By Pastor Richard Beobide
Why are you here?
If you have come here, it's either because you, a loved one, or perhaps a friend have been dashed to pieces as the result of a catastrophic event or events. A persons faith is waning and the situation is desperate or critical. You'd like to find answers and you need them now. The loss of a loved one, torment, severe sickness, mental suffering, anxiety of various sorts are some reasons that you have decided to view this part of the website. I put this here because when I myself went through events in my Christian pilgrimage there was no place to turn and the answers were pretty weak at best. I'm not a doctor but I know what I went through in my life and this information is based on my own thoughts and I hope they are helpful to you.
Before I go on, I want to share my personal experience with you so you could understand the recommendations that follow.
These Are My Sufferings
As a Christian I suffer with a few problems to say the least. Diabetes, neuropathy, and mental illness to name a few. Some of the side effects of these things are horrible. The daily maintenance creates a pressure in your life that causes guilt, doubt and shame on a daily basis, and if the truth be told I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. I condemn myself constantly for allowing myself to eat the wrong foods; even though according to standard I maintain myself far better than average.
I control my diabetes through diet and exercise, but I'm not much for exercise. Of the three big diseases that I suffer with I must say: mental illness is by far the worst. It really is a crusher. It surpasses the other two by far. Before I received treatment it caused horrible violent thoughts that I couldn't turn off. Grotesque, violent murderous thoughts were pushing their way into my mind. All of which were completely against everything I believed. This happened to me as a faithful Christian believer.
Thoughts would often come over me (numerous times a day) to violently kill people near and dear to me (I didn't actually kill anyone). Furthermore, I felt raging violence from the top of my head through to my fingertips and toes. At the same time I suffered terrible depression to the point of severe disorientation. When my doctor asked me if I felt like killing myself I realized he was concerned I might try to commit suicide. Severe fear, torment, rage, and anxiety ran through me in ways I never thought possible. It actually crippled every aspect of my life. If it hadn't happened to me personally I'd never have believed a person could feel such horrible torment and suffering within their mind. Just a side note: I was taught that mental illness couldn't happen to me because I'm a Christian and God would never allow it. Boy was I naive! The fact is it could happen to me and it did, but my self denial, coupled with poor teaching from the pulpit along with many other follies within me and the church actually prevented me from seeking a psychiatrist, but God used it to His glory, Amen.
The Sickness Hit Me At My Peek
When this sickness hit me I was at the peek of my life. I was 39 years old, married to a woman that I love dearly and I knew what I wanted from life. I was confident that I knew what God wanted from me and I was on the move. I was ready to conquer for Christ and nothing was going to stop me! Now all I had to do was put the plan into motion. Actually, the plan was in motion. I was quite far into the plan that I laid out. My wife and I built a new house. I designed and built a high quality digital television studio, I produced four TV shows and approximately twenty TV commercials for those shows, one show already aired and the other three were ready to go: All this to glorify God. I was tearing it up and kickin' butt as they say! I truly accomplished a large number of mile-stones and I could not have been more excited about living.
Something Happened On The Way To The Show
Ye-up! Life was good and I was psyched! I looked forward to every waking minute of my life. I began assembling a documentary for a show that I was going to call "Mystery and Logic" I was doing a large amount of research for the show and I remember being very excited about the whole thing! Then suddenly, something happened on the way to the show as they say.
I remember the very first time I was hit with an attack of depression. I was driving in my car on the way home from work and I was in prayer. Suddenly, a feeling of complete and utter emptiness seemed to fill my whole body. I felt as though life had absolutely no purpose. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself otherwise I couldn't shake this deep dark feeling that completely filled every corner of my body. I remember feeling the same way for most of the evening then suddenly it left as quickly as it came. My initial thought was it was an attack by Satan because of the work I was doing.
I was okay for a while and then it happened again and again. I began feeling tense in my body continuously and anxiety attacks began to erupt! I tried to focus on praising and worshipping God but even that didn't work. Depression became deeper and deeper. I began to think horrible thoughts of killing. I began to even feel violent and angry for no reason. Then I would fall into deep depression and I felt as though death was poured into my body like a black liquid that filled me up from the tips of my toes to the very top of my head. My chest began to hurt like it was caving in, and I was very weepy: always at the point of sorrowful crying.
The Illness that I suffer from is called OCD, an acronym for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My life began to erupt into disaster and my ministry work for God came to a complete halt. Today I can honestly say that at this point of my life the only thing I knew was that my joy was completely gone and the joy that I once experienced is now only a memory. It was a life I once knew but will probably never experience again; from here on out it's pain, suffering and torment. Fortunately, there truly is help.
Is this You?
You may be experiencing much the same pain as I once did. There is hope and solutions for you and this is what I wanted to address. I want you to be aware that others have been through it and searched for answers and received them while still others are going through it. The point is that you're not alone in your suffering. And we're going to begin to work our way through it, starting now.
My hope is that if these answers help you, then you will be kind enough to stand ready to help your neighbor even your enemy when they suffer as you did. How else do we win souls to Christ? If you feel you need to talk to someone I can be reached at 1-860-946-7095 please don't abuse this line, you may have to leave a message and I'll call you back. The number connects you to "Learn Guitar" that's my guitar learning studio. So let's cut right to the chase.
My first recommendation is a three fold attack. When a person is suffering mental illness such as myself, or from the loss of a loved one or some major catastrophic event these following recommendations might be considered pretty steep steps to take but the bottom line is that suffering always come down to physical and/or mental aguish. So I am going to make the following recommendations just for the sake of a no no-nonsense straight-forward approach.
First: Locate a psychiatrist and not a psychologist and diagnose the problem: Rule out mental illness.
Second: Try to memorize the Ten Commandments and frequently read The New Testament.
Third, Contact someone that you can privately share your sufferings with.
Why these recommendations?
A doctor of psychiatry can rule out mental illness. With regards to a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist; that is because you or the person suffering may be suffering from mental illness brought on by a catastrophic event resulting of a hereditary illness. In either case it's usually treatable through medication. While psychology may help with talk therapy they can't prescribe medications. A psychiatrist (preferably a Christian Psychiatrist if you can find one) can provide talk therapy and makes themselves available in the event of an emergency while prescribed medications correct the physical cause of mental illness and stabilize you or the sick person.
I called the doctor's office for an appointment. I thought I could help myself if I took notes on what I was experiencing. I should mention I terrified of going to see a psychiatrist. I was sure he was going to tell me that I should be put away. However, I decided to go anyway. I thought if they put me in a padded room, and throw away the key then that's the way it goes. However, under no circumstance was I going to allow myself to hurt someone (as it turns out the doctor said they don't do that anymore, obviously, I was very relieved). Documenting my symptoms help me explain to the doctor the craziness that was in my brain. Before seeing the doctor I actually documented my day as it was happening. I did it for a few days (I had a little time before seeing the doctor). I wrote down every symptom I experienced daily. The doctor told me that after hearing my documentation, he was confident that I was experiencing OCD. As it turned out his diagnosis was correct. But more importantly it was quick. It was quick because of my documentation. The doctor explained to me that he never had a patient do such a thing. So it helped my greatly. I recommend you do the same thing. Document!
The Big Ten
Regarding the memorization of The Ten Commandments and frequently reading The New Testament. A person suffering from Depression, Bi-polar disease and OCD or other mental illness can become disoriented and confused. Suicide, murder and other obtuse actions can result from the disorientation.
To an individual suffering from mental illness, suicide is all too often a real consideration (and a very poor solution) to end the mental torment and suffering that depression brings on. Unfortunately, murder and other tragic events can occur because mental illness often bring with it deep aggressive physical desire that a person find hard to resist. This coupled with deep irritability and confusion can bring on tragic results. I went through this first hand and know from where I speak.
To a person trying to live a life pleasing to God the memorization of the Ten Commandments and frequently reading The New Testaments is very good for you anyway: But in the heat of the battle for your life, these teachings keep a disoriented person close to the rails of reality. Furthermore, there's a lot of to be said for just plain old clinch the fist and say "No God wants me to do His work!" So, tell yourself "No! that behavior is not pleasing to God!"
Most people when in their right mind don't want to hurt themselves or others and these teachings can help a sick person grab onto something that is good, and to help them understand the proper behaviors that God requires of us. Furthermore, even in such terrifying times, the individual can truly fight for their own life. If the truth be told I fought back with "Thou shalt not kill!" numerous times a day, every day for a long time (over twenty years).
Do You Know Someone You Can Share With?
Finally, Contact someone that you can privately share your sufferings with preferably your psychiatrist. One thing that certainly helped me was talking about my sufferings because it temporarily took away the pain I was experiencing. This may sound strange coming from a Christian, but I'm confident in my convictions. So, confident, in fact, that my phone number is in the first paragraph of this article.
If you are afraid of your thoughts or the thought of talking to someone outside the church that's okay. I went through the very same thing. I am a pastor and if you want to talk to me I'll certainly make myself available to you at no charge at all and all discussions are completely confidential. Oh and don't worry you can't scare me!
The Betrayal of God? Not Really!
Too often when people run into these deep terrifying times they feel betrayed by God. Fortunately for us, God is not as shallow as we are. I thought and felt the very same thing and that's why I named the article thus!
In these times God has not betrayed us. The unfortunate truth is we've betrayed ourselves by not learning the truth of what God promised us. Nor have we taken the time to disciple ourselves in the true meaning of His teachings. Face it! We believe wrong because we want to. Furthermore, we expect very little from our Earthly spiritual teachers, pastors and so forth. You have the right to respectfully disagree. (If you've done your homework that is!)
Learn the doctrines and do as the Apostle Peter told us to do! "Have an answer for the hope that lies within you for any person who asks it of you!" My recommendation for anyone who is not sure of themselves in these matters is: to start at the very next paragraph "What Is Your Perception Of God?" This will give you a basic understanding of the Doctrine of Salvation it's an abridged (short) version and fairly complete. It's here only to show you the first step of the doctrine. Then later we'll move into other doctrines but for now it's a good refresher course for the deeper brethren and a good launch pad for the new comer.
What is your perception of God?
First, you may want to consider this question. What is your perception of God? I am of the opinion now more than ever that Christians completely misunderstand who God is and the mission that Jesus Christ performed on the Earth.
I am going to pass over the doctrine of salvation briefly for those who may have straggled in and may not have ever heard of this doctrine or understood it (The doctrine of salvation that is). If you want to move ahead scroll down "What Did God Really Promise?" below!
In the Old Testament of the Bible God put a standard in place for the Israelites to follow. This standard was called the Law. This law was the living standards that the Israelites had to follow if they were going to continue to be God's people. Within the Law was a group of commands that, today, we affectionately call "The Ten Commandments." They are as follows:
Do not put any gods or idols before the Lord Your God.
Do not create any images of what you think God looks like or any images of anything anywhere and call them god.
Do not Foreswear the Name Of God
Keep the Sabbath Day Holy (Saturday is a day of rest. Don't work)
Honor you parents
Do not kill
Do not commit adultery
Do not steal
Do not lie
Do not desire any of your neighbors things that is anything from property to his wife
As we said earlier, the Israelites were commanded by God to live in accordance with these laws and regulations, and any time a person would break any of these laws it was called a sin.
What Is Sin?
Sinning then is simply falling short of this standard that God has set for His people. So when a person sinned or broke God's law they had to kill an animal in a prescribed way according to the regulations of the Law (This is no longer in effect so don't try it at home). They didn't kill just any animal as a sacrifice; it had to be the best first born male lamb of the flock. The owner would bring the animal to the priest, and the priest would put his hand on the head of the lamb and slaughter it by spilling all its blood.
By performing this act the owner recognized that he did an act against God and that the lamb was innocent, but it was being put to death so God would extend grace to the owner and not condemn the owner to death for his error. Therefore, the owner's law breaking act was graciously overlooked because he sacrificed his best lamb as God required.
Please remember, this is no longer in effect so don't go out and slaughter a perfectly good sheep.
By creating this system God would make the following happen:
He created a people that were all subject to God's rule
He created a for-shadowing of a great event that was to come.
He defined what the ultimate sin offering would look like when He came. This way those who were seeking salvation from breaking God's laws (the Ten Commandments) would be able to recognize Him.
He was called the Lamb of God
He would be perfect
It would be a male
He would be innocent of any crime
He would have to spill all of His blood (along with many other things that would be recognized by seekers)
He (God) created a people He would call His own.
He created a people that were governed by laws.
He created a people that believed all men were equal no matter what their political or social status.
Redeeming The World
In other words many people all across the world know they've offended God and if they want to correct what they have done wrong; that is breaking Gods commands, these people, who ever they are; understand by this sacrifice tradition that was done by the Jews was a preview of a greater sacrifice. That sacrifice was going to die once and take away the sins of the whole world, and anyone who accepted that sacrifice would be forgiven of his sins toward God.
The reason for this was to put the whole world on notice! A sacrifice was made and God was ready to forgive the sins of anyone (Jew or non-Jew) that accepted it and was prepared to live a life pleasing to God. Furthermore, No sin was to great that God couldn't handle, Earth was given the opportunity to make themselves right before God. Finally, God would call these people His people and they would become children of God.
So, in a nut shell you've heard the simplified version of the doctrine of salvation. Basically, God has provided a means in which we can make ourselves right before Him. The problem is though, now that we live for Him, how do we perceive Him. After all there are many doctrines out their and they must stand up to scrutiny. Otherwise our faith can be defeated, and I do believe that if the world could defeat the faith it would. To date the faith still stands true and every man is liar. So, What did God really promise?
What Did God Really Promise?
Once a person is a child of God, they often falsely assume or are poorly taught by bad teachers that life is going to be a bowl of cherries and good things are going to happen to them all the days of their natural life! This is just not so. Furthermore, these teachings are completely false information usually promulgated by people who completely miss the point of the teachings of Jesus Christ and are not familiar with the disciplines that Christ put forth. In fact, Christ Jesus taught His disciples that because the world hated Him the world would hate us and seek to kill us just because we are lovers of Christ Jesus and look to His teachings regarding all aspects of our life here on Earth.
Now then, it would be wise to stop and ask ourselves a very simple question. If our lives are not going to be rosy, then, what did God really promise?
Well, for starters, that we would overcome the world! In other words Jesus taught us that trials, tests and catastrophe will absolutely arrive. However, when these events arose we would lean on God and His teachings to get us through the event. Whether the event is small or we are confronted with death itself, we can depend on God's teachings to get through to the other side. Some times the other side means the other side of death.
Allow me to remind you that during the latter portion of the Roman Empire (Shortly After Christ's Ascension), Christians were persecuted and fed to lions, torn apart by wild animals, hunted for sport and were run through with polls through their torso and used as torches along highways. Christ Himself was innocently hung on a tree simply because of His teaching that God loved the world.
Christians are killed or tortured every day in country's such as China, The Middle East, North Korea and many other civilized (ha ha!) countries in the world. Therefore if you are going to be a disciple of God you should consider this truth. There is no teaching that says God will remove the event. The teaching is that whether you are tortured, tormented by thought or deed (whether your own or by others) suffer depression, or are a victim of catastrophe or even all of the above; God is our way out!
Now on that happy note let's discuss If you feel that you would like to make your life right with God you can call me @ 1-860-210-0030 Leave a message and I will call you back, or you can e-mail me at Richard.Beobide@Jesusthisway.com.
In any case remember: life is going to have its rough times. You must rise up to this challenge that is trying to beat you down and do everything in your power to make yourself well. During this time of my life even thinking was a difficulty that brought on depression.
Remember the three fold attack: get to a doctor of psychiatry to diagnose the problem: Rule out mental illness: Memorize the Tem commandments and read the new Testament: Contact someone you can privately share your sufferings with. Then you can go on and preach the gospel, save souls and persuade people of the Lord Jesus Christ.