INTRODUCTIONTHIS BOOK tackles the very complex problem of how to find peace of mind, something which is itself hard to define.
How to achieve peace is one of the most controversial and difficult questions to answer today. After studying the problem one is forced to conclude that many different factors enter into the determination of how peaceful one particular person may be in contrast to another. The author touches on many of these factors in a manner that makes interesting reading, and gives some very useful advice for anyone seeking peace.
Mrs. Pentecost also covers thoroughly the relationship between true Christianity and peace of mind. She has many good suggestions for the Christian who wishes to utilize the benefits available to him because he is a Christian. The author is equipped to speak on the subject, not only because of her research, but because she, herself, has experienced suffering and has come to know the joy of peace.
I feel that this book should prove of real value to those who long for peace of soul.
Marion H. Nelson, M.D.
MY LIFE has never been calm or easy. Physical and emotional problems have plagued me since early childhood. I have struggled with worry, fears, and anxiety for as long as I can remember though I have been a Christian since my teens. Because of my family background and physical condition, it has been harder for me to adjust to the pressures of life than for many.
In our first pastorate I began developing numerous emotional symptoms. Doctors agreed that they were brought on by years of strain, constant physical pain, and the extra pressure of a difficult pastorate. During the years that followed, I looked everywhere for peace. I read many books looking for the answer to my needs. Some were of little help because they made no attempt to show me how to find GOD's peace though Scripture verses were used. A few, written by godly ministers, actually frightened me and added to my misery. These men suggested that only those who were spiritually out of fellowship with the Lord and living in unconfessed sin ever suffered with nervous or mental disorders. Though I sought the Lord's answers for long hours, none was given. I could never completely know the assurance that sin was not the source of my troubles because I felt these men knew better than I. One author said that he felt those who had any nervous troubles were not even saved.
During the years of slow recovery under the guidance of two Christian doctors and the Lord, I longed to have someone who had suffered in a similar way write a book that would be easy to understand telling how recovery was made. I wanted to know how to find the way back to health and strength; and most of all, how to be sure that my relationship with the Lord was what it should be. Little did I realize fifteen years ago that the Lord would give me the privilege of writing such a book.
This message is the result of what GOD has taught me through His Word and His servants, both ministers and doctors. It is given with the assurance that I do understand your needs because I am a fellow sufferer. Many personal secrets have been revealed herein with the prayer that the Lord will use what is written to show the way out of your misery. All that I have suffered will be more than worthwhile if this will help even a few to find peace.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (II Corinthians 1:3, 4).
A part of the material used here was first taught to a ladies' Bible class. The response showed the need, and many pleas were made that this be written in permanent form.
I want to express my appreciation to the ladies of Grace Bible Church who have faithfully prayed as I have written and to those special ones who have given suggestions and quotations. My gratitude also goes to three Christian doctors who have helped me learn the truths expressed in this book. Dr. Webb and Dr. Varker of Philadelphia, and Dr. Nelson of Dallas. Dr. Nelson, a friend and our former family physician is now a psychiatrist at a state mental hospital in Texas. He has given many hours of precious time in discussing the medical and psychiatric problems mentioned in this book. He has kindly checked all the medical statements for accuracy and his suggestions have been followed.
Many thanks go to Professor Haddon Robinson, of Dallas Theological Seminary, who helped me plan the layout of this book and encouraged me to write to the very best of my ability. Thanks is due also to my mother, who listened attentively to the ideas as they developed, and gave extra help with my household duties while I was writing. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, my husband, and Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, has read and corrected the manuscript with special attention to the Biblical and theological facts. There is always gratitude and thanks in my heart to my dear husband, who has helped me so faithfully through the years and is the one who taught me the most about how to have peace.
Dorothy Harrison Pentecost
The Secret of Suffering, by Rolf L. Veenstra, a pastor. This gives complete and satisfying answers to suffering. It is easily understood and a real comfort to all who suffer, whatever the cause.
The Way of Release, by Ernest White, M.S., B.S., a British specialist in medical psychology. A comforting and helpful book written on a layman's level, but too brief a treatment to deal in much detail psychologically or theologically.
Why Christians Crack Up, by Marion H. Nelson, M.D., seminary-trained Christian psychiatrist. Plainly written on a level that all can understand. The medical facts are presented with Scripture to support all answers to the problems of emotional suffering among Christians. Highly recommend this.
The God of All Comfort, by Hannah Whitall Smith. A special older book of comfort to Christians with reference to many Bible verses that show how GOD gives His comfort.
The Quest for Serenity, by George Morling, professor and minister. Excellent on how to find GOD's peace. Written on a very scholarly level, takes careful, thoughtful reading to understand.
Release from Nervous Tension, by David Harold Fink, M.D., outstanding California neuro-psychiatrist. Written purely from a medical viewpoint, gives self-directed methods of relaxation. Includes a ten-week course of rehabilitation on how to cope with the tensions of our times. Written in a conversational, interesting manner that all can understand.