The latest issue of Faith alive was distributed at the end of August. The new editorial panel has done much to enhance the content on this youth magazine, and some challenging subjects have been tackled in that particular issue.
In the interesting magazine for youngsters the authors delve into the depths of the human mind as they consider the importance of filling our minds with the things of God, and the dangers of dwelling on those things which are not of God.
We take comfort and inspiration from Bible characters who have battled through times of great hopelessness and despair, learning to lean on God in all circumstances. We consider also the problems of pride, lust, anger and addiction, recognising that faith in God does not make us immune to these mental and emotional battles.
You shall be able to find a few pages containing snapshots of the kinds of issues many of us have to deal with, as we wage warfare against the flesh and seek to serve God with all our heart, soul and – importantly – our mind. Our writers are not experts, and the advice they give is based on their own experience and their understanding of God’s word. Nor are these articles comprehensive, since that would require thousands of pages, not just one or two. What we hope to provide, however, is an insight into various states of mind (positive and negative) which a disciple of Christ might experience at some time or another, along with some practical, positive encouragement for all our readers.
Some of the topics written about over the course of the pages may ring particularly true for you. You yourself might be dealing with one or more of these spiritual or mental health issues, or perhaps someone close to you is struggling to cope. Don’t panic! You are normal! But how you proceed is important.
- Talk to God in prayer before you confide in others. He is the Creator of the universe. He knows you by name. When life seems overwhelming and full of the unknown, God is not overwhelmed and He knows the path you should take. Hand over your worries and fears to Him, and trust that He will guide you.
- Know that you have a great High Priest – the Lord Jesus Christ – who was tempted and tested by all of the things you are (Hebrews 4:15). There is nothing you will ever face in your life that he will not understand. Remember that Jesus died and rose again so that you might “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), both in this life and for eternity. No matter what you are going through now, you have the assurance and firm hope that it will come to an end when “God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes” (Revelation 7:17).
- Seek solutions and comfort from the word of God. The more you read about God, the more you will come to love and trust Him in every aspect of your life. The more you read about faithful men and women, the more you will learn about what faith and trust in God looks like in real life. Follow their example.
- Talk to someone you trust. In my experience, my peers have been a great support, but it’s the conversations with older friends and family members which have helped the most. They have already been through many of the problems you may currently be facing, and they can help you to find a better perspective.
- If you are still finding it difficult to cope, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor. It is not a sign of weak faith to seek medical help. If you had a broken arm, you wouldn’t think twice about going to hospital. Mental health issues may not manifest themselves in such an outwardly obvious way, but they should be taken just as seriously.
In all things, and at all times, remember to “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22, NIV).
With love in Christ,
The Faith Alive! Team