16. Hope for Christian sufferers

If you are a Christian and suffering from depression or other mental illnesses, this chapter is for you.

While the Bible suggests that mental illnesses and other such conditions can be curable by prayer and laying on hands alone, medicine that we have now did not exist back in the time of the Bible. Thus, medicines of all kinds, including ones for mental illnesses, are God’s gift to us to get better. If anyone should try to persuade you not to take the medicines that you have been prescribed, inform your medical health professional and seek their advice as soon as possible. There are also other Christian churches which would support you in trusting your medical health professional.

If you do not face the above issue, praise God. Trusting God can be very difficult in the midst of the pain that we suffer. Why does God allow pain? Unfortunately, I have not found the answer to that question either. Nonetheless, it is still true that God has helped us to this point, that we haven’t made the mistake that we can’t retreat from. Help is available, by God’s grace. Seek out that help, from the earlier chapter, and from the Resources chapter.

When we are under treatment, it will become easier to breathe and pray. For now, if you have been struggling to heal, let the medicine do its work. Seek out the prayers of brothers and sisters whom you trust. Pray when you can. Don’t blame yourself for not trusting God, or being a “weak” Christian. No Christian chooses to be sick, but we live in a fallen world. Sickness still happens, so pray for recovery, and wait upon the Lord. The pain will pass when things improve.

If you have attempted suicide because of your pain, know that suicide is never explicitly forbidden in the Bible. It is in the midst of our dark pain that suicide seems to be the only way out. In the midst of our darkness, we can make mistakes and if you have attempted suicide before, and survived, God has given you a second chance. Don’t blame yourself for making the attempt during your pain, but remember that we must be accountable for our actions. If the police has been involved, do what actions are necessarily mandated by the police, to keep the law of the land. Apologise to your loved ones who were affected by your actions. Seek their forgiveness, because they were hurt by what you did. And then move on in your recovery.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And I pray that you will regain your footing in God, once you have started on the road to recovery. Forgive yourself, after seeking forgiveness from God. And He has already forgiven you in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Links with more information for you, my brother or sister, can be found here:

Bible Verses about suicide

What the Bible says about suicide: 7 reminders of hope


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