mercy

Spiritual Implications of the Malady of Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness is not of God. It is an insidious condition that tends to stealthily encroach upon our mind, particularly as we age. The enemy can use forgetfulness to actualize his ploys against us. Deep sermons that touch the very core of our being are often in danger of being relegated to the dusty trails of antiquity due to failing memory. The precious memory verses we recited enthusiastically in childhood have grown obscure and almost hollow! I am speaking here not about the forgetfulness that is disease-induced, but that which is natural. This type can be prevented or mitigated by diet, natural supplements and ongoing learning and challenging the mind.
God freed ancient Israel from the iron grip of the most powerful empire of that era under Pharaoh, attended by a series of incredible miracles- the plagues that devastated the Egyptian economy and annihilated an entire generation of people (Egypt’s first born population group). They partook of the Passover- a signature ceremony of their new nationhood and spiritual separateness from the rest of the world. They crossed in the middle of a huge body of water (the Red Sea) on dry ground while Pharaoh’s army was decimated during an attempt to recapture them. Then they celebrated their total freedom on the other side of the Red Sea. But three days into the journey they had forgotten all this and complained about lack of drinking water. God gave them water to drink. Shortly afterwards they complained about their diet and selectively longed for the Egyptian dietary system. They had already forgotten about the whips that had torn their backs at the hands of their taskmasters. They had also forgotten how God had literally contended with Pharaoh’s stubbornness and brought him to his knees. Then they faced the Amalekites in war and God delivered them. They buckle in rebellion at the prospect of possessing the Promised Land after the report from some ten spies reveals that the land is occupied by giants, forgetting how God had delivered them in the past! Inevitably, a series of judgments ensue. Finally, after 40 years of wondering in the wilderness, they are standing on the brink of the Promised Land, yet again- a complete new generation, in the plains of Moab. Moses sternly cautions them in Deuteronomy 4:9 to “Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” But this is precisely what happens later. An unhealthy spiritual see-saw pattern develops in their relationship with God: forgetting the Lord their God and being harassed and defeated by enemy nations; remembering Him again and appealing to His mercy; being delivered yet again; forgetting once more, being defeated; remembering…until the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations.

After the Babylonian captivity God is made manifest in the flesh in Christ Jesus to urge all believers “This do in remembrance of Me…” But the tendency to forget continues amid the echoes of this ardent appeal. The consequences are negative spiritual, emotional and physical health outcomes that extend to our day. Only by remembering the counsel from our Creator can we be made whole again.

Debt, Your Health, and God’s Mercy

A record financial crisis has gripped the global community with a chilling iron fist like a stubborn pandemic. Glaring symptoms of economic recession are all around us. For instance homes are being lost to foreclosure and retrenchments are at an all-time high in almost every sector of the economy. Some banks are teetering on the precipice of collapse. Retirement portfolios are dwindling at an alarming rate and frozen credit markets are commonplace. Sadly, the effects of this financial downturn are so far-reaching that sometimes we are oblivious of them. A subtle form of panic has settled on the general public characterized by health problems such as chronic headaches, increased blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and ulcers. Protracted stressful health problems such as these exert a heavy toll on mental, emotional and physical well-being. For individuals in low income socioeconomic strata this further compounds their difficulties. As household assets began to depreciate in 2008 most people have been facing financial peril after having worked so hard to obtain them. Unemployment has continued to hover around 10% and the tension has risen as unemployment benefits have become a political and economic bone of contention. The future suddenly seems bleak and broodingly threatening. Individual debt, not to mention national debt, has soared almost uncontrollably. Research indicates that people dealing with high debt tend to report having health problems. An analysis of the 2008 results of a poll reported by the Associated Press in an article titled Debt Stress Causing Health Problems, Poll Finds, revealed that about 16 million people in the United States were “suffering terribly due to their debts and their health is likely to be negatively impacted.” Among the people who reported having high debt 27% were experiencing problems with their digestive systems or ulcers. Another 29% had severe anxiety. About 44% had migraine headaches and 6% reported having heart attacks. Another 51% reported muscle tension and pain in their lower back. As the economy struggles people are taking on more debt just to get by which only exacerbates their poor health profile. These bleak statistics can instill a sense of trepidation and apprehension in any heart.
The Bible does not give any precise command against debt although it warns that debt makes the borrower a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). But the mercy of God transcends any negative situation we might ever face, whether it be debt or anything else. When we find ourselves in a difficult condition we should remember the inspired counsel from the apostle Paul: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4: 6-7). God can calm our hearts in the midst of the storm. It is the only way we can hear His instructions about how to get out of it.

Forgiveness-The Perfect Prescription for Peace of Mind

Large scale atrocities as well as personal hurts and betrayals by people we thought we could trust even with our very lives stir up indignation and resentment in us. The betrayal can cut deep. Although we yearn for vengeance we know we must forgive.

Forgiveness does not necessarily eliminate the consequences of the hurt nor does it condone the actions of the offender. It is also not limited to religious connotation although it cannot be separated from them. Science recognizes the importance of forgiveness as a component of psychotherapy as demonstrated by studies in psychophysiology and neuroimaging.

Forgiveness does have spiritual benefits as well.

With Jesus forgiveness is not an option; it is a command. It is a prerequisite to God’s forgiveness of our sins and to fellowship with Him (Matt. 6: 14). Perhaps forgiveness becomes a little easier when we remember that we too have hurt others and sinned, and God has had mercy on us. That is the same mercy we ought to extend to others. Learn more about your health from the book, The Perfect Prescription by Reigh Simuzoshya at http://youtu.be/MWkIVDKfh9w
You can also purchase it from Amazon.com