The Peace Of God That Passes All Understanding

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Feb 22, 2003.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    This is going to take some time, but please hear me out.

    In his celebrated passage on "the peace of God that passes all understanding" Paul made some statements that are often overlooked when dealing with the subjects of peace and depression.

    "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatosever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard and seen in me, DO; and the God of peace shall be with you."

    1. Considering that the average Christian fills his mind with the wicked filth on TV and in pop music every single day, and or.....hears the lurid details of every evil deed in the daily newspaper or on the news, and or......listens to the rantings of arrogant and foul mouthed radio talk show hosts........

    ....and the few who decide to turn from these things often tune in to some bogus TV or radio preacher....

    .....what could possibly make us think, in light of the above passage of Scripture, which says that we must meditate on lovely, good, pure, and holy things, that any great number of Christians qualify to receive the peace of God?

    2. How many preachers do you know who have anything like followed the example of Paul's commitment to the cause of Christ?

    How many pastors do you know who boldly call the churches they pastor to excommunicate impenitent sinners from the church?

    How many pastors do you know who issue a categorical anathema against all denominations or persons who don't hold exclusively to the one absolute gospel of Christ as defined by the Bible?

    In other words, how many pastors do you know who qualify to have "the God of peace" be with them as He was with Paul?

    Paul said to "DO" the things he had done if you would expect to have that peace of God.

    3. In II Corinthians 6 Paul said that if we expect to be in fellowship with God we must be separate from infidels and unbelievers. And yet how many Baptist churches do you know which partipate in ecumenical services with Campbellites, Catholics, and modernist Protestant churches?

    All who do such things are out of fellowship with God and therefore unfit to receive His peace.

    4. My point is that having peace with God is not just a matter of asking God for some peace nor even just believing that he is able to give it. It is a matter of DOING the things that God requires of us to receive His peace.

    5. No one can read the Psalms and fail to comprehend that David was often depressed for long periods of time. Nor can anyone fail to comprehend that David attributed His depression to his own sin against God!

    6. No one can read the book of Job and fail to comprehend that Job was depressed. But remember that Job had a streak of pride in him that caused Him to challenge God and in the end Job said,

    "I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes."

    7. I speak as one who has, at times, been as depressed as a person could be - and I can assure you that it was a direct result of my sins and my lack of faith in God that caused me get that way.

    And let me explain what I mean by "lack of faith in God." I DON'T mean that I ever questioned in my mind whether God was trustworthy or that His word was true.

    I mean I have often failed as a pastor to do what I knew needed to be done because I was afraid of the consequences.....and that led to the problem continuing....and that led to more mental and emotional turmoil....which eventually leads to depression.

    Faith in God means a letting go and doing what He requires and letting Him take care of the results.

    8. Obviously, depression has a physical aspect to it - causing all manner of ailments. If people can find some medicine to help with those ailments that all may be well and good.

    The Scripture says to give wine to those who are heavy of heart and David played the harp to help relieve Saul of his depression.

    But treating the symptom is not the same thing as treating the cause and the underlying cause of depression is lack of faith and the resulting disobedience, which must be dealt with if we want to have the "peace of God which passes all understanding."

    9. The Lord knows everything there is to know about depression. As a matter of fact, He is the one who sends depression. As He said in Isaiah,

    "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

    The only solution God gave to the problem is to trust and obey.

    "Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ February 23, 2003, 10:39 AM: Message edited by: Mark Osgatharp ]
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Some very good thoughts, Mark. Appreciate your helping keep focus.

    In my exposition of Philippians, I am preaching two messages on 4:8 in March. Think on these things (in the two categories Paul gave)

    VIRTUOUS THINGS:
    true
    honest/noble
    just/right

    PRAISEWORTHY THINGS:
    pure
    lovely
    good report/worthy
     
  3. Tentmaker

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    I agree, good teaching Mark.
     
  4. Andrey

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    Ditto, or should I have said, "Amen Brother!"

    Jesus is not your Savior if He is not your Lord.

    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  5. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Friends;

    May I please ask a question here, from this topic. Than do you's believe to take medication for depression is wrong. What happens when the depression is caused by past abuse, abuse over most of one's childhood. Granted there are many types of abuse, but am thinking of mental, physical and sexual. Is this than the sin of the victim...does one not than believe totally in Christ?

    Sincerly, Pam
     
  6. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Compassion Flower,

    I don't think taking medication for depression is necessarily wrong. The Bible says to, "give wine to him that is heavy of heart."

    But medication will not cure the underlying cause of depression which is lack of faith in God. It doesn't matter what issues one is depressed over, the fact still remains that the depression comes from trouble in the mind.

    When we fully believe that God has the answer to any problem we have, and when we are willing to implement His answer in our life, we will not be troubled in mind. That is exactly what Paul meant when he said,

    "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  7. rsr

    rsr
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    Mark, do I understand you to be saying that depression never is a disease created by organic causes?
     
  8. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    RSR,

    What I am saying is that depression is always a state of mind brought on by unbelief and the resultant disobedience to God.

    I do not know for certain what means God uses to bring on this affliction. If he does use organic means to effect depression, it still does not change the fact that He did it.

    In the Scripture we find God using all sort of physical means to punish and correct men for their sin. We have one example, at least, where it is explicitly stated that a man's depression was caused by an,

    "evil spirit from the Lord."

    That example was King Saul. When Saul was afflicted with this depression David played the harp for him and it relieved him. The Scripture says,

    "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him."

    I know depression has organic effects on the body, because I have experienced them myself. But in light of the Scriptures I am more inclined to believe that the biological problems are the result of, not the cause of, the depression.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  9. Thankful

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    Mark, Are you saying that God punishes believers with illness, physical and mental?

    Are you saying that all illness is a result of the individual's sin?
     
  10. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Thankful,

    I am NOT saying that all illness is punishment from God. I AM saying it is POSSIBLE that any given illness may be a punishment, as is evidenced by abundant Scriptures.

    Whether as a punishment, as with the Corinthians who perverted the Lord's supper, or as a refinement, as with Job, all illnesses, as with all things, are from the hand of God.

    As for depression, it must always come as a result of disbelief and disobedience, because we have the absolute promise (Philippians 4) that if we trust and thank God for all things and are obedient to His word, our minds will be kept by,

    "the peace of God that passes all understanding."

    Personally, I can't say I've experienced that on any consistent scale. But all that proves is that I haven't trusted and obeyed the Lord as I should.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    FOUR SCRIPTURES TO CONSIDER

    Does sickness often come from a cause/effect relationship with our own actions? Of course.
    Does God send sickness or even death to a BELIEVER because of sin? He can. It is part of His judgment process. (He IS God, right?)
    Does Satan ever send sickness? He is sometimes allowed to. Job would say, "Amen".
    Is all sickness a result of (1) man's sin or (2) God's judgment or (3) Satan's attack?

    No, it may be simply so that man will glorify God.
     
  12. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Mark:

    So than you are saying that one should put their trust totally in God, for that would be the sin not trusting God, than according to the scripture God will give one the peace of God that passes all understanding.

    Trusting God that He will take care of things in one's mind. Will step out in faith on this, and will let you know.

    In His Grace, Pam
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

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    Compassion Flower,

    Just remember, "stepping out on faith" does not simply mean believing God is capable of giving you peace. It means living in obedience to the things commanded in the Scriptures.

    That might mean making some monumental changes in your life. I heartily suggest you do a detailed study of John chapter 14 and you will find what I mean.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  14. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Mark:

    Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The Father has drawn me, Holy Spirit has guided me to Christ. Christ died for all my sins, was buried and resurrected. I prayed to Christ to forgive me of my sins for putting Him to death on the cross, I accepted Christ invitation to live in my heart, and live His life thru me. Have accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. For me to obey Christ is to love Him, because He first loved me. Never do I want to be disobedient to Christ. I may worry, or say things wrong, but Christ lives in me He shall carry His work to completion. Sorry, but what monumental changes are you than talking about in John 14?
     
  15. ByGrace

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    Greetings Saints,

    While some depression may indeed have its roots in willful disobedience and lack of faith. . .there is also a physical reason (caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain) in many instances. To lump everyone who is depressed together, and label them lacking in faith, etc., is a terribly uncompassionate, insensitive, and erroneous assumption to make.

    In His love,
    Grace
     
  16. Lorelei

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    This is a theory, not proven as factual.

    http://www.ctvip.org/web2c.html

    ~Lorelei
     
  17. ByGrace

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    My dear Sister in Christ,

    Depression caused by a thyroid dysfunction is not a theory. Panic attacks caused by an thyroid autoimmune disease is not theory. I've suffered with both. When my thyroid condition was controlled by medications my depression and panic attacks ceased. When my condition flares, as it sometimes does, the symptoms return....also not a theory. When my thyroid medication is adjusted, once again the symptoms cease....Not a theory.

    In His love,
    Grace
     
  18. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    LOreli

    Your site's research is out of date, and probably the comments are taken out of context. I am always skeptical of a site that only presents one side of an argument. Time Magazine ran an artilce in summer 2002, and mentally ill individual's brains were examined postmortem, and there are appreciable physical differences in these organs versus those who do not suffer "psychiatric" disorders.
     
  19. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Mark:

    Want to understand something. You mentioned about being in the company with one's who are sinners, people who one knows for a fact they are sinning. We should not associate with others who sin?

    Now my circumstances, I am married to an unbeliever,a Jehovah Witness, that is not grounds for a divorce. Nor would I consider a divorce.

    1 Cor. 7:13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife...

    So there are many aspects to things you have mentioned, not everything can just be black or white.

    With my personal life, I believe that it is Christ who wants me to remove myself from the medication I am on for depression, it is time.....it has been a help to understand things also from your perspective. This has been in the process of happening for awhile, just needed that little nudge. Things have been worked out to the point of God's Word, forgiveness, healing, ect.

    Thanks for your help, Pam
     
  20. Mark Osgatharp

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    Compassionate Flower,

    By not associating with false religions I don't mean having nothing to do with the people. I mean not doing anything to condone or participate in their false religion.

    If you are married to a JW you should stay married to him and be a faithful wife to him. But you should not in any way participate in his religion. That is what I mean by having fellowship with false religion.

    Mark Osgatharp
     

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