There’s a fallacy that nothing good can come out of the life of someone with a mental illness. Even though his cognitive stronghold may interfere with the way he thinks, acts, or feel, it doesn’t mean the individual is totally defeated when he experiences failure. There is hope because “we can do all things through Christ which strengthened me” (Philippians 4:13). This is true for all sorts of mental illnesses.
We all have a spiritual mental illness known as our sinful nature. It is our tendency to be selfish, hateful, and at times, to injure another for personal gain. These behaviors contradict God’s law we habitually break: to love Him absolutely and to love others like ourselves. Since Satan’s trickery of Adam, choosing sin has separated man from God, sent too many sinners to hell, severed too many human relationships, brought forth the existence of real mental illnesses, and has created too much fear, shame, suffering, and hopelessness to this world. Because we let our sinful nature control us, humanity has experienced and still experiences “death” in many forms.
God doesn’t want mankind to experience death because of man’s sinful nature. He also doesn’t desire those with real mental illnesses or those who experience mental anguish to suffer either. In both cases, God has “plans for good and not for disaster, to give us a future and hope” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). He also hopes to “end our captivity and to restore our fortunes”, fortunes lost because of the consequences of our spiritual mental illness.” Our job is to let God take control of our mental illness (includes spiritual, mental anguish, and real mental illness) and trust that He will do what is best. If you don’t believe He will, read Romans 8:28.
Life and peace result when people let the Holy Spirit control their sinful nature (Romans 8:6). This requires first being saved by accepting Christ as your Savior and then daily surrendering your will in obedience to Him. When the Holy Spirit is in the driver seat, we will experience fruits like love, joy, peace, patience, and self-control in our lives (Galatians 5:22). We will all be able to experience contentment, even those who experience mental anguish or a real mental illness. People will be able to experience victories over their strongholds and then accomplish things that they never believe could happen because God would empower them to do so. God may then uses these people to give hope to those who struggle with their own kind of mental illness.
I know this all can happen to you because I increasingly see it happening to me. Although I have a lot of bad days, my growing relationship with Christ has been the stable foundation that I need to face both my bipolar disorder and OCD. When I constantly say yes to my sinful nature, this stability becomes less stable as my illness often become very frightening. However, when I surrender my fears and life to Him, I often find strength to face my disability with courage. But through it all, when I stay connected to God, I find contentment.
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