By Tian Mei
Some time ago the entertainment media continually reported the death of a star. On the day the incident occurred, the police received a phone call. As a result, the police found a man dead in a residential building. A preliminary forensic investigation excluded the possibility that he had been killed. The man was identified as a star, 28, who was a sunshine boy on the screen. I had heard his songs and watched the films and variety shows he had participated in. All of them gave me the impression that he was handsome and bright. In the beginning, like many net friends, I thought it was fake news hyped by the media or a practical joke. Later, I read several related reports, discovering that the star had been tortured with depression for a long time before he died. I then watched a TV report of his memorial service in the entertainment news. Only then did I finally accept the fact that he had committed suicide because of depression. After that, I felt a deep sense of loss over several days. How fragile life is! I have just seen his lively image in a TV show. He was young with promising prospects. How come his life came to an end in such a sudden way? These celebrities, seemingly successful, have obtained both fame and fortune that most people dream of. Why are such successful people depressed? Some stars openly admitted in interviews that due to stress they suffered from perennial insomnia and could fall asleep only through drinking alcohol or taking medicines. If an ordinary man feels his life is uneventful, dreary, and empty, it is understandable. However, do these people who possess many fancy clothes, cars, houses, boats and other material wealth not feel fulfilled in their hearts?
Several years ago, when I first heard the term “psychotherapist,” I felt it quite absurd, and thought, “How can man be emotionally ill?” Take depression as an example. It’s simply a state of being anxious or empty; how can it be considered as an illness?” I didn’t understand it until a friend of mine in her 50s got depression. She had a happy family, she and her husband were in good health, and both of her sons found a desirable job after graduation. To the people around her, she lived a peaceful and happy life, but she felt her life was empty and that it was meaningless to live. In normal people’s eyes, she was being absurd. However, she was somehow trapped, unable to extricate herself, and was in an absent-minded trance all day. Afterward, her daily life was affected. She was sent to the psychiatry department of a hospital by her family and was diagnosed with depression. Consequently, she had to take medicines, and her family was required to spend more time keeping her company and communicating with her in case she hurt herself. Her condition has lasted for a few years now. Yet neither seeing therapists nor taking medicines has brought any improvement to her health. During these years, I saw on TV more than once that celebrities committed suicide because of depression, I’ve come to admit in my heart that depression is indeed an illness, a spiritual illness. If it is serious enough, it will affect man’s work and life, and can even lead to suicide. Today, depression has already drawn widespread attention from the general public. As a result, relevant researches have emerged and medicines have been developed to treat various forms of depression. However, can science really explain such a spiritual illness? Can medicine really cure it?
For several thousand years, we all live under Satan’s domain. Satan has corrupted us in a variety of ways so that we become more and more distant from God, and lose the supply from God. Though our material life is rich, our heart gets so deserted and exhausted that we are at a loss. Getting to the root of the matter, since our ancestors Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan and betrayed God, this mankind has strayed from God and followed Satan. Satan uses various ways to achieve its aim of taking possession of man’s heart and spirit. Whatever we do, including our work, study, life, leisure activities, and research are all under the control of Satan and full of Satan’s philosophy and thinking. First, Satan has fame and gain mixed in with knowledge, so we depart from our original intention of learning knowledge. We regard knowledge as the tool for pursuing fame and gain, and lose our way. Second, Satan uses science to satisfy our curiosity and desire of exploring mysteries, so that we only believe in the material world and try to explain everything with science. Satan often uses ambiguous sayings to numb us and hold on to our hearts. Even some religious experts have conducted researches into the relic of Noah’s ark in order to judge the authenticity of the record of the Bible. We have seen the ark, but could we see the existence of God in the appearance of the ark? Could we see God’s will when He destroyed the world with floods? Third, Satan uses traditional culture to constrain our thinking. We become tightly bound by the rules that were set down by our ancestors. Besides, Chinese Confucianism and Daoism, all kinds of activities on traditional holidays, cumbersome wedding and funeral ceremonies, and many other aspects of traditional culture are rooted deep within the minds of each generation. We believe that once we neglect any part of these things we will be unlucky for the whole year. Fourth, through an assortment of superstitious activities, Satan gets us to worship various idols, but not the one true God. Fifth, Satan employs a more insidious method to corrupt us—social trends. Except for the gourmet and fashion trends and following celebrities, which can easily be discerned, there are still many other trends Satan causes to arise at different times, such as deceptions in the business world, and the thoughts intermingled with satanic poisons. For instance, “Money makes the mare go” and “Life is short, enjoy it while you can.” These trends are full of evil. We may not accept them when we first come into contact with them. Nevertheless, as we live in this evil world, we will inevitably be assimilated by these trends in the end. So, we all begin to worship money and evil things. We then abandon conscience, reason, and the proper attitude of being responsible for life. In a word, all that Satan does tramples our heart rather than supplying it. Gradually, we live out the image of Satan, rebelling against God, tempting God and opposing God. Our outlook on life is thoroughly warped, and what we desire and pursue in life are eating, drinking and leisure activities, indulging in our flesh and lust, with nothing to supply our heart and spirit. Our life comes from God. If we completely lose the supply from God, we can only live in emptiness and fear. It is a pity that corrupt mankind cannot find out a solution even if we have noticed the emptiness of our heart.
I was also one of the victims afflicted by Satan. When I had just graduated from university I went to a coastal city in the south of China in order to make money. It was a giddily materialistic place where everyone was on speed, and there was just no time for me to reflect or summarize. I chased after varied benefits and gained nothing, so I had a wild time out of frustration, which made me frequently lost and overcome with emptiness. In the small room I rented, there were many times when I woke up in the middle of the night, and for a few seconds I didn’t know where I was. I was in my 20s then, the prime of life, but I always felt that life was meaningless. Sometimes, when I poured out my heart to my friends and family, they said that I had thought too much. They thought life was beautiful, and that I had succeeded academically and had an enviable job. But I always felt I was short of something. Later I quit my job, went back to my hometown to work and got together with my family. But I was still tired of my life. Due to the different quality of life between the big city and the town, I was fastidious about things, complained too much and became someone who was difficult to get along with. Until several years later, I believed in God. By reading God’s words and experiencing His work, I gradually believed that there is one true God in the heavens and earth who rules over everything. He created us, has supplied us, and has been concerned about us. From God’s words, I understood the truth of how Satan has corrupted mankind, and saw God’s concern for mankind and His will to save mankind. Since then, I’ve begun to experience the real life. The road I had walked and the things I had done before I believed in God, all are pointless, ugly and regrettable, and I cannot bear to look back on them. However, since I believed in God, I’ve pursued to cast off my arrogant and devious dispositions, to live before God and fear God and shun evil. When faced with dealing and pruning, I will examine myself first. Everything I have experienced after believing in God has now become a beautiful memory. It feels wonderful! During these years of performing my duty in the church, I often enjoy peace of mind. Gradually I have found my own position in this world, and known why I live and what I should do. I believe what I have done over these years of belief in God is the most proper throughout my life. I didn’t have any significant achievement, I only want to be a real human being according to God’s word.
Having held faith so long, I have just had a bit of perceptual knowledge of God’s words, but when I practice God’s word and obey God, I can enjoy peace of mind, which I had never had in the world. This kind of feeling is what happiness is. This is how I have experienced the work of the word carried out by God in the last days. Like many brothers and sisters who have come back to this path, I have returned to God and found the wellspring of living water that can supply man’s heart and spirit. God’s word says: “Whether the words spoken by God are, in outward appearance, plain or abstruse, they are all truths indispensable to man as he enters into life; they are the fount of living waters that enables him to survive in both spirit and flesh. They provide what man needs to stay alive; the dogma and creed for conducting his daily life; the path, goal, and direction through which he must pass in order to receive salvation; every truth that he should possess as a created being before God; and every truth about how man obeys and worships God. They are the guarantee that ensures man’s survival, they are man’s daily bread, and they are also the sturdy support that enables man to be strong and stand up. They are rich in the reality of the truth of normal humanity as it is lived out by created mankind, rich in the truth by which mankind breaks free from corruption and eludes Satan’s snares, rich in the tireless teaching, exhortation, encouragement, and solace that the Creator gives to created humanity. They are the beacon that guides and enlightens men to understand all that is positive, the guarantee which ensures that men will live out and come into possession of all that is righteous and good, the criterion by which people, events, and objects are all measured, and also the navigation marker that leads men toward salvation and the path of light.” The word expressed by God is the very spiritual salvation He has bestowed upon us, and the foundation of our existence. God hopes that we can all return to Him and enjoy the bread of life from Him. Only in this way can our emptiness in the heart be thoroughly solved.
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