Tag Archives: Resurrection

The Day Our Battles Were Won

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

sky sunset person silhouette
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Resurrection Sunday, is the day on which Christianity hinges. Well, not actually the day, but rather the Lord, who rose from the dead on that day 2000 years ago.

Jesus had been betrayed, arrested, beaten, crucified, and buried on Friday.  Early on Sunday morning, some women disciples went to the tomb only to discover he was no longer there!

One in particular, Mary of Magdala, met the resurrected Jesus. At first she mistook the Savior of the world for a gardener. When Jesus called her by name, she knew.

He sent her to tell the 12 main disciples. Mary of Magdala was the first evangelist in history.

Think on that for a moment. What we know of Mary the Magdalene is that Jesus cast seven demons out of her. She was not someone our modern churches might first think of when choosing a representative. However, Jesus did.

To be clear, despite some famous secularized books, movies, and nonsense guesses, Jesus had no girlfriend.  Mary the Magdalene was one of thousands of people Jesus healed in his ministry. Many believed in him. Many walked with him on his travels. Many more did not.

Jesus lived a sinless life. How? He was God’s only birth-son. He was filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he became an embryo. In a mystery we cannot understand, Jesus was fully God and fully man.

When sinless Jesus died on the cross, he took on his body, mind, and spirit the sins of everyone who would ever live who would trust him as their Savior and spiritual king. He carried the cumulative guilt with which we pummel ourselves and others. He felt the deep darkness of our shame By that, he defeated the father of lies, the accuser. 

Once we sincerely ask Jesus to be our Savior and ask forgiveness for our sin, the devil (yes, Satan is real),  tries to heap all that back on us. As the chief of liars and a skilled accuser,  if he can bury us under guilt and shame we will never reach the potential Jesus created in us.

When Jesus rose to life again, he wiped out our powerlessness against the devil’s strategies. He defeated death itself, and set us free to place our hope in eternal life.

No wonder Mary of Magdala wept when she saw him alive again. We can, if we will, drop the guilt and shame of our past and move forward as children of the King.  This is not to say that a believer’s life will be easy. 

The 12 disciples reacted to Mary’s report with doubt. They had to look for themselves to see if what she claimed was real. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe and yet do not see.”

You do not have to run and search for proof of anything.  Faith is not sight.  Jesus will reveal himself to you if you choose to take him at his word.

Today is the day Jesus won all our battles.

Today’s Helpful Word  

Hebrews 2:14-18

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

 We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham.  Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters,  so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

 

**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

 

 

If You Are Suicidal, Read This Now

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

Suicidal thoughts lie.

Where’s the lie?

Chances are, if you are suicidal, you already feel that your heart has died. I’m talking about that vibrancy of soul you used to know and now wonder if it was all a joke.  Laughter sinks in your belly like a stone.  Numbness barely allows for breathing. You wonder every minute why you try.

Those emotions are real, and make sense considering what you’ve experienced.

You may believe there is no love for you, either because you question your value or are convinced people are always untrue. Maybe both.  Hurt or betrayal sting like a slow burn.  Perhaps you feel angry and deserving of the pain simultaneously.

Your suffering is real, and deserves attention. There is no need to deny your wounds. You are not alone. 

So, if the lie is not in how you feel, where is it?

The lie is in your beliefs

The lie is this: nothing can ever change; I am trapped; my future is only terrifying, only lonely, or guaranteed to overflow with losses. In other words,  you believe you are helpless and your situation, hopeless. 

I know your heart has died.  I’m saying you do not need a grave – you need resurrection.

Frankly, where you are is deep. The climb out takes time and effort. It is not impossible,  it is difficult.  Dead hearts do come alive!

You may be thinking, “Why do I care if my heart beats? My life doesn’t matter anymore, if it ever did.”

That’s what dead hearts tell us to believe. Yours won’t tell you how deeply you are loved, wanted, and needed. That’s depression’s deception. That’s part of the lie. 

The truth

You were made by God on purpose.  He has a hope and a future planned for you, and is an expert at resurrections! Your value has not reduced because of the dirt in your life. In the hands of the One who loves you, you are a priceless diamond.

Haven’t you always wanted someone to love you unendingly, someone who knows you so intimately that you hold no secrets,  someone who is with you, guides you, and listens with both ears? That is who he is. He is God the Father. 

When I was overwhelmed and wanted to die, he gave one dose of strength at a time. It can take a while to resurrect. Yet he calls to dead hearts, “Come alive!”

Here’s a simple prayer you can repeat: Holy God, help me. I do not know what you can do with this mess, but I’ll step back from suicide. I have nothing to give you; I’ve barely the energy for tears. I am trusting you sent your Son Jesus for me, so help me understand. Please make me whole. 

Today’s Helpful Word

From Psalm 23 

“The Lord… restores my soul”

 

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

*pic of cross and heart by NURBO; dead heart by KIMOLOS, both of rgbstock.com

It’s Easter Week, and I Fell Into a Rabbit Hole…

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

It’s Easter Week, and I fell into a rabbit hole.

It’s a family trait.

My mom was a seamstress. One evening we attended a gathering at her alma mater. She had made both our dresses. As we went in to the building, we made a silly secret pact to keep score – who would receive the most compliments on mom’s work.

Her gown won, and we giggled on our return to the car. Holding her head high in mock haughtiness, she proclaimed, “I am Queen Esther!”,  and promptly fell, inelegantly, on her rear end.

The cause of this sudden loss of royal stature was a hole in the pavement.  We could barely speak or move we were laughing so hard. The proverb, “Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18) came to mind, and strength failed us again. 

So for me to fall in a rabbit hole is not all that odd. Years ago I sprained my ankle by doing that, only to step into the same hole a few weeks later, re-injuring the same ankle. Since I hadn’t learned my lesson the first time, I was doomed to repeat history.

This is typical of Easter weekend. Sure enough, as follower of Jesus, I responded to a woman’s small talk about Easter eggs and baskets as if it were the sum of the holiday. It was habit, because for years that is how we celebrated at my house. I fell into that same chocolate bunny routine as easily as face-planting beside a rabbit hole.

Here’s the problem though. Last night I watched the movie, “The Case For Christ,” the story of atheist investigative reporter Lee Stroebel’s conversion to Christianity following months of trying to disprove its premise. Try as he might, he could not refute the vast amount of evidence that Jesus actually died on a cross and resurrected.*

One of the many experts Stroebel consulted stated that if there was no resurrection of Christ, the Christian faith is a waste of time. However, if it did happen, it is the most important factor in life. Why?

Jesus claimed to be God’s Son, the only birth-son of the Heavenly Father. His death was to restore a sinful humanity to relationship with the One True God. HIs resurrection was to end the power of death. If he failed, we have no eternal hope. If his act was real, we have every hope.

If his act was real, our lives are not meaningless. We are not accidents. The wanted or unwanted messages of the world do not touch us. Jesus died for us, and that love is as unconditional as it gets.

If he died on the cross and resurrected, believers have no reason to fear death. The loss of saved loved ones who died is not permanent. Our focus is not on striving to survive at all costs, but rather to make life count.  We have reason to get out of bed each morning.

Despite strong emotions or mental illness, we have a Savior who walks us through. God is not waiting to squash us as soon as we are weak, rather he is waiting to embrace us when we run to him for help. People fail sometimes to love us well. God’s love never fails and he never breaks promises he made to us in the Bible.

The cross and resurrection are why we celebrate Easter. It is the most important holiday for believers world-wide. I don’t want to fall in a rabbit hole of pink ribbons and toys. I want to be lifted up in the arms of Jesus, our eternal hope and unfailing love.

Today’s Helpful Word

1 Corinthians 15

And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless… And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.  But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.”  -St. Paul who did not believe and converted 

********
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*Stroebel’s original theory challenged the number and reliability of original manuscripts (over 5000, some written within 30 years of the incident), and whether Jesus died and resurrected. One by one, historical facts and evidence outweighed secular presumptions. See the book, The Case for Christ for more details.