Knowing God helps
I was at a debate recently in which a very eminent Atheist pointed out that people's belief in God was good for them. I thought that it was very charitable for him to make such a positive comment (even though he used it to try and discredit faith). He was absolutely right when he said that faith in God helps. He was absolutely wrong when he tried to assert that God doesn't exist!
Scientific research has consistently demonstrated that people who have faith in God cope better with grief, illness and psychological pain. So science proves that belief in God is good for you. Well this isn't rocket science but as a Christian it is further proof that a relationship with Jesus is deeply healing and supportive.
If you are struggling with emotional or mental disturbance at the moment, I do want to encourage you to hold on to the promises of God for your life; "I will never Leave you or forsake you". Sometimes the darkness of depression, despair, anxiety or disturbance is completely overwhelming. Christians can feel like spiritual failures at times like these, as their ability to read the bible, attend church or even pray are greatly impaired. Now is not the time to critique your spiritual disciplines, it is the time to really rely on God. Release yourself to the care of Jesus with honest and short prayers, "Lord I haven't the energy to pray for long, but I trust myself into your hands right now. Amen".
Sometimes we become so used to controlling our circumstances and even our spiritual lives, handing control back to God is a real challenge. The good thing about suffering is that leaves us with no option but to submit ourselves again to Jesus and let him take control. Hope in darkness is knowing that He is in control, He will lead you out of the valley and he is constantly working for your wellbeing. There is no real hopelessness for those In Christ.
In my own struggles with anxiety I have found that my fear turns to hope when I think about the awesome power of God that stands behind me. I am like a small David in front of a great Goliath, then I turn and see my father God behind me encouraging me forward, suddenly Goliath doesn't seem so big any more. The Bible is full of people who struggled with a psychological disorder, I find David the most encouraging one to read about. He is so vulnerable as he travels trough some extreme episodes of depression. The Psalms often reflect his, or other writer's experiences. Read Psalm 42 as a prayer, be real about your feelings and try and resolve to do verse 11.
PS 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
PS 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
PS 42:3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
PS 42:4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
PS 42:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon--from Mount Mizar.
PS 42:7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
PS 42:8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.
PS 42:9 I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me?Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"
PS 42:10 My bones suffer mortal agonyas my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
PS 42:11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
God Bless you.