Hey, you know what I just realized? Last week’s post was my 50th post ever, crazy stuff! To think that a year ago the Lord prompted me to start this blog to bring Him glory and now He has enabled me to continue to know Him and make Him known is amazing! Anyways, just thought I should mention that momentous occasion, and know that I am so grateful to all of you faithful readers out there who touch base every week!
So, now to get a little more real with you guys for this week’s topic. Mental illness, certainly traditionally taboo, but more recently normalized with the use of online communication that often turns corners of the Internet into group therapy sessions. This online support group of sorts is not a bad thing necessarily, it’s just… a thing. With the potential to be bad. But then again basically everything has the potential to be bad, so it’s still settled as a basically neutral concept in my mind at the moment.
With the rise of these online conversations about mental illness, you see a lot of different statements being made about where these problems come from. And I’m here with some Scripture to clear up the issue for all you Bible-believing clarification-seekers out there.
Also, trust me when I say that I understand. I mean, I seriously understand. I’ve had my own struggles with mental illness, and that’s why God has led me to share this message with you today. He taught me these truths when I was in the middle of a really hard season of my life, wondering where all of the darkness was pouring in from. And honestly, I found it really helpful to understand the answer to that. After all, if you know where the attack is coming from then you know where to defend yourself.
Here’s the thing: evil has three sources. The first is Satan and his demons, and the Bible tells us this, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 NIV). He is the father of lies, a.k.a the source. When it comes to mental illnesses, some of our afflictions are attacks from Satan. In Ephesians 6:16 we learn that Satan throws fiery darts at us. Fiery darts of anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive episodes, or depressive seasons. His deception can cause us to stumble, leading us off the straight and narrow path the Lord set before us.
The next is the world. After the Fall, the world became infected by sin, including everything in it. That means that our physical bodies are tainted by sin, resulting in imperfect bodies that function imperfectly. This means that the genetic predispositions or chemical imbalances some people may have are results of the brokenness of the physical universe. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22). The created world longs to be whole and restored again, but for now, we are left with the results of original sin. We must wrestle with these parts of our fallenness that aren’t in agreement with God’s character and press on in sanctification.
The last is… you. And me. And every human being, because we are all the not-so-proud owners of our very own sin natures. We turn to things other than the Lord for truth and find ourselves in the grasp of anxious thoughts that spiral out of control. We allow ourselves to tumble down the rabbit hole of letting our emotions control us when we should be letting the King of kings rule in our hearts and minds. The Lord commands us to take every thought captive, and yet we fall into the trap of accepting and internalizing lies that pass through our minds as facts. “But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15). Our own wicked ways can lead us to some very dark places.
So what do we do with all of this? Now you can look to the Lord for guidance, ask Him to help you discern where you need to direct your attention to grab hold of the victory Christ has already won for you.
Know that Christ has already overcome the devil, our victory is secured. He has overcome the world, we can take heart. And He promises to restore us to Him in fullness on the day He returns, so we wait in hope for that day.