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Devotionals

Depression, Anxiety, Suicide and The Church

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828ministries.com H3'ed 9/14/19
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The bible says the battle is for control of our thoughts. We are supposed to take any thought that is contrary to Christ and make it obedient. That is spiritual warfare. When we wake in the morning and that first feeling creeps in we are supposed to take it captive right there and then. Easy? Not on your life. It is far easier to take a magic pill and hope that you feel better. Believe me I get it but the solutions the world offers are carnal in nature and have no understanding of God or who you are in God. I have been in therapy three times, twice in the world unsaved and once in a Christian counseling situation to help me deal with the anxiety of my friend. I think there is value in being able to speak honestly about our struggles but why would you tell anyone who is not a brother or sister in Christ? A secular counselor can only offer you secular solutions. A Christian counselor will hopefully offer you biblical solutions. While speaking about our problems has value it eventually can become toxic. We all know people who have been circling that same mountain or twenty years now. They talk about it to anyone who will listen. God did not say mollify your mountain. He did not say to talk it to death. He said cast it into the sea! Again, easy? Hardly. The level of difficulty does not change what God has said. We are like the father of the epileptic son who watched his son suffer for years until Jesus comes by and points out that it is his own disbelief that is exacerbating the problem. The answer from the father is one of the best scriptures:

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief! -- Mark 9:24 (ESV)

You see beloved, the father believed in God. He believed Jesus was the Christ. Yet when it came to the one area he had never seen any relief in? He was dealing with unbelief. So he cries out when he realizes that he does believe but needs help with his unbelief! Before we go judging people suffering with mental illness, remember that they can very well fully believe but have unbelief with the one area they have seen no relief in. The prayer of this father is the prayer we need in the church for the suffering.

That leads to only one other issue that is never discussed and needs sunlight today. As the apostate church has grown over the years through the false teachings of the purpose driven church and seeker friendly theories of church growth, the level of false conversions has increased at a commensurate rate. Hear me out. The bible is crystal clear that there are false gospels which present a false christ, that cannot save anyone. Romans makes it clear that only the true Gospel has the power of God unto the salvation of man. We know from scripture that we can in fact, believe in vain. This is how in Matthew 7 we see so many standing before Jesus exclaiming Lord Lord. These are fully churched people whom He says He never knew. This is why the public church has no problem with secular teachings from the pulpit, the politics of man corroding sermons, and secular music during worship. Because they are not saved to begin with. The things of God are still foolishness to them.

Now applying that to the matter at hand, it is no wonder that so many in the apostate church system seek out the solutions of the world. Repeating scripture must seem like utter foolishness to them. Capturing thoughts and making them obedient to Christ must seem like utter foolishness to them. Prayer? Laying hands by the elders? Intercession? Worship? How does that stack up in the unregenerate mind compared to a little pill, twice a day? God's way requires faith. It requires work. It requires patience. The world? It requires a glass of water and the hopes that you are so desperate to feel better that you convince yourself you do before the little pill kills you. If you spent the whole year in a church that sings songs about how special you are and sermons about how the bible is actually about you, is it any wonder you would look inward when faced with what the world calls mental health? If your church makes it a habit to not look to God for anything, why look to Him now?

In conclusion, I understand that everyone has their own experience when it comes to this topic. We share common ground in that the church can do more to help and not be so tone deaf in understanding. I am just reminding us that God is still God. One of the last tweets from Jarrid Wilson read:

Loving Jesus doesn't always cure suicidal thoughts.
Loving Jesus doesn't always cure depression.
Loving Jesus doesn't always cure PTSD.
Loving Jesus doesn't always cure anxiety.
But that doesn't mean Jesus doesn't offer us companionship and comfort.
He ALWAYS does that.

-- Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) September 9, 2019

Amen, I wish that would have been enough for Jarrid Wilson but it was not. Later that night he took his own life. I feel horribly for his family and for the suffering he had to experience in this life. If you wish to debate suicide and salvation, take the argument somewhere else. If you want to blame the victim, take the argument somewhere else. Likewise however, if you want to prop up psychotropic medication and carnal counseling, take those arguments somewhere else. Not saying your experience is not real to you. It just is not my experience and I will always try to reflect to God. Somewhere in the sands of time I am still waiting for that next bus and praying to a God I would not know for ten more years that there be only a handful of people on it. If you do not understand that is ok. That is why these things are so personal to us who have had the struggle. Those of us who have had to suffer. I thank God for continuing to deliver me from these lies of the devil every single day. Like a thorn in my flesh it creeps up every now and again and I have to strive to take thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ because He has said that His grace is sufficient for me. So even though He has taken me so far, there will always remain a sliver of myself sitting on the front of the ferry in January wondering if I will ever feel normal again.

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