"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Ge 1:1). Job said, "'You can do all things, and [the] purpose of Yours [was] '" (Job 42:4) "to establish the heavens, to found the earth (Isa 5:16). Notice that the heavens and earth are mentioned separately. "His understanding is 1nscrutable" (40:28) and he is "the Creator of the ends of the earth" (:28). They are "Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained" (Ps 8:3). "You gave birth to the earth and the world" (90:2). "To the Lord your God belong heaven and . . . the earth and all that is in it" (Dt 10:14). "The worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible" (Heb 11:3). God's "lovingkindness extends to the heavens, and His faithfulness reaches to the skies" (Ps 36:5).
"There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him" (Heb 4:13). It is God "for whom are all things, and through whom are all things" (2:10). "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Mt 5:45). However, more specifically "the righteousness of God has been manifested . . . through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe" (Ro 3:21-22). Yet "deliverance by man is in vain" (Ps 60:11). Nonetheless God "is our help and our shield" (33:20).
Life treats some people more harshly than others. Jesus advised to be careful because "'Each day has enough trouble of its own'" (Mt 6:34). The concordance shows that there are several references in the Psalms alone for the phrases "day of trouble" and "times of trouble". It says the meaning of the word is "evil, bad, harmful or wrong". It would be advantageous to have God's protection. God "delivers them out of all their troubles" (Ps 34:17). It also defines the word "troubles" as "straits or distress". David was troubled when Saul pursued him to kill him and he wrote in a psalm saying, "You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul" (Ps 31:7).
The soul is one-third of man's composition according to "may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete" (1Th 5:23). The soul is vulnerable to mistreatment or attack "for my soul has had enough troubles, and my life has drawn near to sheol" (Ps 88:3). "Many are the afflictions of the righteous" (Ps 34:19). If you become injured "the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (:18). This is the spiritual part of our makeup. "A broken spirit who can bear?" (Pr 18:14). "The poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles" (Ps 34:6). "You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again" (Ps 71:30).
The concordance also uses the word "despair" to define trouble. It says that it is "to be bowed down". In our vernacular it reflects a more advanced state of hopelessness. Other words the concordance cites are "brought low, collapsed or prostrate". Job is a good example ot this in the Bible. He said "for a despairing man there should be kindness" (Jb 6:14). The concordance's Old Testament description of "despairing" is to "dissolve or melt", "lose heart", "waste away" or be "worthless". "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?" (Ps 42:5). You might say the soul exists at an emotional level within the personality. "The enemy has persecuted my soul. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed with me" (Ps 143:3-4). This shows that the spirit is also affected. If an enemy is responsible then the source is the trouble itself. But we often label the result as depression. Surprisingly the NAS concordance lists a word for "depressed". "But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus" (2Co 7:6). It says it is being "low-lying", "lowly in spirit" or "humble and meek". That could lead to a person asking "what is the meaning of life or my purpose in it?"
David wrote "I am pining away" (Ps 6:2). It is a downhill process. "My soul is greatly dismayed" (:3). In other words it was deeply troubled, which took degradation to get there. Furthermore he said "my spirit is overwhelmed within me" (Ps 143:4) so that "my spirit fails" (:7). The destination becomes being "like those who go down to the pit" (:7). Is the expression of the predicament just an emotional response? "Who will set me free?" (Ro 7:24). I have "sorrow in my heart all the day" (Ps 13:2). "When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long" (32:3). "They have surrounded me like water all day long" (88:17). These "terrors have destroyed me" (:16). The circumstances take their toll and the emotional expressions measure how serious it has become. "My body wasted away from crying" (32:3) and "my bones are dismayed" (6:2). Physical manifestations reflect the state of the inner person. "My eye weeps to God" (Jb 16:20). "I have cried out by day and in the night before you" (Ps 88:1 ). "My eye has wasted away because of affliction" (:9). "My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see" (40:2). "I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on" (88:15). "I am like those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength" (:4). "I am afflicted and needy" (86:1). Even "youth grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly" (Is 40:30). "My strength is dried up like a potsherd" (Ps 22:15). But fortunately "the Lord is my strength" (28:7) and "He gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might He increases power" (Is 40:29).
Life is the context in which man exists and his perception of it is his worldview. "God has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done" (Pr 3:11). "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1Co 1:20). Therefore "do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Ro 12:2). Next, society becomes the vehicle to express these truths. It is said that the three things man needs to survive are food, shelter and warmth. Society's answer is the economy. But prim1tive societies were often characterized by burdensome work, slavery and oppression. Those dominating its workings were often your enemy taking advantage of you. You could become "afflicted and needy" (Ps 40:17). You may become pressured by the "terror by night . . . pestilence in darkness . . . or destruction at noon" (Ps 91:5-6). There are those "who seek my life to destroy it" (40:14) and "who delight in my hurt" (:14). Some psalmists saw themselves "in dark places, in the depths" (Ps 88:6). They were "shut up and cannot go out" (:8). They were threatened by sinking in the mud (69:14), being flooded into deep waters (:14) and being swallowed by the grave (:15). "Cords of death encompassed me and . . . I found distress and sorrow" (116:3).
"I call to the Lord for help" (Ps 3:4). "God rescues them from danger" (34:7) He "saved me from death" (116:3) and "kept me from defeat" (:4). "The needy will not always be neglected" (9:18). "The Lord is near to those who are discouraged. He saves those who have lost all hope" (34:17-18). "You give me victory and restore my courage" (3:3). "You will rescue me" (13:3). "You will restore their confidence and hope" (Is 57:15). Then he prayed and God "delivered me from all my fears" (34:4). The "poor man cried [and God] "saved him out of all his troubles: (:6). God says "I live with people who are humble and repentant" (Is 57:15).
If cognition is to know then you must use your mind to understand. When you become "a new creature . . . new things have come" (2Co 5:17). But you seem to still think and learn the way you did before. However, you used to conform "to the pattern of this world" (Ro 12:2) and your mind was on "earthly things" (Col 3:2). At that time "the mind of sinful man is death . . . and hostile to God" (Ro 8:6-7). To make the transition make sure your "mind is steadfast, because he trusts you" (Isa 26:3). You now "set your minds on things above" (Col 3:2) and are "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Ro 12:2). You will now "be able to test and approve what God's will is" (:2). "The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace" (8:6) and God will keep you "in perfect peace" (Isa 26:3).
A troubled world can produce emotional challenges. There are those "who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives" (Heb 2:15). If you are not in control you are subject to depression. The Vet Center has a fifty-eight page cognitive-behavioral workbook to educate vets to improve their coping skills. Cognition is knowing or perceiving the truth of something. However, if your analytical mind allowed you to think illogically in the first place, you'd have to trust that cognitive counseling could modify your thoughts to go back in the right direction. "Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established" (Pr 5:26).
In the age of reason, Descarte was suspicious of reason itself. What is a cognitive thought? Does it need specific content to qualify? However, when that mechanism isn't generating certain thoughts it is still self-aware. Therefore if we are conscious of our thoughts then consciousness is at a higher level than thinking. He said that if thinking could doubt the veracity of something, the reasoning was in the context of the existence of a higher entity responsible for the faculty of thinking in the first place. The well-known quote of his conclusion is "I am, I exist" for which a cognate has been created saying "I think, therefore I am." Apparently with that he was satisfied with who he was. Moses asked God for a name and he said, "'I AM WHO I AM'" (Ex 3:14). God isn't like Descarte whose identity was in his thought. He says "'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me'" (Is 44:6).
Everyone goes through transitions in life which they have to adjust to. The Vet Center has a fifty-four page Purposeful Living Guide to help vets develop their life skills. Some people may be disadvantaged with weaker coping abilities and need to be informed so they can become more resourceful, confident, empowered, and be able to set goals for themselves. With higher stress levels people with low self-esteem tend to have more depression. Cognitive education will mobilize them to ward off becoming hopeless or discouraged. However, there are distinctions of a recuperative nature between those who trust in what the Bible teaches and those who don't rely on God. The latter are "separate from Christ . . . and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph 2:12).
Additional material available is from other people's experiences. There are extreme situations where people have been physically disabled or have a terminal illness. They ask, "What value and purpose do I have in life?" Consider that "the spirit of a man can endure his sickness, but for a broken spirit who can bear it?" (Pr 18:14). That's when you depend on God. "Those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right" (1Pe 4:11). Therefore, "cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you" (Ps 55:22).
There is a VA workbook "Living with Purpose" cited above. It applies Behavior Modification Therapy (BMT). But Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) isn't mentioned per se in the Bible. However "God created man in His own image" (Ge 1:27), so if therapists successfully use CBT to help people, it is a valid tool for this purpose. There is a text provided by MIRECC to help clinicians utilize the workbook called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Strategies. These therapies and methods are what professionals use. However, when tailored to an individual situation, other disciplines would be incorporated. On my website the relevant subject matter would be: thinking, depression, and guidance.
The CBT mentioned above is based on modifying your thinking so that your response to a situation will beome more meaningful and that your feelings and behavior will change in a more positive way. It sounds as if psychoanalysis will be used to reprogram you. But the Jews were different because Jesus told them "'You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life'" (Jn 5:39). They had their own approach called the Law of Moses and were "'unwilling to come to Me, so that you may have life'" (:40). The point Jesus is making is "'I say these things so that you may be saved'" (:34). "'Everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life'" (:40).
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life" (Jn 3:36). The first message that John the Baptist and Jesus preached was "'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'" (Mt 4:17). Then early in Jesus' ministry he had a conversation with "Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews" (Jn 3:1). Jesus revealed, "'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God'" (:5). Some people say that unless you aren't water baptized you don't qualify, but Jesus is stating a principle and not creating a checklist based upon works. Nicodemus didn't understand so Jesus responded, "'Are you a teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?'" (:10). The Jews had the Old Testament scriptures and were supposed to understand spiritual things. Jesus observed, "'You do not believe [earthly things] so how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?'" (:11). Then he proceeded to say "'whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life'" (:16).
How do you understand the concept of eternal life? Eternity depends on God. God says, "'I am God. Even from eternity I am He'" (Isa 43:12-13). "'His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity'" (Mic 5:2). "'You are from everlasting'" (Ps 93:2). "'Are You not from everlasting?'" (Hab 1:12). Furthermore, "'I live forever'" (Dt 32:40). "'From everlasting to everlasting, You are God'" (Ps 90:2). "'Your years will not come to an end'" (Ps 102:27). "'The Lord shall reign forever and ever'" (Ex 15:18). He saved Israel "with an everlasting salvation . . . to all eternity" (Isa 45:17). "His ways are everlasting" (Hab 3:6). This "momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" (2Co 4:17). It depends upon your perspective. "Things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2Co 4:18). "The one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Gal 6:8). "We have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2Co 5:1). The "free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 6:23). "This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life" (1Jn 2:25). "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (5:11). "'This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent'" (Jn 17:3). Christ "died for sins once for all" (1Pe 3:18). "Having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation" (Heb 5:9). Therefore "'he who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life'" (Jn 3:36).
"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God" (1Jn 4:15). What does it mean if you are "in the faith" (:5)? The preposition "in" grammatically can mean indicatng a belief such as with "the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness" (Ro 4:5). Therefore "God abides in him" (1Jn 4:15) because he "believes in Him" (Ro 4:5). "We know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit" (1Jn 4:13). To abide means to stay or remain in a permanent relationship. Is "Christ is in you?" (2Co 13:5). The preposition "in" denotes a location or place. His teaching is based on "if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus" (Eph 4:21). "Let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning . . . [and] you also will abide in the Son and in the Father" (1Jn 2:24). "You know Him who has been from the beginning . . . [because] the word of God abides in you" (:14). We "abide in the teaching of Christ" (2Jn 1:9). Jesus expressed that "'My words abide in you'" (Jn 15:7) and that you "'abide in Me, and I in you'" (:4). "Just as it has taught you, you abide in Him" (1Jn 2:27). He has "given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true" (5:20). "After listening to the message of truth . . . having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph 1:13). "The anointing which you received from Him abides in you . . . [and] His anointing teaches you about all things" (1Jn 2:27). "His seed abides in him . . . because he is born of God" (3:9). "In Him we live and move and exist" (Ac 17:28). "In Him you have been made complete" (Col 2:10). The anointing is from the "'Spirit of truth . . . [and] you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you'" (Jn 14:17). It is "for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever" (2Jn 11:2). "The one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son" (1:9).
In English class they teach about past, present and future verb tenses. Figuratively speaking you can learn from past experience to apply what has been learned to present circumstances which points to future applications. Occasionally you see in the news what smaller percent of people actually plan adequately for the future. Many don't want to confront the reality of when "you will come to the grave" (Job 5:26). There is the reality that "the honor of old men is their gray hair" (Pr 20:29). When a person confronts this he may request "Do not cast me off in the time of old age" (Ps 71:9) or "Even when I am old and gray, O God, do not foresake me" (7:18). He will ask "Do not forsake me when my strength fails" (71:9). Of course we know it is "'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit'" (Zec 4:6). Then he will ask to postpone a decision "'until I declare Your strength to this generation'" (Ps 71:18). However, we do know "You have made my days as handbreaths . . . surely every man at his best is a mere breath" (Ps 39:5). At least we can inquire "'Lord, make me to know my days; let me know how transient I am'" (:4).
People are encouraged when they read "with long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation" (Ps 91:16). It's also okay to ask because "he will call on me and I will answer him" (:15). "Even to your old age I will be the same . . . I will carry you" (Isa 46:4). How does this happen? "To see good days . . . [you] must turn away from evil and do good" (1Pe 3:11). "Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding. With him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding " (Job 12:12-13). "The fear of the Lord prolongs life" (Pr 10:27). If you walk in My ways, keeping My commandments . . . then I will prolong your days" (1Ki3:14).
"You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you . . . that you may prolong your days in the land" (Dt 5:33). "Keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged" (6:2). "Let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you" (Pr 3:1-2). "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you" (9:10-11).