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Tag Archives: Hope with Mental Health

Paul’s Purposeful Praises

Many of us struggle, whether from health issues, emotional issues or mental issues. Some of us struggle with addictions and some with issues of being persecuted by family and strangers. And one of the ways we cope is by telling ourselves, “God doesn’t give me more than I can handle.”

Let me say that again, “God doesn’t give me more than I can handle.” Hmm, what a nice thought, however, it is biblically inaccurate. I am not saying that God doesn’t love you. Or that He doesn’t move supernaturally to help you, all I am saying is the statement above is inaccurate.

Many people from the Bible have had much more than they could handle on their own. People like Job and Paul. There where even times in the life of David, Daniel and Joseph that were filled with struggles. How about the lady that bled for 12 year and spend all her money on physicians, who at the passing of Jesus was delivered from her hopelessness. All of these people are prime examples of this saying being untrue. God loved all of these people.

I love what Paul tells Timothy when he says, “My persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.”
(2 Timothy 3:11)

I want to refer you to another chapter in scripture that illuminates Paul’s struggles. In Acts 14 while at Iconium and Antioch Paul was mistreated but escaped right before being stoned. (vs. 5) And if that was not enough the people from Antioch and Iconium followed Paul to Lystra and poisoned the Lystrian’s minds about Paul so much so that they stoned him and left him for dead.

People die from being stoned. Stephen died, the guy who cursed his parents from the Leviticus 24:23 died and the guy who was caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath from Numbers 15 also died. Yet Paul miraculously lived. He lived because he was divinely rescued.

I know that there are times (maybe you are in the midst of one right now) where your struggles seem to be bringing you to an end, lean into God. Wait on God. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength.

David penned in Psalm 18 after being rescued from King Saul, ” The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalms 18:2

So now when we read pieces of scripture where Paul is boasting about his struggles like in 2 Corinthians 11. We can understand his joy or where his joy comes from. Like he states above it comes from his Rescuer.

I struggle with waiting, Abraham struggled with waiting. Job struggled with waiting. Loads of people struggle with waiting, but if we wait on the LORD he will renew our strength.


ABBA, Father help me in my struggles. Your Word tells us that if we ask for wisdom, you will give it. So LORD please give me wisdom and patience to wait on you. I need you!

In Jesus Name, Amen

Depressingly, Depressed!

Last week, my blog was about the person with whom I believe is the poster boy from the Bible for Bi-Polar disorder. This week I would like to attempt to take the person that I believe is the best representative from the Bible that suffers from depression.

I have heard people refer to Jeremiah as the weeping prophet. We have read about the hard spots that Joseph continually found himself in; which could make anyone depressed. In the book of Job, he says that his afflictions lasted months [ (7:3, 29:2) and I can sympathize having myself suffered from pain for years and it is depressing.] In 2 Kings, King Zedekiah watched as his sons were killed and then his eyes were poked out. Can you imagine having that horrific sight stuck in your head until death? That has to be depressing.

However, when I think about depression there is one person that stands out more than the rest. Hannah! You know Samuel’s mom. We find her story in 1 Samuel 1-2. Hannah was barren and at that time not being able to have children was detrimental to life. If a wife outlived her husband and did not have children she was doomed. Without a son, she would be a beggar or bound for prostitution. That is why in the book of Ruth, Naomi said call me Mara (1:20).

Elkanah, Hannah’s husband also had another wife. A wife that bore him children and as if being barren was not enough, she also had to compete for her husband’s love. And all of these things I am sure brought her self esteem down into the mud.

The Mayo Clinic has a website that is pretty cool and on it is a list of the symptoms of depression. Let me state that if you feel that you suffer from depression you need to consult a doctor (if you have not already done so). Now here are a few of the symptoms that Hannah displayed.

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-image

One of the symptoms of depression is loss of appetite and we see this in 1 Samuel 1:5 when seeing that Elkanah would give her a double portion of the meat from his offering, and in lines 7 and 8, we see that her eating problems lasted for years.

Another symptom that Hannah displayed
was feelings of sadness and tearfulness. We see her crying in lines 7, 8, and 10.

We also know from lines 6 and 7 that Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah would taunt Hannah year after year for being barren. Which I am sure made Hannah feel even more worthless and brought about even more frustration and more anxiety. Not to mention bringing up all the painful thoughts of past failures at conceiving a child.

Let’s face it Hannah is the poster girl from the Bible for depression. But in all of this God was faithful, and blessed Hannah with Samuel and then with three other sons and two daughters (2:21).

I am a man writing this and it is hard for me to completely wrap my head around what Hannah was going through. But what I can say is that I sympathize and empathize with it. I have had the awesome opportunity to pray with a couple going through this exact same thing. And it has changed the way I look at Hannah’s story

I know many people suffer from depression, so I am writing this in the hopes that seeing someone struggling with something that you struggle with from the bible will give you hope. God promises never to leave you and never to forsake you. His love is eternal!


Mayo Clinic website for depression


King Saul, Bi-Polar, What?

I have not heard many people talk much about mental disease and the Bible. If you looked around, I am willing to bet that you know someone who has a mental disorder. Maybe you even know a couple of people that suffer from a disorder of some sort, maybe it is even you.

Over the next couple of post, I want to take a look at some people from the Bible that may have suffered from a possible mental disorder. One of the reasons I am doing this is because I have a brother that suffers from being Bi-Polar and he was amazed when I told him that God’s Word contained people that have suffered from mental illnesses as well. I also wanted to point out to him that God supplies help and sometimes a cure to people suffering from these disorders.

Now through this last statement, there is no judgment. I am not saying that the cure can only come through God’s supernatural intervention, but rather that I believe God uses other people and even medicine to help us out. In fact, I love how Rick Warren states it, when he said, “If my heart isn’t working, and I take a pill, nobody thinks anything of it. [Same with the liver]. But if my brain doesn’t work right and I take a pill, I’m supposed to be ashamed of that? What’s wrong with that?”

So now back to the topic at hand, and the first disorder: Bi-Polar disorder and that brings us to King Saul. Now I did say King Saul, not the apostle Paul but King Saul. If you are wondering who that is, I will give a brief introduction.

King Saul was Isreal’s first king. He would have kind of looked like Actor Liev Schreiber ( who is of Jewish descent), with a beard. He was tall, muscular and handsome. (1 Sam 9:2) I do not often describe a man as handsome, but as my wife tells me Liev is, we will use him. Liev is 6’3″ tall and at least in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he was buff. Now that I have given you a mental picture of what King Saul would have looked like we will proceed.

God chose Saul as king from among all the tribes of Isreal, more specifically he was from the tribe of Benjamin. As we established above he was tall, handsome and it may have seemed like he had everything going for him, However, he had problems, maybe mental problems. I would like to assert that he might have had Bi-Polar Disorder

Here is a chart that the Mayo Clinic put out displaying some of the symptoms of Bi-Polar disorder:

Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, elevated mood, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness

Behavioral: aggression, agitation, crying, disorganized behavior, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, irritability, restlessness, risk-taking behaviors, or self-harm

Cognitive: delusion, false belief of superiority, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness inactivity, or unwanted thoughts

Psychological: agitated depression, depression, manic episode, or paranoia

Weight: weight gain or weight loss

Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness
Also common: fatigue or rapid and frenzied speaking

Now, this is a pretty long list and I am only going to examine a couple of these areas in Saul’s life.

The first symptoms Saul displayed that are common among people who suffer from Bi-Polar disorder are apprehension and loss of interest. In 1 Samuel 9 and 10, Saul went from being a normal man to being the king. We read how one day he is eating, prophesizing and worshipping with the prophets (9:22 and 10:13). And then a couple of days later when it is time for Saul to become the king, Samuel had to inquire of the LORD to find Saul, because he was hiding among the supplies (10:22).

Another set of symptoms King Saul displayed was his mood swings and paranoia. He could go from eating at the king’s table to trying to kill his own son with a spear ( 20:22-23). Or from celebrating a victory in battle one day to trying to kill David the next (18:10-11).

Saul also made reckless decisions and was impulsive which are two more traits of a person struggling with being Bi-Polar. He made unauthorized burnt and fellowship offerings to God because of his impatience (13:9). He also made a rash oath about eating during battle when his troops could have used food to boost their energy because they were worn out. All because he wanted vengeance (14:24). He even made more reckless decisions than the ones I have listed.

He also displayed many other traits throughout his 42 years as king, and you can be a Berean and look those up yourselves. There is, however, something awesome about how God reacted to all of this. How God provides help to King Saul, much like how the therapist prescribes medication to help people struggling with mental disorders. See God sent him relief through David. First, with how He used David to calm the evil spirits with the music David played, and then in the fact that David spared Saul’s life not once but twice. David could have struck Saul down and took his kingship but out of respect and love for the LORD, and the LORD’s anointed David kept waiting upon the LORD for his promised kingdom.

Now I am not a psychologist and I am not saying that King Saul absolutely suffered from a Mental Disorder, all I am doing is painting a picture that could possibly be true with the ultimate hope that it will get people to see how much God loves them. God loved Saul! We know this because God knows everything. So we know that God chose Saul as king knowing that he was going to screw up. Much like we do, but also the mere fact that Saul reigned for 42 years as king shows God’s love for him. God’s long-suffering here proves He loves us too despite whatever is going on in our lives. I would also like to point out that Saul’s possible symptoms showed both before and after God removed His Spirit from him, so I am in no way stating that God made him or anyone else Bi-Polar.

I love what the Word says in 1 Corinthians 1: 27- 29, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”


Christian Post, 2013, Rick Warre interview

Xmen Origins: Wolverine, 2009, Marvel Comics Films

Bi-Polar symptoms chart, Mayo Clinic