Monday’s devotion was led by Nick Hillman

He talked to us about our issues with worries, fears and anxieties. People can often tend to think that Christians have it all together and that we don’t face the same challenges and difficulties that others face, indeed some churches preach this, but he feels differently. We are human- we all face the same things, but the difference for us is that we have someone who we can take these problems to in God.

A number of years ago Nick had several periods of depression. Looking back there were several factors that came into play that he believes led to it happening, but at the time he didn’t see any of them until seemingly his life fell apart before me. During this period the only thing that kept him and held him was the support of church and family and friends praying for him. Slowly he came out of it and despite how grim it was at the time, strangely he was glad it happened – He learnt a lot about himself through it. Whether it was the prayers of those around him, or his prayers that helped the situation he'll never know, but he believes it did help. He doesn't know what he would have done if he hadn’t had Jesus to turn to.

We all have the worries, fears, anxieties. Whether it is money, our children, our future. Our families in our projects will have all these too, and more – how they will cope with their illnesses, or for some how they will cope with the time when their loved ones pass away.  The Bible has quite a lot to say about these things. Here are just a few.

Joshua 1:9 says Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

1 Peter 5:6-7 says Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message Translation) says Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.

The last verses really hold true for Nick. A few weeks ago when he came out of hospital, he was completely overwhelmed with the 4-5 days before and found himself mentally in a really bad place again. Whilst he was in hospital he felt OK, but the moment he got home it was a different story. Physically not able to do much at all he found himself just praying and again, he came to find the worries and fears gradually ease. It was also during this time that he really found myself focussing on this song: