Category Archives: Mental Health According to The Bible

Mental Penitenturies

(2 Peter 1:3-4) His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Knowlege of God and the ways of the Lord through the person of Jesus Christ will bring freedom if these promises are inacted by faith. Real belief changes the game really because if you believe God has saved you out of darkness through the blood of Christ and has given you His approval and acceptence and love- if you truly let this soak deep then you are freed!

Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free"

Truth is the key to unlock dungeons of guilt, fear, self condemnation, and truth can open locks of imprisoning habits and mindsets. When truth is held in one hand, faith turns the key in such a lock and the door is open to freedom.

To be locked in a prison of the mind is often just as unbearable as being in an actual cell. We construct mental jails all the time, we imprison ourselves in unbreakable chains of sin and addiction all the time because we buy a lie that freedom is not possible. Some scriptural promises are easier to turn in faith then others yet if we were to as Christ followers to lay hold of every spiritual reality at its fullest of measure then nothing would hinder us.

What about Condemnation– now if we have received Christ through faith and we are forgiven by His grace we should not cage ourselves back in the prison of the Law. We should not cry out "Woe is me, Woe is me, in a cage that's door is already opened, like some silly trapped bird that thinks it is still confined but has the freedom to fly out. The silly bird will stay in such bondage as long as he truly believes the door is locked when it is really wide open.

What about fear of future unknowns? Well your belief about God's goodness, control, and wisdom will make or break you here- if you believe God is angry and spiteful or stingy with his blessings or that he does not have as good of an idea as you think you do about what is best for you then you will indeed live in paralyzing fear of what has not even happened yet. But if we truly believe Jeremiah 29:11 says "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope"

Lets not say for one moment God has no struggles in your future or a problemless existence this side of heaven, but I think the other unhealthy extreme is to assume there is nothing to look forward to but miseries and hardship and crushing trial after trial. To believe a prosperity problem free theology is dangerous, to believe in a non ending continuim of unbearable suffering is depressing but to believe the truth is liberating.
Jesus said, "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have came to give you life and life abudantly"

We know that does not mean "riches, popularity, and no problems" but it does not mean living your life in despair but victory!

Problems come but we can truimph over them in Christ! And we cannot be too quick to just say God will only bless us with spiritual blessings, (Although this is the greater) but God does provide for our basic survival needs, Jesus also said, "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink, and what you will wear"

He sums his sermon on worry up quite wonderfully by saying "Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be added to you"

The promises of God are activated by faith, not misguided presumption or on the other side of the coin not believing it works.

Unbelief is a prison of its own sort. But as Christians we are called to "walk by faith not by sight"

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Influences Of The Mind

Demonic Influence vs Regular Mental Illness

I’m not about to assert here that all mental illness is demonic, however, in secular psychology it is left out entirely. Even among Christian’s we find the idea that certain mental health disturbances being related to the unseen and invisible as preposterous. Mainly most likely because of our American culture we believe such occurrences seldom exist, but in other parts of the world this idea is not as outlandish.

In Christ’s day and in Biblical history it was recorded however, so if it happened then, them why would it not now?

Paul exhorts believers to gear up for battle against these unseen spiritual enemies and forces of wickedness.

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readinessfor the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith,and with it you will be able to extinguishall the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

The thing about evil spirits is throughout scripture they seem to have a reoccurring pattern of tactics. I do not for one moment think all mental illness is physiological, but many cases can be spiritual.

Take King Saul as a prime example, his jealousy and disobedience opened him up to such attacks and the later part of his reign was marked by paranoid fear and jealous rage.

1 Samuel 18:10-11 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

The king had no need to despise David, David had been loyal and faithful to king Saul in spite of David being told he would be the next king. Yet as the scriptures say, “Saul kept a jealous eye on David.”

So one way evil spirits can influence the mind is paranoia. Sometimes people attack those who care about them the most only out of ill suspicion and a misguided hunch.

The name Diabolos where we get the name devil means “slanderer”

The devil loves to slander and stir up suspicion and ill will among people. Not only so, the devil most enjoys slandering God to us and us to God.

Job 1, Zechariah 3:2, Jude 1:9

Lets take a look at a troubled man whom Jesus set free:

Mark 5:1-15 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

What were the characteristics of this man?

1.) Self destructive and abusive

2.) He thought Christ had come to “torture” him. – We see the evil spirits influencing his life lied to him about the character of Christ and God. Jesus had no intention to destroy the man but set him free.

3.) This man isolated from society. – Satan loves to isolate people in bondage, even Christians, in fact he would delight to see a Christian isolate from fellow believers out of, shame, fear, guilt, or a list of other reasons. Like a lion that tries to isolate its prey from the strength of the herd so the devil and his angels seek to isolate us.

Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Isolation and darkness cause problems, often many psychiatric problems can be traced back to guilt. Guilt can weigh heavily on the mind and heart and eventually drive a person mad, in Edgar Allen Poe’s classic story the “Tell Tale Heart” the man in the narrative murders a man because of his strange eye, and if he was not a lunatic before that the guilt of murder was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Proverbs 28:17 A man burdened by blood guilt will be a fugitive until death.Let no one help him.

Psalm 38:18 So I confess my guilt;I am anxious because of my sin.

A guilty conscience can drive people literally toward insanity.

Paranoia or evil suspicion or over possessiveness can be a drain too, ever heard of a story with a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend who seems to snap and stalk or go crazy in suspicion their lover is cheating, even if it is unfounded or false. They will get sick over it, overly clingy or fly into jealous rages as eventually sanity exits the building entirely. To be so possessive to such a level that you begin to be suspicious without any probable evidence shows both a serious rationale issue and heart issue.

On the mental level the overactive out of control imagination creates fictitious incidences, and from a heart level fear has strangled the life out of the individual so as to make them place their entire trust and security in a human being as the end all be all for life, hope and security. This is idolatry and I wish I could say I do not struggle personally with these temptations but I can certainly to some degree acknowledge how strong they can be.

Not all these things are directly related to evil spiritual forces, some just spring freely out of our fallen nature and sinful brokenness. However, lets consider sociopaths or psychotic twisted killers as an example: Some individuals thoroughly enjoy torturing people and animals and get an intense thrill out of such maniacal behavior, most often the regular garden variety sinful human being does not stoop that low, but it makes you wonder if people that do go that low are no longer just feeding normal sinful tendencies but rather have given themselves so much over to their sin that they are being influenced by demons themselves.

I believe opening up doors can allow evil into people’s lives such as the occult, or unresolved anger as Ephesians 4 speaks of, as well as other sins. Unforgiveness is another terrible prison.

Strongholds can develop if we do not deal with them. Lust can be a terrible stronghold, fear, or unbelief. These all can build fortresses if we are not careful.

If we were computers, when we sin we indeed go into the unknown of the internet of life, as you all know on a regular computer you can get certain viruses from certain types of websites. Now imagine if that were true for humans, demonic influence is like computer viruses that affect our thinking and deceive our minds and hijack our thoughts.

We must as Christians not fear demons or Satan but rather have a healthy fear of God, but we do not want to mock the enemy in our arrogance either, arrogance and a prideful attitude is just an open invitation to temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Matthew 26:41 Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins,for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us. And do not bring us into temptation.”

We must pray and fight against such things whether they are sins of the flesh (the fallen nature) or whether they are attacks of the unseen.

Psalm 127 is one of my favorite Psalms in the Bible, if you are dealing with anxiety it is very encouraging to read. It always reminds me that God is in control and that useless fretting won’t do an ounce of good. We should trust God to provide our needs and not lose sleep over things beyond our control. Please read this and pass this along if you think it might encourage someone dealing with anxiety or worry.

Psalm 127
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves. 3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Real Healing

Jesus is willing to heal our hearts

Jesus is the only solution to the wounded heart, the deepest injuries inside of us. He is willing to heal all those who ask him as we see in

Matthew 8:1-3 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.

God desires to heal his chosen people and all who come to him in faith. No God will not always perform a physical healing but He has an even greater miracle for every believer who will reach out to Him and kneel before him and acknowledge all their wounds and baggage, I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt God wants us to be Whole in our emotional and spiritual life. True healing is indeed inside out, true healing is inside of the man or woman. Indeed if we all were truly aware of how much God loves us and desires the best for us regardless of our past sins, present feelings of inadequacy, current trials and disappointments then we would not be bothered nearly as much by the physical handicaps and rejection or the poor circumstances we ought endure.

The earliest martyrs who died for Christ endured well because the were consumed by Christ. They experienced the love of Christ that “is better than life” (Psalm 63:3) Peter was crucified for his faith in Christ and refused even the dignity of being crucified upright like Jesus was so instead he requested to be hung upside down because He was even unworthy to die upright as His Lord did.

The Apostle John was exiled to the Island of Patmos after his execution was unsuccessful and it was there he wrote Revelations.

In their early years with Jesus these were just ordinary men whom Jesus called. They had problems just like everybody else but the Lord used them to do the unimaginable and incredible. Throughout their lives the Lord changed impulsive, unstable, self righteous, and just an all around around wild bunch of men into Servants of the Living God and Ambassadors of the Gospel!

This did not happen over night, and we don’t always receive instantaneous healing in our hearts or minds either but if we by faith keep pursuing God through Christ we will “Be transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Romans 12)

How God Can Recycle Our Hurts

Have you ever suffered from a case of the Discrimination Mentality Disorder another word for it is a “chip on the shoulder” I suffer from it from time to time and the main symptom is paranoia and suspicion. No its not a mental illness but one who suffers from this will often times subconsciously be looking or expecting to be rejected, profiled, slighted, offended or discriminated against in some way. This causes hightened self protectiveness and the individual will be on the defense a lot of the time.They may take offense or get hurt by things that people say that have nothing in them that an average individual would even think of as being an insult.

Now Im no Psychologist and the word is coined by me. But I believe Its more of a matter of a wounded heart really and not just a disturbed mind! I speak from my own experience primarily and I know what it is like to be hurt by people. Often times there is a deep instilled fear of continuing to be hurt by people, even the people you trust the most. The paranoia in the present moment  might not be an accurate view of reality but never the less underlying cause or emotion that causes the suspicions themselves can be valid. I mean this: there are things in all of our past histories that cause us to believe and perceive certain things about present reality, whether positive or negative, the past can if allowed mold how we think today.

The good news for us who have had past rejections, hurts, disappointments, and failures. We know that as believers in Jesus Christ there is hope and future ahead! And to the audience of those who don’t know Christ on a personal level yet, I will tell you that he loves you also and can definitely help you as well if you entrust all yourself to him, he can give you a beautiful future.

Jesus said these words, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

The heart of Christ is not for you to carry the load alone, He knows your past sins and hurts as well as your present baggage you are still hauling around, and He knows your future as well.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God can and will take past garbage and present trash we are hauling around such as the insecurities, weaknesses, and even failures, and he can Recycle them into something beautiful. Recycling in the trash world is taking the garbage and some how melting it down and reusing it and making it into a new product! When we go through the heat of life it is melting the junk into glory!!!!!

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

If you don’t know Jesus you can, and he is able to take any old mess you may be in and make you new!


(2 Corinthians 5:17-19) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

(Matthew 11:28-30) ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

Biblical Anxiety management.

Before you grab the anti psychotics see Paul’s Prison chapter on Anxiety management:

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In the 4 chapter of Philippians Paul gives his believing readers basically a three step plan to anxiety management.

First he says:
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“Do not” implies it is a command.
And Paul uses the word “anything” here implying all things not just some things or most things. Paul then exhorts the believers to give their concerns to God while thanking him.
He says in “everything” to present our requests. That implies that there is nothing too great or small that should be left out of God’s hands. Every little thought that bothers us or causes anxiety we ought too bring before the Lord.

Why?

Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Paul then goes on by saying in verse 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Basically we ought

1) stop worrying
2) start praying and thanking
3) start thinking on good things.
In essence, give your fears and cares to God and then you will have room in your mind to dwell on the Truth of God! Let go of the fear and replace it with truth and trust!

“God be with us and help us all to practice your means of receiving peace”
I believe God is very interested in every little detail

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you

When Peter made wrote this, he was writing to a Church under the fiery persecution and he was referring back to Psalm 55 which says

“1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea;2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught3 at the voice of the enemy, at the stares of the wicked; for they bring down suffering upon me and revile me in their anger.4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me.5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest–7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; “Selah

David said “my thoughts trouble me” because of “the voice of the enemy” as well as the “stare of the wicked”

Satan loves to unsettle our hearts by disturbing our minds. The voice of the enemy. We also face external odd when persecution comes from those who do not love the Lord. The stares of the wicked. Whatever it be in ones life lets remember how David ends the Psalm by saying “cast your cares upon the Lord for he will sustain you”

Its all in your head.

The Thought life

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

What does it look like to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”? I can certainly tell you what it is not, it does not mean that we should for one second entertain any tempting, discouraging, or untrue thought that contradicts the truth of God’s word and the teachings of Christ.

Whether the thought that pops into your mind is tempting you into sin or making you feel negative about yourself, your purpose, or God’s plan for your life, it must be rejected immediately. Deny it entry to your mind.

You Worrying or Boasting?

Worry or Pride

There are two equal but opposite contrasting verses in the Bible. One deals with the overly confident and the other the excessively fearful.

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow,for you do not know what a day may bring.

The book of James suggests the same concept when it says:

James 4:13-16 Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

Its not sin to make plans but it is sin to be arrogant and assume our plans will succeed while giving no thought to what God might have in mind for our lives.

The opposite of being unduly self confident is the other extreme of being anxious and fearful of future events and fail to trust God as well. In either situation our trust is misplaced.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The first situation implies we ought not to be arrogant and assume our plans will happen and the second suggests we shouldnt fear what hasn’t even happened yet. Jesus said “each day has enough trouble of its own.” And there is an old saying “dont borrow trouble!” Which means why even create problems from the future by bringing them into today? God gives us his children grace for each day. Not for problems that haven’t even or might not even take place.

We also must not try to think ahead by getting all proud of the great accomplishments or success that haven’t even happened nor should we fear uncertainty or things that haven’t come about either.

No one knows the future or what tomorrows going to pan out like except God, and God is good.