Tagged: trial

Comfort When the World’s Against Us

[This was written in the early hours of this morning, before it was light.]

Comfort and Joy

I have had a hard night. A very brief time of sleep before fully awaking around 3 o’clock in the night. I knew sleep would be akin to a sleep of death for me so with my mind and heart thus troubled settling down to rest in slumber was not an option. And so I have been awake; drinking tea, coffee and smoking rollies. And praying.

I have prayed much the past night. Many prayers of desperation, many prayers of joy. And the musicians of Maranatha! Music have been a great blessing to me as I’ve praised the Lord whilst playing one of their albums.

I have just turned to the Bible as dawn is now approaching and, although I couldn’t find the Psalm I thought I wanted to read, I did read three and it was the final one which has really comforted me and inspired me and I wanted to share it with you. It is Psalm 13.

How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

A Comfort for Those With Mental Disorders

I wanted to share how this Psalm is an especial comfort to those of us with mental health disorders.

If we are going through a period of intense depression, anxiety or a psychotic episode it can seem like all are our enemies. Though some may try to understand and help we find that they cannot and their deeds and words only bring us more pain. So many people want to get us to listen to them and comply with their plans of action, making ready for us to be so desperate that we go grovelling to them for their offers of help.

Yet this Psalm comforts and strengthens us, as believers in the Lord Jesus with mental health issues, to take our comfort and our strength from him. Sometimes he does offer help through others, yes, but often that help exacts a heavy price in our loyalty to Christ. We must be firm, comforted and encouraged to stand for the Lord, in love, both in private and in public, even when our distresses are seemingly overwhelming.

In the words of Jesus:

In this world you shall have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!

John 16:33 (NIV)

When Being Alone is The Only Option

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed? So distressed, so fearful? You try to reach out but no-one seems to be there. You are alone and you want to depend on God, but then it seems like you are being judged by God rather than comforted? You yearn for even the comforters which Job had rather than be alone with the burden of your failings and your sins.

Scripture reading and prayer are vital, especially when forced solitude is upon us.
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/dawn-dusk-fog-landscape-man-mist-1868418/

Family and Friends

I have been feeling like that. Family has become distant. In many cases this has been my fault. I have pushed many of my family members away. Others so want to help but do not know how to and so offer to receive a call I cannot make. My uncle said this very thing and said he didn’t know how to help. My reply? “I don’t know how you can help, either.”

Friends have proved themselves not to be friends in need or I have pushed them away, too. Many of my “friends” took drugs or engaged in filthy talk and I no longer want anything to do with that, so I have pushed them away or they have chosen themselves to become distant. My judgementalism hasn’t helped here, even though I am glad to no longer be seeing those who have led me astray (and vice versa!)

Those friends in church I have become close to so want to help but every Christian has struggles and responsibilities and often it can seem as if they are otherwise engaged in peforming some very vital tasks or ministries – tasks and ministries which I have not wanted to get in the way of.

What, then, to do?

There can be no option in times like this. We must seek God. We may feel the heavy weight of His hand yet we need to cling to the promises which are ours in Christ. Reach out to God through prayer. I am reading about Simple Prayer (note 1) right now: prayer without any pretentiousness or any attempt to be perfect; just my fears, burdens and even my terribleness, and thus drawing near to the Holy God through His Son who died for us.

Scripture can be an immense help and has been for me. Sometimes, though, even the Scriptures can appear to be condemning us. I have recently read 1 Corinthians 13 a number of times and the verses on the nature of love have left me feeling as if I do not know love at all. Psalm 23 is a wonderfully comforting Psalm, yet recently as I’ve read of lying down in green pastures I can think of none which are currently thought of as a blessing in a godly way, and when I’ve read of goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life I have wondered where this goodness and mercy has gone to.

Yet perservere! Now I am finding that both of those passgaes are coming to life again and I am finding that comfort I thought I might have lost forever.

Church

In times like these I have found church to be vital. Though I have battled hard – very hard – to keep up church attendance and have, at times, felt only intermittent comfort from those weekly times, I am now finding such a comfort and encouragement from those attendances and they are such a good reminder that God’s people are still here, they still welcome me and they still love me, and you!

(Note 1: Prayer by Richard Foster, published by Clays Ltd, St. Ives, 1992)