A refuge in the days of trouble
BY PASTOR DENNIS GELLERMAN
BY PASTOR DENNIS GELLERMAN
Mildred Bible Chapel
Terrorism. Chaos. Fear. Change. No hope. No peace. No rest.
America is undergoing a fundamental transformation. This transformation is causing life to become so stressful that millions are being driven to the point of illness, depression and self-destruction.
Consider the following trends. Suicide has surpassed traffic accidents as the leading cause of death in America. In the world’s greatest military, more U.S. soldiers died last year by suicide than in combat.
One-third of this nation’s employees suffer chronic debilitating stress. Half of all 18- to 33-year-olds experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder.
New research concludes that this stress renders people susceptible to serious illness. The biggest killer of all, heart disease, which causes one in four deaths in this country, is also known to have a huge stress component.
SSRI antidepressants, mood-altering psychiatric drugs and other psycho stimulants are distributed to both adults and children at an alarming rate, according to the CDC.
Sixty million alcoholics, 22 million using illegal drugs, all in order to help them cope with the stress and difficulties of life.
What on earth is going on? Why have not our scientific and medical and technological innovations solved the problems of this stress-filled existence? Why has not the dramatic increase of knowledge and its availability via the Internet brought more happiness and rest to our lives?
Could the Bible describe the days in which we live and provide clues as to why the stress seems to be building? See if any of the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy, a young pastor, sounds familiar.
1 Timothy 3. But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Any number of these can induce stress. These problems all emanate from the last part — lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
Now this may sound simplistic to many, but here’s an idea targeting the problem. Mankind has rebelled against its Creator, thereby incurring the due penalty. There is only one road back to Him. It is the “Road to Calvary.”
In the Lord Jesus we can find forgiveness, cleansing, healing, safety, refuge, peace and eternal life. May the words of Psalm 18:2 minister to your heart today:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold.