If you suffer from an emotional or mental illness, you are not alone. Many people do, but it’s often unspoken and hidden. People with emotional or mental illnesses are often misunderstood–viewed as lazy, weak or unwilling to change. Perspective is vital, because mental illness can’t be fully understood by looking from the outside in.
God’s help with mental illness is unmatched, and His concern for you is certain. In Isaiah Chapter 30, verse 18, it says: Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. [NIV Bible]
God alone knows all the details. He knows about all of the situations, the hardships, the thoughts that torment. He understands the grip of the past, the relationships that damaged us, the bloodlines that pass down trouble.
He doesn’t condemn us for being sensitive, angry, sad and scared because He loves us so completely. We are not less in His eyes. His heart is tender toward us. He wants us to have peace, and He is willing to pick us up and put us back on our feet again over and over, as many times as it takes.
Isaiah Chapter 49, verse 13 says: Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones. [NIV Bible]
God is not impatient. He doesn’t blame us. He soothes us and calms us. He is our loving Father, always ready to help us get through every day!
Your worth to God isn’t dependent on your self improvement efforts. The truth is, God won’t love you more because you get promoted, lose weight or learn to play an instrument. Humor alert! 🙂
God loves the “now” you. Not the person you planned to be or the person you wish you were. The torture of self judgement is completely understood by God. He knows how we struggle to change, to get better, to be better. He sees the two steps forward and one step back that happens to people every day.
But He has a different perspective than we do. He sees our future lives, the ones we’ll be living for a lot longer than this 100 years. He doesn’t withhold His love, waiting until we’ve got our act together to accept us.
In John Chapter 5, verse 24, Jesus says: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” [NIV Bible] When we believe, we are accepted by God. Don’t deny yourself the relief that God’s unconditional love brings.
Proverbs is known as a book of wisdom. I have always enjoyed reading Proverbs, because there is so much good, practical advice in it. Real life situations are covered in its pages. The truth is spelled out, and I know I can rely on it to guide me.
Proverbs Chapter 4, verses 25-27 speaks to living in the present: Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left, keep your foot from evil. [NIV Bible]
God wants to help us make decisions that will benefit us. A lot of times, I’ve made decisions that have ended up punishing me. It can be really hard to see what will end up hurting us in the future. Because God knows everything about us, all of our circumstances and vulnerabilities, He is our best guide into the future.
I like to say that hindsight is knowing what you should have done after you didn’t do it. 🙂 When those times come, cut yourself some slack and go to God. Tell Him what you feel–defeat, frustration, anger, regret–He can handle it! He can settle us and show us mercy. It’s so important to accept God’s help, because if we try to do it all on our own, we get weary and run down.
These verses talk about now, not about what you’ve already done that you wish you hadn’t. Not what you fear will happen in the future, because that can overwhelm us. Make level paths for your feet by talking to God about everything. Reading the Bible will nourish you from the inside out. Remember that you don’t have to be able to interpret everything you read. Leave it up to the Holy Spirit to help you understand. Even when you feel like you just aren’t getting it, keep reading the Bible because God is speaking to your spirit. You are absorbing it and learning from it even if it doesn’t seem to be happening.
Read your Bible expecting (yes, expecting in bold faith 🙂 ) to get something out of it every time you do. God wants to help you with every part of your life. Talk to Him, read the Bible, accept Him into your life and let Him take the reins!