4th March 2019

S.A.D.

“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

S.A.D. has become a fixture in our thinking. Winters these days are often grey for day after day. It would seem that human beings are programmed to need sunshine, at least from time to time. Certain people suffer severe depression as a result of this Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). Maybe that’s why people seek to get away to somewhere sunny and warm during our winter.

Unfortunately in this world, we have millions of people who suffer another kind of S.A.D., because they don’t know the God who created them—we might call it Spiritual Affective Disorder. These people may not know that they don’t know God, and many if not most, don’t think they want to know God. This may be because they have been told that God is hard, unloving, unforgiving, demanding, that he requires total obedience without necessarily responding to what they might need, that He is the exact opposite to what our society and civilisation needs.

Some Christians also think of God as a demanding God. Other Christians, at the other end of the scale, feel that God is all love, and that’s all that’s required. God’s love is so all-encompassing that he couldn’t possibly demand anything from anyone. Strange, isn’t it? And then many Christians vacillate between the two extremes; now seeing a God who all-loves them, and now seeing a God who demands all from them.

The truth is far simpler. We are fast approaching the season which commemorates Christ’s sacrifice as God and man. His sacrifice of life and death earned him nothing more than he had had before with his Father, as he tells us. No, all that angst and pain was for our benefit. Our God gave his all for us, not simply to demonstrate once and for all his love for us, but also that he was willing to extricate us from our sinful nature. And, in addition, clearly demonstrates that it took a God to do it for us and with us.

But then, having reconciled us, he does expect us to work with him and walk with him. And as Christians we ignore that calling at our peril. As the Bible tells us, how can we expect to escape, to be rewarded perversely, rather than to be punished, if we neglect so great a salvation which was achieved at so great a cost (Hebrews 2:3). We are not only expected to do, we are expected to become or be. But even here our God will help us because he loves us so. No, we have no reason ever to suffer from this kind of S.A.D.

Prayer
Gracious Father, we bask in the warmth and joy of your grace and mercy towards us. With you on our side, who can be against us? In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by John Stettaford
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About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
READING
RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk