This is a testimony of God's mercies and goodness to me in my endeavour to understand and manage bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness (a medical condition that can be treated) and other challenges in my life, by God's grace. Thank God that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! (Romans 8:37)
The last few days have been very difficult for me due to physical tiredness, mental stress, etc etc. Thank God for His love and comfort through His Words. Thank God too for sending many encouragements through my blogging friends, my Pastor and church friends.
As I visit my blogging friends' blogs, my heart goes out to many of them who are struggling with physical infirmities, mental stress and discouragements. Some experience rapid cycling in their bipolar and cycle in and out of depression. It is difficult to go through severe or prolonged depression, and when it is clinical or biological in nature it is even more difficult to get out of it. Thank God that we can pray and encourage one another as we wait upon God for deliverance and restoration, while we seek to use whatever means that are available and helpful to us in our particular situations.
This morning, I listen to "Because He Lives" again. This song brings great encouragement to me whenever I listen to it. I am reminded afresh that "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow". We serve a risen Saviour! And He can still any storm in my life, for His lovingkindness and mercies is from everlasting to everlasting. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (Romans 8:37).
"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!"
Christianity Today has a touching account of how this Song was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither during a very difficult time in their life.
Inspired by the miracle of their son's birth, "Because He Lives" poured out of the Gaithers' grateful hearts. The song clearly affirms the hope believers have in Christ. We can face tomorrow, with all its uncertainty, as we realize that God holds the future and makes life worth living.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby, And feel the pride and joy he gives; But greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days before He Lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!
I love to watch this video "Because He Lives" By The Gaither Trio 1972 posted by hoover4000 in which Gloria explained the circumstances surrounding the time they wrote the words to "because He lives" and then the gaither trio sings it in 1972.
My friend and brother-in-Christ, John, did this lovely video on Psalm 130.
Psalm 130 is one of my favourite Psalms in the Bible. In my struggles with severe depression, this Psalm has brought much comfort to me. From the depths of my dark and painful experiences, I learn to cry unto our Lord for in Him alone I can find salvation and deliverance.
During severe depression, I am particularly conscious of my sins and failures towards God and other people. Though depression is not always due to sin or spiritual reasons, it does have a detrimental effect on one's spiritual life. During depression, what I find most unbearable was my inability to enjoy prayers, reading of the Bible, public worship and fellowship. I do love and enjoy these things when I am well. But during depression, I can't feel any joy in these things at all. This is because depression caused the brain not to function properly and not able to send the right messages, and a person is not able to think or feel rightly. So I can't feel any joy or enjoy anything generally. But I mistakenly thought it is because I was not right with God. Yet no matter how much I prayed and seek the Lord's forgiveness, I could not get better. Usually it is after 3 to 6 months, or sometimes longer that I began to feel better.
And when others implied that I was depressed either because I have sinned or lack of faith in God, it doesn't help at all but only aggravate my condition as I began to experience a lot of guilt when there is no basis for it. Only God knows how I cried unto Him and look to Him during those dark days. I used to sing this Psalm and find comfort that with God there is forgiveness of sins and whether my depression is due to sin or not, God will forgive and deliver me. If God were to mark my sins, I cannot stand before Him. But God is merciful and I hope in Him. Thank God for His mercies and faithfulness in sustaining and delivering me time and again. I am encouraged by His love, mercies and faithfulness.
Thank God that no matter what depths we may fall into in this life, we can cry unto Him and find comfort and deliverance in Him. And when He allows us to go through prolonged period of darkness, pains and sufferings, we can still have the assurance of His love and presence with us.
I thank God that He brought me to know more of Himself and His love for me through my darkest and most painful battle with depression. God is very real to me because of His presence with me and the way I see Him working in my life and delivering me time and again. I pray that I may be able to love Him and serve Him all the days of my life, and I will be able to love others with His love so that they too can know the saving grace of God and know His love and care.
And for us who have placed our trust and hope in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, we can have the assurance of God's love for us and His presence with us through all the changing scenes of life. Even when we cannot feel God's presence with us because of our depression numbing our brain and feelings, we can still have the calm assurance that God loves us and is with us, and He will deliver us. And one day, when our tasks here are completed, we can have the joy of entering into our eternal rest and we shall enjoy His love and fellowship forever more, never to be hindered by sins or sicknesses any more. What a blessed hope!
Psalm 130 Scottish Metrical Psalm
1 Lord, from the depths to thee I cried. 2 My voice, Lord, do thou hear: Unto my supplication's voice give an attentive ear.
3 Lord, who shall stand, if thou, O Lord, should'st mark iniquity? 4 But yet with thee forgiveness is, that feared thou mayest be.
5 I wait for God, my soul doth wait, my hope is in his word. 6 More than they that for morning watch, my soul waits for the Lord;
I say, more than they that do watch the morning light to see. 7 Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with him mercies be;
And plenteous redemption is ever found with him. 8 And from all his iniquities he Isr'el shall redeem.
The wordings are also very encouraging and the tune is nice. The .mp3 song sung by various people plus a very beautiful sound track can be downloaded from Sally DeFord Music website.
Because He Lives
Because he lives; because he rose in mighty triumph from the grave I put my trust in him, and seek to follow him in faith Because he lives
Because he lives, I shall find strength to stand against the tempter's power He is my refuge and defense in every troubled hour Because he lives
Chorus: Because he lives I can bear whatever burden may be mine I am encircled in the arms of love divine because he lives Because he lives he will banish every shadow of my pain Every sorrow will be swallowed up in him For in his hand is healing for the weary soul This I know because he lives
Because he lives my heart is filled with peace amid a world of fear And through the blindness of the night, in him I rest secure Because he lives
Because he lives there is no task so great that I cannot endure I bear no heartache that his tender mercy cannot cure Because he lives
Because he lives I will fear no darkness Because he lives I will walk in light Because he lives I will praise his kindness Because he lives hope shines ever bright Because he lives I will seek his righteousness Because he lives I'll follow where he leads Because he lives I shall conquer even death And I shall live because he lives!
Because he lives I will rejoice in Christ and glorify his name And with the willing voice of gratitude proclaim: My Savior lives! Because he lives he will banish every shadow of my pain Every sorrow will be swallowed up in him For in his hand is healing for the weary soul This I know because he lives
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Matthew 28 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Romans 8 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 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.
Romans 5 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.