A personal story
I am a mentally ill man who wants to share with the world and especially the Church, about God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. How God works in our lives by giving us hope and peace through the application of his word, and how he builds the fruit of the spirit to give us the strength to not only help us endure suffering, but to be more than that, over-comers. As a man with mental illness I often feel lonely, paranoid, and afraid, but just because I am mentally ill doesn't mean I have to stay this way. We have a God who is good and loving and wants to share his love and peace with us. I want us as believers to show the world that God is awesome!
Our suffering has promise to it. Romans 8:28 is an example of how God works. The Bible was written to us Christians who suffer and are persecuted. And this is especially true to those who suffer the most, and I believe the sick are often the ones who suffer the most. But the truths of the Bible are not only for the mentally ill but for the healthy, but then again is anyone truly healthy? Sin is a disease that affects everybody and therefore no one can truly be considered healthy. So then we are all sick.
My calling is to minister especially to the Church and those who are sick. It makes me angry that some ministers believe you can't be sick and be right with the Lord. That if we want to be healed bad enough we must be healed. They say that Christ, in Scripture, healed everyone and that it was their faith, and therefore Christ wants no one to be sick, especially with mental illness.
I honestly believe that mental illness is and can be because of a chemical imbalance in our brains. Scientists have come to this conclusion, and although science does not explain every detail of mental illness there is validity to what they have found, and I believe that science is of God.
On the other hand it's not all about science. There is a lot of proof that our health is based upon the way we feel and the way that we think. If our minds are on pure, lovely, honorable, good, God- praising things we will and should have a better and stronger sense of peace.
But many people have been turned off by Christians because they feel they are rebuked by the thought that they are not doing something right, because they are told by the church that they can't be sick and be walking with Christ correctly at the same time.
I have been blessed with so many opportunities to reach out to the world and to make friends with some of the most true, non-superficial men, women and children who are called “sick.'
So is it a sickness? Yes and No. Yes, in that God never intended for sin, which is ultimately the cause of immorality and sickness, but, No, in that God uses it to build this world up through our healing and usefulness of the Church.
Although it is hard to endure, this is where the Bible comes in. God uses the Word to get us in line to walk with him. I am reminded of Paul the Apostle, in 2 Corinthians 12, where he says that he pleaded the Lord to take away the “thorn in his flesh” which to me is some form of sickness, but God said no, that his “grace is sufficient.” God wants us to walk in his strength and not our own, and will use whatever it takes to have us trust in his strength and not our own, even if that means that we are never healed and have our circumstances forever.
So what do we do with the theology that it is a sin to not be healed, or that we are not doing something right in God as long as we have our circumstances? This theology hurts and saddens me. Some of the best strongest Christians that I know are mentally ill. I love the verse in Genesis 50 that says, “You [Satan] plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened.” We are to trust in God regardless, seek healing, but be content with God's answer, and trust in him regardless whether we are heard or not. God knows what is best.
This leads me back to my goal as a man who is dealing with a mental illness. I am a writer who wants to help people through God's Word, and through prayer and other tools and especially my life, to show that GOD LOVES US! So that we can change the world no matter what circumstances we are in.