A Note from Pastor Wes: Maintaining a Healthy Perspective
We are blessed to have Pastor Rick lead us through this teaching series entitled, “The Gospel and Mental Health.” Public Health has become a priority as we live through this Covid-19 crisis. But an understanding of this needs to be much broader than avoiding a virus. It must at least include mental health and a healthy (godly) perspective as well.
The Gospel and Mental Health
On Sunday, November 15, Pastor Rick launched us into a great start to this teaching series. Click here to watch the series and for video commentary each week by Pastor Rick.
Here is Wellspring Member Dan Rouleau’s response to the 11/15 sermon, and his encouragement for all of us to take advantage of this valuable teaching series:
I was pleasantly surprised and deeply blessed by Pastor Rick McKinniss’ testimony at Wellspring on Sunday morning, November 15. Afterward, I hugged him and thanked him for offering himself in a truly vulnerable and humble way. “You rocked it!” I told him.
Rick’s story is the first in a 5-part series, “The Gospel and Mental Health.” It is a superb and timely offering to all people. We are experiencing a pandemic of fear in several manifestations, including anxiety, depression, and an uptick in suicides. I believe Rick’s 5-part series offers tangible help to all kinds of people, those deeply loved by Jesus, people like you and me.
Maintaining a Healthy Perspective (reflections from Pastor Wes)
Psalm 73 feels like it could have been written yesterday. Evil seems to triumph over good, while unrighteousness and injustice prevail. But in the middle of the Psalm the author writes, “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (vs. 16 — 17)
Regardless of our political views, perspectives about the virus, opinions on how to respond to the virus, or concerns about our jobs, economy, the nation and more… we all feel less than satisfied, less than content with the well-being of the world around us. These verses capture our mental state. We try to understand the chaos and the injustice, but even thinking about it is oppressive…oppressive to our minds and spirits. “Until…” the Psalmist says, “until I entered the sanctuary of God.”
The Lord continues to drive me into his sanctuary, the holy place of his presence. He is expanding my understanding of sanctuary. Of course it is a place of worship, even communion with him. But it is also a place where his presence brings peace to my thoughts, confidence in his authority and power, and a place where the burdens on my life, my mind, my hopes and dreams, and my perspectives are replaced with a father’s love and a heavenly mindset.
In the sanctuary of God’s presence, I’m reminded that we do not fight against flesh and blood. People are not the enemy, and the battle belongs to the Lord. I do not need to defeat the wicked. I do not need to battle from a place of weakness of the flesh. In the sanctuary, I align with God’s holiness and his goodness. I invite his kingdom to come. I turn to him to bring victory over evil, and I allow him to be the judge of all people.
Earlier this week Pam and I participated in an online prayer meeting for the nation with thousands of viewers. As we were led in prayer by a number of people, our faith and hope in the Lord grew. But a couple of people took the mic and prayed in an aggressive way. They were attacking evil, the enemy, people who have different beliefs than them, and demanding justice. The whole spirit of the moment changed even for this online event. Their words and tone were expressing strength, but they felt powerless. It was ineffective human/fleshly strength rather than personal humility crying out to a powerful God.
A healthy (godly) perspective is so critical when times are tough. Any attempt to gain understanding without a godly perspective will leave us troubled and weary (see the verses I quoted above). Any attempt to bring justice by human effort alone will fail to bring true kingdom righteousness. The battle belongs to the Lord. The charge to us as believers is to align ourselves with the Lord, making room for his kingdom to come. And we rest in the shalom of God.
I encourage all of us to continue to pray and believe for a move of God for our families, communities and our nation. Pray that the Lord will show his power and authority that conquers illnesses, redeems brokenness, and frees the oppressed. But let’s all live and pray from a healthy godly perspective…from the sanctuary of his presence.