20: 50 Days of 3:16

Here in the middle of the Bible, we find a book that is unlike many others. This book is Lamentations where Jerimiah has written about the desolation of Judah and how he and the people are dealing with this destruction. If you were looking for a book to build you up this may not be the place you need to look. Why then is this book of sorrow left in the bible?

He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.

Lamentations 3:16


I believe this book remained as it is a way to work through grief. Many biblical figures have been upset with how God has dealt with them. How they all move forward from this has been wide and ranged but each one demonstrates the results of the attitude of our hearts. Here in Lamentations, Jerimiah and the people of Israel are experiencing the devastation, they don’t see the whole picture and what the are experiencing is all there is. As the reader, we see what the past, present and future was for the people who were called by God. We know that this moment in their nation’s history had been foretold and expected due to their inability to stay focused on the God who promised to fulfil all their needs.  But at the moment just like our lives we only see what is happening now. Many might diagnose Jeremiah as depressed or have some form of PTSD when he wrote this, and you probably might be correct. Mental illness has been around since the beginning of mankind just how we deal with it is changing.


Jerimiah in writing this as a prophet of God was feeling hurt with all this disaster happening all around. He himself was probably feeling like he had failed the people, other prophets of the past didn’t deal with this Elijah and Elisha, only remembering the miracles and not the trials they experienced. When we look at others and compare ourselves to only their accomplishments and deeds we always will fall shorts.  If I was to compare my writings to that of another famous Christian writer I would be discouraged too. I could ask why my following isn’t as large. Yet I don’t so that God will be lifted up. I believe those who read my words are those who need to be reading them and God will use me to reach a few or reach many. So in Jerimiah’s thinking of his life, God had failed him. Even in 5:20 we see him asking God why He has forgotten them. Jerimiah had forgotten that God is always there.


Do you feel today that God has abandoned you? Maybe you feel that all hope is lost and at this moment in time, you are only looking at the situation you are in. We need to expand our view and look at what God has done in the past, what He is doing now and what He has promised He will do. Living in the moment and focusing on our troubles is what can lead us down a path of depression. Expecting that God will change things up, that He is in control and that He holds the future in His hand will be a game changer in your life. God loves you in the good times and the bad and wants to use those experiences to strengthen you.


Father, someone reading this might be going through one of these hard depressing times in their lives. I pray even as the read this they will see you through the storm. They will reach out to you and see what you have done for them in the past, what you are doing for them and what you have promised them. Holy Spirit surrounds them and empower them to overcome this time of depression, let life surge through their veins and destroy any thoughts that could be destructive. Raise them up to be mighty warriors and lead the charge to reach others who are in the same situations.  Free them so they are able to help free others. Amen

Day 10: 50 Days of Passion

Apathy, malaise and laziness are all symptoms of something much deeper. When you come to realize one of these or any combination have started to creep into your life it becomes time to react to the it. Now we may have bouts of laziness because we are just so busy in life and just need time to unwind, not what I am talking about. Paul had every reason and opportunity to just sulk and do his time in jail. He could have gone deep into depression focusing on the why me. But he didn’t.


I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good. Philippians 1:19


Here in jail Paul was determined to continue on, excited for Christ. He never threw in the towel and give up. He also knew that he could not endure this situation alone.


Our lives are not meant to be lived alone. When we isolate ourselves and close ourselves off from other people it is very easy to become aphetic to the world. The ‘whatev’ attitude can become a theme. We were not meant to live a life where we sign along to ‘Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be.”  Paul knew this and put his joy not in his own strength but understood that his joy came from two sources, the Holy Spirit and those praying for him.


First, he had people praying for him. Why would this give Paul gladness or joy? When you have someone praying for you it tells you that you are important to them, that you are worthy of their time and care enough to petition your needs before God. Paul would have made his situation know to his friends so they knew what to pray for. He didn’t keep everything to himself, he asked for help. If we keep our needs to ourselves and don’t ask for pray or a helping hand how can we expect to deal with life that is overwhelming us?


Second, he acknowledged that the Holy Spirit was there with him. Jesus told us that he would send someone to comfort us. To be comforted we must first be uncomfortable, now I think being in prison would be very uncomfortable. But I believe the Holy Spirit is already with all believers. We were living an uncomfortable life before we met Jesus, on the day we gave our lives to him he sent the Holy Spirit to live with us. Many believers don’t know he is there and don’t take the time to build the relationship that Christ has provided. To have a relationship with God is to have one with all three parts of his being, Father, Son and Spirit. To only communicate with Father and Son is to miss out on the Spirit that is ready willing and able to work wonders in your life.

So, if you are feeling any of these symptoms today and maybe you have continued further down the path into depression, I would suggest the first thing you need to do is pray. Ask God to show you who the Holy Spirit is in your relationship, ask him to reveal Joy in your life. Next tell someone what’s going on, your Pastor, your mentor, your family, a close friend, someone who can begin praying for you. Then with them find someone who can guide you properly, a consoler or Christian therapist, who can work with you to root out what is holding you down.


If you want a renewed passion in life I pray that apathy, malaise and laziness will become things of the past. A passion like the one Paul has in prison will ignite our cities if we will allow the Holy Spirit to move in our lives. We must start praying for one another, lifting up the needs and calling out for the Spirit to move. Passion beings in prayer, revival starts in our heart, our love for Christ must overflow and reach this world.


Father, we need a renewed passion. We pray for those who are feeling depressed, either full borne, or on the road to. Jesus send the Holy Spirit to those people and show them the path they are on so they can ask for help. Let us gather around them, encourage them, love them, show them that they are important. We pray that you will move in their lives and ours. Let you love overflow us so that we can reach those in our communities who don’t know you and need to meet you. Give us a Joy that can’t be explained. Amen

Day 12: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 12: We all at some point need someone to meet us at our low points. Travelling those times alone lead us to depression and anxiety, points where we may feel like giving up on God, our families, friends and maybe even our lives. If we go through these times, then it is safe to assume others do as well. We as believers need to use our low point experiences to help others through their times. You experience may deep and hurts but it may be exactly what’s needed to free someone in need.



Galatians 6:1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgiving restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Have you ever experienced someone admitting their sin, not from you observing their actions, but confessing something to the church as a whole. Something so big that you feel like you could pick up a stone and just start throwing it at them? Well that’s what they used to do in the Old Testament, Lucky for us we don’t do that anymore, but sometimes our words that follow an admittance of such sin is pretty much the same as throwing stones of condemnation

In Galatians 6:1 it says that we are to save our critical comments to ourselves. Critical comments lead to gossip, it is a slippery slope that will lead you down into sin yourself if you are not careful. Those times where a person publicly admits to adultery, fraud, lying, pornography and a multitude of other things, he or she is calling out for help. They realize they made a huge mistake, they may have tried to fix it on their own, have hit rock bottom and are asking Jesus and their family of believers for help. We as believers really have 3 choices here. The one part of the world says to pick up a stone and hit them while they are down. Another says that if you ignore them they will just go away, not my problem to deal with. But as written above God says to Stoop down, reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s Law, “Love one another as I have loved you.” If Christ can forgive and restore in love then why can’t we. Stoop down means getting off your pew, and going right up beside them, reaching out is to go to where they are, offering help wherever they need, sharing their burdens may mean listening to anything they have to share, not just talking but actually listening and praying.

If you don’t have anyone in your life who would Stoop Down, Reach Out, Share your Burdens or show the love of Christ in your life, I pray today that you take some time to ask God to put some Godly accountability partners into your life. We are all going to sin, we will all at some point in our lives need someone to put down the stone and kneel beside us, wrap their arms around us and just love us.

Dear Jesus, Do I have someone in my life that I trust to talk about anything with? If I don’t I ask Father that you will help me find a friend that can stand by my side in the good times and bad. A true friend who is a follower of You, who will never pick up a stone against me. Who will love me and will always be willing to ask me the tough questions. Help me to be the same for them. Jesus thank you for Your forgiveness and that you love me for who I am not who I need to be. AMEN