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The Bible's Answer To Mental And Emotional Health

DEPENDING UPON GOD FOR OUR MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH


I am not a big fan of the phrase “unprecedented times." It seems that it is thrown around and used daily in the media or church. Yet, I cant come up with a better description for the day that we live in.


What we have been experiencing over the last 20-24 months has been unprecedented in many ways. The stress of covid and the financial pressures that have come from lockdowns and slowdowns have been overwhelming for many. We continue to face many different societal tensions and agendas. There is a consistent barrage of world and government conflicts that have led or appear to be leading to war. Then the constant pressures of media and social media. I do not forget that other things could be added to this.



We are also living in a time when there is a significant emphasis on mental and emotional health. As I think about this, when I was a teen and even as an adult into my late 30s, I am now 50; mental health was never thought of or talked about. I am not suggesting it was unimportant or a problem, but it was not highlighted like today. I believe one reason for its rise in prominence is that the times we live in are bringing to the surface what many are struggling with.


I also believe that much of what we see happening today will likely continue and intensify as the day speeds toward the end. This means these mental and emotional health problems will remain and even become more severe, especially if there is no way to walk in health in this area.


I have talked with many Christians and non-Christians, and I see people overwhelmed with depression and anxiety. Many people are struggling with motivation. I have spoken with some who think, “what’s the point?” Others want to hide away or give up. The responses and emotions are pretty natural, given the climate that we live in.

As Christians, we don’t often talk about mental or emotional health. In the church, we talk a lot about the provision of God for spiritual health, and the reason for that is obvious. In some churches that believe in divine health and healing, we talk about the provision of God for our physical health. But I found that we rarely talk about the provision of God for mental/emotional health. If we do, it is often a passing comment or thought. We rarely look at mental health in the Bible.

That is what this post is all about. The provision God has provided to us to walk in Mental or Emotional Health.


INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE'S ANSWER TO MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH


The Bible is very clear; God tells us that in this world, we will have troubles. He tells us that in the final days, there will be increasingly difficult and troubling times. He gives us a clear understanding even as Christians, we will face trials, temptations, and trouble. Yet God also says that we can live and have peace.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 - Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.


Notice: God wants to give us peace in every way. Of course, spiritual peace is most important, but God desires to provide us with peace in every area of our life.


Psalm 4:8 - I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You, Lord, make me dwell safely and securely.

Notice: Because the Lord causes us to dwell safely and securely that we can lie down (rest) and sleep in peace. How many today struggle with sleep because they are worried?


Psalm 55:22 - Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved.


We see in 3 John that God speaks to us and says that He would want that all would go well, that we would be in good health. I believe that is in every area of our life, just as our soul is well or prospers.


3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, even as your soul is well.



ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO LIFE

The Bible gives us some very practical things that will help us with our mental and emotional health, but they will only work or will only work well when the foundation is understood. The starting point is understanding that God has provided to us all things that pertain to life.


2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and excellence,


Here we see that God through Jesus Christ has provided us all that we need for every part of our life. We will see the answer to mental health in the Bible starts with Jesus.


Here is some great news in the gospel, and that is, yes, there will be problems, troubles, events, and happenings that have the potential to steal our peace and inflict depression and worry - but God does not expect us to handle these things in our strength and mental capacity.

God, through His divine power, has given to us all things that pertain to life. Some might think I am leaving out the phrase, “and godliness.” But I am not. We will get to that shortly; the truth is I am not leaving out the spiritual aspect because it is in the spiritual that God supplies the natural. We will see that in a moment. Sometimes we get focused on the spiritual, not realizing that in the spiritual is all that is needed for the natural. I want us to see that God has supplied all things that pertain to our lives, even our natural lives, even our mental and emotional health.

God wants us well. If He didn’t we wouldn’t have promises like in the verses we saw above. We wouldn’t have the assurance from 3 John. Some think that God inflicts, but that is a lie. It is the devil who goes around to destroy. Depression, anxiety, fear, or anything else used today to describe these mental and emotional problems are not from God. God will not inflict us with those things. Jesus came to give us life and to walk in an abundance of life.

  • God wants you to be full of joy.

  • God wants you to be at rest.

  • God wants you to be at peace.

  • God wants you to have calm.

  • God wants you to have healthy emotions.


Even sicknesses like OCD, bipolar, and psychosis, God has provided healing. Jesus paid it all; Jesus took upon Himself all our sickness and disease, even mental illness so that we can be healed and walk in wholeness.

So God has provided all things that pertain to life, and it is found in Jesus.


Here is something we need to remember, which at times, we forget. God has not saved us only for us to depend upon Him for salvation and then depend on ourselves for our natural physical life. No! Every part of our life, both spiritual and physical, must be lived in submission to Him and dependence upon Him for everything. This means we must have faith and dependence upon God for our emotional and mental well-being. The only coping mechanism that will bring sustained and life-changing mental strength is found in God.


MY PERSONAL EXAMPLE


Many know my story. If you don’t, you can find it here or here. I talked with a friend who has known me for many years and asked me about my physical situation. They asked if I was in pain all the time. I told them, yes, I live with some degree of pain all the time for the most part. They then asked me about my attitude; they said it seems that I am generally happy and in a good mood despite being in pain. This person mentioned that they have found that people with chronic pain tend to be bitter and very irritable, yet that wasn't the case with me. I told them that it was Jesus. I have faith in Him and trust Him, and He is my strength. It may appear a simple answer, but it is true.



SALVATION FOR OUR ENTIRE BEING


God has provided salvation for our entire being. He is looking to preserve blameless every part of us.


1 Thessalonians 5:23 - May the very God of peace sanctify you completely. And I pray to God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Let us look into this passage and focus on the soul. Most recognize that our soul is comprised of our mind, emotions, and will. When sin entered the world, every part of us was affected. Our body, our spirit, and our soul were corrupted and polluted by sin. But notice in this verse, it says that God has purposed to sanctify us wholly. Then it gives a further explanation or description, and we see that God is looking to preserve the whole person, spirit, soul (mind, emotions, will), and body blameless, even to the coming of Jesus. God is interested in every part of you.


PROVISION OF HEALTH FOR OUR MIND IN SALVATION

John 3:14-17 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish/, but may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Look at verse 17 - For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.


That last word in verse 17 comes from a Greek word, “Sozo” in the original text. It means to save, that is, deliver or protect, heal, preserve, to do well, be made whole, and it is talking about the entire person - spirit, soul, and body.


The objective of salvation found within the New Testament is for complete healing and wholeness of spirit, soul (mind, emotions, will), and body in this present life (the life we are living today) by looking to Jesus Christ in faith.


In the purposes of God, who looks upon the world, who loves the world, who loves you and me, sent Jesus. Jesus walked the road to the cross, took all the shame, took the beatings, took the nails in His hands and feet, had the crown of thorns placed on His head, did so that your and my entire person might be preserved blameless. Jesus did this so that God’s divine power can supply us all that we need for life and godliness. Jesus did not pay the price of salvation for only part of you, but all of you!


I know how some might respond and say, but salvation is most important. Yes! Absolutely! Having eternal life, being born again, having the Spirit of Christ living in us, having newness of life is most important. There is no point in walking in physical or emotional, or mental health and be spiritually dead on the road to hell. Of course, that is true. But we need to see that the spiritual life that God has provided to us is also the way to walk in mental and emotional health.


The salvation that is provided to us is for our whole person, our entire being. We shouldn’t neglect one aspect of what Jesus paid for.


Let me talk about this from a different angle. When God saves us, He puts His Spirit to live inside us. We are born again by the Spirit of God, and we become the dwelling place of Him. God lives in us.


Romans 8:9 - You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.


Now here is what the Bible says about us when His Spirit is in us.


1 John 4:4 - You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.


Notice: Almighty God lives in us, in you, in me. He is at work in us and through us. We don’t have to be worried or anxious not because we are strong but because of who He is. We may face trying and difficult circumstances, but we don’t meet them alone.


Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.


Notice: The Spirit of God is living inside of us and leads and guides us. When we face something we don’t know what to do or how we will get through it, we can rely upon His Spirit to lead us.


Fruit to be produced in us by the Holy Spirit - Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law. 24 Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Notice: The Holy Spirit in our lives will produce joy and peace as we walk in the Spirit (VS 25). Even self-control. We would do well each morning as we get up to say, “Holy Spirit, I surrender to You, I depend upon You, work in me Your fruit today.” Or when we go to sleep, “Holy Spirit, thank You for Your peace tonight as I sleep.”


Think about this. The Holy Spirit should be active in our lives to bring freedom and liberty.


2 Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.




PRACTICAL THOUGHTS

Many Christians struggle in their walk of faith because they rely upon themselves to produce the things they desire. They think after they get saved, they have to do it all. When God has purposed and designed salvation to be where everything we need is found in Christ. Our complete dependence is upon Him.


We think that we have to do everything we can to be strong regarding our mental and emotional health. There is very little dependence upon God for the strength He has provided. Again, I know some are going to point out that we have responsibilities. I get that, and in a future post, we will look at those things. However, the foundation must be properly established, or those things will not work.


The first and foremost thing necessary for robust mental and emotional health is faith and dependence upon God, Christ, and His Spirit living in us.


Look at 2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control (sound mind).


Notice: God has saved us, given us His Spirit, and if we are walking according to His Spirit in us, fear is not a factor because the Spirit of God will cause us to walk by faith and not fear. He will cause us to walk in power. The Spirit of God will cause us to walk in love. He will cause us to walk in self-control or with a sound mind, a mind that is submitted to, dependent on, and led by the Holy Spirit.



WHY WE STRUGGLE


You and I as a Christian can choose to walk by the Spirit or by the flesh, by our human abilities. We can trust in the Holy Spirit or trust in ourselves. You can still be saved and do that, but it will cause a lot of grief. The things in life will overcome us, we will have fear and face worry and anxiety because we are looking to ourselves for the answer.

So the sooner we realize we can’t do it, the better. The sooner we realize how weak and feeble we are outside of God, the better.


Jesus said in Matthew 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


This verse is not just talking about our position of inability but also our attitude. When we genuinely recognize our lack of ability, the poverty in our capabilities, our poverty in doing what is needed, it opens the door to receiving all that is necessary because we stop relying upon ourselves.



CLOSING


If we want mental and emotional health, the only place to start is depending upon God.


As was read before - Psalm 55:22 - Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved.


Matthew 11:28 - Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.


John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


Have faith in what God has provided to you through Jesus Christ!


 

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