There will be an end to these troubles

I cant think of anything of greater help to us than to cling onto God’s promise of an end to suffering  during difficult times. Certainly mental illnesses can be among the hardest things for us to endure, whether we suffer from one ourselves, or it is a loved one. But again we realise that ultimately the solutions the Bible offers us speak to those of us who suffer mental illness and those who don't alike.  Hope is vital.  We must be able to believe that as we spoke about yesterday, Jesus … [Read more...]

An answer to the “Why does God allow Suffering?” question


A few weeks ago now, I posted a surprising answer to the "Why me?" question. In that article I essentially make the point that one reason God allows suffering in our lives is so that we will be able to help others. But there are clearly other reasons, and we will never fully understand. One of the important reasons for us to grasp is expressed by Paul in what some have claimed is the finest chapter in the whole Bible, Romans 8: Behind every bad thing that happens to us, God is at work, … [Read more...]

God’s promise of peace to the restless

One of the causes of weariness is restlessness. God's solution to this is to give us peace. Again, we go to God with these promises I will share with you in our hands and ask him to give us peace. It does not always come immediately. And there are times when other things may need to be done to help us physicially, mentally, socially or spiritually. But whether God seems to answer immediately or not, these words remain true and we must cling onto them. What gives us peace? The facts of our … [Read more...]

God’s Word for those who cannot sleep

In the last post in the middle of Psalm 102 there is a simple phrase "I lie awake" Sleep escapes many people, and this can be particularly true of those who have a mental illness. There are some practical things we can do to help us sleep, but sometimes they do not help. The Bible is full of promises that we can read at a time like that. The way to do this is not to read them and think to yourself "well that's not fair, this verse says I should be able to sleep," rather we are to lay ahold of … [Read more...]

Examples of mental anguish and depression in the Bible

Today I thought I would simply share some examples of when people got depressed or mentally anguished in the Bible.  If you are reading this while depressed, don't believe the lie that you are alone, or that God doesn't understand how you are feeling.  Do get the help you need from doctors and the like, but also know that even God's people have suffered in a similar way.  Knowing that you are not the only one takes some of the power away from strong emotions.  Here are some key examples, … [Read more...]

John MacArthur and John Piper on their very different experiences of depression

In the video below there is a very helpful segment beginning at 39:45 (click here to start it playing at that point, or use the slider below). The segment begins with MacArthur explaining that he has never really been depressed. Some Christians are a bit like MacArthur. To be honest, that can make it hard for them to empathize with the Piper's of this world who goes on to describe how he had a period of his life where he was significantly depressed that lasted several years.  MacAthur's … [Read more...]

A surprising answer to the “Why Me?” question


I am continuing my Mental Health Series by focusing in on things which the Bible has to say to all of us that are perhaps of particular relevance to those with mental health.  I urge us to let the church be the church and offer everyone the help the Bible offers, whilst simultaneously encouraging seeking medical help. Today I want to address a question most of us have asked from time to time when facing suffering, the "Why me?" question.  Certainly many who have experienced the devastation … [Read more...]

Twenty types of tweet: how many do you use on Twitter?


Perhaps the recipe for success on Twitter is posting the right proportion of some or maybe even all of the following types of tweet. When someone posts too many of any individual variety of post it can certainly be off-putting in my view. A balanced diet is definitely best, and yet some of these types of tweet should be more used than others. One thing for sure, however, once you have read this list you will never be able to say "but there's nothing I could write about" again! I think that … [Read more...]

Live Hangout on Creating Social Media Buzz


I joined Greg Surratt and his other guests for a conversation about social media and Christian ministry.  I certainly enjoyed our conversation, and I hope you will. Make yourself a coffee, sit down, relax! You can also check in for future hangouts or view  previous ministry hangouts can be viewed on YouTube and they make a great resource. Some highlights of our session included the following: A claim that anyone who says they never check their social media stats is simply lying Me … [Read more...]

Pastoral care with mental health in mind

It concerns me sometimes that good old fashioned pastoral care may be in danger of dying out. What people in your church need more than anything else is to be cared for in a biblical and non-patronising way. Churches which embrace, quite rightly, principles that aim to help them grow are in danger of forgetting that God calls us as the Church to be directly involved in each other's lives. We ARE our brother's keeper. Pastoral care is not professional counseling. It is not therapy. It is … [Read more...]