Giving Thanks To Our Heavenly Immanuel

I’m sure that if you’ve read the title of this, some questions are bound to arise. To clear things up, this post is meant to point out three conduits by which giving thanks to God is possible. And in the title, I mentioned God as our Heavenly Immanuel. The reason being so that we can remember the title given to Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:23, which is “Immanuel.” Immanuel means “God with us,’ and since we’re going to thank Him, we should remember who He is. He is with us.

Giving Thanks Through the Heart

Firstly, thank God in your heart. All deeds start with the heart and appreciation does not violate that expectation. Whether you bless or hurt someone, the intention starts within your thoughts.

Colossians 3:2 World English Bible (WEB)
Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.

And so, I urge you to thank God in your heart. Just think to yourself, “Wow, God you’re so good, thank you for loving me.”

Now, I can imagine if some grow skeptical of what I’m saying. But, here’s the thing, you just need to remind yourself of who God is.

God is the one who came down to Earth as a human. He came as Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, since you and I have erred, we’ve done things that forever separate us from God, who is utterly perfect.

So, He let Himself be tortured and crucified by angry people who could not stand his life-giving miracles, jaw-dropping wonders, and breathtaking healings. Lord Jesus Christ bore the cross to give you an opportunity at another chance.

A chance to trust Him with all your failures and destruction as He suffers your punishment on the cross. Therefore, accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

You’ve just got to remember and believe what He did for you, and no matter what state you’re in, you’ll feel a sense of gratitude.

His love for you means that if you’re currently in a state of bliss, His love is to thank for. Or if you’re in a season of disappointment, let the love of God console and comfort you.

The main point of this section is to make you understand that it doesn’t matter where you’re standing, God loves you deeply. Therefore, feel your heart’s drive to thank God for His meaningful love.

Romans 8:27 World English Bible (WEB)
27 He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit’s mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God.

Thanking God Through Words

Next, use your words to express your appreciation to God. God is real. And it wouldn’t hurt to tell Him that you’re grateful for all He’s done. Like any other person, God should hear you speak to Him.

When you express gratitude to a friend, family member, anyone else for that matter, you tell tell them, “thank you.’

In the same way, say “thank you,” to God.

Philippians 4:6-7 World English Bible (WEB)
In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to GodAnd the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

The scripture above says to thank God as you pray and inform Him about your situations.

And although your immediate situation may not look the best, things will change. That’s a promise from God.

Matthew 6:34 World English Bible (WEB)
34 Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient.

Plus, being anxious about nothing as you thank Him for taking care of it solves the issue of anxiety. Once you’ve done everything you could such as setting up your business, or teaching your children what’s right and wrong, thank God as you place your desire in God’s hands.

Thank Him for being with you. Giving thanks to Him verbally is not going to go unheard. Your words will not fall to the ground, instead, they’ll ascend to the ears of God like a sweet aroma.

Proverbs 16:1-3 World English Bible (WEB)
16 The plans of the heart belong to man,
    but the answer of the tongue is from Yahweh.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes;
    but Yahweh weighs the motives.
Commit your deeds to Yahweh,
    and your plans shall succeed.

He’ll take care of the rest. After all, His hands are bigger than yours.

Giving Thanks Through Actions

Finally, giving thanks to God through your actions is something that you must never forget. Your actions show God where your heart is.

For example, a person who lies constantly shows everyone that his/her heart is in a place of confusion and deception.

On the other hand, a person who lives in honesty regardless of its consequences upon one’s self shows everyone his/her heart is in a place of integrity.

Colossians 3:17 World English Bible (WEB)
17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.

Therefore, God sees whether you appreciate Him or not through what you do. And the choice to do what you want belongs to no one else other than the person reading this post. That’s you.

But, how do you show gratitude to God through your actions? You show appreciation by allowing His Spirit to enter and transform your life.

Romans 12:2 World English Bible (WEB)
Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

And His Spirit will convict your heart to do what pleases God. You can please God by avoiding evil no matter how tempting the proposition.

Also, you can please God through charity in Lord Jesus’ name and being a reliable neighbour to those God placed in your life.

Mark 12:30-31 World English Bible (WEB)
30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’Deuteronomy 6:4-5 This is the first commandment. 31 The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’Leviticus 19:18 There is no other commandment greater than these.”

To tell you the truth, only you know where God is leading you. And so, thank God by obeying Him through your actions.

Galatians 5:25 World English Bible (WEB)
25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit.

In conclusion, thank Immanuel, Lord Jesus Christ for His love for you. Hold onto His love and thank God through whatever means possible.

By Andre Wijesekera.

Is Yoga Really Effective in the Long-Term?

Discern!

To those who’ve bothered to read this post, my guess is that you’re here to find out if yoga is really effective in the long-term scenario. And so, I am going to talk about yoga in this post as I look at it from a Christian perspective, a mental health perspective, and a practical perspective. My goal is to go into the depths of analysis as I deal with the question and I hope you find something helpful from this post.

Stretching One’s Self for Mental Peace? Is Yoga Really Effective in the Long-Term?

For those who don’t know, yoga is a series of stretches and breathing exercises originating from the East (India). Interestingly enough, the West (America & Canada) actively embrace yoga.

And what does yoga promise? Rather, how do gurus and yoga instructors mass-market yoga as? Well, they say “yoga is good for your mind, it eases the muscles, and reduces stress.”

I mean, sure, it’s an exercise that eases the muscles, but, why do people idealize yoga so much? So, in the next subsection, I’ll be taking a closer look at what it means to do yoga. As yoga protrudes beyond the boundary of exercise and into the territory of spiritual matters.

Why the Hype?

Ever wondered why yoga is so popular right now, especially in the West? Well, I think I’ve found the reason why. It’s because it’s foreign.

There’s a part of human nature that loves things which are foreign. People crave something unknown and that’s why advertisings of healthy protein shakes or perfumes always mention some tropical fruit or ingredient foreign to the Western climate.

But, aside from its physical risks, yoga poses spiritual risks often too grim for imagination. Remember, I said that it originates from the East?

Well, it originates as a practice meant to yoke with the so-called “gods” or “universal consciousness” of Hinduism. As a matter of fact, the word “yoga,” comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” defined as “to unite.”

And just take a look at the meanings behind poses in popular types of yoga such as Hatha yoga. One pose is the Warrior pose which embraces the story of a Hindu deity’s son known as “Virabhadra.”

Another pose is the Corpse pose, a pose where one stretches with their back touching the floor. This yoga pose intends to prepare one for death. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to embrace death in any way or manner.

Psalm 118:17 King James Version (KJV)
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

Continuing on, this craving for the foreign is exactly why Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

Genesis 3:6 World English Bible (WEB)
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took some of its fruit, and ate. Then she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate it, too.

The Bible says that Eve saw that the one tree which God told her not to eat from as visually appealing and it promised her wisdom. Yoga is similar to this forbidden fruit in that it is visually appealing to many with its foreign, Eastern charm and promise of peace.

The tree Eve ate from was unlike any of the trees which God had made for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. So, she disobeyed God and ate from that tree.

Both Adam and Eve disobeyed God but obeyed the devil which tempted them to eat from that tree. And this disobedience allowed sin, death, sickness, injustice, and more to enter the world of humans.

Romans 5:12 World English Bible (WEB)
12 Therefore as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; so death passed to all men, because all sinned.

Bearing the Yolk of Lord Jesus, Alone

At the end of the day, yoga is endued with many spiritual implications. It is a result of Hinduism and is saturated with various Hindu concepts and spiritual meanings.

I know people who’ve practised yoga, and if anything, it’s made things worse for them. But, I’ve seen the transformative power of God’s love in Christ Jesus which changed the lives of various people who I know.

As a Christian, it is spiritually wrong to practice yoga. If you want mental peace, calmness, and no stress, then ask God. Ask Christ Jesus for the peace and grace which He promises to those who trust Him.

John 14:27 World English Bible (WEB)
27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

Lord Jesus Christ is God who came down to Earth in the form of a human being and He bore the punishment for your sins on the cross and sacrificed Himself for you. Three days after dying, Lord Jesus Christ rose again, conquering death in your place, which I talk more about in this post. Now, when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, you can enjoy a relationship with God, Himself.

Romans 5:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 But the free gift isn’t like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

Trust God for the peace that surpasses human understanding, and read His lovely word, the Bible.

Pray to God, and tell Him about the things that trouble you. He will take care of you and make everything turn out for your good.

Philippians 4:6-7 World English Bible (WEB)
In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

In the end, yoga follows the principles of Hinduism, by nature. If you do yoga, you are embracing a worldview contrary to the Christian worldview.

1 Corinthians 10:21 World English Bible (WEB)
21 You can’t both drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You can’t both partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.

And Jesus makes it clear in His Word to only bear His yolk instead of doing yoga and yoking with spiritual beings.

Matthew 11:28-30 World English Bible (WEB)
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Life is Unpredictable in a World Where Anything Is Possible

The scary reality of the world is that life is unpredictable. And this is because our world is constantly changing. Nothing ever remains the exact same unless you’re talking about gravity, wind, or any other natural force. But, in this post, I’ll be talking mainly about how your life can change rapidly and it is my goal to touch upon how one should face this ever-changing world.

Is Unpredictability Bad?

Unpredictability seems to have a negative connotation. I mean when someone says the word, “unpredictable,” the majority of people think of something negative such as unemployment, bad people, messy situations, and more.

And it indeed has become a worry to many people, today. This agitating fear in the hearts of people is apparent when people ask themselves questions such as, “How am I going to face the future?”, or, “What if something happens and my life is turned upside down?”

These statements are common questions which depict a sense of fear of the unpredictable. People often fear the unexpected, and this can be a genuine worry for many.

Proverbs 12:25 World English Bible (WEB)
25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,
    but a kind word makes it glad.

Even the Bible talks about how people worried about what will become of them in the future. I modified the verse below in that I omitted some words from the beginning for the sake of emphasis. But I will quote this later in its full context.

Matthew 6:31 World English Bible (WEB) (Modified Verse)
31[…] saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’

But, why not think of unpredictability in the opposite sense? What if unpredictability could bring something good into your world?

Yes, life is unpredictable, but with that comes the possibility that things can exceed your expectations in a good sense. What if life is unpredictable in that your boss promotes you in your workplace, you find a new restaurant to eat at, or something else happens which is good.

And I believe Lord Jesus Christ reminds us of this in the Bible.

Why Life is Unpredictable

Before I get to what Lord Jesus Christ says about the matter, let me answer the question of why life is so unpredictable. It’s because God doesn’t give a guarantee that life will be predictable.

Instead, He tells us this.

Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

So, God never promised you that all things will be predictable. And yes, that does mean tough things may come your way. You might face challenges that make you feel like yanking your hair out.

But, He does give us a guarantee of blessings. God tells us that whatever comes our way, predictable or unpredictable, will work as part of His plan to prosper you in any way possible (physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and more).

Now, let’s take a look at what Lord Jesus Christ said about how people should deal with unpredictability.

Matthew 6:31 World English Bible (WEB)
31 Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’

HE SAID TO NOT GET ANXIOUS ABOUT THE UNPREDICTABLE FUTURE! And do you know why?

Matthew 6:32 World English Bible (WEB)
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

God knows you need clothes, food, a job, and all of that! He knows what you’re asking from Him, and He is not oblivious to your needs. You’ve got to trust Lord Jesus Christ and do your part. By doing your part, I mean to do what’s right, what’s wise, and what’s efficient.

If bad health surprises you, try your best to live healthily while asking God for His healing. Or if you’re struggling financially, try your best to earn more income in an honest way while asking God for a financial breakthrough. However, let us go more in-depth in the next post.

A Helping Hand in an Unpredictable World

Lord Jesus Christ’s instructions regarding worries of the unpredictable future are the following.

Matthew 6:33-34 World English Bible (WEB)
33 But seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well34 Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient.

Seek God’s kingdom first and His righteousness. How do you seek God? Well, first, you’ve got to accept Him if you haven’t already. And the way to do that is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ, being God, came down to Earth in the form of a human being.

He died on the cross in your place so that all your sins and evil gets punished through Jesus Christ, and now you can live a life in His grace. I talk more about it in this post.

Philippians 2:5-8 World English Bible (WEB)
Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, didn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, yes, the death of the cross.

Now, getting back to the topic of unpredictability, Lord Jesus instructs us to not be anxious concerning our challenges. He says to take life one day at a time, and He will provide you with all that you need.

Therefore, I urge you to not worry, just thank and praise Him that He will make sure you end up in a good place. And if you want some encouragement, just read the Bible. I’d recommend that you read chapters 37 to 50 of Genesis in the Bible. You don’t have to read it all at once, just try to finish it before next week and you’ll see how Joseph faced so many unpredictable situations, both good and bad, with God’s strength.

Philippians 4:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

God Does Care About Your Mental Health

Jesus is Life

Mental health and Christianity make up the backbone of this blog. But, are these two topics even relatable to each other? Based on what I’ve learnt about both topics, I can easily say that both sides have a great deal to do with one another. And I believe that God does care about your mental health. So, continue reading to find out as to how they connect with each other.

Your Mental Health is More Complex Than You Think

The mind you possess is intricate and almost impossible to entirely fathom. Your brain is like a computer that no human engineer can ever fully understand. And the entirety of your mental health is as mysterious and as incomprehensible as it can get.

The reason for this is because your brain is the most complex organ in the human body. There ain’t a thing in the human body more complex than what you’ve got in your noggin. Why?

Well, it’s because your brain is the computer for your body. Everything that you do is a result of the instructions coming from your brain.

So, for such a thing as complex as the brain, there should be a designer. And that designer is God, Himself.

Hebrews 3:4 World English Bible (WEB)
For every house is built by someone; but he who built all things is God.

And I think the person who fully understands you at the moment is God. I cannot understand you, your parents cannot understand you, your best friends cannot understand you, your pet cannot understand you, but God can understand you.

God can understand your weird ways because He’s God and He is the one who oversaw the making of your DNA, the sculpting of your brain, and the experiences you’ve endured.

Psalm 139:1 World English Bible (WEB)
139 Yahweh, you have searched me,
    and you know me.

Furthermore, if you’re facing anxiety, He knows why you’re anxious. If you’re struggling with depression, He knows what’s making you feel that way. And if you’re facing anything which is against your mental health, He knows how to fix it.

Psalm 139:16 World English Bible (WEB)
16 Your eyes saw my body.
    In your book they were all written,
    the days that were ordained
for me,
    when as yet there were none of them.

God Does Cares About Your Mental Health

I need not say much more to convince you that God cares about you. And because He cares about you, God does care about your mental health. Lord Jesus Christ did not say he came to heal you only physically, He said he came to heal you entirely.

Luke 17:19 King James Version (KJV)
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Moreover, you must exercise faith in God to stay mentally healthy. Ask God to heal you of your depression, anxiety, food-eating disorders, and whatever other condition makes you less than mentally fit. Trusting God is the way out of your crisis.

For example, if you are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, ask Lord Jesus Christ to heal you of it. Ask God for His forgiveness and strength to overcome your horrific memories. God understands the traumatic things you’ve gone through if He remembers the number of hairs on your head. I talk more about PTSD in this post.

Luke 12:7 King James Version (KJV)
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

So, be aware of the fact that God cares about you and that He does not intend to leave you in a broken, mentally-sick state, especially when you trust Him.

1 Peter 5:6-7 King James Version (KJV)
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Therefore, humble yourself before the cross of Christ and put your pride away. Trust God that He will keep His promise to heal you if you allow Him to do so. Let Him restore your mind to its ultimate state and wash you in His tender love.

He Suffered More Than Just Physically

Now, as we draw to the end of this post, I want to leave you with one more point to support the fact that God does care about your mental health.

He suffered to restore not only your physical health but your mental health also. At the cross, Lord Jesus Christ endured anxiety, trauma, abandonment, and a bunch of other crises while being beaten to death.

He wore the crown of thorns as a symbolization of the stress and pains he had to endure.

Mark 15:17 World English Bible (WEB)
17 They clothed him with purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on him.

Furthermore, Lord Jesus Christ felt abandoned and alone as He bore the weight of mankind’s sin.

Matthew 27:46 King James Version (KJV)
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Lord Jesus Christ suffered a lot on the cross. And the stress wasn’t only hurting His body, it was hurting His mind. But why?

The answer to that question is you. God came down to Earth in the flesh as Lord Jesus Christ so that legalistic people, being the crafty creatures they are, would pressure the Roman government to crucify Lord Jesus Christ. This crucifixion was unjust but it was all part of God’s plan so that when He suffered your hell, you would experience His heaven.

Now, when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you become His beloved child. And as a beloved child of God, you have His mind, the mind of Christ Jesus to live life for God’s glory.

1 Corinthians 2:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

Peace That Lasts the Trials of Eternity

Peace of God

Peace that lasts, is like gold, it is wonderful, yet at the same time, it is very difficult to attain. And yet, we all want peace that lasts. Chaos and disruption is the last thing people want as a constant within their lives. So, in this post, we’ll be looking at the topic of peace, why we need it, and as to how we could attain such a thing. So, continue reading to learn more.

The Peace You Need

You know in your heart that you need peace. It is not just a want, it’s a need. It’s not a need for survival, but a need for your mental health.

God did not build you to endure never-ending chaos. There is a time for work, and there is a time for rest. Otherwise, where would be your peace? Even God doesn’t like chaos. He made peace out of the chaos. For example, look at the beginning of creation. Our world was originally in a state of chaos (I personally believe this state of chaos was due to the fall of Lucifer as is heavily hinted at, throughout the Bible).

Genesis 1:2 King James Version (KJV)
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Then, God intervened. Furthermore, the Bible says God brought the world back into order and that is the time He created Adam and Eve, the first time humans entered the picture of history.

Genesis 1:31 King James Version (KJV)
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

You see, God saw the order in the world He made. He saw how peaceful everything was, and it was good to Him. He sees peace as good. But, that peace did not last, as humanity betrayed God, resulting in all the evil we witness today, which I talk more about in this post.

Nevertheless, the point is that peace is a must for your mental health. You need it to live a good life.

Constant Chaos or Promising Peace?

Now that we have established the need for peace, let’s observe a promise stated within the Bible.

John 14:26-27 World English Bible (WEB)
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

God gives a solution to answer the chaos in our hearts. To our constant turbulence, He responds within a promise of peace. And what does He says about that peace?

He says it is a peace which is unlike the peace which the world might offer. The world with all its temptations and struggles likes to offer things like greed, drugs, and so many other enticements.

James 1:14-15 King James Version (KJV)
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

These things will offer a level of peace, but that peace is always temporary, and it leads you to a fate of destruction and calamity. Jesus Christ does not offer peace like that. He offers you peace that lasts.

However, this is only possible because of Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of God, Jesus Christ. And so, the choice now belongs to you. Do you want constant chaos or promising peace?

Deuteronomy 30:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 Behold, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and evil.

Peace That Lasts

Continuing on, the peace that lasts is only possible through submission to God. If you want peace for your mind so that no matter the situation, you will have the peace of God, you need to accept God.

And what I mean by accept, is to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ is God who came down to Earth in the form of a human being. He healed the sick, cast out demons, and set people free. And yet, religious teachers grew upset and jealous of Jesus Christ hence why they forced the Roman government of that ancient time, to scourge and crucify Jesus Christ. Jesus could have stopped it with His legions of angels, and yet, this was all part of God’s plan to redeem the entire human race, to put peace within the hearts of those who allow Him to do so.

Jesus Christ received your divine punishment on the cross so that He would be punished with the hell meant for you. And if you accept His sacrifice by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit enters you to give you God’s peace that lasts.

Without God, the peace that lasts, is an impossible thing to achieve. Even when God brought peace to the chaotic state of this world, He first spoke light into being.

Genesis 1:2-4 King James Version (KJV)
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

So, you need God to overcome the chaos with His peace, as is symbolized by the light.

Moreover, this does not mean that after accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you will never face a challenge again. On the contrary, life will continue to hurl its obstacles at you. But, with Jesus Christ, you will have the peace of Holy Spirit to strengthen you. That is why He is known as the “Counselor.” If you were never going to face a dilemma, you would not need a counselor.

John 14:26 World English Bible (WEB)
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.

Therefore, seek Holy Spirit in your issues. And trust God for the peace that lasts. I promise you that God never breaks a promise and that His peace will guide you because He promised to give you peace.

Philippians 4:7 King James Version (KJV)
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Stepping Out of a Traumatized Past Into the Now

Restoration is in Christ

The daily price we pay to stay in the moment is sometimes all too high. And for those of you who are suffering from a vividly painful past, you are not exempt from the joys of life. That is going to be the topic of this post as we explore PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and as to how one should overcome it. So, to find out what it takes when stepping out of a traumatized past, continue reading.

The Pain Behind the Trauma

PTSD is a real issue in a our society. No doubt about it. When people go through painful and horrifying experiences, it does, at times, leave a scar. And that’s the thing about mental health; it’s just as real as your physical health. So, I believe that God cares for your mental health just as much as He cares for your physical health.

3 John 2 World English Bible (WEB)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be healthy, even as your soul prospers.

God outlines the importance of your soul. And your soul is your mind, will, and emotions which includes your mental health.

Continuing on, these mental scars come in the form of things like PTSD. Now, PTSD is a disorder where people see hallucinations or dreams reminding them of their terrible experiences, or where people avoid socializing so that they do not encounter anything that might trigger memories about the painful event. Overall, it’s a terrible disorder that induces anxiety because of horrible experiences.

The things that tend to cause PTSD within people are really terrible events such as the following: natural disasters, military conflicts, assaults, accidents, and more.

And so, I do acknowledge that there is a deep pain or terror that lies behind the issue of PTSD. People go through things God never meant for them to ever go through, as human beings.

God never intended for these things to occur. We live in a fallen world, and in a fallen world, there is pain.

So, if you’re suffering from PTSD, I cannot understand the pain you’ve gone through as I do not know it or have probably not experienced it, but, I do know that your pain is real. Your hurt is real. But, there’s a way out of it, there is a solution.

The Weight of Trauma; the Height of Suffering

Now, I believe the solution is Jesus Christ. I did say I cannot understand the pain you’re experiencing as it does not relate to my own experiences. But, there is one who does understand how you’re feeling. God understands your pain, more than you think He does.

He not only knows it out of his omniscience, but He knows your suffering out of His experience. He knows the grit and heart-pounding terrors which you have experienced. He’s felt it all. Whatever sexual abuse or military battle or car accident haunts your memory, is a pain which God relates to.

He does not deny your pain, He does not ignore your pain, He feels your pain.

Isaiah 53:3 King James Version (KJV)
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

If your experience is something out of hell, Jesus’ experience is out of a deeper hell than that. He was physically beaten, stripped out of his clothes, scourged, had to carry a wooden cross up a hill, and was then pinned to the cross with nails in His hands and in His feet. He can relate to your hell, but, you will never be able to relate to the extent of hell which He endured. It is beyond human imagination to suffer a fate worse than His.

Furthermore, Jesus is God, who came to Earth in the form of a fragile human being to redeem/save humanity. And a symptom of PTSD is the stress or anxiety one feels when remembering a traumatic event. But, I believe Jesus was experiencing a form of PTSD before His traumatic experience even happened.

That would be because He is God and He knew every single detail that would outline His suffering the next day. And when He remembered the future should He choose to save us, He started sweating blood. And sweating blood is a medical condition where people experience severe stress. So, Jesus felt severe stress or anxiety about the suffering He was going to endure, on the night of His arrest.

Luke 22:44 World English Bible (WEB)
44 Being in agony he prayed more earnestly. His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.

Stepping out of the Trauma

Jesus knows how you feel. You can be sure about that. But, is stepping out of a terrible experience possible? Are you capable of stepping out of PTSD? The answer to these questions is a resounding “yes.”

Jesus does not have PTSD, now. He did what He did with a purpose. And He accomplished it. That purpose was to experience our hell, so, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He saves us.

John 19:28-30 World English Bible (WEB)
28 After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.

Jesus recognized how His pain ended, and how His pain had a purpose. And three days later, He rose again victorious and alive. He rose again so that you would also have the benefit of a resurrection where you are a new, whole creation.

Romans 6:4 King James Version (KJV)
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

But now, in the case of your life, how do you step out of a traumatized past? You give it to Jesus.

Remind yourself that you are not the product of your experiences, but instead, you are a child of the Living God! When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, He makes you His redeemed child. You are a beloved child of God.

Furthermore, enjoy your family life. Let God walk you each step of the way through your path to recovery and restoration.

Overall, when it comes to stepping out of your trauma, recognize Jesus’ immense suffering, realize that He rose again victorious, and surrender your pain to God. He is there with you, pray to Him to heal you and read His Word in pursuit of the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ in our lives. Paying a price to enjoy every moment of your life, is not yours to pay, Jesus already paid for it. Therefore, through Christ Jesus, stepping out of your pain is not impossible.

By Andre Wijesekera

The Model Method To Deal With Stress

Method to deal with stress

We often wonder how wonderful it’d be if there weren’t such a thing as stress. I mean it’s bothersome, cumbersome, and painful. You might be stressing about paying the bills, dealing with your job, taking care of children, and more. The point is that there’s always something to stress about. And if one challenge is resolved, it seems that there’ll always arise a new challenge! Once again, if there’s any issue, God’s Word holds a solution for it. So, keep on reading to find out whether God thinks if there is a method to deal with stress.

Stress is a Deviation of Fear

Life is rife with stressful ordeals and situations. But, what is it in the grand scheme of things? What is the bigger picture when it comes to viewing stress and worry? Well, it means that the person who stresses, myself included, cannot trust what God holds in picture.

Stress is basically a way to express fear. A person starts feeling stress when something they dearly love or value is at risk or in jeopardy.

For King David, he stressed out when he couldn’t hide his affair with Bathsheba. He wanted to preserve his reputation and affair and so, he indirectly murdered her husband, which God really disapproved of. In fact, it led to him suffering a lot since his actions held many consequences.

2 Samuel 12:9 World English Bible (WEB)
Why have you despised Yahweh’s word, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 

And King Saul stressed out when God did not want him as king anymore due to his constant disobedience. King Saul wanted to protect his privileges as King of Israel but since that was in jeopardy, he stressed to the point of seeking peace from a witch and that did not end so well.

The Biblical accounts of many historical figures show that people often feel stress and it happens in situations where it’s the person’s fault or when it’s not their fault. Either way, it never leads to anything good and is almost always a contributing factor to failure except in Jesus’ case. But, let’s see and learn from how God dealt with stress.

Remembering How God Dealt With Stress

Now, let’s go the scene of when Jesus Christ was awaiting His crucifixion. It was the night at the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus knew that Judas was leading the priests and leaders to him so that they may arrest Him and send Him to His grisly fate. Just picture it, He knows what He is going to face and He knows every single detail that is going to take place.

1 John 3:20 World English Bible (WEB)
20 because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

He knows how they’re going to make him wait in a cold room in the early morning; He knows how they’re going to literally skin Him alive with every lash of their ancient yet meticulous torturing devices, and He knows how they’re going to carve through his flesh and bones with enormous nails that would even send chills down the spine of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.

First and foremost, you must realize this was not something out of His control and if He wanted to, He could have stopped this ordeal immediately. When Peter tried to stop Jesus’ arrest, Jesus reminded Peter that He doesn’t need Peter to defend Him as He has so many angels at His command.

Matthew 26:53 World English Bible (WEB)
53 Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?

Furthermore, the decision was hard for Jesus who is God in the flesh. He had to lay down His life and embrace a fate worse than death. And in that garden, Jesus prayed to Heavenly Father as a model for us.

The Method to Deal With Stress

Matthew 26:39 World English Bible (WEB)
39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”

Jesus did feel stress, He wanted to protect his life from unfathomable pain; He knew it was coming and since He knew the ordeal was going to happen, His fear was well-justified. To save the souls of the world, He’d have to suffer a lot.

And the Bible said that He stressed so much that even His sweat became blood which is an actual medical condition borne out of extreme stress according to modern medical science.

Luke 22:44 King James Version (KJV)
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Moreover, Jesus still looked at the grand scheme of things, He did something which most of us don’t do when we’re stressed out. He prioritized God’s will and subjected His fate to what God the Father wants which is the right method to deal with stress.

God Stressed Out So You Don’t Have To

Thus, His stress was beneficial for us so that we would not need to stress to accomplish our work as His blood went into the ground to satisfy the curse granted to Adam’s descendants when Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:17 World English Bible (WEB)
17 To Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to your wife’s voice,
    and have eaten from the tree,
    about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’
    the ground is cursed for your sake.
You will eat from it with much labor all the days of your life
.

Of course, this is not split personality, but rather, it is something that Jesus being God in the flesh, wants us to know. He wants us to follow His example and He spoke to Himself as God the Father so we can learn. He has done this earlier and one example of how He does this is seen in the following Bible verse.

John 11:42 World English Bible (WEB)
42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude standing around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”

The Method to Find Peace in a World of Stress

In conclusion, Jesus did fulfill His will and endure the crucifixion for our sakes. With such tremendous power at His grasp, He believed it was better to let hell destroy Him for our restoration.

If you are stressing out, remember that Jesus stressed out, too. And if you want peace, just follow His model, the method to deal with stress. Trust in God’s will, ask Him for the bigger picture and He’ll make things work out for your good. He always makes things work out for our good because He loves us, why else would He suffer so much for us?

Romans 12:2 World English Bible (WEB)
Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Renew your mind according to the Word of God. Let His love speak to you and trust Him.

Philippians 4:7 World English Bible (WEB)
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Don’t try to understand the peace of God, but just trust God. You are now in the New Covenant with God and unlike the Old Testament, when you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, He promises to forgive you, save you, and to grant you His peace, so you only need to receive His peace.

Therefore, if you feel stressed out, follow Jesus’ method to deal with stress by asking God to make things work out according to His will, and He will deal with your stress through the peace of His Holy Spirit. He will eventually make all things in your life, whether good or bad, to work out for your good. So you’ll one day see your current stressful situation as a memory and as a testimony of God’s goodness.

The King Who Overcame Anxiety!

There are many types of anxiety. This post will be tackling the topic of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Basically, GAD is a disorder that causes people to worry abnormally and frequently throughout their life.

Now, what does the Bible say about anxiety in general?

Matthew 6:27-30 World English Bible (WEB)
2
“Which of you by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan? 28 Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, 29 yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?

The general topic of this bible verse is anxiety. This is when Jesus tells the people that you should not worry about anything because God is in control.

He says that He will provide. If you are worried about anything, just lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Doesn’t Jesus say in verse 30, that if He put so much effort into the design of flowers, then how much more, will He care for you!

No Longer in Bondage

Romans 8:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Paul, influenced by the Holy Spirit, wrote this passage straight from Heaven so that you can truly understand the solution to General Anxiety Disorder. He says we have not received the spirit of bondage to fear. But, what is bondage to fear?

Bondage to fear is when someone is always scared of what’s happening next or what has already happened. It can be seen as constant anxiety, which perfectly matches GAD’s description. So, God tells us through this passage, that if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, He will put in you, His Spirit of adoption.

It means that as soon as you believe in Him, He considers you His own child. When you were young, your parents would tell you not to be worried. They would always take care of everything to the best of their ability. I mean, I’ve never seen a child worry about paying the bills or providing food on the table in a functional family.

In the same way, Holy Spirit tells you in this scripture that you have not received a spirit of bondage to fear, but the Spirit of adoption from God, meaning that He see you through the lens of love, as His dear, beloved child, just rely on Him.

God’s Primary Calling to You

Therefore, God calls you to believe in Him and to place your trust in Jesus Christ because He loves you; He wants to do something great in your life, He wants you to be set free from all anxiety as He calls the whole world to Him!

John 3:16 World English Bible (WEB)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Moreover, Jesus leaves you with His peace which is not dependant on your situation but on your relationship with Jesus.

John 14:27 World English Bible (WEB)
27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

Before Jesus’ crucifixion, He made a promise that He would give us peace. So, accept His promise, He put His Spirit in you and there is nothing that should worry you if the Almighty God is on your side.

You may be saying, “But, Andre, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness, it is beyond my control!”

Yet, my response remains the same because it’s supported by scripture, Jesus made that promise of peace for everyone; it is not supposed to be under your control, you just need to surrender it to Jesus. He did not say that His promise of peace is reserved only for healthy Christians, His promise is for everyone and anyone so as long as you decide to trust Him.

Philippians 4:7 World English Bible (WEB)
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

His peace transcends human comprehension; if you suffer from GAD, just ask God for that peace which He promised, GAD should have no place in your life.

You do not need to be anxious about the future, your situation or anything for that matter, but you should remind yourself that Jesus promised you peace. There may be challenges here and there but Jesus will turn your challenges into testimonies.

Therefore, accept His love and enjoy His perfect, wonderful peace.

Where did mental illnesses come from according to the Bible? How is God justified from allowing such miseries to exist?

Now, where did depression even come from? Does the Bible mention anything about it? The Bible says that when God first made humans, they were perfectly healthy, both mentally and physically because they were created in God’s very own image and likeness.

Genesis 1:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

In God’s image, humanity was assured mental peace and emotional satisfaction! There wasn’t a tint of suffering that could haunt a soul! But, when God warned the first humans not to eat of a certain tree that offered both the knowledge of good and evil lest they invite death; Adam and Eve, the first humans disobeyed His instruction.

They obeyed a talking serpent’s temptation. Now, this serpent did not represent a literal snake which just so happened to have a magical ability to talk, but this strange figure represented an external evil that sought to harm God’s beloved children.

And the serpent made God to be a liar in front of Adam and Eve, he called God’s warning a lie. This being was not just a snake, he was primarily a liar.

Genesis 3:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

So, when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they no longer reflected God, but reflected the image of this lying serpent. They became like the one they obeyed. God could no longer recognize them! And when God first asked Adam what had happened, Adam’s response gave evidence to a corrupt nature.

Genesis 3:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

When God asked Adam if he disobeyed Him, instead of humbly saying sorry to God, Adam blamed Him for making Eve as she was the one who encouraged Adam to eat of the forbidden tree.

This means that through that act of disobedience, Adam invited imperfection to the human nature. His mistake corrupted the human nature and thus, it became now possible for even mental illnesses to latch onto Adam’s descendants.

Yet, at the end of it all, God covered their nakedness with the skins of an animal. Blood had to be shed for God to cover them. This pointed to how one day God will provide, by shedding the blood of an innocent being who would bring restoration to what we lost, that innocent being is Jesus Christ, the God who sacrificed Himself for you.

Genesis 3:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

What does the Bible say about dealing with mental illness and does it provide a solution?

Back in the days of when the Holy Spirit was working in people to write the Bible, there was no such thing as categorized mental illnesses. People barely knew anything of such matters. Yet, the Holy Spirit still dealt with such topics by offering transformation because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

In 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV), Paul asks the Corinthians church, “Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” …

“But we have the mind of Christ.”

And that is what my blog is about! If we had the mind of Christ, the mind of Jesus, would depression have any room in our lives? Does the mind of God hold any vacant area for mental illness to rent a space in?

Of course not! God is perfect and He wants to share His mental peace with us. He wants us to be satisfied and at peace with our minds so we can live in joy because we’re His children! In fact, we should be confident of this as God wants your soul to prosper, and when our soul prospers, we can prosper in everything else!

3 John 1:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

We would call it absurd for a father or mother to wish that their children suffer emotionally or physically. Why then, would God want His children to suffer in any aspect whatsoever! That is the whole point of the cross.

Jesus suffered so that we not suffer! He was denied freedom so that we may inherit freedom.

2 Corinthians 5:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So, God is bigger than mental illness and if we have His mind, we can live victoriously.