Dear Christian, symptoms of schizophrenia or depression do not alter your standing with God, nor his character toward you. He blesses you at your ugliest moments and in your darkest sicknesses of mind and soul. He favors you because of your faith and trust in Christ and his works, not because of your godly efforts or good behavior. Believing this truth might take a brave act on your part.
Because of your suffering you might wholeheartedly believe:
• God is punishing me for a sin by giving me mental illness
• He won’t heal me until I get my act together
• He is withholding abundant life from me, but won’t tell me why
• God doesn’t like me
For a Christian diagnosed with schizophrenia, taming even a small part of the mind seems impossible, yet a gradual change in one ruinous thought can open the door to healing and hope. Can one thought, one belief, make such a difference?
Let us look closely at how one thought can cause so much harm. If you think God does not like you even though you are a Christian, your outlook for today and for your future will sag with dread. This one thought denies that God, who is love, is for you and not against you.
You’ll wrestle day and night with thoughts of God’s disfavor and what he won’t do to help you. Your prayers will lack the sweetness of faith. You might also find yourself despising blessings in the lives of others. The one erroneous thought, which will become a belief deep in your heart, adds torment to any kind of sickness. You have enough already.
The decision to exchange an error with truth takes bravery because you’ll have to take a daring leap of faith to believe differently. To believe:
• God “is good to all and his tender mercies are over all his works”¹
• he “preserves all those who love him”²
• “all” includes you.
Believer, he has made you favored and honored in Christ, the Beloved.³
“But I’m not brave,” you say.
The fact that you press through your agonizing days shows the bravery you already have. Yes, you must bravely leave behind something you cherish—a thought that explained the reason for your misery. Beloved, the thought caused misery.
When you begin to believe differently, your dismal days will begin to change. When you believe God is for you and not against you, hope can rise up in your heart. Dear suffering child, you do need hope, don’t you?
Resist the truth no longer. Pray for God’s enabling grace to make your decision. Then, ask your grace-filled God to help you grow in the new belief. He can teach you about his ways of showing goodness and favor. His ways are unlike ours, so we all need help to understand him.
I have not forgotten how your thoughts race and rumble in your head. How you often cannot remember what to do. God’s precious Holy Spirit will lead you. Ask others to help you, too.
Beloved, will you commit to one brave decision today? One you can act on right where you are—in your bed or living room, in a treatment center or shelter. On your job. One that costs you nothing financially. One that will help change your life.
brave: having or displaying courage, resolution, or daring
World English Dictionary: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/brave
¹ Psalm 145:9
² Psalm 145:20
³ Eph. 1:6