Merry Christmas? What the Christian Faith Has To Do With Mental Health

By Nancy Virden (c)2022

We were all created for a relationship with God. It is only there we find our deepest needs met for complete joy, peace beyond our understanding, and unconditional, unending love.

Sin separates us from God, destroying our relationship with him. Jesus Christ, God’s divine Son, came to earth as a human baby and lived the only sinless life ever. He willingly gave up this life to die by crucifixion, and in so doing his sinless blood was shed. This blood, unstained by anything that is contrary to God, serves as the payment for our sins.

Jesus rose from the dead and lives today at the right hand of God. If we believe that our need for a Savior is met by faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, we can “accept” it by repenting from our sins and trusting in his salvation. This is how we sinful creatures are restored to having any relationship with God.

This relationship is good and wonderful in the here and now. It also leads to eternal life in heaven. Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). All other paths to God are false; all other hope is futile. Jesus alone conquered death and made way for us to also live forever.

If this sounds arrogant, too good to be true, or even laughable to you, it is probably because you have never accepted the premise that God wrote a volume of books that we print under one cover called the Holy Bible. Oh, but you say men wrote it? “All scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16) and “…prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

By believing these inerrant scriptures, one opens to a world that others do not know exists. That is why they mock. One of the writers, Paul, speaking to believers said, “What we have received is … the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us… The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:12-14).

I have not found anyone, myself included, who has a strong relationship with God by faith in Jesus and who does not suffer. We all hurt. The Christian faith is no escape from pain. When people say Jesus is merely a crutch, they do not know what they are talking about. I have been severely depressed to the point of attempting suicide and have experienced wild mood swings and anxiety and yet God has not let me go. My peace comes from the knowledge that I am never alone.

I take medications for mental health and yet God has not discharged me. Some sense of stability may be medicinal, but joy comes from knowing him and his unending love.

My personal identity cannot come from a pill. I wake each day knowing I am loved. All day long, no matter what or how I feel, I know the perfect Heavenly Father adores me. I belong to an imperfect yet generally loving human family of fellow believers. Purpose and adventure are tied up in loving God back by learning to love his people as he does.

There are no mental health guarantees because life is challenging. There is a guarantee of endless hope because Jesus came. Therefore, Merry Christmas!

-COMMENTS WELCOME

Today’s Helpful Word

John 14:1
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”-Jesus

How the Difference Maker Lifts You Above Depressive Thoughts (c)2020

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If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

HOLY BIBLE, NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, COPYRIGHT © 1996, 2004, 2015 BY TYNDALE HOUSE FOUNDATION. USED BY PERMISSION OF TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC., CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS 60188, PER BIBLE GATEWAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. RETRIEVED FROM HTTPS://WWW.BIBLEGATEWAY.COM/

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