It is believed that some Christians living with mental health disorders become suicidal because they lack faith in God. Truth be told is if Christians have been diagnosed with a clinical mental illness, due to a chemical brain imbalance, or even due to trauma or life’s difficult circumstances, they can become suicidal. Their brains do not function normally, so it inhibits their ability to cope well. As well, it negatively affects their moods, emotions, and above all, their behaviours.
Hence, a lack of faith in God is not directly related to the development of mental health disorders in Christians. However, it is imperative that we do have faith in God for the complete healing and restoration of our brains to normalcy. To help us cope well in our times of hopelessness and despair.
My Experience With Suicidal Thoughts
Psalm 42:11 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.”
My suicidal thoughts and ideations were due to my major depressive disorder – a brain chemical imbalance. No one can begin to understand how someone, who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, feels, but that individual. As I write this, it brings tears to my eyes because I’m reminded of all those times, my mind was plagued with those thoughts. When I could think of nothing else and the only thing I wanted was to not live anymore. I became a prisoner of my broken brain and negative emotions and couldn’t find an escape.
My suicidal thoughts and ideations didn’t mean I necessarily wanted to die. Yes, I wanted to die but not because I didn’t want to live anymore. But because I just wanted the pain to end. I wanted the perpetual thought rumination that was controlling my mind 24/7, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, to end. I wanted to shut my brain off. My mind was being attacked by negative and unwanted thoughts. It seemed like a punishment, an indictment on my state of mind.
Christians certainly do not want to die from mental health disorders. In fact, they want to live, just not through the perpetual state of sadness and unhappiness. They want to have peace of mind and hope for the future. But their minds are under the control of dark forces which influence their emotions and behaviours.
And in those dark moments of despair, when they experience these thoughts, they are operating from their mental and emotional state. Their broken brains and negative emotions inhibit their ability to think logically and clearly and consider that the situation is temporal. That when they trust God and hold on long enough, they will be delivered out of their darkness and into the light.
Christians experiencing suicidal thoughts and ideations must realize that suicide is of the devil. It’s not of God. And Jesus’ healing powers are greater than Satan’s evil spirit of suicide. If you end your life, you accept defeat by Satan. You must defeat Satan, you cannot let him win. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, of Jesus Christ, you will find grace, peace, and hope for your future.
God spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord. Thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (hope).
You cannot give in, you must put your trust in God, put your hope and faith in Him. And, let go and let Him take full control of your thoughts and emotions. Allow Him the chance to deliver you from your despair and give you hope. He wants to take your burdens, but He needs you to believe in Him and His power to restore you. It will happen, but you have to be here to experience and witness it.
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.”
I’m here as a witness today to say that it was not of my own will or strength that am still here. But because He delivered me from suicidal thoughts and ideations by His saving grace. He has given me peace, hope, and renewed faith and trust in Him. Now, my hope is to inspire others who are struggling to hold on, to wait a little while longer so that He can deliver you too, through His saving grace.
Christians Do Not Become Suicidal Because They Lack Faith in God
Christians do not become suicidal because they lack faith in God. We are not immune from any type of suffering or trials and tribulations. As long as we live, we will experience the same sufferings and hardships just like non-Christians. And, this is not because we lack faith in God. It’s just a natural downside of life. However, we find peace, hope, and strength in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
The story of Job – Trust God in Hard Times exemplifies how Job was “perfect and upright, and feared God and eschewed evil.” (Job 1:1). And he still encountered great suffering and loss. Although God was testing His faith through Satan’s devices. Nevertheless, he persevered, sustained his faith and hope in the Lord, and the Lord healed and restored him in the end.
The Apostle Paul and fellow believers felt despair while they were bringing the Word of God to the believers in Asia (modern-day Turkey). They endured unbearable troubled times which made them believe that they were going to die. But they put their hope and trust in God for peace and comfort to get through. Thus, Paul refers to Jesus as “The God of all comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:4 “Blessed be God who comforteth us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherein we ourselves are comforted by God.”
So we see that Christians throughout the Bible have also experienced suffering and hardships, and the common denominator for deliverance is God. They put their hope and trust in Him for peace, comfort, and deliverance. And He proved them faithful every time.
As Christians, living with mental health disorders, we must cultivate an individual and spiritual relationship with the Lord to rely on Him for peace, comfort, and deliverance. And to help us cope better on our mental health journey. Christians must have faith and hope in the God of all comfort, relying on Him to seek complete healing and restoration.
The Importance of Having Faith in God for Healing and Recovery
As Christians, we know the importance of having faith in God for healing and recovery. Without faith, “it is impossible to please Him,” much less receive anything from Him. We need to first believe in Him and His power to affect any kind of change in our lives – no matter how hopeless or impossible the situation seems to us. God is more than willing and able to move mountains in our lives.
Please read my post on: “The Need to Have Faith in God for Fulfilled Promises” I showed examples of believers in the Bible to whom God had made promises and fulfilled them – no matter how long they waited. God was faithful to them.
To that end, mental health disorders are akin to physical health illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. When we are diagnosed with these illnesses we are not told that we lack faith in God. We immediately heed the doctors’ advice and begin treatment. Mental health disorders should be approached in this same manner – without shame.
In addition, suicidal thoughts, as a result of mental health disorders, are natural, unfortunately. However, they should be taken very seriously because it becomes a matter of life and death. It is important to seek mental health professional advice for therapy on coping skills and to determine whether it is necessary for you to take medications to prevent mental health decline.
Importantly, everyone who is living with mental health issues is not equally strong enough to cope on their own. As well, not everyone has a network of social support to rely on. For this reason, there are online resources and helplines available for help if needed:
Canada The Canada Suicide Prevention Service Phone: 1.833.456.4566
America The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone: 1.800.273.8255
Notwithstanding, continue seeking God’s help for healing and recovery.