Prayer on the Move. Day eleven...
I hate it when I see Christians suffering from emotional/mental distress. It's not right… and it's certainly not God.
If you are suffering with emotional or mental issues I want to encourage you today to know that relief is closer than you think. Peace is something God has already provided for you on the Cross.
He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, [our] faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [He was] bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace [was] upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:2a–5 NKJV)
On Friday we took a look at how our prayer of, “Please forgive me,” changes with an understanding of God's provision for our forgiveness. Our prayer for emotional/mental healing can also change when we understand God's provision for our peace.
I have lived with God's peace and I've lived without it. And peace is better–God's peace that is. His peace is, in fact, priceless.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27 ESV)
The world gives a different kind of peace. The world gives peace in the form of prescription medications, counseling/therapy without God, entertainment, religion empty of God, and other forms of distraction. But that's the only kind of peace available to those who refuse Jesus.
There is, however, a better peace made available at the Cross. This peace is about our completeness and soundness in every area of our lives. This peace is about our peace with God, and our peace with those around us.
The world gives us peace as if it was a combination disinfectant/pain‐killer for a wound. God gives us peace that dries up and heals the wound. The world gives us peace by helping us try to avoid the pain. God gives us peace by helping us to confront the pain and eliminate it in Jesus' name.
Sherrel and I regularly minister to people who are praying for emotional/mental relief but do not realize that God has it readily available in the form of His peace. So instead of pursuing His peace, some settle for pills—pills that numb them to life. Some settle for counseling—not with the wisdom of the Word, but with the wisdom of man. And some settle for addiction—to alcohol, drugs, anger… anything to get high.
But I can't remember a time when we've prayed with any individual, willing to consider that God's peace was the answer to his or her prayer, who didn't get immediate relief after peace was spoken over him or her.
I detest prescription drugs as a treatment for the emotional/mental issues of Christians. If pills have a place, it should only be to keep someone safe from suicide—and then only on a very temporary basis. Maybe unbelievers don't have any other good options, but Christians certainly do.
“But Mike, what about those people who have chemical imbalances in the brain?” Why do we think that God's peace can't change brain chemicals? I've heard some remarkable testimonies from men and women receiving forgiveness for their sins—men and woman so evil their brains had to be made up of toxic chemicals. If God's forgiveness can change the heart of a wicked sinner, why can't God's peace change the heart of someone suffering from emotional/mental issues?
If you are depressed or worse, please consider something very important. Jesus took a severe beating so you could live in peace. It is His promise to you. It is your right as His child to live in His peace.
If you are a Christian, you already have the peace of God within you. But it is not contained in your intellect. It is not contained in your emotional nature. It is not contained anywhere within your human nature.
The peace of God is contained in His presence in your life.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)
Can you see how your prayer for relief from depression or worse will change when you realize that you already have the answer within you? You will no longer need to cry out to God for something He's already given you.
It's much easier to find your car keys when you know they are somewhere on your person, rather than somewhere between the stadium and the parking lot. It's much easier to experience His peace when you know it's within you, rather than somewhere between Heaven and earth.
Have a good day,