What a joy it is to be loved by the Lord!  And Jenny and I pass His love along to you. He has put us all here at this particular time on purpose, not by accident.  As each day passes, we are getting closer to the return of the Lord Jesus, and all we have to do is simply look around us and we can see by the prophecies in the Bible that we are indeed nearing the end.  It says there will be wars, and rumors of wars, earthquakes in divers places, disasters abounding all around us and of course, fear will be rising up in people.   Some people fear losing their job, or their money running out.  Some fear for their health.  Some are in fear about the world events, and others about fuel prices and inflation.

      Any number of Christians may be suffering from depression or anxiety at any given time.  I have to seriously wonder why that is.  Has not God told us that He loves us and will take care of our needs?  And yet, it’s like so many of God’s people have not read their Bible.  Look at the birds, for example.  They are worth less to God than people, yet God feeds them.  You never see birds pacing back and forth on a tree limb, wondering where they are going to get their next meal from.  If the Lord sustains all His creation, will He not also sustain the most beloved of all His creation, mankind?

            The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7; For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  Fear is the root of depression and all kinds of torment, including mental illness, so when I see Christians who are suffering from these things, I know two things; number one, God did not give it to them, but the devil did, and number two, they have neglected their prayer life and Bible study.  When people get out from under the shadow of the Almighty the devil attacks them.  Some run back to God quickly and are delivered from the snare of the devil.  Others don’t, but start listening to the world instead of God.  And they just end up getting worse and worse.  I get phone calls and letters from people asking “When are things going to get better?”  The best thing we can do is to gently guide them back to the Lord Jesus and get them re-established with Him.  God never abandons us, but yet some are quick to abandon God when things don’t go the way they would want.  The worst thing we can do is try to fix things on our own.  God has the answers, and that’s good, because we have plenty of questions, don’t we?  Instead, we need to let God be God and rest in peace in our relationship with Him, knowing He is in control, and quit trying to help Him be God.  He doesn’t need our help to run things.  But we sure need His!

       Most every church has some backsliders, and of course, many don’t even go to church.  And the devil just uses the old rule of war called “divide and conquer” to pick them off, one at a time. Have you ever noticed how depressed people isolate themselves?   When was the last time you ever met a depressed person who was full of the joy of the Lord?  That never happens, does it?  And you can’t keep the joy of the Lord by neglecting prayer time, or Bible study.  When you neglect fellowship with God, the cares of this world start creeping in.  Or rather, they start coming in like a flood. And once that door has been opened, it’s hard to shut it again.  Ask anyone who has ever been in a flood, trying to close the door again when water is coming in is nearly impossible.

    When depression sticks its ugly head into someone’s life, I tell them to start praising God.  I’ve never met a depressed person that felt like praising God, though.  Why is that?  Because that oppressing spirit from the devil hates God, and there’s no way that spirit wants to praise God, and it doesn’t want you to, either.  People fail to see where depression comes from.  Many think it’s from the circumstances they are living in.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.  Depression is an evil spirit, not an event or circumstance.  Anxiety and fear don’t come because of high fuel prices, a lost job, or health issues or any other natural circumstance.  All these things are common to mankind, but God gives us His Holy Spirit by which we can overcome adversity.

    The best way to prove that is simply this; if depression tries to come upon you, just start praising God and worshipping Him as loud as you can.  And don’t wait until you’re so depressed, you’re looking for a bridge to jump off of.  People think an empty bank account, or a broken down car, or being unemployed causes depression.  If that were so, then praising God would not make it flee.  But it does!  Try it!  You can have the joy of the Lord, and still be broke, or have a broken car, or be out of work.

 But you can’t stay that way long, because God inhabits the praises of His people.  And when God shows up, He starts fixing things in your life.

            I’m not telling you to praise God because you’re broke or out of work. God doesn’t want that for you.  Rather, I’m telling you to praise God for delivering you from that bad stuff, even before you see it happen.  Here’s something else.  Although the devil causes a lot of problems in our lives, he doesn’t cause them all.  Remember, he isn’t omnipresent like God is.  He is one being who can only be one place at any given time.  The cold, hard truth is, sometimes we get ourselves into messes, and we can’t even blame the devil for it.  For example, I’ve known people who can’t keep a job.  They think it’s always someone else’s fault they get fired all the time, and never in a million years would they consider they might be the one with the problem.  Of course, it’s never their fault they’re always late for work, or too lazy to do a good job for their employer, or that they’re a drunk or on drugs, right?

            That does not mean things can’t change.  If you are a child of God, and you’ve made some mistakes (and who hasn’t?), then don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself.  Rather, take a step in the right direction by asking God to forgive your errors, and start praising Him.  Why?  Well, for one thing, He’s God, and He is worthy of all praise, glory, honor, power, might, dominion, and worship forever.  And besides, God likes to bless His kids.

    If it happens you aren’t in the habit of praising God, then you’re not one of His.   If that’s the case, that’s the first thing you need to change, and you can do that right now.

            You might be laying awake all night trying to figure out how to pay off your debts and stop the collectors from calling.  Yes, you messed up getting your self in debt.  But God is still God, and He still loves you.  Praise be to God, He isn’t going to disown you because you made some mistakes.  Look at King David; he committed adultery with another man’s wife, got her pregnant, and had her husband killed.  Then, he spent a period of time running away from God, but David finally came to himself and realized where his help really was, and he repented.  You haven’t done anything near that bad, yet God loved David and disciplined him for his sins, and he and God went on with their relationship. 

            You see, we all need to learn that.  Don’t run from God, instead, run to Him.  Ask Him what to do, and rest assured, He has the plan to help you.  But you’ll never find out what it is as long as you sit around worrying.  Worry and fear keep you separated from God.  Fear is not faith, and the Bible says that anything that is not of faith is sin.  Fear, worry, anxiety, depression, all these things are not for the child of God, and He wants to deliver from them.  When?  Well, how soon do you want to be free from fear and worry?  Right now?  Then what are you waiting for?

 Just ask Him!  Let me tell you, this is a good time to be a child of God!