Musings 56

Job 10:15 ‘If I am wicked, woe to me! And if I am righteous, I dare not lift up my head.
                  I am sated with disgrace and conscious of my misery.
Psalm 107:26 They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
                      Their soul melted away in their misery.

We live in times where technology is expanding its control on the things of life at an astounding pace and wealth seems to know no bounds, but those things may be nothing more than a drug (analogically speaking) that makes us think things are well. Are people happier or better off in the long run? Does it help them escape the inner pain brought on by sin? Does it help them fulfill their purpose which God has placed man here for? Does it help them love others and have true compassion on others?

Despite all the medical care that people can have, there remains no cure for the soul that is sick with self and sin. No physician can touch the real sickness, illness, and death of man other than the Great Physician Himself. No instrument of technology can help man defeat the real nature of sin that man is born with. No psychologist or psychiatrist nor any academic discipline can defeat sin or help man with his most basic spiritual problem.

Souls that God touches with conviction of sin are miserable. Souls that have walked with God and then He withdraws His presence from them can be very miserable. There is nothing that can help a soul that is in misery because of spiritual things other than God Himself. It may be the case that some may receive medication that may give them a sense of elation or happiness, but the weight on their soul will soon be more than the medication can help. In cases like this medication may simply prolong the agony of the soul as it wrestles with spiritual issues.

There is a lot of depression in the modern day, yet many seem to assume that medication is the real answer and that the problem is limited to chemicals in the brain. Yet the Scriptures teach us and our major Confessions teach us that sin brings misery and death. But in our day, misery is not dealt with as if sin brings it, but it is thought that a pill will take care of the problem. While it can be argued that there is such a thing as depression that is brought on by situations in the brain that medicine is warranted, we must also look in our own hearts and know that our own sin will bring much misery if we don’t seek the Lord for repentance.

We live in a day where souls that are sick of sin or sin-sick are sent to “professionals” who will feed them with humanism and then perhaps medication. Again, there are times where medication may be warranted, but let us remember that medication will never get rid of soul misery. The misery that sin brings on the soul cannot be easily gotten rid of. The misery of sin can only be taken care of by the blood of Christ and that alone. The misery that sin brings on the soul is put there by the hand of God and no one can but God can take that away if He puts it on the soul.

Pastors are called to be ministers and physicians of souls under the authority of King Jesus the real and only Physician. There are many people who are desperate in their lowness and in their despair and they need spiritual help rather than just turned over to those who may help the physical man feel better in some way, but have no answer and no help for the spiritual man. Pastors and believers must learn that spiritual sickness can only be helped with spiritual medicine, which is Christ Himself. While it may not be easy to do this in the present climate, it is yet absolutely necessary. There have been those in history (even modern history) who were thought to be deranged and yet when they were converted they became “normal” once again. Conviction of sin and the weight of sin on the soul can be greater than bodily problems.

We are told that the use of medications is on the rise, but yet a simple observation will also tell us that each and every person is a sinner and sin brings misery to many of those souls. There seems to be hardly anyone out there today who is preaching a Gospel of grace alone by the righteousness and blood of Christ in such a way that sinners are healed of all of their spiritual sicknesses and maladies. The Lord Jesus is the great Physician of souls and we must never forget that or we will have blood on our hands from the misery of others that we have not dealt with.

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