Common Cause of All Our Problems and the Way Out – Purity 682
Purity 682 03/18/2022 Purity 682 Podcast
Today’s photo of a blue sky over a beach and a group of palm trees with a view of the Caribbean Sea comes to us from a friend who recently traveled to beautiful Puerto Rico for a short vacation.
Well, It’s Friday and at the end of the workday we can all pack our bags for a short vacation to that perennial paradise known as “the weekend”. The next two days may not promise palm trees for all of us but Sunday is the first day of Spring and it is my prayer that the transition from one season to the next is a relatively easy one and that the winter of 2021-2022 peacefully fades into the past without any resurgences.
I myself am currently on vacation but decided to use this “time off” to expand my horizons by being trained as a Psychiatric Tech for the Mobile Crisis Team in my local community. And even though I decided to continue my training by picking up a shift tomorrow I am very thankful that it is Friday because I will be reunited with my wife at our countryside home this evening.
One thing that my short time in the Mobile Crisis Assessment Team has taught me is that there are a lot of hurting people out there and that harsh reality makes me extremely grateful for the peace I have in my personal life, in my marriage, and in my family relationships.
I would like to say that the dysfunction, depression, and depravity I have been witness to in my limited time on the Mobile Crisis Team are foreign concepts to me but the pain and problems I am seeing in our local community have more than once reminded me of various situations and shadows of my past. We have faced suicidal adults, suicidal children, people locked in the chains of addiction, and people who just don’t treat each other very well.
My heart has been moved by compassion more than once because I could see shadows of myself, my children, and my family in some of these situations. As different as these particular people’s situations are from what I went through, our experiences are the same. Where they are, is where I used to be. The root of the myriad of all the problems I have seen this week and the root of my problems of the past is that we either didn’t know the Lord, didn’t know that He could help us, and we certainly didn’t follow Him.
As much as we would like to pass the buck and blame those “problem people” in our lives to be the root cause to all our unhappiness, and repeat the sentiments of Jean Paul Satre who famously said that Hell is other People, the truth is that we also have to look at the man in the mirror and see where we have contributed to our pain by being selfish and separating ourselves from the life the Lord has for us.
The common factor that I have seen amongst all the problems I have witnessed is that “these people don’t know God”. They have made themselves or other people to be the center of their universe and are learning the pain that comes from seeking happiness from the things or people of this world rather than seeking the Lord’s presence, strength and guidance in their lives.
I don’t blame them. I used to have the same problems and was thankfully shown the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and learned how that it was only through surrendering to the Lord’s love and wisdom that I could be delivered from the problems of my past.
But the good news is that God pours out His love on all creation and even when people don’t want to acknowledge Him they can still see the goodness that He has provided and we can use the things and people that He has created to give people a measure of peace.
The hurting people that we have encountered this week just wanted to know that they are cared for. They wanted to be heard and understood. So whatever the situation, the Mobile Crisis Team shows up and listens to what these people in crisis have to say and try to assure them that they are not alone in their pain and suffering and that there are people who care about them who are willing to help them find a way to peace.
The team repeatedly has been successful in leading people back to that truth, and the realization of that truth ends the crisis as people are reassured that there are people that will help them and there is hope that they don’t have to remain in the painful situations that they are in.
Unfortunately, the people that we have encountered don’t know that there is a greater hope and help available to them that they are not utilizing: the hope and help that comes from a covenant relationship with God.
Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is just the entry point of the Lord’s hope and helpf for them. Our reconciled relationship with God that comes through faith in Jesus resolves the issue of death by giving us eternal life. We need not fear death because Christ has conquered it and has gone before us to prepare a place for us in eternity.
Jesus also demonstrated the life of peace and joy that is possible when we seek the Lord’s presence in prayer and follow His wisdom for living.
By forsaking what is evil for what is good, we walk in the light of God’s goodness. When we turn from our sin to His righteousness, the negative consequences of sin are nullified. When we walk in the Spirit, by living according to God’s ways, we reap a harvest of the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control.
When we simply love God and love people, above trying to meet our selfish needs circumstantially, we learn that our needs of love, acceptance, significance, and security are all met through Him and through loving others like He first loved us.
So as we go into the weekend, let’s relax but let’s never tire of doing what is good and let’s never give up in sharing the love of God with a world full of people who have foolishly chosen to worship themselves and are suffering the consequences of not following the wisdom of the Creator for His creation.
The message of “your doing it wrong” might not be received but when we offer to listen to someone and help them to see the light of what is good, and the One who has created it all, there is hope that they will see the error of their selfish ways and will choose to exchange their dysfunction for a life that “works” according the wisdom of the One who loves them and made the world for them.
So keep walking and talking with God. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. People living in dysfunction are separated from the Lord and don’t know that. If we are patient and to listen to them and show them we care, we can offer them the Truth, Give them the Hope for Life, and Show them The Way Out.
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Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
2 Timothy 2:10 (NLT2)
10 So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
Today’s Bible verse encourages us to endure anything to share the new life that people can have through Jesus Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul has famously shared a long list of the things he suffered in his efforts to share the truth of the gospel.
Paul suffered significantly in His evangelical journeys. So was it worth it?
Yes! As today’s verse tells us, Paul confesses that He would endure anything to bring salvation to others and to give glory to Christ Jesus in the process.
So we should compassionately endure and listen to what people have to say and try to help them understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fact that a life surrendered to God is one that is defined by love, peace and joy.
People need to know that the answers to all their problems have been solved in Jesus and we should be patient and endure to try to adequately explain to them how the Lord loves them and is calling them to a better life here on earth and a life with Him forever in eternity.
The greatest promise of God is that He will never leave us or fore sake us and when we endure long enough to help someone understand that, we can rejoice with them as they realize that they have been chosen by God, who loves them, to be saved and to experience the glory of Christ Jesus in their lives here on earth and forevermore.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
C. What Are Basic Characteristics of Binge Eating?
While overeating is certainly a component of bingeing, everyone who overeats on a regular basis does not necessarily binge on food, just as everyone who abuses alcohol does not binge on alcohol. Being human, we all engage in sinful behavior. But being uniquely made, each of us may take our own separate twists and turns when engaging in sinful activity, whether it is bingeing while overeating or overeating by engaging in night eating. The Bible says that not only have we all sinned but we can all change because we have an all-powerful Lord, who loves us and by whom we have been …
“… fearfully and wonderfully made.…”
Ask yourself these quantifying questions if you think you may be binge eating:
• Do you consume large amounts of food in secret?
• Do you eat and eat and eat until you make yourself sick?
• Do you feel that you are totally out of control when you are eating?
• Do you eat in an attempt to escape from problems or to comfort yourself?
• Do you eat to satisfy an emotional need or to feel better about yourself but end up feeling even worst?
• Do you feel disgusted with your behavior or ashamed of yourself after eating?
• Do you despise yourself for not being able to control your eating?
• Do you live with feelings of deep disgust and depression?
• Do you reject yourself and expect others to reject you?
• Do you feel totally unable to stop eating even though you earnestly want to stop?
• Do you spend around two hours binge eating, or do you binge “graze” throughout the day?
• Do you often eat even when you are not hungry, and do you eat long after you are full?
• Do you sometimes stuff food into your mouth so fast that you barely even taste what you are eating?
Unfortunately, those who binge fail to turn their focus from food as a temporal refuge to the One who is an eternal refuge.…
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
D. What Elements Characterize Emotional Overeating?
The most prominent physical characteristic of a compulsive overeater is easily identifiable—obesity. The terms “compulsive overeating” and “binge eating” are often used interchangeably; they refer to the same ailment and identical patterns of behavior. Eating large quantities of food, often in secret, is symptomatic of compulsive overeating, but some binge eaters engage in an additional harmful habit—purging food. Bulimics may appear to be healthy, when in fact they ingest huge amounts of food and then rid themselves of it.
Compulsive overeaters often use food for comfort to cope with the pressures of life and may allow lengthy intervals of time to pass between episodes of eating massive amounts of food. Those struggling with food should heed the call of Scripture.…
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
When eating becomes the primary means of easing emotions, soothing stress, and putting off problems, it has become an unhealthy and uncontrollable food addiction. Those who seek to use food to meet needs designed by God to be met in relationship with Him, would greatly benefit from making the following heart cry of the psalmist their very own.…
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.… I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”
(Psalm 63:1, 4–5)
Some simple signs of emotional binge eating or overeating include eating food to …
• Avoid dealing with seemingly insurmountable problems
• Calm anxiety and soothe frayed nerves
• Cope with daily concerns and lessen life’s stressors
• Lighten mood and lift spirits in order to feel good
• Relax and feel rewarded
• Satisfy a relational or emotional, real or perceived, emptiness in life
Sadly, emotional eaters eat to feed their emotional emptiness rather than their physical emptiness. The problem, of course, is that emotional eating can never satisfy emotional hunger because food is matter and was created by God to satisfy physical hunger only.…
• Food contains no emotional component, so it can never be food for the soul—the mind, the emotions, and the will.
• Emotional needs can be fully met only in relationships that have an emotional component.
• Eating may be comforting for a brief moment, but when reality sets in, the illusion goes and is replaced by remorse, regret, and self-loathing.
• Rather than solving problems, compulsive, emotional overeating leads to problems of its own—including weight gain and obesity—which then serve to reinforce compulsive eating.
• The worse they feel about themselves and their appearance, the more binge eaters use food to cope.
• Emotional eating becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling worse instead, and then turning back to food for comfort and relief.
All the while, what emotional eaters need to do is turn to the Lord, who created them, who alone can satisfy their emotional emptiness and set their spirits free.…
“Devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.… You [God] open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”
(1 Chronicles 22:19; Psalm 145:16)
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 9–11.