Prescription for Relief
How do you spell relief?
Our society has sometimes been called the “medicated world”. We often reach for a pill, an experience, or some form of escape to get us through what we feel are intolerable circumstances.
Recently, I came across a “Prescription for Unhappiness”:
- Make little things bother you: don't just let them, make them!
- Lose your perspective of things, and keep it lost. Don't put first things first.
- Get yourself a good worry--one about which you cannot do anything but worry.
- Be a perfectionist: condemn yourself and others for not achieving perfection.
- Be right, always right, perfectly right all the time. Be the only one who is right, and be rigid about your rightness.
- Don't trust or believe people, or accept them at anything but their worst and weakest.
- Be suspicious. Impute ulterior motives to them.
- Always compare yourself unfavorably to others, which is the guarantee of instant misery.
- Take personally, with a chip on your shoulder, everything that happens to you that you don't like.
- Don't give yourself wholeheartedly or enthusiastically to anyone or to anything.
- Make happiness the aim of your life instead of bracing for life's barbs through a "bitter with the sweet" philosophy.
How do we get relief from the realities of the world we live in or the unhappiness we experience?
1. Seeking God is a recipe for relief
Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer (Psalm 4:1).
2. God responds to those who call upon Him
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm145:18).
Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him (Psalm 91:14-15).
Read the Warning Label!
Just like with prescriptions you might take from a pharmacy, there are some warnings that must be made relating to calling upon God:
How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him. In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD (Psalm 4:2-5)
3. There is no such thing as a “generic” God
Many have been deceived into believing that they can enter into a kind of relationship with a “god” that is faceless, nameless, and an amalgamation of all religious principles. But, such is not the case. All worship of any form of deity brings us into relationship. We actually are chasing after false gods.
4. False Gods always bring destruction
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12).
5. Reflection rather than anger produces benefits
Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything (Billy Graham, 1918 - present).
I was angry with my friend. I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe. I told it not, my wrath did grow (William Blake, 1757-1827)
6. Worship and faith overcome anger.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Ps 51:17).
God delivers more than Imagined!
Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:6-8).
Benefits of Following After God:
1. He illuminates our path
2. He fills our heart with joy
You and I were created for joy, and if we miss it, we miss the reason for our existence...If our joy is honest joy, it must somehow be congruous with human tragedy. This is the test of joy's integrity: is it compatible with pain?... Only the heart that hurts has a right to joy (Lewis B. Smedes)
3. He gives us peace
A nine year old who had leukemia was given six months to live. When the doctor broke the news to her parents outside her hospital room, the youngster overheard the doctor's words. But it did not become obvious until later that she knew about her condition. To everyone's surprise, her faith in Christ gave her an attitude of victory. She talked freely about her death with anticipation in her voice. As she grew weaker, it seemed that her joy became more radiant. One day before she sank into a final coma, she said to her family, "I am going to be the first to see Jesus! What would you like me to tell Him for you?
4. He protects us in safety
The protection of God is assured. And while that does not mean we never endure hardship, it means we never endure hardship alone. We have witnessed some terrible tragedies in our world. The shootings at Colombine High School and at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Texas have underscored the violence of the world in which we live. But at the same time, the protection of God has perhaps never been more real…