Mental Illness and the Church 3

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love...
— Ephesians 4:1-2

All I am really telling you is to love. No complicated scripture explanation here. You don't need that, you don't obey or believe what you already understand why should you need more? When we deny ourselves, whether it be our fears, our selfishness, our preconceptions, opinions, or lack of patience, then we can really love people with a mental illness, which is the number one thing that they need from you as a fellow believer.

Physical or clinical depression must be distinguished from spiritual depression. Lloyd Jones says in Spiritual Depression: "There is only one recourse:  “Go to God at once and bare your soul” – acknowledge your sin and believe that because you have done so, He really forgives you.  Avoid the common mistake of concentrating too much on your feelings – this is an extremely common error frequently made by Christians;   they are too preoccupied with their “feelings” – the dynamic of the flesh is “feeling,” and the dynamic of the Spirit is “faith” – we are called to “believe God’s Word” even when our feelings send us another message!  You have to speak the Word of God to yourself  –  “Why are you cast down my soul?  Hope in God. . . believe what He has said. . . trust Him” (Ps 42). 

Scripture says, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness” – not after happiness!  Seek for happiness and you will never find it; seek righteousness and you will discover you are happy!   Do you want to experience true happiness?  There is only one thing to do – seek Christ.  He is our joy and our happiness.  Seek Him, seek His face, and all other things shall be added unto you (Mt 6:33)". (Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, pp. 107-118)

Christianity can provide supernatural and instantaneous healing, or it can provide help, or it can at least help the person affected and those around them to be able to cope with the difficulty even if it never gets better (in fact sometimes it gets worse) and just like anyone experiencing physical illness, we love them with the love of Christ and point them to trust in the promises yet to be fulfilled in the perfect life to come. Let your soul cry out to God in desperation. We must be reminded when dealing with mental illness (or physical illness for that matter) that these bodies and this world as such are passing away, but will give way to a perfect and glorious existence that is pain free, because it is sin free, filled with beauty and joy inexpressible!

In Prayer Today:

Ask God how you can give practical love and help to someone who struggles with a mental illness this week.