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4-25-2017 Anxiety And Depression

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25 NKJV). The preventative of “depression” is to not be anxious, and to listen to “a good word.” Jesus made this clear when He said, “do not worry” (be anxious) about life’s necessities (Matthew 6:24-33 NKJV), or about the future (Matthew 6:34). Losing a job, a game, a loved one, failing a test, or any other tribulation that comes our way can make us react with “anxiety,” and is a challenge to our faith. The father of a demon-possessed boy heard Jesus say, “’If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:23-24 NKJV). Faith overcomes anxiety.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#anxiety, #depression, #faith

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(#63) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:25-Why Put In “A Good Word?”

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:25: “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.”

The preventative of “depression” is to not be anxious, and to listen to “a good word.” Jesus made this clear when He said, “do not worry” (be anxious) about life’s necessities (Matthew 6:24-33), or about the future (Matthew 6:34). Losing a job, a game, a loved one, failing a test, or any other tribulation that comes our way can make us react with “anxiety,” and is a challenge to our faith. The father of a demon-possessed boy heard Jesus say, “’If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:23-24). Faith overcomes anxiety.

Being “anxious” burdens down a heart (“heaviness,” KJV), and is also described as “bitterness,” “sorrow of the heart,” “afflicted,” “broken spirit,” “heavy heart.” These terms come from other proverbs:

Proverbs 14:10: “The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy.” No one but God knows our heart’s “bitterness” or “joy” like we do, especially not a “stranger.” Family and friends may have a difficult enough time counseling us through our problems, so why should we expect “a stranger” to share our times of “joy” more than they? Internet “strangers” cannot understand us better than those living around us.

Proverbs 14:13: “Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief.”  Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”  “Laughter” is no remedy for a broken spirit, even though it make the face smile. Comedy is momentary relief, but not the solution to “sorrow of the heart.”

Proverbs 15:15: “All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”  The truly “merry heart” has “a continual feast,” that is, it has a hopeful attitude, an open spirit, and a lighthearted look at life.

Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” Without the healing of a “merry heart,” a person becomes of frail inner health, and brittle support.

Proverbs 18:14: “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?” Healing begins from within our own spirits, and without that, “who can bear” sickness?

Proverbs 25:20:Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, And like vinegar on soda, Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” Taking away “a garment in cold weather” obviously makes one colder. “Vinegar on soda” creates an immediate reaction with no lasting effect. Singing songs to a “heavy heart” doesn’t help relieve the heaviness (cold) and has too quick a reaction for lasting relief.

It is “a good word,” however, that does more for “anxiety” than nearly anything else. Words of encouragement, expressing sympathy, expressions of concern, are all showing “a good word” of being loved. The purpose is not to temporarily entertain with songs or comedy, but to support and strengthen the inner spirit of the patient. The best “good word” is about our soul, thus: “Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you’” (Matthew 9:2). Physical sickness is sometimes tied in with spiritual sickness as seen in James 5:14-15: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”  To all adrift on the sea of trouble, may we give them “a good word.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#a-good-word, #anxiety, #bible-study, #broken-spirit, #depression, #heaviness, #merry-heart, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom, #worry

All Worry is Sin?

I was doing research for a sermon and came across a book by John Haggai called, “How to Win over Worry.”

John Haggai says, “Worry is a sin. It is always a sin.”

How can someone make such an unqualified statement? Blanket statements are often true and false. The former will benefit the reader while the latter will chase away the skeptic. We must be careful to delineate truth so we have a chance to win all of our readers.

Worry is defined as uneasiness or anxiety. How can we say those two words are unqualified sins? Maybe Haggai has a different definition of worry. If so, he should have said so. In being precise, we must define terms so everyone understands the premise.

John Haggai says, “Worry is distrust in the truthfulness of God and worry is detrimental to the temple of God.”

Haggai is exactly correct. However, the definition above is more expansive than that. We must always realize that God is with us and that He is our Lord and Provider.

“You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).

If we see anyone or anything else as our source of safety, answers or salvation, we have violated God’s will.

Uneasiness and anxiety, to an extent, are natural consequences of the human condition. A child will trust his father completely but will still tremble as he leaps off the pier into his father’s arms.

We know that the Lord will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), but we are still frightened when our car breaks down in the woods or we find ourselves lost in the concrete jungle at night. It is impossible to banish all of this from our minds and hearts.

It is dangerous to teach that ALL worry is sin because it places an impossible burden on the hearer. When the widow goes out that week and someone steals her car and she loses her job and can’t pay the utility bill or mortgage, would we all not feel uneasy or anxious if we were in her shoes?

Faith in God is required (Hebrews 11:6). It is the only hope we have to survive in this cruel world. We must trust God completely. Yet, we retain our humanity and denying that is folly and to our listeners, disaster.

Let us always take the time to qualify our statements and be as precise as possible so our readers or listeners will continue to listen.

#anxiety, #faith, #worry

Where would I be without God?

Without God in my life, fears would rule my life, anxieties would overtake me, worries would squelch any joy I might feel in this world.

Without Christ as Savior and Lord, perfectionism would have me looking down my nose at others. Conceit would judge others and think them stupid or wrongly motivated.

Without the Spirit indwelling in me, depression would darken my days, for I would find no ultimate purpose, no real meaning, no lasting hope, no pure love.

#anxiety, #depression, #fear, #perfectionism, #worry