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6 Surprising Truths for Christians Facing Mental Health Struggles

Cason Schulze

Updated May 07, 2024
6 Surprising Truths for Christians Facing Mental Health Struggles
Brought to you by Christianity.com

As someone who has wrestled through anxiety and bouts of depression for as long as I can remember, I understand how difficult it can be to reconcile mental health struggles as a follower of Jesus. I know what it’s like to feel ashamed and broken. I have often prayed through tears, asking God to heal my mind, to take away the feelings of panic, and to rescue me from the darkness that overwhelms my soul.

Lately, God has been reminding me of simple truths. Some of them surprised me. I have been clinging to the promises found in His Word, and if I’m honest, some days, that’s all that gets me through. As sons and daughters, we are holy, set apart, loved, chosen, and forgiven. But there are days, weeks, and months when I feel like anything but those things. So, if you’re finding yourself in a similar place, here are a few truths that I pray God uses to encourage you right where you’re at. 

Photo Credit: @Pexels/Daniel Reche

Man with mental health struggles

1. It's More Common Than We Think

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 NLT

The enemy would love nothing more than for you and me to believe we’re the only ones struggling. Sure, it’s easy to look around at everyone who seems to have their lives together and wonder, “What’s wrong with me?!” but recent studies indicate that 1 in 8 people worldwide live with a mental health disorder. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common. Even more shocking, this struggle is not unique to our modern world. We see stories in the Bible of people like David, a man after God’s own heart, who had similar mental health struggles. It is, unfortunately, so much more common than many of us realize.

Photo Credit: @Pexels/Daniel Reche

a woman praying

2. Mental Health Struggles Don't Stop God from Hearing Our Prayers

I tend to believe my struggles not only separate me from God’s love but also keep Him from hearing my prayers. Both are lies. Throughout Scripture, we see verse after verse reminding us that nothing separates us from the love of Christ, and He always hears our prayers. One of my favorite examples is found in 1 Samuel 1:10-19

"In her deep anguish, Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.  And she made a vow, saying, 'Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.'” 1 Samuel 1:10-11

Hannah, who is unable to conceive, vows to give her son over to the Lord if only He would “remember” her. As she pours her heart out to God in the temple through prayer, she appears drunk and distraught. She expresses that she is only speaking out of her “great anxiety and vexation.” Maybe you know what happens next? “The Lord remembered her,” and she conceived a son, Samuel. The anxiety and despair she experienced did not keep God from hearing or answering her prayers.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Anastasiia Stiahailo

man sitting against wall with Bible praying

3. Jesus Understands Our Turmoil

Sometimes, that’s exactly what it feels like, right? My soul and my entire being feel as if they are in turmoil. There’s confusion, chaos, and uncertainty. I experience physical symptoms that interrupt my daily life: racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness as the room spins around me. The anxiety feels too heavy, the darkness too deep. Maybe you can relate. Surprisingly, Jesus understands these feelings as well. In John 12:27, Jesus himself says, “My soul is troubled” as he thinks ahead to the cross. 

“'Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, "Father, save me from this hour"? But this is the very reason I came!'" - John 12:27 NLT

Of course, he was sinless in every way, but throughout Scripture, we see examples of him relating to anxious feelings and even distress. The Greek word for “troubled” in verse 27 also means inward commotion, restlessness, or dread. Jesus understands what it’s like to wrestle with heavy feelings and circumstances. That should bring us so much comfort!

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Ben White

man looking into broken hand mirror

4. Maybe it's Not 'All in Your Head'

"Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength." - 1 Corinthians 15:43 NLT

What if there is a root cause for the mental struggles we face? What if some of our daily habits are contributing to them? I recently took a deeper dive into holistic tests and lab work in order to understand better what’s going on beneath the surface in my own body and mind. For the majority of my life, I have believed, “This is just how I am,” but the more I learn, the more I realize we’re not stuck in negative thought patterns. And maybe we have more influence on our mental health than we realize. Maybe there is a root cause for the symptoms. An explanation. A reason. One thing is for sure: our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being is all connected.  

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/AndreyPopov

5. Feelings Can't Be Trusted

5. Feelings Can't Be Trusted

As powerful and convincing as they may be, we cannot trust our feelings. This is the first thing I have to remind myself of when I start to spiral. I pause and ask, “Are my feelings telling me the truth?”. Oftentimes, they don’t portray the full picture. I don’t know about you, but my feelings can be deceiving. When we notice a thought that’s stuck on a continuous loop, we can ask ourselves whether or not that thought is true, lovely, or pure. Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think about these things. 

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." - Philippians 4:8 NLT

Truth is unchanging. God’s word and His character remain true regardless of how we feel. His promises remain. Rather than letting our feelings consume us, we can anchor ourselves to truth and choose to believe what the bible says even when we don’t “feel it.”

Photo Credit:  ©Unsplash/Frank McKenna

young woman looking up, there is always hope.

6. There Is Always Hope

One of the hardest things about mental health struggles is that some moments feel so incredibly heavy and dark. Sometimes, we feel too far gone. The weight of it all feels like too much to carry. We question our worth and our purpose. Life feels hopeless. I know it’s hard to believe that even on the darkest day, there truly is hope for you and me. So don’t just take it from me. Listen to these words found in Psalm 42:11

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” 

If you are one of the many Christians who struggle with mental health worldwide, I hope you know you are not alone. Unfortunately, this is a daily battle for many of us. When things feel too heavy, there is no shame in reaching out for help. You are so loved. You are valuable. You matter. If you’re walking through a hard season right now, reach out to a friend or loved one. You can even contact a counselor or therapist. If you are in distress or believe you may be in crisis right now, dial 988 to speak with someone immediately. God created you uniquely, and the world needs your light to shine in it! Cling to these truths and tuck them into your heart so that you can recall them in the midst of those hard, heavy moments. And remember- you’re never fighting alone.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/metamorworks

This article originally appeared on Christianity.com. For more faith-building resources, visit Christianity.com. Christianity.com

Cason SchulzeCason Schulze is passionate about helping women overcome overwhelm through simple daily rhythms. Wife to her high school sweetheart and homeschooling mom of three, she loves spending time with family and soaking up the sunshine! Cason openly shares her own mental health journey and process of overcoming overwhelm through her podcast, Her Pursuit. She has dedicated her life to empowering and equipping moms with the tools, resources, and encouragement needed to cultivate simple daily rhythms and find peace in the everyday. Cason believes when we partner with God, we reflect His image as we bring chaos into order. Check out here for more or connect on Instagram @heyitscason.

Originally published Thursday, 18 April 2024.