It Is Time for You to Meet the Greatest Friend of All Time (Gospel Light Minute X #391)

This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #391 titled, “It Is Time for You to Meet the Greatest Friend of All Time” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.

Joseph Scriven wrote:

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.
O, what peace we often forfeit
O, what needless pain we bear—
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

The man who wrote this nineteenth-century hymn was familiar with grief and loneliness. Scriven was engaged twice, and both times his bride-to-be died before the wedding. He fought depression all his life. It was after one bout with depression that he wrote the words to this song.

He could write those words because he had discovered the reality of friendship with Jesus Christ. Jesus understands our feelings because He lived on earth as a man. Jesus knows what it is like to be lonely. He suffered the pain of rejection and cruelty, and he felt hunger and thirst. The Bible describes Him as “a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”.

Yet Jesus did more than just sympathize with our troubles. The Bible says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”, and that “the wages of sin is death”. But God transferred our sin to Jesus Christ, His sinless Son, to make us right with God. Continue reading “It Is Time for You to Meet the Greatest Friend of All Time (Gospel Light Minute X #391)”

If No One Else Cares for You, God Does (Gospel Light Minute X #359)

This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #359 titled, “If No One Else Cares for You, God Does.” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.

Some time ago someone placed this ad in a Kansas newspaper:

“I will listen to you talk for 30 minutes without comment for $5.00. “

Sounds like a joke, doesn’t it? But the person was serious. Did anybody call? You bet. It wasn’t long before this individual was receiving ten to twenty calls a day. The piercing pain of loneliness was so sharp that some were willing to try anything for a half hour of companionship.  Continue reading “If No One Else Cares for You, God Does (Gospel Light Minute X #359)”

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 5 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #45)


TEXT: Romans 8:37-39

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 5 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #45)

We began this mini-series on how Christians can handle despair and depression by highlighting the number of people — Christian and non-Christian — who have sadly taken their lives after a struggle with depression or some kind of mental illness. We would be remiss if we did not tackle the subject of suicide itself as a part of this series. It is a topic that most Christians generally avoid because it is such a sensitive issue — especially for the family and friends of those who have taken their own lives. Perhaps even sadder are the tragic stories of those who kill others before killing themselves. Continue reading “Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 5 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #45)”

Songs in the Night

sitn

PART 1


PART 2


TEXT: Psalm 77:1-6

1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Continue reading “Songs in the Night”

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 4 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #44)

Pilgrim's Progress
Pilgrim’s Progress

TEXT: Psalm 77

1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?

8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.

17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.

18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.

19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 4 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #44)

So far, in this series on handling despair and depression, we have discussed two things that will help us as Christians. (1) Crying out to God in prayer, (2) Changing the way we think by remembering and focusing on past blessings rather than current difficulties. These are two steps that would have been useful to the pilgrims, Christian and Hopeful, as they sat in the dungeon of Giant Despair. Instead, they let doubt and disbelief cloud their minds — even to the point where they considered the Giant’s advice that they should commit suicide in order to be delivered from their imprisonment.

John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote once that even he was not immune from feelings of despondency. He said the devil would come to him and tell him, “You have no part nor lot in this Jesus, you have but put him away from you, you have said in your heart, ‘Let him go if he will.’ Now, therefore, you are severed from him; you have severed yourself from him. Behold, then, his goodness, but yourself shall be no partaker of it.” The devil would try to discourage John Bunyan by telling him that he was cut off from God.

In his commentary on Pilgrim’s Progress, Dr. Barry Horner states: “For the pilgrims [in the dungeon], there appears not to be the slightest glimmer of a hope. Nor do they at this stage even think to look to He who is their only hope… The terror of this scene is not the confining circumstances so much as the prisoners’ belief that they are beyond the reach of grace. They believe that God has deserted them.”

Perhaps you have felt the sting of being deserted by people whom you thought would have your back. But have you ever struggled with the feeling of being deserted by God Almighty? Our Lord did. On the cross, He suffered through the agony of being separated from His Father as He bore the sins of the world. But He suffered that agony in order to make it possible for us not to ever face being separated from God. Continue reading “Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 4 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #44)”

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #43)

Pilgrim's Progress
Pilgrim’s Progress

PART A


PART B


TEXT: Psalm 77

1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?

8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.

17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.

18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.

19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #43)

In our last two messages, we have been dealing with a situation that many people, including many Christians, have faced and are facing — how to handle depression and feelings of despair and discouragement. This struggle is not foreign even to the most celebrated of God’s servants. Some of the giants of both the Old and New Testaments struggled with such feelings. To use a Biblical phrase, this condition is “common to man.”

But, what do you do when you are struggling with despair and depression? Last week, we began looking at some solutions to this problem from Psalm 77. This psalm was written by Asaph or one of his associates, and we learned from his example that the first thing we ought to do is cry out to God in prayer. The psalmist admits the struggles that he is facing, he expresses his feelings to God, and he asks God for answers.

Now, let’s look at verses 4-6 of this passage and see how we can take the next step to overcoming depression and despair, and that step is: changing the way we think. The psalmist writes, “Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.”
Continue reading “Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #43)”

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #42)

Pilgrim's Progress
Pilgrim’s Progress

PART A


PART B


TEXT: Psalm 77:1-12

1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?

8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #42)

In our first message in this mini-series, we shed some light on the issue of despair and depression in the life of the Christian. Numerous stories of depression which has led to suicide even among Christians and Christian pastors have been in the news lately. In the Bible, there are also numerous examples of God’s servants struggling from depression and even wishing to die — people such as Moses, Job, Elijah, David, Jonah, and others.

The experience of depression is common to the Christian life. We read about it in Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan. The two pilgrims, Christian and Hopeful, had turned out of the straight and narrow way, got caught in a rainstorm, and then were captured by Giant Despair and thrown in his dungeon. The giant beat the pilgrims savagely and told them that he would not let them go. He even suggested that the only way they would escape would be by killing themselves. Bunyan tells us that as Christian and Hopeful languished in prison, Christian said to his companion, “The life that we now live is miserable. For my part, I do not know whether it is best for us to live as we are, or to die at our own hand. My soul chooses strangling rather than life, and the grave appears more desirable than this dungeon. Shall we accept the Giant’s advice?”

Have you ever pondered such a decision? Have you ever been in such a situation? Well, we are not just going to discuss this as a problem, but we are going to talk about the solution from the Word of God. How does the Christian handle depression? Some have resorted to drugs; others have resorted to drunkenness; some withdraw from society and interaction with others; and most tragic of all are those who decide to take their own life. Continue reading “Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #42)”

Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 1 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #41)

Pilgrim's Progress
Pilgrim’s Progress

PART A


PART B


TEXT: Psalm 77:1-12

1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?

8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Continue reading “Christians in Despair and Depression, Part 1 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #41)”

The Power of the Resurrection and the Depressed and Discouraged Believer

Powerful Life Lessons from the Aftermath of the Resurrection #3

resurrection

PART A


PART B


TEXT: Luke 24:13-34

According to the World Health Organization, over 350 million people around the world suffer from some form of depression. Long-term depression can lead to serious health problems. And, at its worse, depression can lead to suicide which is the cause of 1 million deaths each year. In recent months, the church has been forced to take a look at how it deals with depression. This is due in part to suicide being committed by pastors and children of pastors, as well as the seemingly consistent stream of reports which state that people who have carried out mass shootings, other criminal activity, including crashing a plane into a mountainside with 149 other people on board, suffer from some kind of depression or psychological illness.

So, depression is a real issue, and in our passage today, we find two depressed and discouraged individuals walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. One of these individuals is named Cleopas. Some have identified him as the husband of the “other Mary” who was at the cross as Jesus was being crucified. We do not know who his traveling companion is, but some have suggested that it is his wife. These two were on their way home from the Passover feast in Jerusalem which took place at the same time as Jesus’ crucifixion. Luke tells us that they were traveling “that same day.” This is referring to Sunday, the first Easter, after Mary, Mary Magdalene, Joanna and “other women” had gone to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus and found that the tomb was empty. The text indicates that Cleopas and his companion were with the disciples and others when the women came to tell them the good news, however, they, like the disciples, did not believe the report of the women. They are depressed, discouraged worried, and anxious about what has happened. As they are traveling, Jesus himself appears and begins walking with them, however, the Bible tells us that they do not recognize him. “Their eyes were holden that they should not know him” — indicating that their inability to recognize Jesus was divinely orchestrated.

How does this experience speak to the depressed and discouraged travelers as well as the depressed and discouraged people of today?

The Armor God Supplies for the Christian, Part 7 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #21)

Pilgrim's Progress
Pilgrim’s Progress

TEXT: Ephesians 6:10-18

So far, in this series, we have looked at three pieces of the armor which God has supplied:

1. The belt of truth — we must understand that our belief in the truth of God’s Word is the foundation to any successful spiritual warfare.

2. The breastplate of righteousness — we must understand that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and we must determine to live in obedience to God if we are to be victorious in spiritual warfare.

3. The shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of peace — we must understand that part of our job as Christians is to faithfully carry the message of the Gospel wherever we go.

Today, we are going to look at the fourth piece of armor — the shield of faith. The Bible says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

Now, the Roman shield, which was what Paul was using as a model, was a very large, slightly curved rectangular shield featuring at its center a large metal knob (called a boss). The shield was an impressive tool of defense. Some of these shields were three and a half feet tall and almost three feet wide, and soldiers were afforded a great deal of protection from enemies.

One of the famous tactics of the Roman infantry is called the tortoise formation in which the soldiers advanced against their enemy as a single, tight, compact unit. The soldiers on the outside of this unit would hold their shields so that the edges were touching the shields of the soldiers to their right and left. The soldiers in the middle of this unit would hold their shields above their head, again with the edges touching the shields of those around them. One of the benefits of this formation is that it protected the soldiers from the arrows of their enemies.

The Bible tells us that our shield of faith is meant to deflect the flaming darts (or arrows) of the wicked one. First of all, what is faith, and how is it meant to be used as a shield? The Bible’s definition of faith states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” At its very core, faith is a strong, unyielding belief in God Almighty and His only begotton Son Jesus Christ even though we can’t see them. However, this faith is not belief based on nothing. Rather, this belief is based on the solid foundation of God’s Word. It is our firm belief in the Word of God which deflects the flaming arrows of the wicked one.

The second question we must ask is what are the fiery darts which the enemy shoots at us? These fiery darts are meant to tear at our faith, our belief, and our confidence in the Word of God. The devil knows that if he can get us to stop believing the Word of God and start acting on our feelings or our own human ideas, he can eventually defeat us.

The fiery darts of the wicked one take on several forms.

1. The devil will shoot the fiery dart of doubt at us. He will tell us that God will not really do what He says He will do. How do we respond? We respond by raising our shield of faith and using the word of God to extinguish the devil’s lie because the Bible says in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie…”

2. The devil will shoot the fiery dart of discouragement at us. He will tell us that our present situation will never get better. How do we respond? We respond by raising our shield of faith and using the word of God to extinguish the devil’s lie because the Bible says in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

3. The devil will shoot the fiery dart of delay at us. He will try to get us to stop trusting God because something that we wanted to happen yesterday still has not happened yet. How do we respond? We respond by raising our shield of faith and using the word of God to extinguish the devil’s lie because the Bible says in Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.”

4. The devil will shoot the fiery dart of difficulty at us. He will place people and circumstances as obstacles in our path to try to get us to stumble and eventually give up on whatever it is God has called us to do. How do we respond? We respond by raising our shield of faith and using the word of God to extinguish the devil’s lie because the Bible says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

5. The devil will shoot the fiery dart of depression at us. He will try to steal our joy, our contentment, and our happiness from us. How do we respond? We respond by raising our shield of faith and using the word of God to extinguish the devil’s lies because Jesus Christ said in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Although the shield is a defensive weapon, raising the shield is something we must actively do each time the fiery darts of the devil come flying at us. Rick Warren said putting on the shield of faith is “trusting God, no matter what you see, hear, or feel about the world around you. You need the certainty of God when you face the uncertainty of Satan’s fiery darts.”

The devil will never stop throwing his fiery darts at us. That is why we must never take off this all-important piece of armor. We must spend time in the word of God so that we will know what God says about the various difficulties we will face along our Christian journey. When we face those difficulties, we can raise the shield of faith to deflect the arrows and extinguish the fiery darts that the devil throws our way.

During the second World War, a town in England was bombed by the Germans one moonlit night. When workers were clearing away the debris, they found on top of a heap of rubbish a sailor’s prayer book, open at the Twenty-seventh Psalm, with the thirteenth verse marked. That verse reads: “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” The incident was widely commented upon in Great Britain, for it seemed to many that the verse noted in the open prayer book found amid the ruins of that town was the secret of Britain’s magnificent endurance during the worst days of her trial. The victory was won, not just by battleships and tanks and rifles and armed men, but by faith in God and by faith that they would be victorious in the war. Unless the Britons had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in their land, unless they had believed that the future included the survival of their country, they may very well have fainted and given up hope that they would be victorious.

When we believe God’s promises, when we put our trust in Him by holding the shield of faith aloft as we go into battle, we will not faint, and we will eventually be victorious.