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December 17, 2021 2:00 am
When suffering strikes in your life, how do you deal with the fallout? In the message "Radioactive," Skip addresses the reality of spiritual depression and shares some hopeful truth for handling the difficult aspects of life.
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Whenever our purpose is challenged or our usefulness is challenged.
We become susceptible to spiritual depression. This shows up when a person feels trapped in a marriage.
When a person feels trapped in a job when person is forced into retirement because of a medical condition. They start asking questions you semi-what is my purpose. Millions of Americans suffer from depression and anxiety each day, and according to research, that number is only growing. Connect with Skip Heitzigs of today as he talks about the spiritual reality of depression truth to help to face life's difficulties find your joy in God's light before you Skip to invite you to study the words of Jesus in the very places where he spoke to Lenny and I are taking a group to Israel in 2022 and we want to invite you to join its will visit places like Nazareth, the Jordan River.
The Dead Sea and Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the garden too and not just a flyby look at the itinerary. Find out more about the firstname.lastname@example.org/C a BQ thank you, Skip now want to let you know about a resource that will help you hear God's voice more clearly. Walking through his work 19 pandemic caused the reevaluation of priorities like choices and the path forward question to my life here Skip right take on priority. Don't we all want the life with a happy ending life marked by growth life marked by productivity and refreshment in God's touch of blessing and prosperity and maturity.
Here is our special offer for this month. For those who support the daily I Skip hiking significant 2022 daily… And they're both really thinking you give $30 to help more people connect: 819 to go online to connectwithskip.com sample from scant you pursue him. When you pursue holiness, happiness tags along call 892 1888. Give or connectwithskip.com shows 42 and 43. For today's celestial escape were about to read the lyrics essentially of an ancient worship song. That's what the Psalms are David and the other Psalms in this book were used as they were used as part of the corporate public worship of ancient Israel. But what is amazing to me is the theme that is in a worship song.
The theme of these two Psalms is essentially depression and I just wonder what the choir five when they were given the lyrics to this hymn sing diamond titling this message radioactive because it's reminiscent of a modern song that you heard by imagine dragons radioactive and when they lead singer Dan Reynolds and he was also the co-author of the song when he was interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine and asked him about the meaning of the song. He said essentially it's about his own personal struggle with anxiety and depression and so are these songs that we are dealing with here. I'll give you a little bit more background before or after we read them, but turn to Psalm 42 and 43 and if you don't mind this morning I want to follow up our traditional practice and I'm in a happy stand as I read these two Psalms. Some churches will do this to show respect for the word of God and stating their belief that they trust in the authority of Scripture as the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for you. Oh God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God, my tears have been my food day and night while they continually say to me, where is your God when I remember these things. I pour out my soul within me, for I used to go with the multitude.
I went with them to the house of God with the voice of joy and praise with a multitude that The program fees wire you cast down all my soul and why are you disquieted within me. Hope in God. For I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance on my God. My soul is cast down within me. Therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of hormone from the Hill meets our deep calls unto deep at the noise of your waterfalls all your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime and in the night. His song shall be with me a prayer to the God of my life. I will say to my rock, why have you forgotten me. Why do I go morning because of the oppression of my enemy is with the breaking of my bones, my enemies reproached me while they say to me all day long. Where is your God, why are you cast down all my soul wire you disquieted within me.
Hope in God, I shall yet praise him the help of my countenance, and my God vindicate me. Oh God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation also deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man for you are the God of my strength when you cast me off. Why do I go morning because of the oppression of the enemy. Also send out your light and your truth. Let them lead me, let them bring me to your holy hell into your tabernacle then I will go to the altar of God to God my exceeding joy and on the harp, I will praise you oh God my God why are you cast down all my soul and why are you disquieted within me.
Hope in God.
For I shall yet praise him, help of my countenance, and my God.
Let's pray before we have a seat by the B stand in your presence this morning as a token that we not only respect Scripture that we stand our very lives, we stake our very souls. Upon what you have revealed to us. We stand in your presence. So thankful for honest expressions like the ones that we find in Psalm 42 and 43, and we pray Lord that your Holy Spirit would help us to not only understand the meaning but to apply the truth is in Jesus name we pray.
Amen. Please have a seat. The theme of these two Psalms is essentially what I'm calling spiritual depression. No I did not come up with that phrase. It was a phrase coined by another pastor Dr. Dean Martin Lloyd Jones Dr. Lloyd Jones was a medical doctor who became a pastor after G. Campbell Morgan of the great Westminster Chapel in London, England, and he wrote one of us greatest books ever entitled spiritual depression originally Psalm 42 and 43 we believe are the same unit the same song or that you have Psalm 42 and then as an appendix to it. You have Psalm 43 and here's why. The same language is used in both songs the same chorus if you will.
We have in the first Psalm of verse followed by a chorus, a second verse followed by the same chorus and then in the next Psalm the third verse followed by the same chorus so verse one. The psalmist sings about dryness or order in verse one in the second verse he sings about drowning. That's the metaphor uses in the third verse he sings about being dejected if you will notice at the beginning of Psalm 42. The part we did not read says to the chief musician, a contemplation of the sons of Cora Melanie jog your memory back to numbers chapter 16 when there was a guy named Cora and he and 250 of his buddies rebelled against Moses authority in God simply had the ground open up and swallow them all till they died was his answer to that will his son survived, according to numbers chapter 26 and we have the descendents of those sons that are represented here. Essentially, it was their job to conduct a public worship in Israel and 11 songs that are ascribed to the sons of Cora.
What is the occasion of the songs what's the background. We don't know for sure but we could venture a guess.
Some scholars believe that when David fled Jerusalem because of the rebellion of his son Absalom again. I'm jogging your membrane second Samuel chapter 15 when David left that he brought with him. One of the sons of Cora.
This Levite who wrote the song and here they are out away from Jerusalem, longing to get back and this Levite, one of the sons of Cora longs to return and writes these songs we don't know for sure but essentially the theme of the Psalms is a person struggling and struggling with God to make sense of the experience of these had in his life. It is spiritual depression is what the ancients used to call the dark night of the soul where you want to call it having a bad day and down having the blues being depressed. Some of you know what it's like to have your zest for life vanish daft. Simple tasks feel like impossible demands that have spiritual energy gone to have words like hope and joy become nothing more than just words without real meaning. In a word, you are radioactive.
That's how you feel you have been exposed to catastrophic events that make you feel this way.
So I want to look at in these two Psalms. The reasons for it, and the remedies for spiritual depression.
The reasons and the remedies, but I want to begin by displaying a little background work. I would first talk about the reality of it. You've all heard of the four spiritual laws. I'm sure in your Christian life will I give you the three spiritual flaws, not the four spiritual laws. These are three spiritual flaws when it comes to this issue of depression, but I just want to overturn flaw number one. It's all in your head. It's not really real. You just think it's real.
It's all in your imagination. That's flaw number one. So let me be quick to answer that by quoting what the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says about it according to their findings, they write that 9% of American adults are struggling with feelings of hopelessness and despondency and or guilt generate a diagnosis of depression 9%. Moreover, they state at any given time 3% of adults have major depression. A long-lasting severe form of depression. Did you know the Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that applies besides the obvious. It implies the fact that we are very complex beings and we are held together in a very delicate balance which means a lot can go wrong. Certain factors like genetics, family history, personality factors, stress, and biochemical disturbances all can add to those feelings. For instance, if there is an imbalance in your brain chemistry.
The neurotransmitters, those chemical messengers that work inside your brain. If if something is askew you can feel a certain way because of it. So if your serotonin level is low that will disrupt sleep patterns will increase anxiety if your nor epinephrine levels are low, it will produce fatigue and depressive mood can follow. If there's the increased level of the hormone cortisol will intensify your reaction to fear and distress all not to say your brain is a real organ and so to deny the possibility of clinical depression is flat-out wrong and certainly on help. So that's flaw number one.
It's all in your head.
You just imagining flaw number two what Christians should never be depressed if you believe that by the way, never read the book of Psalms. You'll just be disappointed. Does the guys who like this are all over the emotional map there on a high sugar crashing in the same Psalm sometimes some people will paint a false picture about coming to Christ.
However, there was a just come to Jesus and life's problems will be automatically solved your always be healthy always be wealthy. You'll always be happy and they feel the necessity to plaster a fake smile. Hi Udo, rather good.
I actually go to sleep just like this. That certainly is not helpful. Yes, we have resources. The world is not have.
Certainly we have the joy of the Lord, which is our strength. But being phony or portraying a certain emotion as something that happens all the time is wrong.
In fact, let me also say that in some cases coming to Christ actually makes the road rougher. Think of Christians in countries where persecution is huge because a person gives her light the Christ.
Think of the audience that Peter wrote to we study rocksolid, they receive Christ and life got instantly more difficult for them.
Adding stress and pressure so those two flaws. It's all in your head number two. Christian should never be depressed. Flaw number three. If you are depressed. It means you are unspiritual or at least immature. If you believe that you will have a hard time with most all of the Bible and most of the heroes of the Bible.
Some of the great spiritual men and women of faith in the Bible like David who said my soul is in anguish, old Lord, how long Psalm six David said I make my bed swim with tears.
Elijah the prophet spiritual guy when he ran from Queen Jezebel out in the desert. He said it is enough. Lord, take my life at suicidal Joe last time I checked God city was the most righteous person living on earth at the time Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. You gotta feel pretty loaded. Then there was Paul the apostle in the New Testament who said he was burdened beyond measure, above strength so that he despaired even of life. All of them great spiritual people over the years you've heard me quote probably almost every week. One of my favorite quotable pastors Charles Haddon Spurgeon ever since I was a young believer. I just love how he said words like how to talk like that he so quotable. But then I discovered that Charles Haddon Spurgeon also suffered severe bouts of depression and he confessed as much to his own congregation saying that I have been in the depths of which I hope none of you ever go and he also said to them, there are dungeons beneath the castles of despair and yet for some reason some of us Christians feel that we need to add stigma for those people who are feeling low and down and depressed and if they're not doing this we say yes so those are flaws. This stuff is real.
Now I'd like to have you look with me at these two Psalms and and consider some reasons for me be quick to say that I am not a clinician, then, to confine my thoughts to the song because I'm in expositor and also to this theme of spiritual depression, but there are several reasons, though there are many more skin to give you what I see in the song. Reasons for spiritual depression.
Reason number one expectations. Expectations unfulfilled expectations when you expect something to happen that doesn't happen. That's an unfulfilled expectation. Verse one. As the deer pants for the water broke, so pants my soul for you.
Oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God. My tears had been my food day and night while they continually say to me, where is your God when I remember these things. I pour out my soul within me for I used to go with the multitude. I went with them to the house of God, the voice of joy and praise with the multitude that kept the Pilgrim feast. Whoever it was that wrote this song. This person feels cut off spiritual life isolated in this incident. Whether was a Levite that was off with David when they fled Jerusalem or was somebody that wrote it years later. Notice the expressions like a deer thirsty painting for water, wanting to find refreshment. Finding no relief whatsoever.
The Bible says in Proverbs 13 that hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life once again. Think who is writing this song, the sons of Cora their whole life. Their whole purpose is involved in the public worship system of Israel.
Whenever our purpose is challenged or our usefulness is challenged. We become susceptible to spiritual depression.
This shows up when a person feels trapped in a marriage. When a person feels trapped in a job when a person is forced into retirement because of a medical condition. They start asking questions. What you semi-what is my purpose. We all have expectations and some of them are realistic when we do this we expect certain things that happen, but some of our expectations in life are just flat unrealistic. The more unrealistic your expectations are, the more severe the depression will be. I found an interesting article. I wanted to share with you, my attention was a Vanderbilt University study listen to how it opens. Pentecostals are three times more likely than any other Christian group to experience major depression that got my attention.
I just thought let's an odd thing to say how do you study that wealth.
Vanderbilt University studied 2850 N. Carolinians over a six-month period and the findings were that the group experienced serious depression at a rate of 1.7%, whereas the rate among Pentecostals was 5.4%. The question becomes, why is that and they couldn't be definitive, but they said it's they believe that it's because, in part, people who were already depressed were attracted to Pentecostalism's promise of physical and spiritual healing. If you come to Jesus all your problems will be solved and you'll be wealthy and you'll be healthy and when you live with those expectations and they don't happen then you come crashing down. So number one expectation is one of the reasons here's a second reason criticism criticism verse three. He's saying they say where is your God. Verse 10 is with the breaking of my bones, my enemies reproached me while they say to me all day long.
Where is your God. Psalm 43 verse 24. You are the God of my strength. Why do you cast me off right away.
Go morning because of the oppression of my enemy love this author is he surrounded by critics surrounded by those who are saying these things to him, taunting him whenever you suffer for doing good for doing right working for God doing the right thing, but you're not because of it produces anxiety. Proverbs 1225 tells us anxiety in the heart of a man causes depression.
Think of the Christian student in a secular university who all day long.
Been there, done that. Who all day long. Here where is your God or the Christian worker amongst unbelievers is it where is your God believing person with a family filled with unbelief, forcing where is your God kind of anxiety can build up as the Scripture says cause depression that message from the series. Please right now to let you know about a unique opportunity to pursue biblical studies in a way that works with your schedule. Speculation about the end times is at an all-time high in Christianity is the only faith nearly 1/3 of Scripture for future events about the future from the authority of the Bible you take a study of the end times at Calvary College with evening classes on campus or online. You can get an education in biblical studies that will impact your spiritual life for the rest of your life.
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