Let God Fight Your Battles

John F. Craghan, author of Psalms for All Seasons says, “fidelity to God means deliverance from any and all forms of distress.  Notice Craghan says, this benefit belongs to those who are in a state of “fidelity.” To be a person of fidelity, means to be faithful and loyal in character.

While many are fainting with fear God has instructed Christians not to be fearful or dismayed. The faithful Christian may proclaim as David did in Psalm 18:6. “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”

The text goes on to say that, after God heard David’s prayers He got in a Cherub, bowed the heavens and came to earth to rescue him. He fought His way through the heavens shooting lightning bolts, dropping hailstones and hot coals of fire upon David’s enemies! David’s human enemies did not see of feel the hail or great balls of hot coals fall upon them but his spiritual enemies saw and felt them. Remember scripture says, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, against rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).

Sometimes we forget our human foes are mere instruments of our spiritual foes. Satan enticed Judas to betray Christ.

Even when we are down on ourselves (Mark 5:5), like being depressed, withdrawing from others, having suicidal thoughts and cutting/ wounding ourselves; Satan is behind it. However, when we humble ourselves and pray about our situation God intervenes and the enemy shakes in fear. When we are faithful to God and resist the devil he will flee.

Yes, when we pray God responds. Can you picture evil spirits fleeing as they are being shot with arrows, lightning bolts and hot coals of fire?

The Treasury of David reminds us that our enemy “The prince of the power of the air is soon dislodged when the cherubic chariot is driven through his dominions; therefore let not the legions of hell cause us dismay. He who is with us is greater than all they that be against us.”

God can deliver you from any form of distress or trouble. Take time to present your troubles to Him for it is He who fights for you!

Feeling Sad & Depressed? Read This!

In Psalm 24 verse 7 David said, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”

This is a simple verse loaded with meaning for those dealing with depression. Commentator Robert Hawker notes the word gate or gates is figuratively used to denote a place, person or people. So in this passage David is encouraging the children of God to lift up their heads-not to be cast down with sadness and depression and the King of Glory will come in.

You must lift up your head, you must shake off sadness, depression, and regret for the King of Glory to come in and change your situation.

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against the church as a member of Christ’s body (Colossians 1:18), you can rejoice because the “gates of hell” the principalities and powers, Satan and his demons will not prevail against you. So lift up your head! Put a smile on your face. Rejoice in the Lord your God.

In the following verse (Psalm 24:8) David says, Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty! The Lord mighty in battle! Yes, you have the Lord of Hosts on your side, the one who is mighty in battle waiting to fight for you but you have to open the door (v7) by lifting up your head in expectant hope instead of being bowed down in bitter defeat.

If you lift up your head that is no more walking around with head your hung down or staying in bed for days because of your problems, and the King of Glory will come in.

So, Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.  Psalm 24:9-10

God will Remove Your Shame

“It came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.”

And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day (Joshua 5:8-9).”

In the above verses we notice a very important principle. The passage says, after they (children of Israel) received the mark of the covenant (circumcision), God rolled away the reproach of Egypt off them.

The word reproach means- the act of finding fault in disgrace, to treat with scorn, or condemn, criticize with an attitude of fault finding with the intention of shaming.

God had delivered the Israelites from Egypt with a mighty hand and promised to take them to a land that flowed with milk and honey. However, 40 years later they were still wandering in the wilderness. How embarrassing! The Egyptians were laughing at them, they had become a joke. Not only could they see them wandering in the desert but some of the Egyptians left Egypt with the Israelites, the bible calls them the mixt multitude.

When God set the Israelites them free from the Egyptians, they were so impressed by the miracles some of them left Egypt with them.

However, when they arrived in the desert and all they had to eat was manna they were not happy and encouraged the Israelites to whine and complain (Numbers 11:4-6).

Perhaps some of the Mixt Multitude, left the Israelites in the wilderness and went back to Egypt and said “Let me tell you about what’s going on with the Israelites and their God.  They don’t have any real food all they have is Manna. It’s some weird stuff that falls from the sky at night and it’s on the ground on top of the dew in the morning.  They can’t have left overs or save any of it for later, they can only take what they can eat or the rest will spoil (except on the Sabbath). They are still walking around in the desert with the same old clothes and shoes they had when they left Egypt.”

Sometimes when we are going through challenging situations and other people know about it and are watching us, we feel embarrassed. And this makes matters worse because we have the outward pressure of unmet needs and the inward pressure of embarrassment and anger because we are worrying about what people are saying and thinking about us, then add the fact that we might get angry with God, because we think if He’s God Almighty why is He letting us go through this.

But on this day God said I have rolled away the reproach of Evil off you. You will no longer have to hang your head in shame. This is the day the promises of Deuteronomy 28 will overtake you.  This day you are the head and not the tail above and not beneath a lender and not a borrower.

If we stick with God long enough we will see things turn around for He said He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Notice in Joshua chapter five, that after they kept the Passover the Manna ceased, it stopped coming down. They reached the promised land and it was time for abundance.

And so it is with us when we receive the mark of the covenant. Jesus our Savior, our Passover lamb, said “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

It is time for us to reach the promised land but we can’t if we have a reproach on our lives. Don’t let people scorn you because you are not where they think you need to be in life. Through Jesus Christ, we will receive the promises of God whether it is healing in our bodies, restored relationships or financial means.

Yes, God will roll the reproach off you of you today. Receive it by faith!

How to Help Your Child Overcome Depression by Cate Russell-Cole

For some of us, the haunting misery of depression is a familiar story. Up until two years ago, I spent the majority of my adolescence and adulthood clinically depressed and suicidal – but undiagnosed. When I look back, I see that my problems with depression started much earlier than adulthood or adolescence.For me, the stage was set early in childhood. I was a solitary child, (not by choice) and didn’t have many friends or adults around, so no one noticed it was a problem, and nothing was done to help me. My parents abused me for being moody and difficult, and told me to “snap out of it, you’ve got nothing to be miserable about.”

As a child I had to deal with the loss of my birth mother, the challenges and differences of my disability, a over-protective and possessive mother, and dysfunction in my adoptive family. By the age of eight I was taken through a battery of tests to find out why I had stomach pains all the time. There was no physical cause, I was a lonely, depressed, hurting child. My family put it down to not fitting in at school, which they expected would happen to a disabled kid, and nothing else was done. Some of my depression was caused by an undetected chemical imbalance in my brain, as some cases of clinical depression have arisen from, but most of my problems with depression were directly related to my inner pain.

Clinical depression isn’t a short term emotional state that lasts a few days or weeks. It goes on endlessly for months and years, dominating your life and sapping your energy. It can’t be overcome because things are looking brighter, or concretely improving. You can’t fix clinical depression by positive thinking. It is a disease, in the same way cancer is. You can’t re-programme yourself out of it, or change your routine and hope it disappears. With the increased pressures our children have on them, plus the onslaught of hopelessness the media brings into our homes, plus our mounting social problems, (all of which our young people are only too aware), not just younger adolescents, but children are now frequently being diagnosed and treated with clinical depression. A study done by the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, found that depressed adolescents had a five fold increased risk of making a suicide attempt than an adolescent who hadn’t experienced long term depression. Logically, if the depression starts in childhood rather than in the teenage years, that risk increases as the problems are exacerbated by the onset of puberty, and it’s additional emotional and social challenges. Parents need to be aware of how their children are really feeling. Willing to look at avenues to getting them professional help, rather than trying to talk them out of their misery, or pretending it will all blow over in a few weeks. That is what my parents did, and it didn’t work, it made me feel guilty, and even more miserable.

The National Institute For Mental Health (U.S.A.) lists the symptoms of depression as:

Persistent sad or “empty” mood

Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness

Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that you once enjoyed

Insomnia, early-morning waking or oversleeping

Appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain

Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”

Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

Restlessness, irritability

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

Excessive crying

Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches,digestive disorders, and chronic pain

In children and teenager’s terms of reference, also consider:

Have they lost pleasure in interests they loved such as sport, video games, band,being with their friends?

Are there more problems at school or at home?

Do they want to be alone more than usual?

Have they started cutting classes, or dropped hobby and/or activity groups?

It’s worth mentioning that this Institute also points out that “Though depression seems to occur generation after generation, in some families it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression.”

If you can see signs of depression in your children or teenagers, or even if its you who is battling with these symptoms yourself, please, don’t judge or try a quick fix. It isn’t anyone’s fault, it is a sickness that does have treatments (not necessarily all drug treatments either), and it needs to be properly identified and treated. Find someone who will understand and knows how to deal with depression in an effective way. Someone in whom you have confidence will stick with you, and be constructive. Don’t stop looking until you find the support you need, and answers that are satisfactory.

My relationship with God and the support of my friends, finally helped me to overcome my depression, plus later I did identify some medication related causes. However, I never could have come out of it all by myself. There are answers, and for each individual, they may be different, but they are out there. I pray you will find the answers to meet your needs.

Visit http://www.cateartios.net/ for more articles by Cate Russell-Cole.

Healing The Wounds of Sexual Abuse

by S.E. Miller

In his book “The Wounded Heart,” Dr. Dan B. Allender says “The sexually abused person is in a war. The enemy is ultimately the Evil One and the path of loyalty to Satan’s vision: rebellion, autonomy, or in other words sin.”

I believe the same may be said of any type of abuse verbal abuse, physical abuse or neglect. Notice Allender said the reason Satan inspires abuse is to get the victim to sin!

Child abuse and neglect are Satan’s favorite weapons.  Why?  I believe Proverbs 15:15 gives us the answer.  It says “All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”

Afflicted means to be depressed in mind and circumstances. Although the child grows up and abuse stops, the victim remains depressed in mind and circumstances, quite often his entire life.

Strong’s Bible Dictionary says “evil” refers to grief, hurt, misery and adversity.  Although abuse stops, the victim will begin to cause his/her own grief, misery and adversity.  His own behavior will cause him/her harm.  Some will use drugs, some will develop eating disorders, some will battle anger or depression.

But there is good news the bible tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. When we learn about Satan’s devices we possess the ability to overcome them through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus was born “to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).  Jesus came to destroy the evil works manifested in child abuse and neglect, verbal abuse, drug abuse, rape, molestation, domestic violence and every other evil work Satan brings against you.

I have seen and verified the truth of Isaiah 54:14 the passage says “no weapon or device formed against you shall prosper.” If you submit your life to Jesus Christ the weapons of abuse will not prosper against you. God can heal your broken and wounded heart.  Rise up in the name of Jesus Christ and begin to live “affliction” free.

Accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior to be healed and delivered from the wounds of your past.

God loves you and has been with you. Even in your darkest hour he was there and will continue to be there. He says to you today “Even to your old age I am he; and even to your gray hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:4)

God will deliver you from affliction. All you have to do is ask.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I pray that you will heal my wounded and broken heart. I believe you died on the cross to deliver me from Satan’s power (Acts 26:18). Please heal me and forgive me as I forgive those who’ve sinned against me. I am willing to accept your sacrifice today in order to receive eternal life and to see the goodness of God in the land of the living! Amen.

Memory Passage: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)

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