Freedom from rejection and our mental illness demands the stability of an intimate love relationship with Christ in our lives. Regularly basing our self-worth on grace and the Christian’s position in Christ, rather than on performance, can free us from our fears of being unloved, unworthy, and insignificant. Also, children of God can remain confident that the Father’s Love will still hold their lives firmly, in spite of the stormy winds of life.
Personal strongholds often result from rejection. Rejection can hold our minds hostage by controlling how we act, think, and feel. Depression, low self-esteem, distrust of others, perfectionism, self-rejection, suicide, anxiety problems, shame, and relationship troubles can result from being rejected. Dealing with rejection is hard for anyone, especially with someone with a mental illness.
God never designed mankind to feel and be that way. By the Creator of the Heavens and Earth,” man was created in His perfect image” (Genesis 1:26-27); unfortunately, free will and sin made us into hell-sentenced sinners (Romans 6:23). Our disobedience separated us from God; produced too many wars among men; birthed every human with a “spiritual mental illness”; and created suffering of all sorts, including what those with a real mental illness daily experience. Man fears rejection because it again has to feel the shame associated with being imperfect. Instead of reconciling with God through grace, which brings back true joy and contentment (Roman 5:1, Isaiah 12:3), we instead subconsciously become approval addicts who attempt to use performance to prove self-worth, a faulty measure to remedy shame. Robert S. McGee sums it up like this: “One of the tragic implications of this event (Adam’s rebellion) is that man lost his secure status with God and began to struggle with feelings of arrogance, inadequacy, and despair, valuing the opinions of others more than the truth of God. This has robbed man of his true self-worth and has put him on a continual, but fruitless, search for significance through his success and the approval of others”.
Our spiritual “mental illness” craves to do wrong and struggles to do right; feels shame and fears rejection because, again, it hates to be reminded of its flaws; experiences futility in the use of performance, addictions, and possessions to remedy pain – this reflection we see in the mirror needs grace now. Even though we deserted Him, our sovereign God so desperately desires a renewed, eternal love relationship with you and me so badly, that He had His blameless Son die the death of a sinner, in hopes people will someday accept His token of Love and pardon for hell (1 Peter 2:18-24). The God, “who knows all the hairs on your head” (Luke 12:6-7), wants you to call him “Abba Father” (Galatians 4:6). As Wayne Jacobsenan once said, “No matter how unloved you have felt in the past, no matter how lost you feel in your sin, God knew all that when He chose you – and He wants you anyway.”
“God’s Love is unconditional, which means that it has absolutely nothing to do with us. Thankfully, God doesn’t love us for who we are, but because of who he is” (David J. Stewart). To God, you are the lost coin that the owner desperately seeks after (Luke 15:8-10). You are one sheep out of a hundred that the shepherd goes after in hopes of finding. (Luke 15:1-7). God is right now knocking on the door that leads to your heart, saying “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20-21). Please open the door and let Him in.
If you seek true inner peace, Love, contentment, freedom from hell, and want your shame be covered by His grace, wholeheartedly pray this prayer, written by Charles Stanley, to God: “Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner. I want to thank You for loving me so much that You paid the price for my sins on Calvary’s Cross. I lay my life down before You and ask that You would come into my heart and make me complete in You. I accept your forgiveness as atonement for my sins. Thank You that I am given new life through You. From this day forward, teach me to follow only You”. (For more information on “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation”, please go to www.inpursuitoffreedomministries.com/Salvation.htm).
“You aren’t loved because you’re valuable. You’re valuable because God loves you” (Anonymous). “When you accept His Son’s death on the cross as payment for your sins (John 3:16), you become of child of God. You are grafted into His family, and your life has an eternal worth (Romans 11:17). There is nothing you can do to become more worthy. And there is nothing anyone can say about you that will cancel God’s love for you.” (Charles Stanley, from his book, Dealing with Life’s Pressures). Isn’t that what you want, to be loved in spite of your imperfections? God will, if you let Him.
“Nothing in all creation can ever separate the love God has toward His children” (Romans 8:35-39). Nothing can: not even “death; life; angels; demons; our fears for today; our worries about tomorrow; the powers of hell; no power in the sky above or in the earth below”(see Romans 8:38). Nothing can ever separate - not even our sins - the love of God to the Christian. As Charles Stanley said, “He may not always approve of your behavior, but He will never reject your personhood.”
Our Father in heaven is like the father in the Prodigal Son parable (Luke 15:11-32). In this story, the wayward child leaves his father and makes enormous, erroneous decisions. In the eyes of the Father, the Prodigal Son’s performance is way below standards. However, when the Prodigal Son realized he did wrong and came to the father asking for forgiveness, the father didn’t reject the Prodigal Son, even though the father’s other son tried to convince the father he should. Instead, the Father opened his arms, and welcomed his son back and they celebrated. The love of the father didn’t at all condemn or reject the Prodigal Son for being immoral; the father welcomed the Prodigal Son back because he was his son. That is how God is toward the unsaved sinner who comes to Christ, and also to the wayward Christian who seeks forgiveness for their sins.
Born with a real mental illness, your heart may cry: “If God loves me so much, why do I have my disability?” One obvious reason, again, is the consequences of sin. Adversity, according to Charles Stanley, “gets our attention; delivers us from pride; reveals our weaknesses and strengths; increases our hatred of sin; demonstrates the faithfulness of God; strengthens our faith; removes pride and self-centeredness;, prepares us for future service, and enables us to comfort others facing adversity.” Those are the main reasons for adversity. However, there is another purpose, interrelated to these previous ones, that I would like to drive home, discovered by Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.
Paul had his own thorn in the flesh that he struggled to deal with, like how we have our psychological mental illness as our thorn in the flesh. According to verse 8, “three different times Paul begged the Lord to take his thorn away” but each time God said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So after the third time, Paul figures out why God didn’t remove the adversity, revealed in the next two verses: “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
“Everything God does is love – even when we don’t understand Him” (Basilea Schlink). In our weaknesses, God loves to reveal His power so He can help those who need it worse than we. He also puts life struggles in our paths to build our “faith and perseverance muscles” so we can be strong in character and ready for His God-sized purpose He has for our lives (James 1:2-4). When we through Him overcome our personal giants, others will see Christ in you and then realize they can find victory through Him in their battles with their mental illness (both spiritual and real). What we must do in the meantime, is to rely upon God’s power to confront the fears that hold us down in life as we believe in and surrender to the promises God gives us to overcome our giants. Once we grow closer and closer in a love relationship with God, we learn more and more about His qualities, one of them being is His Love that would never let His children suffer more than what they can handle through Him (1 Corinthians 10:13). Another one is Romans 8:18: “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later”.
In life, as we face our fears of rejection, we must always focus upon our position in Christ, not what others who hurt you tell you. Someone once said, “Let your evaluation of worth derive from the awareness of God’s love for you. All other measures leave one in a state of delusion.” When facing the fears of the trials of life, again focus upon the truth of the Scriptures. If you embrace them, and have the courage to trust in them, the Truth will eventually set you free.
Here are some verses to read when facing adversity:
1 Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Psalms 32:8; Deuteronomy 31:6,9; Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 41:10-11; James 1:12; Psalms 27
Also read my testimony (Tyrannized No More) in how God helped me to overcome my giants.