II Corinthians 10:3
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
How does the world fight mental illness? With medication, therapy, support, etc.
If I’m a Christian, how should I fight mental illness? With medication, therapy, support, etc., AND the Word of God.
II Corinthians 10:4
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
I have weapons that non-Christians don’t have.
I have the Word of God.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The Word of God is a sword. It was designed to cut and slice and divide – soul and spirit, thoughts and attitudes. It can find the border between illness and health, and work to reduce the illness.
A sword is also a defensive weapon. It can block the attacks of the illness and keep me from being hurt worse.
How do I use God’s Word to fight my depression and bipolar disorder?
One way is that I don’t lie down and roll over when my thoughts are full of lies. I may not be able to control the thoughts that come into my mind, but I can control what I do with them once I realize they’re there.
II 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.
It’s not easy. But it is possible – with practice.
God doesn’t expect us to be seasoned soldiers with His Word right away. He knows we need to start small and grow.
I Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
But we can grow, if we start.
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
When God showed me that I needed to spend more time in His Word, specifically to build up my spirit and my faith so that I could get better, He wasn’t yelling at me like a drill sergeant. He had empathy for my weakness and He only told me one thing to do at a time.
I started off just listening to Bible teaching podcasts. It was something I could do while I was driving to work. I started small, by letting someone else feed me His Word.
Later, when I was stronger, I committed to a daily Bible reading plan. I kept listening to the Bible teachings on my way to work; I just added reading it for myself.
Over time, between listening and reading, some verses were sticking in my brain a little. So, when I started struggling with specific depressed or anxious thoughts, I would also sometimes remember a scripture or two.
Eventually, I could use the scriptures that I remembered to contradict the thoughts in my head. I no longer had to just accept them and suffer.
I Timothy 4:15
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
It took time and effort, but by giving myself wholly to God’s Word, I made a lot of progress. I’m on the other side now, where the good days outnumber the bad days.
And it’s all because I spent time learning God’s Word and practicing it in my life.
How has growing in God’s Word helped you fight your mental illness?
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