforts, vain.

You see, I had an Advocate, a lawyer for my case…

toward only Whom, as hope did bloom,

the Good Judge turned His face.

He said, “This person, standing here…do she,

You represent?

The lawyer smiled and spoke a while,

saying that was why He had been sent.

Then said the Judge,

“You’ve carried out all matters perfectly so…so this,

Your plea,

I’ll issue Thee: that she Is free to go.”

And so I found even though I thought

I’d done nothing of shame…. yet there was sin

I’d stumbled in which is why my Lawyer came.

He saves us in our chaos,

He goes before the Judge.

He says,

“They’re Mine.”

And in Him, we find,

God’s Courts will hold no grudge.

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Fake news vs. good news

C. S. Lewis wrote in _

That Hideous Strength_

“They have an engine called

“the Press”

whereby the people are deceived.

Babies die without being heard of.

the whole world is under the control of the evil one

1 John 5:19

and that no appeal to reason,

There are no ethics,

There is no morality,

There not concerned for decency,

And nothing

apart from the power of God

bringing repentance and truth

will bring change to those deceived

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Saying it like it is

Is being filled with the Spirit displayed in passive, gentle expressions?

But Paul, filled with the Spirit,

looked intently at him and said,

And Paul said

“You son of the devil,

you enemy of all righteousness,

you are full of all deceit & villainy,

will you not stop making crooked

the straight paths of the Lord?

Acts 13:9–10

This doesn’t sound kind,
This doesn’t appear civil
This is far from gentle.

These are biting words,
These are pointed words,
These are sharp words
These are words directed at a particular person.

This is name-calling,
This is insulting
These are harsh words.

This is Spirit-prompted boldness,
There’s no mincing words

This is the exposing of the raw wickedness of the person he is talking too.

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Be tolerant

“If you are intolerant

of intolerant people

then you are intolerant

and doing the same thing

you accuse of others.”

Tim Keller

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5 Myths About Depression

One of the most dangerous attitudes I encounter is one which is almost intrinsic to depression:

isolating self-pity.

Now, most of us engage in this from time to time,
and a little “licking of one’s own wounds,” so to speak,
it not always a bad thing.

But when it leads to the sort of isolation which defies
the comfort extended by friends and family,
it is a bad thing indeed.

And when it goes further than that—
and it regularly does—

it can become implicitly (if unintentionally)
blasphemous in quality.

Myth #1: It won’t happen to me.

As for me, I said in my prosperity,

“I shall never be moved.”

By your favor, O Lord,

you made my mountain stand strong;

you hid your face;

I was dismayed.

Psalm 30:6–7

Overconfidence may not lead directly to a fall or to depression, but being overconfident hardly prepares
one for either.

David appears to have expected his spiritual “prosperity”
to continue unbroken—

the sort of “I’ve finally arrived” attitude
that many of us may have experienced briefly
before learning that, no, life usually doesn’t continue
in an unbroken vista of “personal peace and affluence.”

Even the achieving of those dubious goals does not (thankfully) fully protect us from the

“slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

It is better to expect what we are promised in Scripture
in the form of unwanted and (hopefully)
undeserved suffering.

Otherwise, we risk being surprised by that very thing
about which we have been repeatedly warned

1 Peter 4:12

Depression can be quite as fiery a trial as any other,
and will be if we imagine that we “shall never be moved.”

The good news—outlined explicitly in this same Psalm
is that God does indeed hear the cry of the afflicted,

and he does answer those cries with deliverance
that ends with mourning turned into dancing
and songs of praise.

Even if I do not experience depression myself,
thinking that I avoid it because it is impossibility
does not equip me to be particularly sympathetic
towards those who do suffer.

In fact, very many people are significantly depressed
at some point in life,

sometimes as a result of serious medical illness,

sometimes from sad circumstances,

sometimes for no apparent reason at all.

If we are led into the suffering which Scripture promises,
we must trust God to lead us through it in ways of his choosing.

Myth #2: It’s all in my mind.

Well, if you happen to be a disembodied spirit, maybe so.

I’m inclined to say that our minds are (presently)
all in our bodies.

Show me a mind without a body, and I’ll show you
a body without a mind.

Who we are is defined by what we are: living souls

1 Corinthians 15:14

While spirit and body may be distinguished,
they cannot (at least in this life) be separated

James 2:26

References in Scripture to their separation
(as opposed to emphasis on one aspect of ourselves)
do, as far as I can make out, refer to the afterlife

1 Samuel 28, which describes the unlawful summoning
of Samuel from his “rest” after death by Saul

Now, there are synonymous as well as overlapping
terms in Scripture for heart, soul, spirit, and mind,
yet entire theologies have been based upon eisegetical renderings of that single verse in Scripture which references “spirit and soul and body”

1 Thessalonians 5:23

as if it were an anatomy lesson rather than the comprehensive benediction intended by Paul!

So what?

Well, for starters, if you are depressed,
it usually affects your body

in terms of sleep,
in terms of energy,
in terms of appetite,
in terms of sense of well-being.

On the other hand, sometimes depression is
an effect of poor bodily health in one or more ways.

A quick example is untreated obstructive sleep apnea.

This condition, especially in severe forms,
degrades sleep in terms of both quantity and quality.

Much of the night is spent actually waking from sleep
and falling asleep again and again,

so that what is known as sleep efficiency is very low.

In addition, the actual sleep itself is shallow and
non-restorative.

If you’ve ever gone without sleep for an extended period, you will realize how miserable it makes you in almost every way:

concentration is poor,
judgment is impaired,
fatigue slows down action,
irritability rises.

And this is for non-depressed individuals.

Our minds are “housed” in our bodies

They are not disconnected functionally or mechanically from them.

We tend to “sense” ourselves as being centered in our “heads” but, when we face unexpectedly sorrowful news, our “hearts” ache and our center seems to have somehow shifted.

Our brains and the other aspects of our selves that think and feel and know are all part of one body.

The reason that Paul could use the body as a metaphor
for unity as opposed to division when discussing the
church is that the body really is a unity. One.

Myth #3: I definitely don’t need medication.

“That medication made me feel like a zombie!”
is the most common complaint I receive from patients entering my care from treatment elsewhere.

Undoing a bad experience with medications can be a challenge and my initial response is to offer assurances
that my salary is not based on how much or even whether or not I prescribe medication, and that I do not own any pharmaceutical company’s stock.

I go on to say that medications are not always indicated, and that I have in my career done a substantial amount of un-prescribing of medications that were either a poor fit
for a patient’s symptom profile or were prescribed in doses higher than necessary or in combination with such a large number of other medications as to make it difficult to know which was doing what, in terms of both intended effects as well as unwanted side effects.

I advise that it is as important to avoid taking too little medication as it is to avoid too much.

If none is indicated, then any is too much.

However, it is also true that if any is indicated,
then none is too little. “Just the right dose,”
as my mentor used to say, is what is needed.

This book presents 17th-century pastor Richard Baxter’s wise, gentle advice to comfort and strengthen all who struggle with depression or know someone who does.

I continue by stating that medication is very often helpful and regularly necessary for recovery from depression, though it is not—alone—as often sufficient for it.

Other interventions are commonly needed as well.

For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
is a formalized approach to identifying

false assumptions,
modifying them,
and then testing the new assumptions through changes in behavior.

As powerful as CBT has proven to be, properly undertaken, it is a rigorous and sometimes very difficult treatment.

Many individuals require medication before they are
able to engage successfully in CBT,
in order to establish a platform of affective (i.e., emotional) stability which can be positively exploited via CBT.

But reluctance to taking medication is quite common
and hardly new.

I think it helpful to consider medication as one of the several means which God may use to bring about healing.

Can God heal by direct intervention with no intermediary?

Certainly. He does.

Are we free do demand that he do so?

Certainly not.

There are too many Scriptural examples of God’s
use of means to bring about healing,

and while I do not imply that each is a form
of medication, some are.

Michael S. Lundy

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Overcome evil with good

Sin will take us farther

than we want to go,

keep us longer than we want to stay,

and cost us more

than we want to pay.

Sin makes us hide from God

when are greatest need

is to expose ourselves

and to hide in God

Not only does sin have consequences,

but also each time we sin,

we reinforce a pattern

that becomes harder

and harder to break.

If we persist in sin with the thought

that one day we will get right with God

we should remind ourselves

that God may still be there,

to forgive and restore us,

but we may not be.

Sin has a diminishing factor to it.

It always gives it’s best

in the beginning.

It never gets better after that …

it only gets worse.

It’s not impossible to say no

to the patterns of the numbing cycle

that surrounds us,

there’s no reason to lower the standard

there’s no purpose

In rationalizing being imprisoned

to self destructive life (death) choices.

Overcome evil with good

Selected

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