Suicide is no joke. And it’s not just that one legendary figure commits suicide and it’s on the map again. What about the nameless hundreds who go through the same amount of pain and suffering each day, and are so discouraged that they believe taking their lives is the most viable option?
It’s not easy. You can’t just say, “Get over it, it will be okay”. It takes one to know how much pain a person in depression goes through – the mental anguish and agony, the lack of hope.
Being a believer doesn’t make it all okay, and suddenly your whole day is smiles and rainbows. But as someone who has been there, I can tell you, when you have God on your side, you have this incredible amount of hope. It’s easy to get discouraged today, but this hope that God gives is no fantasy that is a wild goose chase. Because when you can’t trust anyone in the world, you can trust God. He doesn’t just promise, He delivers.
- I can guarantee you this, because you need to prepare yourself to open up to somebody here on earth. With God, you DO NOT need to prepare yourself. He wants you just as you are – scars, and all. He promises unconditional love, and that means He overlooks everything you have been through, and He wants you just as you are.
We are messengers sings this song “Point to You”, and he says:
I’m coming as I am
The only way I can
And you know what it’s like. But with God, the way you are – is perfect. He made you that way, after all.
- I can guarantee you this, because you just can’t explain what you’re feeling in its entirety to a person. They just wouldn’t understand unless they go through it themselves. But with God, there’s NOTHING to explain. He knows. He just knows, you don’t have to explain anything. He knows your innermost thoughts, and He’s been there too. At times like this, it gets really hard to pray, and He gets that too. Sometimes your just in His presence in tears, and He knows the meaning of each one, He understands the pain you’re going through. AND, He’s not judging you!
Jeremy Camp’s song “He Knows” always moves me:
How hard your fight has been
How deep the pain within
Wounds that no one else has seen
Hurts too much show
He knows every hurt and every sting,
He has walked the suffering
- I can guarantee you this, because I know it’s unfair and frustrating to speak to someone because deep inside you know they’re judging you. Sure, some people are sworn to secrecy, but can you really trust them? But with God, He DOESN’T judge you. God’s big on second chances and all that, but do you know what? When God forgives you, whatever it is, whatever you confide in Him, it’s buried deep under the ocean floor. Trust me; He’ll never bring that up again!
He’ll help you start anew, and He will NEVER look back. So you need to ask yourself, if God has forgotten it, who are you to bring it up again??
You don’t have to have to clean your act up before approaching God, because in case you didn’t know, He uses Broken Things! (Matthew West):
Now, I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true, You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours.
- I can guarantee this, because the comfort the world gives you is next to nothing. But the comfort that God gives is out of this earth, literally! When God comforts you, you have a peace that passes all understanding! That means, you can’t explain that peace in any human terms. When God comforts You, just remember, The God that made the entire Universe, and all the galaxies, and all of space, has taken the time to care for you – a speck moving on a speck in a speck of a galaxy. Now, that’s something!
He’s asking you to come as you are, and join him, along with all the others, and BE FREE!:
Come to the table
Come join the sinners who have been redeemed
Take your place beside the Savior
Sit down and be set free
Come to the table
There’s no one unwelcome here
So that sin and shame that you brought with you
You can leave it at the door
[Come to the table >> Sidewalk Prophets]
Give God a chance, you won’t regret it. He’ll give you an undying hope that will get you out of a tough time. If this has spoken to you in any way, I would consider you watch the ‘Exit’ movie (Link below). It will help you. Please remember, you are special, made one-of-a-kind, and you are someone worth dying for! You are someone who deserves unconditional love, and God loves you so much! He loves you enough to die for you. There is hope in Him. So, please, Please give Him a chance.
Everyone has tough days. You’ve probably stepped into a vortex of time where everything seems to be going wrong. Work is hell, you can’t seem to find a little bit of peace, maybe even family is falling apart, and your escape from reality just keeps you more socially estranged and keeps you from facing your problems. And you probably tell God that you’re doing the right things but everything you do seems to crash and burn. Why? You’re probably asking:
Where is God out in the darkness?
Cause the voices in my head ain’t talking honest
They’re saying maybe You made us then forgot us
But that ain’t You, that ain’t You
[The Day That I Found God >> Switchfoot]
You trust God too much to give up on Him. And you know better, you can’t deny God’s existence and your relationship with God just because of dark times. Paul from the Bible says: “God comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
And also don’t forget: All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His promise.
So don’t be discouraged! Just keep going about doing the right thing like you usually do. Even if it feels like you’re not getting anything in return, just remember your reward is from God who will give ‘a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over’. J Just remember to put God at the center of everything you do.
So the next time you’re wondering: ‘does it matter at all?’, just remember
“It all matters just as long as you do everything you do
to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do”
[Do Everything >> Steven Curtis Chapman]
Hope this brings a smile to your face 🙂 ]
It’s like Paul says: ‘whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’
And while you’re at it, here’s a beautiful song that will remind you to do it all for the glory of God 🙂
[official video unavailable. Beautiful listen nonetheless ^]
I came across a comedian on YouTube who (in the name of humor) performed a skit on the present-day Christian music scenario. The idea was that Christian music nowadays lacked meaning and was extremely generic, and it was easy to sign into a record if you could make vague references and obvious rhymes. They stressed that the music lacked diversity and the content was always vague. It also took a dig at how the bands and artists merely sought more publicity and marketing, with social media and merchandise. It was a satire obviously, and made for a few laughs.
As much as I love a good laugh, I couldn’t help internally resisting what the video claimed. Jokes and humor aside, I threw my mind back to a few months ago when I was way down under the weather. I was far away from home and struggling with an illness that drained me of all my energy. It was all the strength I could muster to plug in my earphones and get lost in my world of Christian music. I shared a room with five others, but on the inside I was so alone and depressed and terribly homesick. I would struggle back from work and flop on my bed and turn on my music – it was my only link with the part of me that was alive. It was the only source of my hope. In those moments where I was so alone and unwell, those songs I listened gave me strength and renewed my hope and faith in God.
I am surprised that a lot of people agree that the Christian music today has lost meaning and is generic and vague. I don’t know what they listened to but it’s a terrible shame to generalize and draw conclusions from a minority.
When a young girl from High school opened up about her insecurities from society’s labels and began questioning her real purpose, I felt there were so many reassuring words people could offer her, but all I could think of was this song by Mikeschair >> ‘Someone worth dying for’.
You are more than flesh and bone
Can’t you see you’re something beautiful?
Yes, you gotta believe
He wants you to see
That you’re not just some wandering soul
That can’t be seen and can’t be known
You gotta believe, that you
Are someone worth dying for
And frankly, as I thought of that last line I felt I would cry, it was so beautiful. Christ made us so fearfully and wonderfully and He loves us so much, enough to die for us! But she’s not the first person to hear me begin a reassuring answer with: “But there’s this song I heard last week…” I thrived on Christian music. It was something I could be absolutely real about, because it wasn’t fiction or a fairy tale, this is real life.
Now, is that vague or generic?
There are songs that I would listen to, and just know deep in my heart of hearts that the artist surely wrote the song inspired by God. These are the songs that reach out and hit you deep, you just know that it’s God’s voice talking to you. When I was in a period of darkness and depression, stumbling over struggle after struggle, I did question why this would happen to me; I just wanted to get closer, t the next level in my relationship with God. And, that’s when God sent me the song “Strong Enough” (Matthew West)
Maybe, maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
‘Cuz when I’m finally,
Finally at rock bottom,
That’s when I start looking up and reaching out…
Life is tough, and sometimes you go through some nasty trials. It’s easy to get your spirits low, but these songs, inspired by God, the Holy Spirit – these songs just boost and reassure you constantly that God is always looking out for you, that there is always hope, and you need to trust God’s way no matter how dark things look right now.
God’s way may not look all that attractive all the time. You may have been praying over something, maybe an illness, for a long period of time. Sometimes God’s answer is a ‘No’; sometimes He makes us go through the rough, with the promise that He will always be right there with us.
During those times, these songs really help reinforce our trust in God. Like the song says:
It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now?
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty Hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
(Even If >> MercyMe)
These are the songs that really build a firm foundation of trust in God, and help create a sound doctrine toward an unshakeable faith in God.
Going back to the video – it also poked some fun at the big bands like Newsboys and Casting Crowns. It’s not easy to get to the position these bands are in without some serious work. People obviously love the message and the songs these bands offer. I can only highlight that these bands have helped create some revolutionary anthems in a time where people are oblivious or indifferent to faith, and to God.
Songs like ‘God’s Not Dead’, ‘We Believe’ (Newsboys) and ‘Until the Whole World Hears’ and ‘While You Were Sleeping’ underscore some serious truths that people need to hear.
I always look forward to buying Casting Crowns’ albums, mostly because they reinforce the themes of each song with Bible verses. It forces you to whip out your Bible and re-evaluate your life and learn some life-changing promises God makes. Sound Biblical doctrine.
Not to leave out the Worship Leaders, but people like Chris Tomlin have provided strong, leading role models for youth today, with a Heart and passion for Christ. Let’s get real here; you obviously cannot undermine the role of good worship music in a relationship with God! Worship is definitely a lifestyle, and in those intimate moments of fellowship, what better to set the mood than some good worship music? Or else, we would be stuck playing the same songs over and over again to the point of boredom! Who would say No to some Worship music inspired in a heart full of God?
While the video obviously does not offend me, I personally believe that there is no point in criticizing, when you can’t offer something better yourself, right? It just feels right to defend something you feel close to.
[Sorry for the long post, but I hope it reaches out to you 🙂 ]
I was unfortunately diagnosed with a benign chronic illness after multiple, multiple tests. I did not personally mind, but it had inserted its awkward, ugly nose into my life, my academics and general well-being. As I lay down on a stretcher ready to enter a noisy dome for an MRI, I silently previewed the hectic past week. I had missed a whole lot of university hours and having to make up for it felt quite overwhelming. Unlike what most people would expect, I did not question God or show defiance. I did wonder why this had to happen to me, but I generally strung closer to God. For all my symptoms, most near and dear said it was all in my head, as I had all my previous tests return negative. They said that I was probably hiding something that was mentally disturbing and I had to defuse it so that it would relieve me of my illness. So, unbelievably, instead of being relieved that the tests were all negative, I was secretly hoping that one of the tests would show something – anything to explain how I felt, that it wasn’t all in my head. Of course I didn’t care what the others said – they weren’t experiencing the pain, the discomfort, the difficulty that I was facing. But I still had to know why I felt this way.
It had been a long two weeks. Every day was the same; I left early in the morning after a forced breakfast, in spite of the nausea. They said I was ill because I skipped breakfast. Yeah, right; perhaps you’d like a doctor’s degree to go with that piece of advice. Mostly I ended up throwing up that hurried meal. Then I’d be queued to meet the doctor, and those waiting rooms were not entirely pleasant. It just felt so unproductive to waste so many precious minutes in a doctor’s waiting room. And then I would meet the doctor, tell him my symptoms got worse everyday, and he would prescribe yet another test, bewildered as ever. By now I had lost most of my strength, I felt like a walking zombie and surprisingly enough, I still had good spirits.
So, as I was pushed into the MRI chamber, I told God, “This machine might be really noisy, but you know what? My mind is really calm. It’s really silent inside. I don’t care about any of this, Lord, I just want You to talk to me. It’s good enough over here.”
And as I looked into the piercing bright lights, I suddenly recalled a verse I came across about a month ago. It was Psalm 18:1. I had read most of the chapter but it was just the first verse – just one line that struck me then: “I will love You, O LORD, my strength.”
It’s just a small verse, which many would overlook. If you picked up a study Bible, it would have probably left out the explanation for this verse too. Perhaps, if I would have quoted the second verse it would have made more sense to some: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” But in that moment, I felt I could have spoken volumes and volumes on that one small line alone. When I told someone else, they weren’t all to excited about it, they couldn’t understand the depth of such an ordinary verse. Guess it takes one to go through it to understand what it means.
The Psalm was written by David, and if you saw the context, the subtitle to the Psalm reveals that it was written ‘on the day that the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.’
But overlooking the context, at that moment, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the tense that David chose to use. “I WILL love You…” It doesn’t take a grammarian to realize that one would normally use the word ‘I will’ in that context to indicate future tense. David could have just said “I love You, O LORD, my strength.” The fact that he chose to use this tense struck me hard. It was like a choice he was making even when he didn’t have to.
David was essentially saying – God, I will love You. Although it feels hopeless now, and I am a fugitive being chased around the wilderness by the King himself, with no security for my life, I will still love You; Because You alone are my strength. I have been dodging and scuttling about for weeks now, and this little army of men here, they have put their trust in me and I feel responsible for them too. I have to feed them too, even it means I go without a meal. So, Lord, I might be physically exhausted and weak, and on my own, King Saul can squash me like a little bug, but You are my strength. And I will love You because I know that You will get me through this. You called me when I was a nobody chasing sheep through the pastures, and You anointed me; I know You’re not going to leave me here, hanging on for life. You helped me beat Goliath, there is nothing You can’t do. I will love You.
David was thrown into a situation which would have left many questioning God and hurling their fist toward Heaven. David could have argued that he was such an innocent little boy who did nothing wrong, and while he chased sheep, he even spent the time to compose music praising and glorifying the great and mighty creator. He didn’t deserve any of this. But that day, he made a deliberate choice – “ I will love You, O Lord – even when I don’t have to.”
If you look into the second verse once again, you would notice all these different attributes that David bestows on God, but in the first verse, there is a very special quality that calls for emphasis which is recalled in the second verse again. Of all the features of God, David underscores ‘my strength’; Not ‘I will love You, O LORD, my rock’ or ‘I will love You, O LORD, my shield’, but ‘I will love You, O LORD, my strength.’ David realizes that the Lord was always a shield and a rock and a fortress. In the end, God would always save the day. But for David, his rock, fortress, shield and deliverer were all God. But when David called on God as his strength, it was not all God alone, but it was God through him. It was special because it revealed how God used him, and worked through him – David was empowered through God. The other attributes were all God – independent of who David was.
David was constantly pushed through life, belittled, and generally made to feel inferior. When the prophet Samuel visited David’s father Jesse, he asked to see all of his sons to select God’s appointed to be the next king. Even then, David didn’t qualify his father’s attention as king-material. Standing before the giant Goliath, David probably felt like a beetle. When confronted by King Saul, David said that he was merely a dead dog, a flea who was not worth the king of Israel’s attention. David was humble so much so that the thought of having the mighty Yahweh on his side was overwhelming.
Of all the ways he could have begun that psalm, David chooses his words from an overwhelmed heart: “I will love You, O LORD, my strength.” It was not just physical weakness that David was implying but the deep emotional and spiritual weakness as well. In spite of his close escapes and brushes with victory, he admitted that he was weak, and in need of His savior, who was the strongest. He understood that he was nothing without the LORD.
So as I lay there in that bright chamber, I did not have to be strong, I did not have to prove myself to anyone, God was on my side, and in all my weakness and my frustration, the LORD was my strength. And even if everything seemed hopeless and dark now, I would still love the LORD, my strength. And that was all that mattered.
When every step is so hard to take
And all of my hope is fading away
When life is a mountain that I cannot climb
You carry me, Jesus carry me.
You are strength in my weakness
You are the refuge I seek
You are everything in my time of need
You are everything, You are everything I need.
[Everything I need >> Kutless]