If You Love Him - Feed His Sheep
If You Love Him - Feed His Sheep

Some Special Thoughts Concerning Depression

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The Saviour came;
With trembling lips
He counted the Nations' battleships.
Yet millions lack their daily bread!
'So much for Calvary!' He said.

[After Robert Haven Schauflle]

  

In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus teaches us a stirring parable of judgement:

  

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  

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  Dare I suggest that the fact that the world's poor live in the shadows of mammoth global businesses and financial institutions yet starve for want of bread, will be a concern to the Saviour when He comes again? From his teaching about the sheep and the goats, what is expected of Christians?

  Clearly, there is a direct responsibility incumbent upon all of us to turn our hands to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, and ministering to the sick.

  When he conmes again, may he not only find us so doing, but also find that we have been doing so for so long - not because we fear judgement -, but because we have learned from Him that these are the right things to do.

  

  

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To those that stand in need of such comforting, this 'hymn of hope' written by  EJ Rollings extends a strong promise of help by the One described as 'Help of the helpless."

Standing Somewhere in the shadows ...

      

  
Standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus
He's the Friend who always cares and understands
Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Him
And you'll know Him by the nail prints in His hands.  
  
Are your crosses too heavy to carry;
And burdens too heavy to bear?
Are there heartaches and tears and anguish;
And there's no one who seems to care?
  
Are there shadows of deep disappointment,
And trusts that have proven untrue?
Has the darkness of night settled round you
Has your hope and your faith wavered too?
  
Has the storm over shadowed your sunshine,
And life lost attraction for you?
Have the dreams that you cherished been broken,
Is you soul filled with bitterness too?
  
Standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus
He's the Friend who always cares and understands
Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Him
And you'll know Him by the nail prints in His hands.  

  

This inspiring hymn of Hope can be heard at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMqw5J-11m0 

  

The words remind believers that when they encounter disappointments, broken dreams, or the heartache of abandonment, Jesus is there for them.  Yet there is another aspect that fits the song's message that is of equal importance for those that fail to find either warmth, love, fellowship, or acceptance in their Christian congregations

A true story from some years back [I have forgotten what story I was going to insert!] illustrates the principles that are found in the Book of the Prophet Amos, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and the unavoidable direction and warning in the Saviour's discourse recorded in Matthew 25.  Each of these is concerned with three things: 

First, the lack of concern and committment for the welfare for 'the least of these' in the lives of those appointed to Condemnation.  

Second, the active presence of concern and committment to all, even to 'the least of these,' demonstrated by those appointed to Eternal Life at the Day of Judgement.  

Third, the significance Jesus places on positive social action, and the difference in consequences for those that were indifferent to the needs and sufferings of others and the blessings heaped on those that followed Jesus' example of love for all.

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Although it is not the only sign Jesus says that faithful saints will exhibit, it is one that is profoundly significant because it displays a primary characteristic of Deity:

  

By this [sign] shall all men know that ye are my disciples,

if ye have love one to another

~~John 13:35 [AV]

  

  

It is never in God's plan for us to be unhappy. Yet some of us are. This 'dark and dreary world' has its sorrows and its disappointments, and feeling sorrow when we encounter these is normal.  Sometimes we can find the cause of our sadness, and sometimes we cannot.  Medical science has looked for answers to depression, and has found some answers, and even some way to make the blues depart so that our lives become sunny and hopeful once more.

But there are times when depression is not so easily chased away, even by the best medicines, and we must ask, "What now?"  

However we characterise our depressions, they are real and valid.  Everyone's suffering deserves to be acknowledged and taken seriously. in other words, we believe those that say they are depressed, and they are not alone in how they  feel. 

Depression is a clinical condition, just as real as a broken arm, a damaged organ, or a tumour, and professional help should always be sought. The sooner, the better! 

Seek a blessing, and then seek our a mental health professional so that your treatment can start as soon as possible, and bring the day of feeling better, brighter, hopeful, and vital forward in your lives as soon as possible. 

Those that have struggled with depression and have been successfully treated, make the best friends for those in the grip of what Sir Winston Churchill called his 'Black Dog.'  Why?  Because they know, better than anyone else, that depression can be helped, moods can be improved, and the sun can shine again. 

  

God's plan is for you to be happy. Never let go of that truth.  God is love, and love is his greatest weapon against unhappiness, loneliness, and the crushing isolation of depression.

Perhaps Jesus' teaching on the Judgement should include,

  

  

"I was depressed, and you helped me come out of it."
 
If you agree, then smile.

If you know someone that is depressed, then act!