ON THE JOURNEY

MICHAEL DUVAL, LEAD PASTOR

Adele is one of the most popular and acclaimed singers on the planet.  She’s sold more than 120 million records, won fifteen Grammy Awards, and has been named Artist of the Year by Billboard three times.  Time magazine has twice named her one of the most influential people in the world.

 

And yet, when Adele and her husband were recently going through a divorce, she said:  “My anxiety was so terrible, I'd forget what I had or hadn't said about separating."  She eventually had an anxiety attack.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 31 percent of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.  Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America, affecting forty million adults ages eighteen and older in any given year.

 

When dealing with depression or another mental health challenge, it can be so valuable to seek help from counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists.  Their assistance can be used by God toward healing.

 

God also uses the church as a caring community of faith to help people who are struggling.  Jim Denison points to research that shows a range of health benefits of religious services:

 

  •       Medical workers who said they attended religious services frequently were 29 percent less likely to become depressed, 50 percent less likely to divorce, and five times less likely to commit suicide than those who never attended.
  •       Regular service attendance helps shield children from depression, substance abuse, and premature sexual activity.
  •       People who attended church as children are more likely to grow up happy, to be forgiving, to have a sense of mission and purpose, and to volunteer.
  •       "Deaths of despair" (deaths by suicide, drug overdose, or alcohol) are reduced 68 percent for women and 33 percent for men who regularly attend religious services.

 

In worship services we have the opportunity to do what 1 Peter 5:7 teaches:  “Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.” (GW)


-Michael