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Christians Should Celebrate Mental Illness

Updated: May 24, 2023

chalk board sign reading stop the mental illness stigma indicating christian mental illness suffering is a problem

Why do Christians Suffer Mental Illness

Christians suffer mental illness because we struggle to stay close to God. Far from true is the false doctrine that lack of faith is the reason. If the Book of Job proves anything, it is overabundant faith can lead to mental health struggles. It was because Job was a faithful man that God loosed Satan upon him. On the other end of the spectrum, King

Nebuchadnezzar backslid, which is lack of faith, and God cursed him with mental illness.

Christians should praise God for mental struggles. If even Jesus suffered mental stressors in the Garden of Gethsemane, can we expect any less as His followers? The church tends to focus on relieving mental sickness instead of understanding its benefits. Yes, I did say mental illness has benefits!

Here are just a few benefits of Christians suffering mental health issues:

1. It makes us more dependent on Jesus. Of course, this is not always true, but we are focusing on true Christians in this article. There is nothing like calling out to God during the storms of life. The mature Christian understands even during severe depression, we must continually pray and seek the face of God.

2. Mental illness forces contemplation. This is not only true of Believers but those who are lost as well. Depression, for the nonbeliever, assigns focus to one’s shortcomings. Depression, for the Believer, forces contemplation even if it’s asking Him why. Believers must be careful, however. Nothing can drag the Saints away from the Lord Jesus quicker! Stop focusing on your shortcomings and re-focus on the strength of the Lord!

3. It builds our dependence on the Holy Spirit. I challenge Bible students to carefully read the writings of King David. Rarely was David as dependent on the Holy Spirit as when he had sinned and/or was surrounded by enemies. Yes, there is mention of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. For example, read Psalms 51. Let me guess – you thought it was a New Testament concept because some would-be Bible Preacher told you so?

In summary, Christian mental illness is a reality. However, how we deal with it is much different than those who are lost. Our mental issues force us into places of contemplation which should strengthens our faith. Further, it is one of the ways in which we “spiritually lift weights” to increase our endurance (faith).

Why do Christians Commit Suicide

Christians commit suicide because they have ceased being Christian. Although most Bible teachers will not speak directly on this, I will. I have heard it said that no one knows why a professed Christian commits suicide. This is untrue. IF the Lord sent the Pastor/Preacher, they know why yet refuse to tell you the truth (aka lie). As a Pastor for some years now, and being afforded access to your “leaders”, there is something you should know. Although they would never admit it (to you anyway), they think you are dumb, weak, and can’t handle the truth! Their solution of "comfort" is lying to make you feel better. Sounds impossible but as God is my witness, this is true.

Here is what is true: any suicide, having formerly accepted Jesus, declared their distrust in God, and have accused Him of being a “liar”. If the Lord said: “I am your refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble”, and we kill ourselves, how is that NOT accusing God?

The next question is logically: “if someone has mental illness and commits suicide, do they go to Heaven?” The answer is NO, they do not unless God is lying in the Bible. In fact, suicides are, right now, burning and screaming alive FOREVER, in the Lake of Fire (Hell).

Here are reasons why Christians who commit suicide are in Hell:

1. They didn’t do what Jesus commanded. The Bible makes a connection between enduring the struggle of pain and being a true follower of Jesus Christ. I will spare you the soliloquy on “thou shall not kill” because that is not as straightforward theologically. Nevertheless, it is impossible to love Jesus, and then murder what He loves (you). In effect, anyone who self-murders was in a place of rebellion having lost faith. Scripture clearly says: “without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe He exists and is a rewarder of them which diligently seek Him.” How does “killing what God loves” (you), and then “not having faith enough to keep living” please the Lord?

2. Suicides hate both themselves and everyone else. The Bible is clear on the penalty for hating “self” and “others”. Let me explain. Not only is suicide the ultimate act of self-hate against the image of God (us), but it destroys the peace and joy of loved ones who are left behind. 1st Corinthians 13 spells out what love is and what it is not. One (1) of the “it is nots” is “love does not insist on its own way”. If deciding on suicide is not insisting on one’s own way, what does? People who leave behind “notes” declaring their love for others are confused liars. How is it possible to love someone and then “kill” what they love? That doesn’t sound like love - it sounds like hate.

3. The former Christian has spilled blood that requires payment. Spilling the blood of a human being is heinous because, and according to the Book of Genesis, “blood cries to God from the ground”. Jesus spilt His blood so that those who “spilled the blood of others” can be forgiven if they repent. Sinful humans cannot pay the ransom God requires for blood they spill – or their own for that matter. Further, suicides cannot repent, so how is it possible to either recompense God, or accept the recompense Jesus offers before they die (through repentance)?

In summary, Christians commit suicide because they have turned their backs on God, hate themselves, and have forgotten what true love is. I know this is hard to hear, but it is true. A family member of mine just murdered himself several weeks ago. I grieve for him but more so for his lovely wife and children.

Why Christians Should Celebrate Suffering

Christians should celebrate suffering because it is only through struggle, that we see the face of God. I cannot imagine my personal journey without having both suffered much and caused much suffering as well. Causing the suffering of others is often a reason for mental health issues. For instance, before I came to the Lord, I caused much suffering in the life of others.

After having been saved by Jesus, and forgiven, the true horror of what I had done finally became apparent. It was not my personal suffering, at the hands of others, which caused the greatest mental stress either. It was what I had done to others.

Here are reasons to celebrate our “pursuit” of the Lord:

1. We should be dead, literally, but are yet alive. Scripture tells us: “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus”. We were sinners before being saved by Jesus and should have been paid “wages”. However, instead of killing us, God provided eternal life. Suffering mental illness is a small price to pay to stay out of Hell!

2. The Holy Bible tells us to. Scripture says, “enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise”. Another text says - “for we do know that all things work together for the good of them that love God, and to them that are called according to His purpose”. This list could grow exponentially but you get the idea. What I did not see in the Bible, was allowance to turn our backs on God.

3. Not accepting struggle is accusing God of insufficiency. In point #2, I reminded us to Scripture says, “all things work together for the good of them that love God”. To question mental struggles to the point of accusing God, is dangerous territory. The Prophet Jeremiah did so in Jeremiah chapter 20. There’s probably not a child on the planet who has not accused a parent of insufficiency at one (1) point or another. As children of God, we have all done the same to Him.

In summary, Christians should walk in and celebrate our mental health struggles because God commands it. Further, there is numerous biblical text confirming this. Most of all, Jesus, the Son of God, suffered as a human and neither you nor I should expect anything less.

Header Image Courtesy of Gerd Altmann @ Pixabay

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