The following program is recorded content created by Truth Network. Joining us on what will be a very important broadcast today on the Line of Fire, not talking about what's happening in the culture around us, not talking about what's happening in the political world, but talking about human emotions, about hopelessness, depression, about going through the dark night of the soul.
This is Michael Brown. Welcome to the Line of Fire where we serve as your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. At the bottom of the hour, I'll be speaking with my guest, Dr. Mark Sciarona, author of a new book which tells a lot of his own story. He's a pastor, he's a scholar, and he went through a three-year period of deep depression. What do you do in the midst of that?
I've never gone through that. What do you do when you can't see your way out? I'm going to give you a number to call. If you yourself have dealt with depression and you've come out on the other side, how did that happen? What were some of the keys? What would you tell someone who is in deep depression today?
866-34-TRUTH, 866-34-87, 884. Or if you're a counselor or you do a lot of counseling as a pastor and you've helped people navigate through a season of depression or habitual depression, what are the keys? What has been helpful? I've gone through protracted trials, in other words, months and months of intense spiritual battle and attack. And it feels like every day it's a battle to just get up and go about your business.
And for me doing ministry, I remember a season where I had to pray several hours just to kind of get my head above water to feel normal than to get ready to minister. But I've never been through real depression. The way people have described it to me, you can't see your way out. I remember talking to one man, he was the father of one of my friends, and I told him there's light at the end of the tunnel. He said, yeah, I can see it. It's headlights coming towards me. It was the only light he could see was he's in the tunnel and there's a train coming towards him. That in the midst of real depression, as it's been described to me, that when someone tells you that you're going to make it, it's okay, we're in this together, you're not alone, that what they're saying doesn't really connect with you.
It's almost like they're speaking another language. The content does not deliver because of the state of depression that you're in. Years ago, when I was reading about self-diagnosed depression and people then committing suicide and debating the issue whether there should be legalized suicide and things like that, the argument was that when you're self-diagnosing, it's not going to be accurate.
When you're self-diagnosing, you're not going to see yourself the way you need to and come to an accurate conclusion because in the midst of your depression, in the midst of your hopelessness, it might seem like there's no way out. Now, to be absolutely candid here, many times in the church we struggle with approaching mental illness. Is there such a thing as mental illness? Is it all spiritual? Is it all demonic?
Is it just a matter of willpower, believing the word? Many times we treat mental illness totally differently than physical illness. In other words, if I'm playing sports and I get injured and brought over to the doctors, yeah, you fractured your wrist, okay, look on it the x-ray, there it is, here's what we have now, we don't do surgery but you're gonna have to put you in a cast for a period of time, okay, that's how you deal with it. But when you're dealing with quote mental illness, it's much more questionable. In other words, is there actually something wrong with your brain, that the brain's not functioning properly, that there's some type of chemical imbalance or that you have some type of sickness that's affecting your brain or overall in your body there's some type of chemical imbalance because of which you're not thinking rationally, you're not thinking logically. I remember as a boy seeing my aunt begin to to act irrationally, well she had a brain tumor, tragically it wasn't diagnosed until way too late and the surgery was not successful and she passed away.
But you think what happened, she never acted like that before, there's something that was actually going on but you can't always see it or diagnose it. Maybe it is demonic, maybe it's not a physical issue, a chemical issue, maybe it is demonic attacks, it's different than the fracture of your arm which you can look at, it's okay, there's the fracture. I know how I smashed into that wall when I fell over and here's the fracture, you can see it, right, this is different, you get a blood test, oh you're deficient here, okay, you can see that and adjust it, adjust your diet or lifestyle or take some medicine. But with quote mental illness, it's a lot more difficult and I'm not speaking as a mental health professional or as a professional counselor, I'm speaking as someone who just understands these basic things that are basically common knowledge I would say, right. And then because the Bible doesn't specifically say if you have a fractured wrist just confess your healing and the wrist will be healed, it doesn't specifically say that, there are promises about healing but it doesn't specifically say that, but we are told to rejoice in the Lord, that's an emotional thing right, we are told let the weak say I'm strong, so many times when it comes to mental illness the attitude is I just have to believe more, I just have to pray more, I just have to rebuke the devil, I just have to determine to rejoice and sometimes we do, in other words sometimes that's how something breaks, that by God's grace we make this determination I'm gonna rejoice no matter what, I'm gonna praise God no matter what, in fact by an act of our will we can praise God no matter what, even if it doesn't immediately pull us out of depression we can choose to praise God no matter what we're going through, you can be in acute pain say God it really hurts but I'm gonna praise you because you're good anyway, but again many times in the church we don't know don't know how to handle these things when it comes to mental illness or to a deep emotional rut that we're in and we have often a real mistrust for the larger psychological psychiatric profession because much of it is mixed with Freudian analysis and worldly viewpoints and does not factor in the reality that we are spirit and mind and body, so how do we navigate this? How do we help people who are struggling? I want to go to the phones we're going to open up the discussion 866, 3-4 truth, I do want to give a couple of thoughts of my own not as a professional but as a minister of the gospel so not as a professional mental health care specialist and then our guest actually has a number of advanced degrees that interface with the subject of his very struggles and he loves the Lord and he loves the word so we get a holistic perspective let's excuse me let's start with Paul in Richmond Virginia welcome to the line of fire thank you yes well you know as you're quite aware this is a very very complex subject matter and I'm just going to give you quote my two cents on it I think when people get involved in the what's called mental health system it turns into a mental illness system and I have consulted with a number of people over the years Dr Paula Kaplan who is now deceased who was actually on the board of the uh at one point for one of the writings of the DSM and I've consulted with Daniel Mackler Dr Chuck Ruby who wrote a book Smoke and Mirrors how you are being fooled about the mental illness and insiders warning to consumers and Dr David Healy who wrote Shipwreck of the Singular Health Care's Castaways and so as people watch television nowadays in America they'll see a bombardment of pharmaceutical commercials and I think these pharmaceuticals can be helpful possibly short term but I think what happens a lot of time is that people get involved or or they're told that there's help and they get innocently I'm trying to be careful what I'm uh I'm trying to be careful what I say but they get innocently sucked into the mental health system which is an illness system and a psychiatrist will spend 15 minutes with them and say okay let's give you Paxil let's give you Prozac let's give you Abenzo which are very bad and Robert Whitaker covers all this in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic and how the disability rates have gone through the roof since 1987 when these selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were first approved Prozac Upjohn has lied about Xanax and Dr Peter Breggin has written many books on this Dr Peter Breggin is called the conscience of psychiatry and so psychiatry has caused a lot of problems and a lot of pain and misery and uh I just think people need to be very careful when they get involved in the what's called mental health system because again to me it is a system of illness and they get sucked in and they get put on these various pharmaceuticals and then going back to Columba uh you know I hate to kind of bring that in there but one of these two young boys who committed this act was taking Luvox and so a lot of these mass shootings the one in Colorado several years ago um and I'm not saying that everybody that takes a psychotropic drug is going to go out and commit a mass shooting but but but you're saying though that that people are being medicated and often to their detriment rather than looking at what's really happening in their lives root causes and trying to find practical ways to help get them whole as opposed to medicating them and then potentially putting them either in life dependence on medication or a worse situation that's basically what you're saying and you're specifically pointing to psychiatry because the psychiatrist can recommend medicines whereas the psychologist is going to approach it a little differently hey Paul we got a break here but thanks for sounding the alarm there and he gave a bunch of references check out the references I'm not expert here but check out the references and come to your own conclusions on these things hey Paul thank you for weighing in I appreciate it we'll be right back this is the line of fire with your host Dr. Michael Brown get on the line of fire by calling eight six six three four truth here again is Dr. Michael Brown you know there's a difference between some of the drugs that can be prescribed and in some cases it's clearly over prescribing or just putting a band-aid on a deeper issue or potentially creating a worse issue there's a reason there's such a massive spike in kids being medicated these days there's a big difference between that and a healthy approach certain things can be fixed by diet yeah remarkably certain things can be fixed by diet many things in fact and what reminds me of this is hearing the the ad for Dr. Stangler our sponsor with vitaminmission.com be sure to visit there check out the health supplements and the special discount you get as a listener to the line of fire broadcast but putting healthy supplements in your body and eating and living in a healthy way fixes a lot of things including even depression and struggles like that for many that sometimes it's the unhealthy things we're putting in our body that drag us down not only so I absolutely believe the bible is true and biblical principles will always work in other in other words that whether this person has a spiritual issue an emotional issue a dietary issue a physical issue the bible addresses those things and gives us wisdom and how to approach them but often we are overly simplistic often we make something complex too simple often we make someone feel bad for something that is absolutely not their fault which then only adds to the problem and and do you feel free eight six six three four truth and going back to the phones in a moment would you feel free do you feel free in a time of real deep struggle I'm not just talking about hey I'm really under spiritual attack on any prayer but actually going through depression would you feel free to to share that with friends in church would you feel free if you were leader to open up to other leaders and say hey this is this is going on in my life just wondering because certain things hey it's not my fault I'm under attack or it's not my fault I'm physically sick but when it comes to our mental emotional state sometimes we feel like well if I say anything I'm confessing that I'm weak we need to create an environment where people feel safe talking about their struggles and getting help eight six six three four truth let's go to Andrew in Maryland welcome to the line of fire hello Dr Brown um I hold Dr Brown I like to weigh in on the topic if you don't mind please yeah well it's kind of my story because I actually used to struggle with anxiety and depression it was nine years ago when I was in college I lost oh I lost a whole lot of stuff like I got kicked out of a few college majors of my choice because I didn't make the grades a lot of Christian friends actually went astray and believed and started embracing stuff that wasn't biblical I and unfortunately and I did struggle with unwanted sexual stuff and I gotta tell you I went through such a major depression for those three reasons and when I could have should have withdrawn from a course like I was in a secular college at the time four-year college like I didn't withdraw because I didn't want my parents to think I was giving up so unfortunately to my own detriment I stayed with the course in spite of me not being in good physical and mental shape and I ended up being on academic probation for a while and uh and one of the things that actually got me through was actually stuff was actually going to the gym for the first for the first time and actually improving my eating to where I've actually gotten some help and I've and ever since I graduated college I actually became more involved in a local church in a local church and have been listening to Christian podcasts like hope in hope for the heart with June Hunt and new life with Steve Arburn and something by David Kyle Foster and even listening to your show so a lot of those things have helped me a lot like I may still struggle with if a living site with a little bit of anxiety and impression covid did not help at all with that struggle by the way but at least now I know that things are pretty good in terms of how I can get get some good help nowadays well Andrew first I'm so glad that you've come through that and that you've come through that and that you can share things and that you can be so candid about this and interesting so getting your body in better shape working out and then changing your diet was a source of relief as as well let me ask let me ask one thing quickly obviously there's a long answer you could give but but in short when you were in your worst moments were you devoid of hope did you think I'll never get out of this yeah yeah that was it yeah that was it I actually saw myself being like being somewhere in the streets for that reason as in like I didn't as in I mentally thought I would end up that way um and I mean fortunately yeah fortunately it didn't happen but fortunately that wasn't the case but unfortunately but my men but fortunately unfortunately my mental state was exactly going there got it got it well thank God for his grace in this would you say that that behind the scenes may be unknown to you that that God was carrying you through this and that that's how you you made it or were there any key people that that stood out as encouraging you through through the dark time well I can well in hindsight I think God has kind of kept me through it and he did accept and he did exactly yeah he did bring me through it and I did have some um an uncle who some uncle figures who kind of helped me through it but unfortunately that but that was kind of I did kind I did have a few rare people in my life who cut yeah but yeah mostly God brought me through it yeah so so Andrew thank you for sharing that and I believe you've given hope to some people who say well that's where I am right now God hasn't left you friend in your darkest moment if you're his child he hasn't left you and if you want it you destroyed and you were that bad it would happen a long time ago the other thing is if you know someone struggling just be there for them say hey I'm here I'm here you never know what what difference that'll make thank you Andrew for weighing in uh let's go to Nikki in Portland Oregon welcome to the line of fire go ahead please hey Dr Brown it's Nikki from Portland good to talk to you again yeah um yeah so so I'm both um in the profession and a a sufferer of major depression actually was recently diagnosed as bipolar disorder so I was actually diagnosed incorrectly but I know depression that's been my whole life and so I just remember as an atheist one time in treatment laying there and they said you know imagine your higher power you know all this higher power stuff and I didn't believe in God as a Jewish atheist but I remember this just giant kind of glowing pink hand holding me and I that always stuck with me like what what is it and I felt like God's peace on me but I didn't believe in God so what is this and so once I um once he saved me you know he healed a lot of the physical stuff but he didn't take away he didn't take away the mental stuff he didn't take away the emotional stuff I think that's what he wanted me to do to kind of walk it through so he could build my character in the way that he needed to but I always remember looking back that he was there and so that's what I come to going through what I'm going through now is just really using the knowledge of him and that he's there and and the Psalms are so helpful for that but what I found in addition to prayer and the the fellowship of the saint and the worship is you know we do need good biblical counseling like that's part of it and if we do need medication I believe that is part of it we can't you know our we're live in a fallen world and our bodies are not what they should be and diet and exercise so that's what I've come to know and I'm so grateful that you're doing the show because what I find um in the church um is that it's kind of like poo-pooed and no one wants to talk about it and they say yeah you believe enough and you have enough faith you will be healed and sometimes we have to walk through the process that God has given us so that's what I have to share today as a professional and someone who has gone through it Nikki well thanks thanks for calling in and taking the time we've got one minute before the break then my guest Dr. Mark Sciarona his book on the edge of hope no matter how dark the night the redeemed soul still sings so Nikki if you could just talk to those struggling with depression now for one minute what would you say to them if they're believers what would you say yeah good you're you're rock you're rock is Jesus he is he has not left you he has not left you he's there cling to it find other people that you in the saints that you can just be with that you can share with and worship worship your living God and he will lift you out and that's what I have to say and and you're as far as being a professional what what do you do right now so I used to do marriage and family therapy but now I'm working with autistic kiddos so yeah I get to work about autistic kiddos and her families so wow yeah all right well may the Lord use you and may he bring you to a place where depression is a thing of the past that you've grown in grace and you've come out of that and and can help so many others that struggle appreciate the call and appreciate all that you do all right we come back my guest dr mark sharonah pastor mark sharonah a dear friend and a man who's who's laid it out I mean talk about a raw honest memoir again the name of the book on the edge of hope no matter how dark the night the redeemed soul still saying it's going to have an eye-opening interview with for you not with you but for you on the other side of the break stay right here it's the line of fire with your host dr michael brown get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH here again is dr michael brown thanks friends for joining us on the line of fire have you ever found out something about a person that was shocking that as you knew them while you were friends or colleagues co-workers that they were going through a hellish season and you had no idea about it until afterwards or maybe you knew a little bit but you didn't know the depths of it well sometimes it's shocking to get the whole story and pastor mark sharonah who's been in ministry for decades who's a scholar and who is a man who believes in the power of god to set the captives free he shared his own story now in a book titled on the edge of hope no matter how dark the night the redeemed soul still sings hey mark welcome to the line of fire great to be here so let me ask first before we get into any details why did you decide to write this book i mean it's raw it's vulnerable why'd you do it that's it michael that's a great question question i you know i wrestled um and obviously the the period of time that i wrote about took place from 2007 to 2010 and a half and i think it took me this long um because i think it took me a while to process it all and to feel secure enough and strong enough to be able to tell the story for the sake of others yeah so when i had been sharing a bit about it at a meeting and one of the agents from baker was there from chosen and they said you know mark would you be willing to write the book on this and and while i said yes i said it with a little bit of hesitation in my voice because i had to revisit the journey in order to do that so there were some painful places i had to go and i think there was an unconscious awareness that if i ever were to tell the story i'd have to go back and revisit some things that we prefer to try to forget yeah so but i finally felt like god was saying it was time and there were people that were hurting and it might be an appropriate time to be self-disclosing for their sake so so mark as far as in your professional academic career do you have any degrees or have you done any studies that tie in with the the question of human psychology at your imposter ministry i know other scholarship you've done but but what what interfaces with that yeah i was i was 43 credits away from my phd in psychology when i hit that perfect storm that is part of the story of the book all right so so you've counseled many people over the years as a pastor yes you were you were doing advanced degrees in psychology and now you find yourself in this dark night as a soul hey why don't you just pull yourself out of it man come on you're mad just pull yourself out why why why doesn't that work yeah and if michael you we both know each other really well and we know the body of christ really well so you already know that i heard that from a lot of people um it was the obvious question it's not a whole lot different than jesus and his hometown saying no doubt you would quote this proverb position heal thyself i i i think the irony of of our humanness is that we really can't help ourselves that god calls us to be other oriented and even if we have all the logical rational reasonable answers when we're going through what we go through we lose our sense of perspective and other people have to mirror back to us the love of god so that we can regain our footing and our grounding and be able to move forward so we need one another and i think that lesson taught that that season taught me a level of needing others in a way that perhaps no other season in my life did all right so before we we talk about coming through this coming out of it again friends the name of the book on the edge of hope paint a picture of what you were going through what life was like during this three and a half year period and whether you were still functioning professionally ministry-wise during the season what did it look like and feel like okay so up until that well i mean even through that moment i mean i was you know michael both both you and i were were immersed in an atmosphere of renewal refreshing revival we're both passionate about the move of god i was i yeah i used the phrase blowing and going i you know between my appearances on television and my travel around the world and around the nation meetings every week of the month traveling here there and everywhere and you know almost um with an endless pull on that deposit in your life when when you feel like you've got something that god has given you to share with others and that was you know that was a way of life and i i i didn't see that if i had seen the bus coming i'd have gotten out of the way but there were a number of instances that led to a perfect storm and i don't talk about all of them in the book for the sake of privacy but one of them one of them was we we were in the middle of a major building acquisition and we went from a seven thousand dollar a month mortgage to a seventy thousand dollar a month first mortgage and fifty thousand dollar a month balloon oh my and i had i had we had a few thousand people but when we relocated the majority of those people decided not to come and i was down to 400 adults and um the stress of that financial pressure began to build over that next few months when we got in the building in december of 2006 i felt the weight of that financial stress and i felt the stress now mind you i you know i i felt pretty i was pretty confident about my ability to to encourage people to give and to steward that kind of a building project and you know i was on tbn i was i helped them raise money for the gospel all around the world and um so i felt pretty confident but when when that anxiety hit me it was intense and then within that you know we went through a season with our younger son that led to affect the whole family and it about it about did me in and it lasted for a long time and the stress of that plus the stress of the fire to put a weight on me that i had never experienced in my life and it crushed me it literally crushed me so so mark what's the difference between going through a hard time going through a battle and suffering from real depression what's the difference oh gosh i i've been through tough seasons in my journey before we both have we've both had our share of spiritual warfare yep but this and and i at a season in my life when when i was um going through major transition i remember feeling disoriented and despairing but but honestly michael when when paul says to the church at corinth and second corinthian that he didn't want them to be unaware of the struggle he went through that when he was on his way that in asia he was excessively burdened to the point of despairing of life that the sentence of death had been passed in him that he shouldn't trust in himself but in god who raises the dead i i know what that's like now i also know what it's like when job says the thing that i greatly fear has come upon me we have so misinterpreted that text and you're you're you're jewish so you know that the hebrew ways of looking at wisdom literature are different than the american way of saying this says this at a surface level and um but but between the thing that i greatly fear the way it's understood hebraically and the way it's understood in wisdom literature and the despairing of life they both came together with a force that had to be reckoned with and ironically michael you and you met vinny manzo at ishikar but vinny was one of my best friends and i dedicated the book to him and he just passed away last week so he never got to see a copy of the book but he walked me he walked me through that season um and if it weren't for him i'm not sure where i'd be so this went on not for three and a half days or weeks or months but three and a half years years yeah three and a half years there was a long long dark night so did you have breakthroughs where everything seemed normal and you thought i'm out of this i'm done and fell back or was it it was dark the whole time it was the entire time and the sleeplessness was chronic um and i was seeing i had to also see a therapist and the medical doctors and they tried me on different various medications most of which gave me problems and and um it was it there were challenges all the way around but i'm grateful for jesus and i'm grateful for the enduring love of god and for the the key voices in my life that kept reminding me of who i was and that this was a season and not a life sentence and and during this time who was god to you and how real was he to you you know um it was it was a season where it felt like god had totally abandoned me um i knew god was there but it was as if the one who i had so thought i knew well went radio silent i could sense the presence but i had no sense of a living word to run with i had to rely on vinny and some caring others just to remind me of what god had said and you know obviously i i went to scripture you know one of the things that that became a life verse for me was deuteronomy 33 um in the the eternal god 26 27 the eternal god is our dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms it didn't matter how far i felt like i fell but the father's arms the son and the spirit undergirded me and caught me up and sustained me there were times i didn't realize i was being a part of my life and sustained me there were times i didn't realize i was being sustained there were times i thought i was going to lose it and yet in moments when i thought i was going to lose it there was just this clarity that would remind me i got to just keep going and you know at the same time michael i even you know i've made my living on the road i've i've not taken a salary from the church i never have and the last few years the church has begun to give me something but so i had to still function while i wasn't able to function and generate income to take care of what was going on in my family well the day the daily bills the daily chores plus i had to continue to preach and sustain that local the local church and so i was clear in the pulpit but everywhere else i wasn't extraordinary friends the book on the edge of hope no matter how dark the night the redeemed soul sings how did god bring mark out of this and what would you say to those in the midst of it that's what we take up when we come back stay right here it's the line of fire with your host dr michael brown get on the line of fire by calling 866-344 here again is dr michael brown my guest dr mark sharonas says this the scariest place can also be your threshold step through it knowing god is there with you and healing can happen right in the middle of your chaos the book on the edge of hope so mark how is it that the lord brought you out of this three and a half year dark night of the soul well it wasn't a one two three sort of solution it was a gradual learning how to cope with anxiety and learning how to cope with the old the oppression and learning how to cope with the depression there were many things i had to learn about negative emotions afflictive thoughts um you know the the i had to really get get free from magical thinking that if i just confess the word it'll go away um i can i certainly think there's a place for confession don't get me wrong but magical thinking is not the way through some of the kind of afflictive internal realities i was facing it only happens one step at a time one day at a time i had to live in day tight compartments i had enough grace to manage one day at a time looking back it was a thousand eight hundred and some odd days it was 78 days or something like that but i knew them each as one long day and many of those nights were sleepless nights so how i made it through um was was really one step at a time michael and um it was difficult i don't i wouldn't i don't want to soft soak it because it was it was pretty painful but i think i i think i i realized somewhere um in the journey that the more i fought it the more power i gave it and i had to learn to accept that there are just some things that are negative in life that if we embrace the reality that it hurts it loses its power and that took me a while because i was pretty determined i was going to lick the thing right away and and i had to learn there was a different way through this one what about demonic factors and deliverance from demons is that in the category of magical also where does that fit no i think look the demonic is real and the demonic can't be there and certainly when the demonic was there i had to address it it wasn't as if i'm familiar with deliverance this wasn't a matter of me needing to be delivered this was a matter of my soul was um i was i was battling deep anguish and and sadness and grief and anxiety and the enemy takes advantage of that he comes at us when we're down and so i had to on the one hand you know the deal with the spiritual warfare which was exhausting in and of itself because it was relentless and at the same time deal with the anxiety and the depression so it was a it was a pretty intense reality um so i'm i'm not denying either dimension i'm saying both was a double whammy it was intense yep got it and and many times we are way too simplistic it's either or and yeah whatever helped the last you know if god uses me in a particular way well that's going to fix it for everybody and yeah and then that only drives things deeper people may mean well but it only drives the hopelessness deeper so obviously for those that are listening and you're saying wow this is relevant to me or i've got a family member friend that that could really use this so so the book will help in other words the book is not three and a half years dark night of the soul and and then the last page i came out of it i mean you've got the journey through the midst of it and the journey out by god's grace so there is hope throughout but it in short now if you were talking to someone that's that's watching or listening to the broadcast or they're going to read your book and they're they just don't see any way out they they can't even see that they're on on the edge of hope and they're believers they're children of god what would you say to them number one we are loved by god nothing will separate us from the love of god in christ jesus the triune god is a god of love and he will always be loyal in that love whether i understand the sufferings i'm going through or not does not change who god is god is not the author of evil god didn't will that i go through this thing and god didn't determine that i had to suffer these things you know some of the sufferings michael that we go through are the genuine sufferings of christ some of the sufferings we go through are the result of our brokenness and our areas where our cognitions are not as clear as they need to be and so it's not always easy to sort all those out but either way it's suffering and we have to deal with it but we have to know we're loved that's number one number two we can't run away from negative thoughts and negative feelings the only way out is true and i thought if i had if i accepted those thoughts i was accepting defeat and i had to realize there's a difference between accepting those negative thoughts and feelings and resigning myself to them and when i realized i had to accept the pain without resigning myself to it i got in touch with that deeper core that was in mark sharonah from the day he was saved that god had ordained my life for his purpose and his glory and when i lit when i chose to stay in that core place come hell or high water i resolved i would go through for the sake of jesus for the sake of my wife and my kids for the sake of the people i love at the local church and for the sake of the body of christ and mark a lot of the gospel that's preached in america is very superficial because often we don't have suffering attached to it we don't really have a theology of suffering there's not often a cost to pay for following jesus as is common in other countries where persecution is very real do you think with that that we have presented a false picture of what it means to be born again walk with the lord a false picture of the gospel and that contributes to our problems because we're not expecting difficulty oh gosh michael you know you and i could talk about this for hours as a matter of fact what you and i need to do a podcast where where i interview you on this because i think this is such an important topic i mean when paul when paul speaks of the sufferings of christ and he talks about the spirit of glory and the spirit of suffering go together somehow where we lost our way i think was we got so embroiled in i want to be very careful how i say this because look we both are involved in media we both love the fact that god has grace just does with the ability to touch a lot of people i'm grateful to god for every opportunity i'm grateful for all the men and women of god that have poured into my life the challenge i think in the american culture is that we've become a celebrity culture and there's this drivenness to 15 minutes of fame which is very short-lived and with that there's this syndrome that comes that you think you're impervious to the human condition and to suffering when god never promises us that we're not going to suffer many are the afflictions of the righteous but the lord delivers them from them all and i do think right now michael and i trust you agree with me that if revival is going to come it's not when the roof is going to blow up it's going to win the bottom falls out woe is me i am undone for i am a man of i know that's not popular to confess that but isaiah confessed that peter falls down in the boat at the at the feet of jesus and he says i'm not going to do that in the boat at the at the feet of jesus depart from me i'm a sinful man and jesus says don't worry we're going to start catching people but there's something about a broken and a contrite spirit that i think is essential to the move of the spirit and that brokenness is that place where we're willing to allow the pains of the human condition to touch us at our core and i don't i don't think there's any other way around that yeah i was just uh looking at a quote from samuel wick who's the teacher of leonard ravenhill in one of my books that i was quoting in another book and he said the church always fails at the point of self-confidence yeah and there is that aspect like you quoted from second corinthians one paul saying we felt the sentence of death wise so we wouldn't trust in ourselves but in god who raises us from the dead and and so out of this hellish season that you went through good has come out of it right and and it has brought you more into the character of jesus which is the ultimate goal that god has for our lives yeah i mean and you know there would have been a day when if people came up to me and said they were battling anxiety i would have quoted a few bible verses and prayed for them i can't do that anymore i i feel their pain now and i i have a whole different approach because i understand how anxiety works and simply quoting paul or jesus on anxiety without going into the depths of what paul is saying about the nature of anxiety and the nature of what supplication is which requires bringing those deep pains to speech and owning what's behind them prayer and supplication with thanksgiving which is not always easy when you're going to that hellish place saying thank you to god in the midst of that in spite of that that's that's tough stuff so yeah i'm i'm i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy but i wouldn't trade where i am now for the world because i'm so in love with jesus i i love jesus more today than i've ever loved him before yeah and that's the reality of god's redemption you hope to never go through something like that but you realize you wouldn't be who you were without it friends the new book just out today on the edge of hope no matter how dark the night the redeemed soul still sings a book that very few people could write because the depth of the story is something that some never come out of so thank god we're in the midst of hope we're in the midst of the reality of god's redemption this book will minister to you and mark you tell me when and we'll do that podcast god bless i'm gonna have i'll have to speak while you love you much michael love you too god bless call me another program powered by the truth network
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-22 07:18:10 / 2023-03-22 07:34:47 / 17