Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why Won’t God End My Suffering?

Everyone suffers, Christian and non-Christian. Job 5:7 ‘Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.’

However, I have noticed that those of us who are Christians often respond to suffering in one of two ways:

a) we know that God has the power to end the suffering and set us free, but when He does not do so quickly, we are frustrated and tormented by this knowledge. This is what I wrote in my diary on 14th June 1990, ‘Why won’t Jesus help me - His Name is Saviour, so why am I failing so helplessly. All He needs to do is speak to my inner storm and say, “Peace, be still!” And then I will be whole again.’ I spent several months in this phase, knowing He could miraculously end the depression, then getting angry with Him because He did not do so. Overwhelming guilt for getting angry with Him instead of trusting Him followed this.

b) another common reaction is to think the trial is the result of concealed sin in our life. We begin a soul-searching witch-hunt trying to find that sin. I spent hours praying, searching my heart and mind, tearing myself to pieces as I tried to uncover concealed sins – all to no avail.

James 1:2-4 teaches us what reaction we should have, but it is a very difficult verse to learn to put into practice. ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’

This teaches us that trials:
a) are going to come our way
b) and will do so for a reason

At first I struggled (and failed) to put James 1:2-4 into practice while depressed. Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Yet we may well say, “What good could ever possibly come into my life through this?!”

It was only after I accepted that depression was part of my life and stopped fighting and fearing it, that I was able to put James 1:2-4 into practice. At that time I thanked and praised God for what He was doing in me through the depression, and for the depression as well. I recognised His sovereignty - that He was in control - and was using it for good, and would use it for good. Recovery from depression begins in earnest when we reach this place - it also releases the power of God’s grace into our lives.

Trials Develop Our Faith

This then is the first reason God allows trials to come our way – He uses them to develop our faith and maturity and to fashion us into the image of Christ. This can be very painful, but is well worth it in the end.

(A small post script here too. Note that James says ‘face trials of many kinds.’ He does not say ‘all kinds.’ We can avoid some trials by simply walking away from them. Others are spiritual attacks that can be torn down with the spiritual weapons we have in Jesus. And in other cases, God does free us from them miraculously. But we need God’s wisdom to recognise what kind of trial we are experiencing. Too often people think depression is a spiritual attack that can be stopped instantly, or an illness that should be healed on the spot.)

Trials Teach us to Rely Upon Christ's Strength

There is a second reason God allows us to undergo trials. It is during these times that we learn to rely upon Christ’s strength, rather than upon our own. We come to realise that Christ’s grace and provision is truly all we need to persevere.

Paul learnt this lesson through his own sufferings, as revealed in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. ‘Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it [a thorn in my flesh] away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’

To surrender control of our life to Jesus, and to accept the suffering instead of fighting and pleading for it to end, is a difficult lesson to learn. But we can rest assured that Jesus will never put us through something that we cannot overcome with His assistance. Philippians 4:12-13 ‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’


The other day, while reading the diary I kept while depressed, I was amazed to find this entry from March 1990.

March already. To think that I was expecting this year to be the best I have had yet. It’s a nightmare, and the worst I can remember. In light of all this, I have been thinking of marriage in two ways. On one hand, I’m in favour of never getting married. If I’m going to go through things like this again and again, then I do not want to burden any poor woman with me. On the other hand, I will not mind going through things such as this, if my wife will go through such things too. In which case, at that time I will understand what she is going through, and I will simply support her, accept her, place no pressure on her, and I will give her as long as she needs to come out of it.

I had no idea how prophetic that entry was. My wife did indeed suffer from depression, and because I had been there previously, I was able to support her through it.

Trials Equip Us to Help Others

This then is a third reason God allows us to suffer. These trials equip us to comfort and encourage others who face the same trials. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 describes the process perfectly. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus endured trials on Earth, for that very same purpose. Because He went through them, He is able to comfort and support us.

Hebrews 4:14-16 ‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’

In Isaiah 9:6 we read that one of Jesus’ names is Counsellor, or Comforter. ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’

So be encouraged that Jesus is able to comfort us because He experienced trials too, and be further encouraged that we go through trials such as depression so that we can later comfort and support others who are going through it. I like to think of myself as a signpost that shows others suffering from depression the way to learn to live with it, and then overcome it.

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  • 61 comments:

    1. Such incredible and thought-provoking truth here, Peter, that we learn only through living it. Thank you for bearing your soul here.

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    2. And I thought you couldn't possibly get any deeper, more relevant, more poignant. You just did. Wow. Right here, you nailed it for me:

      "It was only after I accepted that depression was part of my life and stopped fighting and fearing it, that I was able to put James 1:2-4 into practice. At that time I thanked and praised God for what He was doing in me through the depression, and for the depression as well. I recognised His sovereignty - that He was in control - and was using it for good, and would use it for good. Recovery from depression begins in earnest when we reach this place - it also releases the power of God’s grace into our lives."

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    3. "It was only after I accepted that depression was part of my life and stopped fighting and fearing it, that I was able to put James 1:2-4 into practice. At that time I thanked and praised God for what He was doing in me through the depression, and for the depression as well. I recognised His sovereignty - that He was in control - and was using it for good, and would use it for good. Recovery from depression begins in earnest when we reach this place - it also releases the power of God’s grace into our lives."
      ***
      SPOT ON, Brother! I remember reaching that crossroads, when my prayers changed from "take it away," to "this is the thorn in my side; show me what you want me to learn, make me stronger." Thanks for putting it into words so well.

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    4. So glad that LauraLee linked you on her post. This was powerful and just what I needed to hear for this New year. Thank you. Hope to stop by again and look for nuggets of wisdom that I have missed. Blessings.
      Sita from TO

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    5. Hi Peter. Sita sent me to read this post. Great insight.

      I've been out of a depression funk for several months now and looking back, I see that there was much that I gained from that season. I am not worse for wear. To the contrary - I am strengthened by the soul wrestling that only seems to happen for me when I'm deep in that pit.

      Through this last experience I really felt that God was using depression to help me come one step closer to the end of myself. For this I am grateful.

      Nice to have met you and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

      God Bless you,
      Cristine

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    6. Peter,

      Our pain is an open doorway to God's glory when we embrace it, live through it, learn through it, and then comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received. This truth is evident in your posts here, and you will bless many with the blessings you have received from our heavenly Father.

      Never grow weary in well-doing, for in due season you shall reap, if you do not give up!

      Blessings,
      Cheri

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    7. You wrote about how we respond to the suffering of anxiety and depression, how we are vexed by the knowledge that God could heal us, but doesn’t. In that down season of about two months last summer, esp. in the intense first three weeks, I was more or less convinced that God had just given up on me…or worse, that maybe my whole Christian life since 1991 had been a sham, that I’d never been converted in the first place. It was internal agony of a level I’ve never felt before. And honestly, though I’m feeling much better now, there’s still a fairly persistent scab of resentment within me. “Why God didn’t you heal me? Why didn’t you let me feel your presence? Just a touch from you, and I would have borne any calamity, but there was silence…hostile silence.” I feel guilty even admitting it but in a very real corner of my mind/soul/being, there lurks a deep fear of what eternity might bring.

      Peter, you also wrote about the witch hunt for hidden sin. I did the same thing. I scoured my brain for sin. The secret sins that I struggled with and gave in to, I confessed them a dozen times to God. I confessed them to a good Christian friend. But none of it seemed to do any good. I was still hurting and still very much afraid. It didn’t help that I had a friend (he’s still a friend) who at that time started to make his theology a bit more clear in a kind of public way. He believes in total sanctification at conversion. That once you are saved, then you will not sin at all anymore. He has spent 25 years building his theology with some very hard to dispute verses from the Bible. And it just TORE-ME-UP. I kept thinking, “Well, there it is. I was never converted. My whole life’s a sham. It’s about time someone figured it out.” I was haunted by an event when I was a teen in high school. I was so mad at God over a broken relationship not working out, that I literally stood in my bedroom and yelled, “I renounce you God! Let satan rule over me!” Remembering that event, I just figured, God had given me what I asked for, and now I was doomed.

      But, as you wrote, all of these sufferings…their net result is that they make me desperate (deep level desperate) for God. That’s a good thing. We should be desperate for God. Without Him, we can do nothing. I deeply realize that this life, no matter how successful and grand and beautiful, has no ultimate meaning apart from God. If I raise a wonderful family and all my kids grow up to be great citizens, what does it matter without God? If I write a dozen bestselling books, what does it matter if God has not sewn within them eternal things?

      And in the end, as painful, vexing, and confusing as it was (and sometimes is), I thank God that He let me go through it.

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    8. Dear Anonymous who left a comment yesterday. Sorry, this is not an area in which I have any experience. I recommend that you speak with an experienced pastor or Christian counselor on this matter.
      God bless
      Peter

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    9. I think it is because God does not love me so he does not wish to end my sufferings, or he never does in the first place. i am so happy for those people who received miracles, but for myself, I am really confused... i do not know, I feel like my faith is shaking at this moment, I want to throw my bible away and call this whole thing a big fat lie.

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    10. I'm encouraged to read someone with my same problem. I've been depressed since I can remember (about 17years). Often suicidal and suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder. I know, love and trust God, but how hard it is to act that way when in the midst of your suffering (I call it torture). Thanks for putting into words what I only wish I could do. Thankyou for making Jesus the centre and our only hope. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me (Phil.3:14). Fingers crossed that Jesus comes back soon!

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    11. Dear Renee
      When I was so badly stricken with depression back in 1990, I thought I was a freak, that there was no one in the world going through what I was suffering from.
      What a relief to learn that it was a common disorder.
      May the Lord Jesus continue to strengthen you, and give you hope, and holding your hand, lead you through this as a loving Shepherd leading His precious sheep.
      God bless
      Peter

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    12. Dear Peter,

      thank you so much for this post, the holy spirit was truly residing in you when you wrote this. I'm going through severe depression right now and this article just gave me a whole new sense of hope and trust in the lord. I have all these symptoms that you wrote and then some. I had a severe case of insomnia last night and felt overwhelmed by fear and dread and basically felt like i was going crazy. I feel like the lord lead me to this article to be comforted. Thank you.

      Greg

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    13. Dear Mr. Peter,

      Thank you! I suffered from a horrible battle with a devistating depression for a decade!!! 10 years after it started I found out I was pregnant, my doctor removed me from all my medications (there were SIX different ones), and BAM it's been over two years and I haven't had a need to take medication since! Nor have I had to battle that depression anymore.

      What a miricle!

      Now I am back into another hard and what I thought was hopeless battle and once again was mad at God for not helping!

      You just reminded me of what God had done for me in that battle, and what he can do for me in this battle! And that I should focus on the big picture, not just one problem- no matter how big it seems!

      THANK YOU!

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    14. Dear Anonymous,
      Praise the Lord for His miraculous help with your depression after 10 years.
      I am sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time again, but you are right, the battle is not hopeless. Remember also all the practical things He did that helped you last time, and keep on seeing that big picture. You got out of it last time, and can do so again.
      God bless you :)
      Peter

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    15. need help in my life. I am 19 teen iv been threw so much in my life. I try and handle things in the right way the best way I can. I get head pain a lot. I am suffering.

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      1. Dear Anonymous, have you seen a doctor about the pains you are getting in your head? If not, please do so as soon as you can. There can be so many different causes, and different ways to treat them, and a doctor is of course best for that.
        Hang in there,
        God bless
        Peter

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    16. Hi I am also a 19 year old who faced many troubles throughout my youth..I had ocd since i was 6 because a fly flew into my ear and was stuck in there. Thinking i would become the fly because it was in my ear(it was a horrible experience you could still hear the fly still buzzing loudly) my OCD developed. And a year later i had an ear infection and needed to undergo surgery due to the fly in my ear rotting there probably. I wonder whether God will release the yoke from my neck. I think about the things i've done to deserve this and sometimes i think i am too haughty in the way i demand help from god and that s why i am not released from my suffering. Help me please i want to be released from suffering

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        We cannot be too forward in asking God for things, however, we need to seek His will first. In times of ongoing suffering, rather than praying, "God, end this suffering," we can instead pray, "God, what do you want to do through this situation, this suffering? Let Your will be done."
        Yet I also believe that Jesus is more than able, in His timing, to help you to face and cope with, even overcome this experience.
        Have you been able to get pastoral or professional counseling? What do the doctors say about the OCD? Do they recommend medication?
        Hang in there,
        Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
        God bless
        Peter

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    17. I am tired of all the trial, i am tired of all the praying because nothing ever gets better. the more I pray the worse my life gets, I dont think God cares about me, I dont think God wants anything to do with me, I think that God picks and choses who he wants to. I am really finding it hard to find a reason to continue to go on. If God is so powerful and cares why has my life been so shitty, the last 42 years have been trial after trial, I just dont know what God wants of me any more and I am starting to not care anymore. I use to have a heart and cared for people but the more I try to do what is right the more I fall behind. It seems that the people who are not deserving and dont believe in God get the best of everything. Dont get me wrong, I believe in God, but I dont think he believes in me.

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        As the Bible assures us, God loves us all, and offers the gift of eternal life through belief in Christ to all. As Jesus said, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." John 6:37. However, we have to be careful not to believe that a hard life, and unanswered prayer, means that He has rejected us.

        I know this will sound crazy, but may I encourage you to praise Him everyday, for all that you do have, for all that He has done, and even for allowing these things to happen. Rather than ask Him why, ask Him how He wants to use it for good in your life. Romans 8:28.

        Every morning I get up and prayer, "Jesus, thank you that this is the day that You have made, and that this is the way in which you have chosen to reveal your love to me in it."

        Remember that this life is temporary. It feels like all we have, but it is not. When we believe in and follow Jesus as Lord, we have the blessed assurance of spending eternity in heaven with Him and the Father. That makes the troubles of this life pale in significance.

        Lastly, may I encourage you to focus on Jesus, and let Him be your all. To know Him is enough.
        You guide me with your counsel,
        and afterward you will take me into glory.
        Whom have I in heaven but you?
        And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
        Psalm 73:24-25

        God bless, Peter

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    18. i am 50 year old successful male that has been on methadone since i was 25.Each day I suffer more and more and ask the lord to help me get off this poison..i choose to be alone now and have no zest for life..i isolate every night alone.it has gotton to a point where I have ask the lord to just take my life now so i don't have to suffer anymore..i tried to get off 3 years ago but after 35 sleepless nights and the emotional pain and suffering I lost faith with god and went back on..I am scared to try again as much as i want to but know i will most likely fail again

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        I would strongly suggest that you get professional help for what you are dealing with here. Especially for the addiction, for there are programs that can help you to become drug free, and these will include components to deal with the hopelessness that you are experiencing. I would also ask them/your doctor, to give you something to help you sleep. And please also get support from a local church, or even see a Christian drug rehab program.
        With the proper support I believe you can overcome this and be free.
        Hang in there,
        Peter

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    19. ah, thanks so much Peter, the words ' ask Him what He wants to teach you through this' really resonates with me. I've struggled with ocd & depression on & off for two years. For me the worst is when it seems things are going better, I get very excited and then boomie , thoughts explode again. Then I feel guilty for not having more faith and I get frustrated with God, why oh why aren't You healing me if You know I can serve You & others with more love then? but, seems He has bigger plans. I'm encouraged to focus anew on what He's doing through this. I guess I'm trying to find the balance between not accepting satan's lies, choosing God's Word instead , and then also not feeling guilty if things dont change immediately as opposed to accepting that at the moment I am struggling and that's ok, because He's working something good out of it.

      im always encouraged by your posts.

      warm smile

      warm smile.

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        You are most welcome, and thank you for the feedback. It is amazing how many of us have gone through, or are going through, these very same things that you have shared. My diary has the same thoughts and reactions as you have shared above. Isn't it wonderful to know that our lives are a 'work in progress,' that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, that the work God has begun in us He will continue to completion.
        God bless :)
        Peter

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    20. You describe the very things I'm dealing with. I've been on meds for my depression for many years, and it's now a daily internal struggle between a supposedly "chemical imbalance" and my guilt over letting God down time after time. I only have the motivation to lay in bed and stare at the ceiling fan, and wonder what's wrong with the rest of the world.
      Worst thing is that I can't pinpoint what brought on my illness; no life-changing events, that's for sure. Now, at 35 years old with 2 degrees, having attempted to fulfill one dream after the next and failing, I am ashamed of the grief and helplessness I've caused my family to feel. Yet I shut everyone out except God, and it seems He is the only one not reaching out a hand. As of this evening, I have reached my lowest point, and tomorrow I'll drop even lower.
      My post is no different from anyone else's. Maybe the acceptance approach will help. Maybe God will decide I've had enough. The hidden sin theory is what bothers me, I have quite a collection He could choose from.
      Thanks for your blog, I'm reading through it several more times.

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        I am now in my second bout of major depressive disorder, and in both cases, it came on gradually, and like you said, with no life changing events, no trigger. I have spoken with my neurologist and doctor, and both said it is caused by a genetic inheritance, that is, a chemical imbalance.

        So the first thing you need to do is recognize that you are ill, and that you will have failures/anxieties etc because of this illness, and stop feeling guilty over them. Take your illness into account when you examine yourself, and don't be so hard on yourself.
        Please do not let the hidden sin angle worry you. Submit your life to the Lordship of Jesus, tell God you are sorry for all of your sins, whether you are aware of them or not, and that is enough, for we have God's assurance that we are forgiven. 1 John 1:9 And then rest in the love of Jesus for you, for He truly loves and treasures you.

        Please, get yourself a copy of "Self Help for your Nerves" by Dr Weekes, and I believe that you will be greatly relieved, and comforted, and can help you to cope with and move on from this phase you are stuck in.

        God bless
        Peter

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    21. Please pray for me. My life in Canada started in July 1999. I was graduated in MBA in Finance in Maryland, USA. I had a very good job in Bank of Thailand,and two other banks at the HQ. My first job here in Canada was newspaper delivery boy. I don't mind working in any position. If I am a newspaper delivery boy, I will do it MBA way. I never missed the delivery and I got a lot of compliment for a job. I moved on to a dishwashing job in a restaurant in Edmonton. I was happy with the job until I found a job as a night auditor at Travelodge hotel. And that was a moving up in my career. After a few years with Travelodge, I got a job as an accountant with the Northern Light Health Region in High Level in the northern Alberta. It was a very small town of 5,000 people. I then made a mistake of getting online to reach people from Thailand and that where I met Tun, my wife who after our one year of communication, I resigned from my job, sold my house to go back to Thailand and married her. She is not a believer and I was backslid into Buddhism when I was in Thailand. I was always thinking about having my own business here so we opened a Thai restaurant in Hamilton Ontario. (End Part 1)

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    22. i am between the devil and the deep blue sea. I have less than two weeks to move out for my restaurant before the landlord will lock me out and just one week to put money to put money for my home mortgage which is in my wife's name and who is just left.

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      1. Dear Thai
        Thank you for sharing your testimony, and so sorry to hear of your trials. I am sad to hear that you slipped back into Buddhism. But how are you now? Have you turned your back on it and given your life back to Jesus? Is your wife open to talking about Christianity and God?

        I cannot guess where your future path will lead, but may I encourage you to cling to and trust in Jesus, however your future turns out. Even if it seems we have nothing left, even bankrupt, if we have Jesus, we have enough.

        I will remember you in my prayers.
        God bless
        Peter

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    23. I have lost my faith in God. It is not even worth it to tell you all of the horrible things that he has allowed to happen in my life. I am a Christian, a good person and was a faithful wife for 15 years to a husband that left me for another woman. That was just the beginning of the hell that I have been through the past three years. I did nothing wrong yet God has repeatedly turned his back on me and I just give up. I just give up.

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      1. Dear Shay,
        Sorry to hear of all you have been through, and it makes me so sad (and angry) when marriage partners leave their faithful partner for someone else.

        I would, however, like to assure you that God has never turned His back on you. This world is a mess because of sin. And it is God Himself who has done infinitely more than we can comprehend, by becoming flesh and dying on that cross to set us free from the curse of sin and death. That is the love that Jesus demonstrates for you, Shay, He loves you so much that He died that horrific death, so that you can be with Him, both now and forever.

        May I encourage you to press into Jesus, keeping in mind the enormity of what He has done for you, and instead of asking Him to end these sufferings, ask Him to take your hand and lead you through them. To help you face them in His strength, and in His comfort.

        Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4
        I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

        Hang in there, never lose hope.
        Peter

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      2. Hello Shay,

        I read your story and I was moved. I know you think that you have given up on God but YOU HAVEN'T. You won't and you can't (Heb 10:39 We are not like those people who turn back and get destroyed. We will keep on having faith until we are saved.). Bless your dear heart. If you have given up on God you won't even be writing this on this blog. There is still a smoking flask in you. That is more than enough for God to revive into an Inferno. He didn't give up on you, In fact, HE CANNOT give up on you though you denounce Him. (2Ti 2:13 If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.").

        I have been through these cycles of trials, pains and loneliness so often and have repeatedly "let gone of God" (for the devil), but there is he, still holding on to the unwilling me (frustrating to the devil). He wouldn't let His work through His Son just go like a waste. He would rather leave the 99 sheep to find you.

        Jesus Had a similar episode while alive, ("Mar 15:34 Then about that time Jesus shouted, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?" ). Since the time of Christ, God has repeatedly heard this cries of His children thinking that He has failed them. He is a loving and patient Father. Like He had a plan for Jesus, He also has a plan for us. Jesus never realized this until He died- imagine He died to realise what he has believed God to do. He died. Have you died have you lost your blood? (Heb 12:3 So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won't get discouraged and give up. Heb 12:4 None of you have yet been hurt in your battle against sin.)

        Hang in there faithful child ( I call you faithful because indeed you are! If you have not been faithful, you wouldn't be on this blog.) Because I gave up like you (laughing at myself now), I know what you feel and can help you in this way. One day, you also will meet someone that think he/she has the worst life and has "given up". His Holy Spirit withing us will not let us just go like that.

        God bless you.

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    24. I've been having a lot of trouble with depression for a little over a year. It started back in december of 2011 when me and my high school girlfriend broke up after 2 years. About a month after the split I became depressed and began cutting myself, but my best friend, who is a christian, took me to revival at his church where I got saved. Not long after I began talking to another girl who invited me to her church. It was a big change going from bretren to pentecostal church, but very quickly I fit in, was filled with the holy ghost, and this girl and I began dating. We were almost positive we were meant to be. Well I began to understand GODs word and was posting sermons on facebook almost every night. People in my church, former pastors, and others began to tell me I have the gift to understand GODs word and asked if I had thought about going into ministry. Everything was great until june of 2012. The depression returned, I quit doing my posts, and it was almost a struggle to hold on. By september I started cutting on and off again mainly out of spite, but I still tried to press on. In february of this year my girlfriend broke up with me, she said GOD said we wernt meant to be. I've quit cutting, I've been to the doctor and was given medication but I refuse to take it because I know GOD can give me peace. The one thing I try to hold to is that I truely believe I'm called to preach, but I'm fearful of failure because of my situation. I've let myself and GOD down so many times I don't know if its just a battle or if its my fault.

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        My recommendation is that you need to seriously consider the doctor's advise. This is your second time with depression and cutting, so you need to view it as an illness, and illnesses need to be treated. If you do take the medication, keep seeing the doctor every week and report on your progress. Please also note that it takes from 3-6 weeks for the meds to work fully, so you need to be patient for them to start working. And if one med does not suit you, there are others that can. Can you also get counseling/therapy, to help you get to the underlying causes of the cutting/depression? An illness such as depression is not just a matter of God's peace, though when we respond to it properly, God's peace will flow much more readily in our lives.

        Also, you are still very young, so do not fear your future. However, you do need to learn how to cope with and overcome depression, so that it loses its fearful hold on your life. Can you read the booklet on this blog, it will teach you many things about depression, and you will understand that it is not about letting God down, or being your fault, but about learning God's way of dealing with anxiety and fear. You can download the booklet here.

        God bless
        Peter

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    25. I know this is an old post but it keeps being truth (I apologize for my English, it can be quite bad at times). I'm not suffering from depression but I can relate to a few of the things (phases) you went through. Mine is a love issue and it may seem silly but for me it has been an interesting, sad and wonderful journey at the same time. I've had this crush for several months, the guy doesn't even know how I'm fealing and worse We are great friends, We work for Jesus and even though He doesn't have a girlfriend I know He's in love with someone else. All that said, I can tell you how many things I've ben learning about God during this process. I have grown in so many ways that I'm really thankful of what happened. But just like you I'm thinking the reason I can't move on is because God doesn't want me to, Or because it's my fault and I say this 'cause I've been trying really hard to get over it. Thanks for your post, it gave me a new light over my issue. Esmeralda from Dominican Republic.

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      1. Dear Esmeralda
        You are welcome - I'm glad to hear that the Lord is using it for good.
        God bless
        Peter

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    26. You've got to be kidding. Depression has not strengthened my faith, it has destroyed it. I wouldn't even wish depression on Satan. No loving God would ask his child to go through such suffering. If it's his plan, it's a great one, because it drove me away from him, maybe forever.

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      1. Dear Jeff,
        Depression is not from God, but He does allow it, and He can use it for good. I agree that it is one of the most horrendous types of suffering anyone can go through. But we can press into Jesus and trust in Him to hold our hand and lead us through it. Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;"
        Please do not let depression destroy your faith in God, it is a time to rely upon Him ever more. For the only scenario I think of that is worse than a Christian who is a depression, is being depressed and not have Jesus to go to for comfort and help throughout the ordeal.
        Hang in there.
        God bless
        Peter

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    27. Dear Peter,
      could I send a private message to you? I really need to talk to someone about and I prefer a person of God, a Christian. Thank you

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      1. Dear Anonymous
        Feel free to send me a private message at any time. My email address is peter7r9stone@gmail.com
        God bless
        Peter

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    28. all i ever wanted from God was to meet a good woman to share my life with, and with the help of his blessing i certainly hope it will happen.

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        I hear what you're saying, and may I encourage you to seek first God and His kingdom, putting Christ first in all things, delighting your heart in Him, and He will give you all the things you need.

        Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

        Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

        God bless
        Peter

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      2. thank you very much for your support.

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    29. Hi Peter

      How do I find out what is God's pupose for my life? I think I have depression but im to scared to take meds. My mom comitted suicide when I was 19 and took meds wich obviously didnt help. I try my best to always trust in God but I just feel like I dont have happiness because I dont really have a purpose or vision for my life.

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      1. Dear Anonymous
        As for God's purpose in your life, this is the Bible's answer to that question: "Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:29.
        So believe in, trust in, cling to, live for and rely on the Lord Jesus, and seek Him with all your heart. Make knowing Jesus the goal of your life.

        To answer your question about meds, please see a doctor, and get their diagnosis about if you are suffering from depression. And then, if you take meds, get weekly checkups with the doctor to make sure the meds are helping you. For example, for my latest episode of depression, my doctor and I had to try and reject two meds before we found a third one that worked.

        God bless
        Peter

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    30. As a single mother of 3 small children, I have often faced sooo many trials & tribulations from losing my job to homelessness. I was at the end of my rope. I couldn't understand why God wasn't coming to my aid. I'm a good person, I pay my tithes when I have the funds to do so. I came across this posting as I sat in the dark, crying my eyes out with a bottle of pain pills. I had already swallowed several pills but as I read this i began to feel a little hope, a little comfort until i threw the pills away. In a sense you saved my life. I have bookmarked this posting so whenever I feel like I'm losing hope, I can read this and know everything is gonna be alright. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Be blessed.

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      1. Dear Anonymous,

        I'm sorry to hear of the hard times you've been going through, and I've seen how hard it can be, for I have a close friend who was widowed with three small children too. I'm so glad you were able to read this post today, so that the Lord could use it to restore hope to your heart. Please always keep your eyes and thoughts fixed upon Jesus, for in Him there is always hope, regardless of how bad our circumstances can get. Please also remember your three little ones, and how much they need you.

        I'll lift you up in my prayers.
        May the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you,
        Peter

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    31. i have no wrds to express,,,evn i have come across trouble,nd burden ,still am i facing,but i am gettin worse day by day,i feel that i am becoming so childish at times,.i also trust my lord jesus with all of my heart but at times wen i really get tempted so hard,i forget him,the faith doesnt remain stable,i wish that you could help me,even nw i am not in a pace of writing wat exactly i mean to tell because i am worn out ,tired,sick of worries,.hope to see ur response ,nd i need ur special spritual assistance,.i wish i could see in person peter,i am a 24 year young man yearning for peace

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      1. Hi Leo,
        Feel free to email me directly about what you are going through, so that I can better pray for you and give advice if i can.
        peter7r9 at gmail dot com

        As to what you are experiencing now, don't fight it or fear it, but just fix your eyes upon Jesus. Think of Him being with you and watching over you, and picture yourself holding onto His hand - because He is with you and won't let go of you. Sometimes when I was in the midst of a shocking anxiety episode and my mind and emotions fell apart, that's all I could do - hold Jesus hand and look at Him. And I found peace in Him when I did so, and the anxiety episode eventually passed and the next morning was a new day with new opportunities.

        May the Lord Jesus sustain you and comfort you,
        Peter

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    32. hi peter, I,m in a very bad place right now. I suffer with anxiety attacks and depression. I have for most of my life. most of the time l.m in a dark tunnel with no end in sight. now l don,t care any more. 1 wish I wasn,t such acoward I,d end it all. I do believe in god, l just don,t under stand why any more. I,m very tired of everything. I want to go home. thank you for lisening. jesus gave me too much to bear. I do everything wrong , why was I born/ why doesn,t he show himself to me/ I,ve tried to do his will, but I think I made a mess of everything. all I ever wanted was love and acceptance. someone to truly love me as I am. no phoniness no pretence just it,s okay to be who I am. right now real, raw, and hurting/ I,m also afraid of everything. living, dying. so I just exsist from one day to the next. I need to get off this merry go round. if he really is real I need to see him. I,m not sure it will help but if he listens to you please please pray for me. thank you.

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      1. Dear Anonymous
        So sorry to hear of the terrible time you're having. But please do not lose hope. Others, including myself, have been in that place, and come out of it again to live fulfilling lives, so please fix your eyes upon Jesus, and every morning ask Him to take you by the hand, and lead you through that day. And may I assure you that Jesus does not give these sufferings to you, but He does love you, and calls you to Him just as you are. You are precious in His sight, and He delights to hold you in His hands.

        Have you seen a doctor about the depression anxiety? Have you tried or are you taking medication? Are you able to get counseling to help you deal with the blackness and underlying causes?

        In the meantime, may I encourage you to read these three articles, for by following them you can learn to break the grip of depression and anxiety over your life.


        How depression/anxiety causes its symptoms

        Facing depressions symptoms instead of fearing them

        Breaking depression's fear cycle.

        I will lift you up in my daily prayers,
        May the Lord Jesus help you each day,
        Peter

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    33. If anyone shall be dealing with Depression is me. I have not only one demon as a neighbor, but I have two. When they team up to aggrevate me, it is not pretty. The climb on the roof of my house and drill holes in the roof and pump raw sewage into the holes. Now I know that is demon work. The police has been called numerous times to no avail. All I can do is call on Jesus to end this nightmare. I call on Him all the time. I want this nightmare to end. I'm afraid that if it doesn't, something awful is going to happen in this neighborhood. I'm not talking young boys doing this horrible deed, these are 46 and 62 year Old men. I still can't believe this is happening in the year of 2014. In the mean time, please Pray for me as I will continue to pray to the Lord to end this nightmare.++

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        It is so shameful to hear of the things that some people do unto others. I will be remembering you and your situation in my prayers.

        May I also encourage you to do the following: Matthew 5;44-45 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."

        My wife and I were robbed once, and we prayed and prayed for the thief. And God did the most amazing miracle through the situation sometime later.

        God bless
        Peter

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    34. I am so tired... I've had depression in my life for seven years now. I think of suicide almost every day. If God just spoke one word to me, I swear I would dedicate my life to spreading the Gospel. I'm not even asking him to take away my depression, I just want to know that he exists and cares about me. It's easy to say, "Well, read your Bible" but to me those are just stories from a long time ago. They're just words...

      It's really just math. If I'm miserable everyday, and there's no God (therefore no purpose), why not just kill myself? I'm 25, I can't imagine living another 60 years like this... that seems like a prison sentence. I have no joy in anything anymore, most the time I just sleep. The prospect of drifting in the nothingness of death seems like the only hope I have left.

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      1. Dear LiberalMuffin,

        You do not have to live the rest of your life like this, there is a way to learn to cope with depression, and in doing so, to recover from it, or at least, see it reduce to a minimum so you are barely aware of it. The first thing I would like to ask you is if you have seen a doctor and told them how you are feeling? Especially about the suicidal thoughts? Are you taking medication? Anti-depressants can greatly reduce the severity and duration of depression and its symptoms. Before I went onto meds, I was like you, with suicide seeming like an attractive escape. But it wasn't, suicide is a lie, a deception of Satan, trying to rob us of the blessings God has in store for us. Suicide also destroys our loved ones and families. Can you please read this article? Christians and suicidal thoughts

        Thirdly, have you been receiving help such as from a psychologist or a Christian counsellor who understands depression? This are crucial as well.

        Lastly, I would to encourage you to read the below articles please. If you can change the way you are reacting to depression, you can completely turn it around.

        How depression/anxiety causes its symptoms

        Facing depressions symptoms instead of fearing them

        Breaking depression's fear cycle.

        And here is the free booklet of the articles from this blog, in sequential order.
        Free booklet on depression

        So please hang in there, do not despair. Please note that it is depression warping your perspective of God that is making Him feel so far away. May I encourage you to go to Jesus in prayer, and then read Psalm 23, and then read it again as Jesus Himself speaking it to you. He is with you, always and forever.

        God bless
        Peter

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      2. Thank you Peter! I really wasn't in the best frame of mind when I wrote that... Thank you for your kind response. I may forget it sometimes, but I really do believe Christ loves me. You're right, suicide is a lie from the devil himself. I must remember that I am a child of God.

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    35. Peter, please pray for me, I am at the end of my rope. Please pray I would have faith and be able to trust him. I can't stand the pain of depression and think of suicide everyday, but afraid of hell. Need help

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      1. Dear Anonymous,
        Thank you for your message. Are you taking anti-depressant medication? If not, may I suggest you see a good doctor to discuss that option, meds made all the world of difference to me. Are you able to get counselling or see a mental health therapist? Are you able to get prayer support from your pastor? Please seek the help you need to help you through this.

        Lord Jesus, I lift up Anonymous to you right now. Please see their situation, and reach through and touch their life in a tangible way. Please speak a message of renewed hope to their heart through your Word, please fill them afresh with your Holy Spirit, please help them to fix their eyes on You, and have hope for now, and for the future. Let them feel Your Presence when they come to you in prayer. Please guide them and guard them from fear and anxiety and doubt, give them practical steps and things to do to help them deal with what they are going through. Please give them advice and help through a doctor, counsellor, and family and friends. In Your precious name I pray, Lord Jesus, Amen.

        Hang in there, and may I suggest that you read the articles on this blog in sequential order, which are available in booklet form here. You can learn to cope with and recover from this.

        God bless
        Peter

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      2. I will pray for you friend. You're never alone. I've been there too, and afraid. Really believe God is next to you. Believe he Loves you and that he'll is forever gone by Jesus. Just saying his name is powerful. Don't stop right before the finish line. It's only temporary. This world is nothing compared to the next one for us. You were made for paradise and joy beyond your hearts imaginations it'll be okay friend.

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    36. Can someone please pray for me that God lifts this pain from my heart...I try so hard to treat people good...my mother tried to sell me when I was a baby, later killed herself her 76 year old mother killed herself, my dad died unexpectedly in a boating accident. my husband got killed, my baby girl died...

      Finally I met someone who I thought God sent to me, we planned to marry, he has left me for his ex wife...why does God take everything I love from me and he will not comfort me at all

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