Summary: In the fallen, corrupt world in which we live we can not escape these assaults on our health or the resultant pain. We CAN, however, in Christ and by His grace grow in our understanding, management and care of our complete health. This, I believe, is th
“SUCCESS IN HEALTH”
3rd in Series: Searching For Success
Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, January 24, 2010 AM
This morning we continue to Scriptural search for success by looking at the issue of our health. Though degree and specifics will always vary, anyone who has lived for a length of time on this earth has painfully felt it's near-constant assaults upon each one of us in a multitude of ways: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. The LORD God Almighty created our intricate, complex beings to function in such a way that all of these aspects (physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual) are interconnected. When this system is under attack and/or not functioning properly it 'trips' our God-given alarm system – pain.
Many times, it may seem that our pain, especially mental and emotional, is an intolerable punishment. That, in such times, God has abandoned us to it. Yet, the truth of Scripture is just the opposite. God's desire is for good and He is intimately interested and involved in the process of our healing and wholeness, IF we but permit Him. The pathways that scream warnings of danger and need for care through the vehicle of pain are the very same ones that also shout out our triumphs, satisfaction and fulfillment through the vehicle of pleasure!
In the fallen, corrupt world in which we live we can not escape these assaults on our health or the resultant pain. We CAN, however, in Christ and by His grace grow in our understanding, management and care of our complete health. This, I believe, is the Scriptural key to successful health!
With this mind, it is my intention this morning to focus on these things and, specifically, dealing with the most common and potentially destructive side-effect of unhealthy realities; be they physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Depression.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is currently the 4th leading cause of disability in the world, and expected to become the 2nd in the next decade. Incidences of depression are increasing at significant rates among EVERY demographic and age group. More than 60% of people who commit suicide suffered from a major depressive disorder. About 8% of people with major depressive disorder will die by suicide. Yet, still only 20% of people struggling with depression seek help of any kind. Ignoring or hiding it only makes it worse.
Nor is this something that is only true of people with little or no faith. Many of the greatest, most godly men of Scripture exhibited major depressive episodes (Job, Elijah, David, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, even Jesus). So too have many of the most famous and effective preachers throughout church history (see The Company of the Preachers by David L. Larsen).
The true test of our faith and spiritual maturity is not whether or how often we experience ill health and depression, but rather how we respond to such a condition!
THE REAL ISSUE: THE MIND
Perhaps the most natural and largest error we tend to make is assuming that depression in it's various forms is primarily an emotional or feelings issue. Though there is no question that resultant emotions and feelings are very real and important, they are the after-effects and not the source of or solution to the problem!
The true source of and solution to the problem lies in the “mind”: how we ingest and process all available information, which in turn develops our beliefs and solidifies our convictions, which in turn determines our physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual response.
All the information (Truth) we need is made available to us all men by God. Our level of positive or negative recognition, acceptance and application of His revealed Truth in turn produces our level of understanding, our view of the our lives and world, and ultimately the cravings of our hearts and resultant emotional reactions.
Most importantly, we must recognize and accept in our minds that the present human condition and condition of our world is NOT in balance or as it should be. Sin, any rejection of God's authority and will, has distorted everything! The ultimate cause of EVERY form of illness and weakness is sin – living life without regard for God's Truth or authority.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Bottom line: to be “holy and pleasing to God,” to “worship,” and to have the opportunity to “discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” are all entirely dependent on a personal transformation that is the result of “the renewing of your mind.”