** Unlocked은 Keys for kids Ministries에서 지원받은 프로그램입니다. 원본으로 듣고 싶으신 분들은 홈페이지 Unlocked.org로 들어가시면 <October 8, 2020>에서 다시 들으실 수 있습니다.**
• READ: EPHESIANS 1:3-14
We see it in social media hashtags and on T-shirts, but what does it mean to be #blessed?
By definition, bless is a verb. It’s an action someone takes to give something to someone else. I could just brag about my awesome family, my best friends, or my new shoes, but saying I’m “blessed” means someone, somehow, has given me these things.
So what do I expect to be true if I’m “blessed” by God? He has all the power in the universe and is the true Owner of it all. As His child in Christ, I’m cared for by Him. Does that mean I’ll have wealth? Health? Loads of amazing friends? Success in my grades and test scores? Early acceptance to my dream school?
In Ephesians 1, Paul tells us we’ve been “blessed,” but that this blessing is a “spiritual” one (verse 3). Our heavenly Father has made it possible for us to be united with Him by faith in Jesus’ work on the cross (verse 7). He’s promised that—no matter what we face in life and no matter what happens in this world—a time will come when “he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ” (verse 10). In the meantime, He’s blessed us with the Holy Spirit (His very own presence living inside of us), sealing the promise that death is not the end—that God’s people will be resurrected just like Jesus was and will live forever with Him (verses 13-14).
Because I’m surrounded by ads promising me all the American-dream #goals, it’s hard to see that what I already have in Jesus surpasses it all. My desire for Jesus to “bless” me with things only causes me to miss out on the best thing: Himself. • Mandy Desilets
• Reread Ephesians 1:3-14. What are some of the blessings and promises found in Christ?
• In Christ, we have a true family and community—the church—centered around Jesus, our true King. How can knowing we have this forever community give us hope when we feel anything but blessed?
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Ephesians 1:3 (NLT)
** Unlocked은 Keys for kids Ministries에서 지원받은 프로그램입니다. 원본으로 듣고 싶으신 분들은 홈페이지 Unlocked.org로 들어가시면 <October 6, 2020>에서 다시 들으실 수 있습니다.**
Can a Christian Be Depressed?
• READ: 1 KINGS 19:1-9
Editor’s Note: Today’s devotion discusses depression and suicide.
Some people think being a Christian means you need to be happy all the time. If someone says they’re depressed, others sometimes think that person’s faith isn’t very strong and they’re doing something wrong. Can a Christian be depressed?
It’s one thing to feel sad or have a bad day once in a while, but it’s completely different to have a long period of dealing with symptoms of depression: such as feelings of sadness, loss of appetite or eating too much, too much sleep or not being able to sleep, loss of interest in things you normally enjoy, or even having thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Other symptoms can include irritability, tiredness, restlessness or agitation, feelings of anger, slowed thinking or moving, feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, trouble thinking or concentrating, and unexplained physical pain or digestive issues.
The truth is, millions of people have been diagnosed with depression and many of them are Christians. A Christian’s faith can help them get through hard times and difficult situations, but sometimes chemical changes occur in a person’s brain and they aren’t able to just think more positively and get out of that mood. They’re clinically depressed, and they need help to get better.
In our Bible passage today, Elijah runs away after Jezebel threatens to kill him. He gets so depressed he prays, “I have had enough, Lord...Take my life” (1 Kings 19:4). It’s not that his faith was weak. After all, he had just come from the showdown with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, proving the power of God to everyone there.
No, his faith was strong, but he was exhausted...and afraid...and depressed. He needed God’s care and reassurance so he could go on.
If you get depressed, don’t beat yourself up because you think you aren’t a good Christian. Instead, reach out for help and give yourself time to heal. Jesus understands, and He’ll hold you through every up and down on the journey to getting healthy again. • Robyn Mulder
• Do you ever get depressed? How is clinical depression different from having a bad day once in a while?
• Who can you talk to about how you’re feeling? (A parent, a teacher, a youth leader, your doctor?)
• If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or feels hopeless, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also talk with someone via web chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
• If your situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911 (or the emergency number for your area) or go to the local hospital emergency room right away.
• If you need someone to talk to but are not in need of immediate help, you can set up an appointment for a one-time complimentary phone consultation with a Christian counselor through the Focus on the Family Counseling Service. In the United States, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) to set up an appointment. In Canada, book your appointment by calling 1-800-661-9800 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) and ask to speak with the care associate.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NIV)