UN/Broken - Day 17

Regarding Jesus and the conversation of mental health and demon possession, I think it’s essential to reference two things we mentioned in our opening week.  

Our mental health issues must be confronted on every possible level: mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  There are often no single causes and no quick fixes.  

Two, we all have disorders, ways in which we’ve learned to adapt to this broken world that may not be the best.

And I think it’s super important to recognize that Jesus wasn’t immune to struggles maintaining good mental health.  As discussed in this series, Jesus battled extreme anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.  He suffered so extremely that he sweat drops of blood. (Luke 22:42)  And we also know that Jesus was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” (Isaiah 53) The author of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus experienced what we do; he knows our struggles. (Hebrews 4: 15)

So, I believe we can come to Jesus with our mental health because Jesus knows what it’s like to struggle.

But how do we use that relationship with Jesus to help combat the forces of darkness that may be connected to our mental struggle?  Scripture has several words of advice.

  1. Keep your thoughts fixed on Jesus - The author of Hebrews tells us not to let the things of this world, or the works of the devil, distract us from running the race of faith.  To do this, he reminds us to “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith...” Hebrews 12:2 NLT
  2. Take every thought captive - The apostle Paul faced many battles as a follower of Jesus.  His obstacles came from those in the flesh and from the spiritual realm.  As such, he wrote, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV). So please keep your thoughts in check; don’t let them control you.  And when you struggle, ask for help from your mental health care team to redirect you to a sustainable path.
  3. Pray - After Jesus’ transfiguration, he came down from the mountain to discover a demon-possessed boy, a frustrated father, and a group of impotent disciples unable to help.  Jesus took care of the demon and told the disciples, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” Prayer is a critical part of our mental health journey; thankfully, the Holy Spirit and Jesus pray for us even when we can’t. (Romans 8)
  4. Worship - Exodus 4… When Moses was scared and didn’t think he could accept the call of God, when he was stuck looking at himself and all his weaknesses and insecurities, God reminded Moses to stop worrying and start worshiping.  Moses said, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:11-12 NLT. A few verses later, God gave Moses his sacred name, Yahweh, or I AM.  God wanted Moses to take his eyes off of himself and onto God.  That’s what we do when we worship.

Remember, in the battle of good and evil, Jesus has promised never to leave or forsake you.  He has already claimed victory over the powers of darkness.  So lean into His name, even when His name is the only word you can formulate, and rest in the knowledge that His name is higher than any other name in the universe, and He is on your side.

  • In addition to the above advice from Scripture, what other passages do you go to or cling to help your mental health in times of struggle?
  • How does knowing what Jesus went through before you help you come to him with your worries, fears, and sorrows?
  • After this reflection, find one of your favorite worship songs or hymns to listen to today.  Reflect on its words and may the tune carry you through the day.

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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M - September 26th, 2023 at 8:38am