Is God Ever Ashamed of My Depression?

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Is God ever ashamed of my depression?

To speak of the Lord Jesus being “ashamed” of you is to suggest that there might be something you are doing that is displeasing or embarrassing to God, or that you are not living up to God’s standard by intentional choice. Clinically speaking, depression comes about not so much by our choices, but by factors such as our genetics. Depression sometimes runs in families. Biochemistry, personality, and environmental factors also may contribute to depression. These are all things we do not choose.

The Bible gives us an example of a depressed individual. The writer of Psalm 88 begins the psalm confessing, “Day and night I cry out to you” (v. 1), and he ends the psalm saying, “Darkness is my closest friend” (v. 18). Throughout the psalm, he declares that he is “overwhelmed with troubles” (v. 3), “without strength” (v. 4), his “eyes are dim with grief” (v. 9), and he has “terrors” and “despair” (v. 15). Yet we can’t say that God disapproves of the state of the psalmist. Instead, the Lord had the words composed into a song and placed into the book of Psalms by the collaborative efforts of the Sons of Korah and Heman the Ezrahite, songwriters and leaders of music in ancient Israel (1 Chron. 25:1–6; Pss. 42, 44–49, 84–85).

When Israel sang this psalm in worship, they expressed the feelings of depression. The Lord brought these words for us as part of the inspired Word of God—as part of His speaking to us.

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Also: MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MA in Counseling Psychology @ MTS-Chicago.

Anticipating Avengers: Endgame with an Analysis of Avengers: Infinity War

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0002b Endgame Poster

I am looking forward to Avengers: Endgame with excitement. I am eager to see how the decade-long Avengers’ series comes to a close, including how the Avengers will defeat Thanos, return those killed by him, and exalt the heroics of Captain Marvel. I want to see how the Hulk redeems himself, if James Rhodes (War Machine) will regain the use of his legs, and how Wakanda will factor into the victory of the Avengers.

However, I am not looking forward to what I anticipate to be another movie explicitly directed against Christian belief and practice. That is, if the previous movie scoffs at Thanos’ election doctrine and practice, and the defeat of Thanos is the key to avenging the earth and the entire universe, then the Avengers will have to dispose of Thanos and his form of “mercy.” In short, the Avengers will have to dispose of “god.” In fact, I anticipate they will have to kill him.

It is sad that the writers of the Avengers’ series misunderstand the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the love communicated by his salvation, and the richness of his mercy. God the Son partakes in human flesh because we lack innate righteousness and need his righteousness in order to enjoy God, not because we enjoy starving on an overpopulated planet.

I have attached my brief analysis of Avengers: Infinity War, offering my thoughts about the movie’s critique of the doctrine of election. The analysis helps explain why I anticipate further denigration of the Christian faith in this movie — a denigration far worse than the belittling of elect pilots and drivers being raptured out of cars and helicopters.

0002 Avengers Infinity War Analysis

#endgame

 

Election and Grace All Over Scripture

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After preaching through Heb. 2:10-18 this past Sunday, a friend from our congregation said encouragingly, “You manage to see election in every passage.” In the message, I mentioned that “the offspring of Abraham” did not refer to ethnic Jewish believers only, but to those who are Abraham’s offspring by faith. The blessings in this passage come to the offspring of Abraham uniquely.

I replied to my friend by saying, “That’s because election is everywhere in Scripture. It is important to see election because election is about the grace of God. If we do not embrace election, we embrace doing salvation by our own work.” My friend agreed enthusiastically. 

I am grateful to Pastor Gerald Hiestand for providing me opportunities to stand in his stead at Calvary Memorial Church. I am grateful for a people who respond to the word in meekness.

2 Chronicles in March Edition of Today in the Word

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3jMb0K3BQDuTfYT+2QMDMAExperiencing teaching and preaching through 2 Chronicles as a series is not common for many believers. I polled one of my classes of 240 students from all over the US and the world and not one of them had sat under a sermon series through 2 Chronicles. Yet some of the richest stories breathed out by God’s mouth are found therein–stories equally as important as the rest of Scripture for us to live out the whole counsel of God.

Kindly, Today in the Word invited me to contribute to their May 2019 devotional readings for 2 Chronicles. I tried to center the readings around the unifying subject for each passage. I am grateful for opportunities like this that come by being part of the team and family at Moody Bible Institute.

You can read a digital copy of the issue at the link above.

Standing Firm: The Doctrinal Commitment of the Moody Bible Institute

9780802419101I am excited to see my colleagues’ publication of, Standing Firm: The Doctrinal Commitment of the Moody Bible Institute (Moody Publishers, 2019). I hope that readers will find that at Moody we still align ourselves with orthodox truth. Contrary to rumors published this past spring, we have not made any sort of doctrinal slide. All of our professors fully embrace the inerrancy of the Scriptures of the OT and NT and live out the truth of the gospel contained therein.

Standing Firm also is a good text for personal or group study of the truths Christians believe from Scripture. It is a good, easy-to-read work for firming or reaffirming your understanding of Christian doctrine.

Pre-order your copy today from Moody Publishers or Amazon (Kindle).

The Gospel Coalition Ephesians Study

TGC EphesiansI am grateful to my friends at The Gospel Coalition and Crossway for using my Ephesians study guide for their 12-week study through the book. Both ministries have a vision that is inclusive of all peoples, for which I am thankful.

Ephesians is an incredible book revealing much about the deep mystery of God’s plan for Redemptive History. I am glad many will be able to take advantage of the study guide through TGC.

Where Are All the Brothers @ 10 Years: Coffee and Cream Podcast

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The Coffee and Cream podcast invited me to discuss the significance of Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men’s Questions About the Church (Crossway, 2008), ten years after its publication, to the current evangelical discussions on racial reconciliation in the church and society. You can find the podcast here. We talk about Marvel and DC movies too. Thank you, Coffee and Cream, for your kind invitation.