Month: July 2019

Pastor's Blog

Fighting Spiritual Despair

The following is from a personal letter written by Martin Luther to a close friend who was struggling with spiritual despair. His advice is practical, biblical, and syncs well with what we’ve been learning from the Psalms.

Excellent Jerome,

You ought to rejoice in this temptation of the devil because it is a certain sign that God is propitious and merciful to you.

You say that the temptation is heavier than you can bear, and that you fear that it will so break and beat you down as to drive you to despair and blasphemy.

I know this wile of the devil. If he cannot break a person with his first attack, he tries by persevering to wear him out and weaken him until the person falls and confesses himself beaten.

Whenever this temptation comes to you, avoid entering upon a disputation with the devil and do not allow yourself to dwell on those deadly thoughts, for to do so is nothing short of yielding to the devil and letting him have his way.

Try as hard as you can to despise those thoughts which are induced by the devil. In this sort of temptation and struggle, contempt is the best and easiest method of winning over the devil.

Laugh your adversary to scorn and ask who it is with whom you are talking.

By all means flee solitude, for the devil watches and lies in wait for you most of all when you are alone. This devil is conquered by mocking and despising him, not by resisting and arguing with him. . . .

When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus:

“I admit that I deserve death and hell.

What of it?

Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation?

By no means.

For I know One who suffered and made a satisfaction in my behalf.

His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Where he is, there I shall be also.”

Yours,

Martin Luther.”

Source: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/martin-luthers-personal-letter-close-friend-struggling-spiritual-despair/
Pastor's Blog

Whose Money Is It, Anyway?

July 1 marks the half-way point in our fiscal year, and hopefully you took a look at the financial update in this week’s bulletin.

As we’ve been discussing financial matters as a church board, a few of us have recently listened to, and appreciated, a sermon series by John MacArthur called “Whose Money Is It, Anyway?”

When was the last time you thought about money—how to get it, how to spend it, how to save it, how to invest it, or how to borrow it? It’s an important subject, and there certainly is a place for saving, for wise planning, and for meeting your needs.

But first you need to know what the Bible says about handling money and God’s plan for giving it.

In Whose Money Is It, Anyway? John MacArthur discusses the purpose of money, how you should and shouldn’t use it, and the why, where, when, and how of giving it. If you’re feeling intimidated, or even guilty, about your financial situation or giving habits, this study can help you get back on track.

The summer would be a perfect time to enjoy a series like this. You can listen while you’re on a road trip, working in the garden, or relaxing in the backyard. Just follow this link:

The Money Question When was the last time you thought about money?how to get it, how to spend it, how to save it, how to invest it, or how to borrow it? It?s an important subject, and there certa…

 

Pastor's Blog

The Heart of Depression

Was the author of Psalms 42-43 depressed? It depends on your definition. Many people today assume that depression is a purely clinical experience, and the only thing that depressed people need is medical help.

In recent years there’s been push-back to this perspective from some top psychiatrists; I shared some of this info in the first sermon in our Psalms series back in April. It’s also important for us to think about this issue from a thoroughly Biblical standpoint.

In an excellent article called “The Heart of Depression,” Biblical counsellor Ed Welch does just that, using the Bible’s wisdom to probe the physical and spiritual roots of depression. Whether or not we’ve struggled with depression ourselves, we all should seek to be able to help those who do, and reading this article would be a great place to start:

 
The causes of spiritual depression depend on how you define it. If spiritual is narrowly defined to mean depression that is caused by sin, the quest for a cause is over. But…