When believers despair: Revd Dr Kevin Bidwell, Autumn Lectures 2016

When believers despair: Revd Dr Kevin Bidwell, Autumn Lectures 2016

The Bible’s realism concerning suffering in the Christian life was the focus for Revd Dr Kevin Bidwell’s preaching at The Christian Institute’s annual Autumn Lectures.

Referring to the mourning and despairing believer of Psalms 42 and 43, and the characters of Job and Naomi, he encouraged Christians to keep walking by faith and trusting Christ, despite intense discouragement.

He also pointed to examples of people from church history, including the hymn writer William Cowper, who suffered from depression and melancholy throughout his life.

Dr Bidwell highlighted Hebrews 4:15 as an encouragement to believers who are suffering from spiritual or psychological depression.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are,  yet without sin.” (ESV)

He reiterated that “Jesus is our sympathetic high priest” and challenged Christians to lay hold of this truth, by coming to the Lord in prayer.

As a final encouragement, Revd Bidwell pointed to James 1:12:

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (ESV)

Revd Dr Kevin Bidwell is the minister of Sheffield Presbyterian Church.