Freedom is …
Since you’re here, I’m guessing you’re looking for freedom from something. Maybe you want to be free from anxiety. Or maybe it is depression, addiction, or suicidal thoughts that you’d like to banish from your life. #anxiety #depression #addiction #suicidalthoughts
Maybe you’d like to find freedom from pain or a debilitating medical diagnosis or disease, a toxic relationship, crushing debt, a destructive marriage…. There are so many ways that we feel constrained, trapped, or ruled by thoughts and feelings it would be impossible to name them all here. #destructivemarriage #toxicrelationship
And if we are honest, many of us have been taught to believe or have come to believe by lack of instruction or shame that these thoughts and feelings make us bad Christians. Many of us have been led to believe that “good Christians” never experience anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. Or that if we are in a toxic, destructive marriage we are just supposed to suck it up because “God hates divorce”. Well, God does hate divorce because He is aware of the pain it causes – we’ve “divorced” Him a billion times over. But that you’re supposed to just suck it up and stay stuck as an emotional or physical punching bag is a lie. All of those are lies, by the way – distortions of the truth that Satan would use to keep us captive, paralyzed, and ashamed.
Let’s agree on something that’s true. None of these are God’s best or God’s desire for us. None of them align with freedom in Christ. And, for all people, including Christians, we will very likely experience some or all of these at some point in life. And God is still in the healing business. #healing #freedom
It’s interesting to me that few, if any, would suggest that a person is a “bad” Christ follower if they were diabetic, had high cholesterol, a heart condition, or contracted cancer. But all too frequently I hear people believing they are not “good” Christians because they deal with some kind of relational or emotional sickness. Can we be better? Does God want to help us be better? Yes, and yes!
The brain is just another organ of the body that is subject to a fallen, broken world like the rest of the body. Diseases, regardless which part of the body is affected came about because of The Fall and the introduction of sin and death and separation from God into the world. But just as with any other disease, healing is possible. Sometimes it’s medical or pharmaceutical interventions combined with cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual interventions.
If separation from God is the source of all maladies, the remedy is connectedness with Him and living and behaving in new ways that produce something different. Unfortunately, right living does not remove consequences for wrong living. Consequences remain. Moving forward, however, the thinking, feeling, and behaving part can be radically different with intentional work.
Our entire lives are a journey of increasing or decreasing emotional and spiritual health and connectedness with God – there’s no standing still because motionless equates to atrophy. The end goal is complete connectedness on the day of Christ’s return (and He completes it, read on). On that day, we will experience complete healing in every sense after seeking to follow Him faithfully. #spiritualjourney #healing #hope
We do not achieve perfection in this life. We can expect pain, trials, problems, sickness, and physical death. It’s a promise – this should not come as a surprise. Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT emphasis mine)
Freedom is found in His peace. Trouble is found in the world. He has already victoried over the world that we still live in. So, it’s already and not just yet. That mysterious in between of the everyday battles and the truth that victory in Christ is already ours.
He gives us more insight to this peace that’s available in John 14:26-27 (NLT). The Holy Spirit, or the Advocate, is Jesus’ representative that is available to each of us. Jesus says through the Holy Spirit, he will teach us everything and will remind us of everything we’ve been taught. The Holy Spirit will bring us the gift of peace Jesus says He is leaving with us. And get this: “peace of mind and heart” is what he offers. Not the stuff the world offers (chaos, confusion, strife, anxiety, depression, betrayal, sickness, disease) – he says the world cannot give us the peace He gives. “So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Easier said than done. I hear you.
Here’s what I know though: When I practice the presence of God; when I intentionally calm my mind to focus on Him, when I worship, when I soak my mind in Scripture and Truth, I’m much less inclined to be worked up about the stuff the world throws at me. I’m much less inclined to become consumed with worry. I’m much less bound to depressed thoughts and feelings. #practice #worship
Jesus knows, because he walked around in flesh and bones like us for 33 years. He knows all about anxiety, sadness, betrayal, broken relationships, and fear of the pain and death. He didn’t live free from negative human emotions, and neither will we. He knows. And He knows none of this has the final say. He has the final say. He managed by staying in close connection with the Father. It’s what he modeled for us to do in the same circumstances. #Jesus #modelemotionalhealth #modelspiritualhealth
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 (NLT))
We can experience glimpses of heaven and freedom here on earth by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit. And remember, that work is not completed until we see Jesus face to face. #heaven
Note: If you are experiencing any of these issues and need help, please reach out to a supportive friend, pastor, or Christian counselor who can help guide you to the freedom available to you. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call or text 988. Hope and help are available.