Do you ever go through times where it feels like God has left you? Last night in my sleep, I had a horrible experience where it felt like nothing but emptiness in my gut. Like the Holy Spirit wasn’t there. What do you do when you feel like giving up? J.G.
The old time saints referred to times like this as the “dark night of the soul.” Everyone who follows Christ will experience it. There is a sense in which it is a test from God. “Will J.G. believe Me even when he does not “feel” My presence?”
John the Baptist went through the dark night of the soul when King Herod put him in prison. John sent some of his friends to Jesus to ask Him if He really was the Messiah (the Christ). See Matt. 11:2-6. Elijah the prophet went through it, too. So did Jonah. You are in good company!
Watch out for your emotions. Your feelings can lie to you! Created in God’s image, we are trinity. We are spirit, soul (which is your mind, will, and emotions), and body. When we repent and give our lives to Christ we are saved and we are given a new spirit. We are “born again” (John 3:3). We relate to God through our new spirit. The daily problem is that our salvation is not complete until we reach heaven. In other words we still have our unsaved soul and body in this life. Our new spirit battles against our “old man” called “the flesh” which is our soul. See Romans 7:24-25. Because we are not yet glorified our emotions can lie to us!
Our salvation is in three stages: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Justification is the new birth. It is when we first believe. At the point of salvation we are forgiven and can stand before God justified because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin. After justification comes sanctification or growing in grace and faith, maturing in Christ. That is where you and I are right now. Glorification happens in eternity when we are raised from the dead and receive our new, forever bodies. Pretty cool, huh?
So feed the “new man” (your spirit) and starve the “old man” (your soul or “flesh”). This will strengthen the one and weaken the other. We walk by faith not by sight (or feelings I might add). See 2 Corinthians 5:7.
~ Pastor Chris
I am sending you this email because I am in trouble. There’s a huge battle happening in my mind. There are terrible thoughts which I can’t control . I have been unemployed for the past 8 years because of these terrible thoughts coming into my mind . If I can learn to control my mind I will be able to receive all the blessings the Lord has reserved for me . So PLEASE my Father, help me, PLEASE . Otherwise, I will miss going to heaven if I may die with this mind problem .
I would like to give you some verses from the Bible. These verses have helped me many times.
The secret to curing a troubled mind is to focus on Jesus Christ. Ask Him to help you. He will.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him (Jesus Christ) who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
~ Pastor Chris
I am a reborn christian I do believe and read to your teachings. I am separated from my husband. I forgave him completely. There is no bitterness in me but, I do have the desire to end my live. I am tired I want to go home. Will I be forgiven if I take my life?
Your life is sacred to God. He is not through with you, yet; or He would have already taken you home. Your life is important to others, too.
The enemy will work on you to distort your perspective on life and damage your emotions. Do not let satan win this battle. The enemy wants you to think that you are all alone. You’re not. Jesus can handle this and He has friends who will walk with you.
All of us go through times of discouragement and depression. King David did. So did Moses. Elijah, too. And John the Baptist.
Sooo, how do you battle these things?
– Remember that God knows what you are feeling and what you are going through. Tell Him what you are feeling. He is always listening.
– Read Psalm 23 five times a day for an entire month. Read it when you first awake. Again after breakfast. At lunch. At supper. And the last thing you do before going to bed at night. Read it slowly each time and dwell on the words. Ask God to show you His love and His character through this Psalm.
– Get a copy of the book Happiness is a Choice by Minirth and Meier. This book is a terrific resource to help you battle situational depression. If you think you are clinically depressed please find a Christian medical professional for help. Focus on the Family has a network of Christian medical professionals across America that are reliable. To reach them call 1-800-232-6459).
– Walk across the street and find someone you can serve. You cannot help someone else without helping yourself.
– Eat well. Cut back on sugar and foods that easily convert to sugar in your body.
– Continue to attend worship services at your church and join a small group or Sunday School Class.
– Memorize Philippians 4:8; 13; and Isaiah 40:31.
My heart is with you!
~ Pastor Chris
Hi, I found you through Google.
I’m in an extremely depressed time
Of my life and I’m really not sure where to turn.
If I can some how talk with someone who understands then maybe I can have some peace of mind.
If you can help it would be appreciated!
Thank you. Merinna☆
Depression is a difficult thing, not to be trifled with. I have lots of resources on the subject. One of the best is the book titled Happiness is a Choice by Minirth and Meier. I encourage you to talk about your feelings to someone you trust. Your pastor is a good place to start. He can recommend you to a biblical counselor in your area.
Know that many of God’s faithful servants went through times of discouragement and depression. Some of those are: Elijah, David, Paul, Jeremiah, and Moses. You are in good company. They worked their way through those difficult times by pouring their feelings out to God and by keeping their eyes on Him. Many of the Psalms are helpful to see how David poured out his soul to God.
A verse that I recommend highly is Philippians 4:8. Another way to battle depression is to read the 23rd Psalm every day for one month. Read it five time a day that month.
Let me hear again from you. Do not try to battle this by yourself.