Repentance is sometimes misunderstood. It often gets associated with feeling bad about yourself. As if God wants you to dwell on the guilt of your mistake. Repentance includes a sorrow for your sin, but never a self-made magnification of your guilt. The fullness of repentance is a change of direction with a result of joy. The goal of the Christian life isn’t to feel worse about yourself – it’s to restore joyful relationship with the God you made you and who wants you. Repentance leads to restoration.
An encouraging message after Rod returned from a brief rest from preaching. In April, Rod suffered a heart attack and by prayers and God’s grace he is still with us and strong enough to return to preaching with the simple and powerful message of “Trust in the Lord”.
Trust is built on relationship. You cannot have trust in someone or something until you experience a trustworthy outcome from the relationship. As trust builds, it maintains a trusting bond even when disappointments in the relationship occur. In human relationships, trust can be broken but with God he will never break the trust. We may be disappointed by the outcome yet God will never break a word he gives. “God will fulfill every promise that he has ever given you.”
Elijah, the mighty prophet of God, experienced a great triumph over the enemies of God. When word of the victory reached the evil queen Jezebel, she immediately threatened to kill Elijah. The surprise in the story is Elijah’s response. Instead of standing in confidence in the faith of God, the faithfulness God just displayed in a awe inspiring way, Elijah gives up and turns to fear. He fears the threats of the dangerous queen and runs away. Even when God appears to Elijah and promises faithful protection, Elijah determines to be depressed. It took some forty days and more miraculous manifestations of God before Elijah determined to be faithful.
Real stuff happens in our lives that encourage depression. There is a time to grieve and a time to mourn, but the way out is the time to rejoice. Feeling happy is not the cure to depression. Self will and determination is not the cure. As Elijah learned, depression is real, God cares for us and gives us patience during our depression, and the way out is trusting God’s faithfulness. Cry out to God in your pity and tell him how you feel and why you feel it, but listen to his “still small voice” and enter into his joy. Depression is big, but not bigger than Jesus. Depression is mighty, but not mightier than Jesus. Praise is the weapon of our battle. Praise God as the King to be praised.