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September 2019

 
 

paSTOR`S PAGE

September 2019

 September 8

 

 

Josiah was the sixteenth of the twenty kings of the North Kingdom. He became king at the age of eight and he ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He ruled between the years 640-609 AD and was one of the last kings of Judah, followed only by Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah.
King Josiah was the only person mentioned in the Bible whose birth was prophesied three hundred years before he was born (1 Kings 13:2). From the point of view of holy influence in the land, Josiah is in third place, after Moses and David.
I. JOSIAH’S AWAKENING
His father, Amon, was killed at twenty-four years of age, after two years of reign. He was an evil and idolatrous king, and his spiritual and moral example was a negative one for Josiah. His grandfather, Manasseh, had the longest reign of all the kings in the Hebrew monarchy. When Josiah was sixteen years old, he began to seek the God of his forefather, David (2 Chronicles 34:3). What is interesting is the fact that he did not begin to seek the god of his biological father, Amon, or his biological grandfather, Manasseh, but rather the God of his forefather David, who was 19 generations before him in genealogy. In Judah’s monarchy, David was
an exceptional king, “a man after God’s own heart”. The fact that Josiah began to seek God at the delicate age of sixteen demonstrates that he was not satisfied with the example of his father Amon, and his grandfather Manasseh. He sought and found a reference in the vast genealogy of the kings of Judah and chose the most prominent one, David.
II. JOSIAH’S REFORMATION
Awakening without reform is a cheap emotion. The term awakening refers to an awakening of the mind from the depths of sin and carelessness. The term reform defines an action initiated by the mind of a man who is now awake. When Josiah awoke, he took action in the direction of God’s Holy Book and the House of the Lord. For Josiah, the Book and the house of the Lord identifies with God, while his predecessors sought God in idolatry, in fortunetellers and in
a sinful life. Although he was king, Josiah acted modestly, when he summoned the leaders of the people, consulting with them. The reform in the House of the Lord rose to local and then national proportions.
III. JOSIAH’S COVENANT
After listening to the words from the Book of the Lord, Josiah committed himself to following God and fulfilling his laws and divine commandments. Following in the example of the king, the entire nation made a covenant with God. A faithful man is enough to awaken a nation.

         

 September 22


Depression is the most common and acute psychological problem, affecting approximately 120 million people in the world. In the US, 10% of people suffer from depression and women are 3-4 times more likely to suffer than men.
CAN CHRISTIANS BE AFFECTED BY DEPRESSION?
When we read the Psalms, Job, Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes… we observe with assurance that sometimes even believers may have an unstable emotional state, sentiments of unworthiness, hopelessness and guilt.
1. Job wanted to die, asking himself why he was even born
2. Hannah was filled with bitterness because she did not have children.
3. Hezekiah experienced fear when he was deathly ill.
4. Jonah “argued with God” and wished to die, discontent with God’s agenda
5. Jeremiah was filled with bitterness, “my eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my hear is poured out on the ground” (Lamentations 2:11)
6. Elijah wished to die, victimizing himself and comparing himself with his parents (1 Kings 19:1-18)
7. The Savior Jesus Christ experienced moments of incredibly intense emotion during the Passion Week and in the Garden of Gethsemane.
8. The reformer Martin Luther and Charles Spurgeon experienced such emotional states.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF DEPRESSION?
Although neuroscientists do not know what the exact causes of depression are, they have observed several factors that may generate it:
1. Biochemical factors. Abnormal levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
2. Genetic factors. Tendencies of depression may be inherited like any other disease.
3. Personality. There are certain characteristics of personality that favor the appearance of depression: a) people with a declining sense of self-worth, such as melancholics: b) people with a generally pessimistic attitude; c) people who live in a constant elevated state of stress.
4. Environmental factors. Continued exposure to violence, negligence, abuse or poverty raises the risk of the appearance of symptoms of depression.
5. Circumstantial factors: Excess of stress, guilt and isolation; pain, emotional trauma, illness and neurological problems; family problems, financial problems, conflicts, abuse, loss of a loved one.
HOW IS DEPRESSION MANIFESTED?
1. Grief, helplessness and pessimism, apathy, fatigue and anxiety (Psalm 32)
2. Irreversibility, despair, isolation, blaming others (Psalm 38)
3. Guilt, worthlessness, insomnia, too much sleep (Psalm 51)
4. Increase or loss of appetite, loss of productivity; lack of interest and pleasure in various hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed (1 Kings 19)
5. Difficulties with concentration, memory, decision making
6. Persistent physical symptoms not responding to treatment: headache, digestive disorders, chronic pain (Ps. 38)
7. Contemplating death, thoughts of suicide (1 Kings 19)
Depression is a mental and emotional tunnel in which the light no longer sees itself. (to be continued)

 September 29


(continued) Depression occupies the second spot on the list of most common medical issues, surpassed only by hypertension (high blood pressure). It is estimated that at least one in ten patients seen by a doctor suffers from depression. It can cause issues in normal physiological processes – eating, sleeping, physical activity, concentration and the ability to carry out various tasks. If not treated, it can lead to loss of productivity, functional decline and increased mortality. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, depression and other mental health illnesses are the leading cause of the reduction in work time around the world.
How do personality disorders manifest themselves?
1. Instability when it comes to personal opinions of self-worth
2. Contradictory thoughts – “black and white thinking”
3. Periods of extremely intense emotions
4. Intense feelings of emptiness and a desolate soul
5. Desperate efforts to avoid abandonment
6. Self-harm and/or suicide
How should we deal with depression?
1. Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
2. Changing thinking, avoiding the victim role
3. Denial of sinful behavior that causes guilt
4. Focus attention on thoughts rather than feelings
5. Prepare an action plan in times of crisis
6. Emphasize prayer and trust in Jesus Christ who provides healing
7. Forgiveness, cultivation of thoughts of peace and joy
8. Taking responsibility for depression – blaming others is not helpful. Even when others are guilty, depression is not caused by the wrong that has been done, but rather by the reaction to the wrong.
9. Initiation, preservation, and promotion of hope.
10. Seeking and accepting professional help when depression has contextual causes (superimposed on circumstantial ones)
11. Cultivation of a balanced lifestyle. Elimination of stress-inducing factors, balancing rest, food, hydration, relaxation, fellowship with God, relationships with family and friends.
Approximately 5% of the people who end up speaking to a psychiatrist represent those who actually suffer from congenital diseases or disorders of the brain; about 75% represents those who simply have problems in their lives; and the remaining 20% represents those who need careful examination in order to objectively draw conclusions.
Oftentimes there are people who do not know or do not understand the phenomenon of these conditions and in ignorance, they make statements that may cause hurt, confusion, and amplification of suffering. They suggest that depression is the result of demonic attacks – while this can sometimes be true, the stereotyping of this reality is a serious mistake. (To be continued…)