Mental illness is one of the major health problems of today’s society. Medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment, and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can affect anyone at any time, and it’s likely that many people in our community have been affected. Depression is one of the greatest problems in the world today. It has been called the common cold of mental illnesses. There are very few things as destructive to our mental health as worry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that depression (by bringing down life expectancy) would be the second leading cause of death in the world by 2021. WHO predicts that by 2021 mental illness will go from the 20th to the 2nd largest illness worldwide. Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social (not forgetting spiritual) well being and not merely the absence of disease. Many mental illnesses can be prevented, and the Bible provides helpful information to that end. After all, it is a handbook from God on what we should think and how our minds should work. If we want good mental health, we should discipline our minds to avoid a degrading mental diet. We live in a culture that is constantly feeding us stress- mostly negative information. None of us are immune to stress.
The Bible says: “For as a man thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7) God destroyed an entire civilization because of their thought life. (Genesis 6:5) If you think in a negative way – you’re going to feel depressed. Your emotions are caused by how you interpret life. That’s one of the reasons the Bible says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” The fact is that our emotions are controlled by our thoughts. “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”(Romans 8:6).
Many New Testament passages offer comfort and reassurance to those who are feeling anxious or disturbed. For example, Jesus Does Not wants us to Be Anxious. He said “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life,”…. (Matthew 6:25-34) when Jesus said, “never be anxious,” he was advising his disciples to avoid undue worry—an excessive fear of tomorrow that can take the joy out of living today. Jesus gave a compelling reason for avoiding undue anxiety: It is useless. “Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?” asked Jesus” (Matthew 6:27) Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way: “Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.” How can we avoid anxiety? First, trust in God. A relationship with God is fundamental to overcoming our anxieties and fears.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
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