Saturday, July 12, 2008

What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

In the daily challenges of life with various ups and downs, it is sometimes very easy to get discouraged.

In my battle with bipolar disorder and especially in coping with clinical depression, sometimes I do feel discouraged.

But I am daily reminded of God's love, goodness and mercies. Though in this life we have various difficulties, God is with us and He will work all things for His glory and our good as we put our trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a great comfort to me.

As I strive to live for the Lord daily, I am reminded that my life is not just for enjoyment of things in this life but rather to do the will of God. During clinical depression, I lost all ability to enjoy everything. But I am reminded that this is a medical condition that can be treated.

While I await God's restoration through medication, exercise, and other means, I realized that God will give me strength to live meaningfully for Him as I seek to do His will.

I read this very encouraging devotional recently which reminded me afresh of what really matters in this life.
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"-- Mark 8:36.
SIMON PETER had been urging our Lord to spare Himself the suffering to which He had referred, but He answered that this could not be for Himself, or for any other who would follow in His footsteps. Proceeding from His own deep experience, He went on to show that in the same measure every one must deny his own choice and will and pleasure, in order that he may reach the highest life for himself and others.

It is not necessary for any man to make a cross; it is our part simply to take up that which God has laid down for us. The cross is no exceptional piece of asceticism, but it is the constant refusal to gratify our self-life; the perpetual dying to pride and self-indulgence, in order to follow Christ in His redemptive mission for the salvation of men. And it is in proportion as men live like this that they realize the deepest and truest and highest meaning of life. When we live only to save ourselves, to build warm nests, to avoid every discomfort and annoyance, to make money entirely for our own use and enjoyment, to invent schemes for our own pleasure, we become the most discontented and miserable of mankind. How many there are who have given themselves up to a life of selfishness and pleasure-seeking, only to find their capacity for joy has shrivelled, and their lives plunged into gloom and despair. They have lost their souls!

If a fire is raging, and a millionaire saves his palace from destruction, but in so doing loses his own life, does it pay? And are there not many who are building for themselves palaces of wealth and pleasure, but are losing the power of enjoyment because they are destroying all the finest sensibilities of their nature. Our Lord asks, what does it profit to gain the whole world, and forfeit one's own soul?

But not to adopt the policy of the world is certain to bring upon us dislike and hatred, before which many have been daunted; and yet to refuse Christ's policy of life, and to be ashamed of acknowledging that we are His followers, will mean ultimately our rejection. For how can our Lord use us in any great schemes of the future, if we have failed Him in the limited sphere of our human life?

O God, we have been disappointed because the cisterns that we have hewn out for ourselves have not given the water needed to quench our thirst. Fountain of Living Water, of Thee may we drink! Bread of Life, of Thee may we eat! Light of Life, shine upon our hearts, that we may walk in Thy light. AMEN.

(Taken from Meyer's Devotional, 9 July)

Thank God for His presence and His Words which encourage and strengthen me daily. I pray that God may enable me to live for Him each day as He strengthens me.

Thanks for stopping by, dear friends! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements.

Your friendship, prayers, encouragements and concerns have been used by God to be a great encouragement to me!

The thought of God and you encourages my heart daily. May God bless each of you in His special ways.

Hope you have a blessed weekends! Take care.


Anonymous said...

Life can get discouraging and hard to bear but we must never lose hope or a desire to live for Christ. No one said this life would be easy but no one told us how hard it could be! We will keep pressing onward though!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancie :)

It's always encouraging to read your posts. Thank you so much :)

God bless, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words. I've seen your picture popped up on different blogs and it's nice to "officially" meet you. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nancie. This is such a great verse and one that I need to think of often. My hope is in God.. not in the world.

Blessing to you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Hello friend! Stop by when you have a chance. I've left you an award... = )

Anonymous said...

So good to see you posting, Nancie. So good of you to remind us of God's goodness. You are truly your Father's child - strong and courageous, in spite of what you're having to deal with.
Take care - marja

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so encouraging. You seem to have Paul's attitude regarding suffering.

II Corinthians 4:8-10 "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies."

Philippians 4:11 "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."

You really exemplify these verses through your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancie.....wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. You are in my prayers always.

God bless :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your visits, prayers and encouragements, my dear friends. Your friendship and prayers are so precious to me. I thank God for all of you. God bless!