Faithlife
Faithlife

Mental Health

Collective  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views
Notes & Transcripts

Main Passage

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Introduction

General Overview

Tonight we will take a look at something that has probably affected each of us in some way. If it hasn’t affected you yet it will at some point in the future. Statistics say that 3 out of 4 people at some point in their lifetime will face a mental health crisis. In a given year, 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health crisis. This rate is even higher amongst women. Historically, the church has not done a great job of understanding or embracing the world of mental health. In fact, we may have been antagonistic to those who have been suffering from mental health issues. So let us look at this passage found in .

Summary of Passage

The Man

We don’t know much about the man except that he was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. We don’t know his race, occupation, or reason for travelling. But this trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was a normal trip that a normal person would take. There is nothing special or out of the ordinary about this individual or this trip that we notice.

The Issue

The man on his journey was attacked, robbed, stripped, and left stranded by a group of thieves.

The Response

The Priest
The first person that passes by is a priest. He was a pastor. He walks by.
The Levite
The Levites carried out the day to day operations of the temple. These were the small group leaders. Does he stop and help? No. He keeps walking by.
Both the Priest and the Levite worked in the temple. For all they knew, the man could be a Gentile. Or he could be dead. Touching a corpse resulted in ritual impurity. In basic terms, they were too good to work with Gentiles and didn’t want to get dirty from dealing with the man in the ditch.
The Samaritan
The Samaritan represented everything the Jews hated. But yet in this instance, the Samaritan becomes the hero of the story. Sound familiar? It’s the same response that we have seen repeated for centuries.

Transition

This is a story that many of you can relate to. Many of you find yourselves in broken, painful situations. There is hurting, pain, and suffering. Each one of you in here finds yourself in one of three situations. You pain and suffering may come from mistakes you have made, bad choices, and sin from your past or present. Your pain and suffering may come from something someone else has done to you, of no fault of your own. And for some of you, your pain and suffering is just the result of living in a fallen world. If you cannot relate to one of these situations, you know someone who can and more than likely, you probably will at some point in your life find yourself in one of these situations. You are not alone. The Bible is full of examples of people with mental illness, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, addictions, fear, anger and a myriad of other mental health concerns. Tonight, we are going to take a look at a few of these examples.

Trauma and Abuse

The first situation that many of you find yourself in is one of a victim of trauma and abuse from someone else.

Definition of Trauma

Tim Clinton
Trauma is an event in life that causes pain that goes deep and lasts a long time. Trauma is a situation beyond control, one that shakes a person to the core. Trauma can often lead to mental disorders or suicide. For many, trauma may not actually be remembered but it can still influence people in unhealthy ways often causing them to make unhealthy decisions. Symptoms of trauma include anxiety and panic disorders, depression, intense fear, anger, loneliness, attachment disorders, flashbacks, helplessness, loss of control, and threat of annihilation. Many of these symptoms are often labeled under the diagnosis of PTSD. Traumatic memory becomes encoded in an abnormal form of memory, which breaks spontaneously into consciousness, both as flashbacks and nightmares. Traumatic memory is not a verbal linear narrative but can have a frozen wordless quality which causes high levels of adrenaline and other stress hormones to circulate deeply imprinting the memories. Traumatic memory may also be suppressed The intrusion of the memory and the constriction form a dynamic that does not provide a way to resolve the experience of the event and achieve balance.

Types of Trauma

There are two main types of trauma a person experiences. Statistics say that 3 out of 4 people will experience an event in life that could be described as traumatic. 25% of those will develop symptoms of Post traumatic Stress Disorder:

Invasion Trauma

In invasion trauma, something happened to a person that creates damage. This can occur by emotional invasion, when others criticize, shame, and blame either verbally or nonverbally. Physical invasion occurs when a person is physically abused. This type of trauma can cause permanent physical damage as well. Sexual invasion speaks for itself. 1 out of 4 women has been sexually abused. And those are only the ones that are reported. Spiritual invasion takes the place when people are led to believe that they are unworthy of God’s love and grace. Often this occurs in fear-based religious teaching, even if it is well intended. This results in shame that people can’t seem to shake.

Abandonment Trauma

Abandonment trauma occurs when something that should have happened did not happen to a person, such as feeling loved, protected, and nurtured. This can often be harder to recognize because the person doesn’t know what he or she is missing, having never had it. This takes the form of emotional abandonment when love, attention, care, nurture, and affirmation are not given. This often results in profound loneliness. Physical abandonment happens when people’s basic needs for food, shelter, and clothing aren’t met. People who aren’t touched enough with affection, cuddles and hugs experience what is known as “touch deprivation.” Sexual abandonment occurs when parents and adults don’t educate children and model sexuality in a healthy manner. Spiritual abandonment happens when healthy spiritual teaching and modeling are not available. These categories can often over lap with one another becoming very complex and dangerous.

Biblical Example of Trauma

A biblical example of trauma is found in the story of Joseph in Genesis. To provide a brief background in the story, Joseph is his father’s favorite son out of twelve and he had a series of dreams that he told his brothers about him ruling over them. Well, as you can imagine, his brothers didn’t care for that too much. They decide to kill him. However, one of his brothers convinces them that killing him might not be such a good idea. So they decide to sell him into slavery. So they throw him into a pit, strip his clothes off and cover it in blood. They sell him to some traders who are travelling by and take his clothes back to his father and say a lion killed him.

18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt

Talk about some great brothers. And you thought your family was dysfunctional. This became his defining moment. How can this awful situation become his defining moment? Joseph never became a victim. There is a difference in having a bad situation or bad things happen to you and being a victim. Joseph had faith in his God. Joseph was a man of integrity and character. We see a little bit later Joseph’s integrity and character as he faces temptation, holds to his integrity, is accused falsely of making advances toward his master’s wife and is thrown in jail. He never lost faith. In the pit, Joseph had faith. In the jail Joseph had faith. Joseph gets a chance to demonstrate this faith by interpreting dreams for Pharoah who then promotes him to become the second most powerful man in all of Egypt. How did Joseph get here? How could his life turn out this well after all he had been through. He never let his circumstances define him. He let them drive him. Everything Joseph had experienced led him to this position that he was given by Pharoah. If he hadn’t been abused by his brothers, if he hadn’t been accused falsely and thrown in jail, he never would have been in the position that he’s in in .
Talk about some great brothers. And you thought your family was dysfunctional. This became his defining moment. How can this awful situation become his defining moment? Joseph never became a victim. There is a difference in having a bad situation or bad things happen to you and being a victim. Joseph had faith in his God. Joseph was a man of integrity and character. We see a little bit later Joseph’s integrity and character as he faces temptation, holds to his integrity, is accused falsely of making advances toward his master’s wife and is thrown in jail. He never lost faith. In the pit, Joseph had faith. In the jail Joseph had faith. Joseph gets a chance to demonstrate this faith by interpreting dreams for Pharoah who then promotes him to become the second most powerful man in all of Egypt. How did Joseph get here? How could his life turn out this well after all he had been through. He never let his circumstances define him. He let them drive him. Everything Joseph had experienced led him to this position that he was given by Pharoah. If he hadn’t been abused by his brothers, if he hadn’t been accused falsely and thrown in jail, he never would have been in the position that he’s in in Genesis 42
There had been a famine throughout all of the land, yet, Joseph had the foresight to prepare for the famine. So people travelled from all over the world to Egypt to buy grain. Among these people are his brothers and Joseph recognizes them. Here, Joseph has a chance to get revenge. He has a chance to get even. But he doesn’t. He brings his brothers, family and his father to Egypt to live in prosperity. In , his father dies and his brothers fear that Joseph will not try to get revenge and kill them. So they come to Joseph and beg mercy from him. We read:

God’s Good Purposes

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

We see a little bit later that Joseph
What do we learn from this example?
We have two choices, we can let our circumstances define us or we can let them drive us to our destiny.
Second, God takes our pain and brokenness, and uses it for his glory and purposes.

Suffering as the Result of Sin

Some of you, whether or not you want to admit it, are experiencing mental health issues and pain because of your own sinful choices. Through bad decisions, sinful thoughts, feelings, or actions, you find yourself experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks, addictions and a whole array of mental health issues.

Living in a Fallen World

The third situation that some of you may find yourself in is that you are living in a fallen world that is affected every day by the curse of sin. The world around is affected by sin. Our very nature is affected by sin.
When bad things happen to people without explanation, we blame God. Why would God do this? Why would God allow this to happen? And the truth to that question is found in . God created us perfect, to live in perfect unity and peace with him. However, sin destroyed that unity with God and brought with it a curse to the earth. Sin brought with it the curse of death to our lives and everything in our world. In fact, the Bible tells us that Satan has dominion over the earth. He is the god of this world as 2 Corinthians describes him. All of the evil, sickness, disease, death in this world is the result of his work and his influence through sin. One of our greatest examples of this is found in Job. God allowed Satan to test Job. He allowed Satan to curse Job and take everything that he had. In this, Job never cursed God. Job never blamed God. In fact, these trials only made Job bless God even more. So why does God allow bad things to happen to us? Why does God allow cancer to take lives? Why does God allow mental illness to take over people’s minds? Why does God allow men to sexually abuse little children?
The answer is that the brokenness of our world is always meant to bring us back to Jesus. The only way we could be restored to God is through Jesus. Whenever we see these atrocities in our lives and in our world, it is supposed to remind us of our need for Jesus and cause us to place our dependence on him even more. Instead of trusting God, we blame God. Once again, we let our circumstances define us rather than drive us. If we let our circumstances drive us to serve God and his purposes, we can be like Paul. Paul understood suffering. Paul understood pain. Paul understood what it felt like to be mistreated. But Paul also had a physical ailment, that God never took away. But instead of pushing him away from God, this only drew Paul closer to God. Paul writes:

7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Paul had a correct perspective. He didn’t let his circumstances define him. His identity was Christ. He knew that. He pressed on for the prize of Christ. He knew that the suffering he endured just being a part of this sinful world in addition to his suffering for the gospel was worth it.
God allowed Paul to suffer and Paul considered it a joy. Paul also

Scars

I heard a pastor teach on this recently and it profoundly affected me.

From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

Paul rejoiced in his suffering. He rejoiced in his mistreatment. He rejoiced in his discouragement. He closes out his letter to the Galatians reminding them of everything he has been through. He reminds them why he did it. For the sake of the gospel. When we let our circumstances and our pain drive us towards Christ and our destiny in him rather than defining us, we bear a testimony for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul says, his body is covered in the scars of Jesus. When we allow the Holy Spirit to heal the wounds our pain and our suffering, it leaves a beautiful scar that is a testimony to the love and power of Jesus Christ.
For the rest of his life, everywhere he went, Paul had the stories of the scars he bore. You see this scar? This is when I was arrested and flogged in the temple. This one is when they tried to kill me but I escaped. This one is when they stoned me and left me for dead. This one is when they beat me with rods. This one is when I was shipwrecked. But you know what? I’d do it all again. It was worth it.
For many of you, its the same thing. You have scars. What’s the story of your scars going to be? Are you going to be defined by your circumstances or are you going to let them drive you to your destiny in Christ?

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering (Heb. 13:3).

Closing

Lets close by going back to our original passage from Luke. Each of you in this room can relate to at least one of these individuals in this story. You may be the person in the ditch. You may have been the one who walked by. Or you may be the Samaritan.
For those of you who are the Samaritan, God wants to use your past, present or future pain for his glory. God wants to use you to help others find hope, healing, and restoration in Christ.
For those of you who have been the ones who walked by. There is no shame. This is not condemnation. That was me. The question is, what are you going to do now? Are you going to continue to ignore the reality of people around you that are broken and hurting because of mental illness, trauma, abuse, addiction?
And for those of you who are in the ditch? I especially want to pray for you. Wherever you find yourself, regardless of how you got there, there is hope in Christ. If you have never made the decision to make Christ your Lord and received him into your life, I want to give you that opportunity now.
If you are hurting and broken right now because of mental illness, trauma, abuse, addiction, sinful choices, depression, anxiety, whatever it is, I want to pray with you right now.
If you prayed to receive Christ or for healing, we have some prayer teams here waiting to pray with you.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →