The Problem Is Not Your Symptoms

Our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings are interconnected. So what we think will determine how we will respond or not respond to events in our lives. Uncontrolled feelings such as hopelessness can cause us to act as if things in our lives will never change and give up on our dreams and desires. But no matter how you may feel at this moment, never give up; always remember that situations can change in your life for the better. You do have something to add to the world in which you live, so begin to challenge your feelings of hopelessness with the Word of God. The problem is not your sickness or illness. There is a remedy for your problem. Your problem is how you think. Symptoms are natural manifestations of the disease and are to be expected. Depending on the situation, your symptoms may be mild or extreme. Symptoms may occur once in a while or daily. So don’t let the problem keep you defeated. Your symptoms may slow you down, but they do not have to stop you. Don’t focus so much on your symptoms that you forget to look at the good things around you. There is a plan and a strategy to overcome. You need to find it in God’s Word. Don’t be so upset with the symptoms that you start speaking negative words over your life. Your feelings about the symptoms can feed feelings of depression, sadness, anxiety, and fear. Your feelings about your symptoms and being sick can cause you to live beneath the plan that God has for your life. Jesus Christ knew that you would be ill or be faced with a negative situation. He has a plan for your life.

Living With A Mental Illness

Living With A Mental Illness -Taking Care of You
Seeing a doctor regularly, monitoring your symptoms, regulating stress, bringing your thoughts in line with the thoughts of God, exercising, and eating healthier are all essential keys in your ability to fulfill your God-given purpose for living. Taking medications as prescribed, and seeing a doctor regularly are important strategies for maintaining your health, and living the life that God has for you. In fact, if you have a mental illness or think that you may have a mental illness, seeing a doctor will be the second step in your recovery process. Your first step will be developing or maintaining a relationship with Je-sus Christ.
Seeing a Doctor First Time
When you see a doctor for the first time, he or she will talk with you about your symp-toms. Then he or she depending on the setting may schedule or request that you obtain a physical and blood work. Again, this will depend on the type of doctor you are seeing and the circumstances. For example, if you are seeing a Primary Care Doctor, he or she may request the blood work and complete physical on site. But if you are seeing a Psychiatrist (a medical doctor who specializes in mental health), in his or her office he or she may conduct the mental health evaluation first and then refer or request that you see your Pri-mary Care Doctor. Regardless of when you get it done, obtaining a complete medical physical to include blood work will be necessary.

Religion and Spirituality

Religion and Spirituality What Is It?
Religiousness can be defined as participation in an institutionalized doctrine/theological system or set of beliefs and practices while spirituality is framed as an individual pursuit of meaning outside the world of immediate experience or understanding one’s self as part of a larger spiritual force. Religion can also be included as an expression of spirituality (Hodge, 2004).
Research has consistently identified a generally positive association between spirituality (religion is included as an expression of spirituality) and various dimensions of mental health to include “increased adaptation to bereavement, self esteem, social support, life sat-isfaction and happiness” but due to the negative views of some people, the positive benefits between spirituality and mental health is not always experienced by everyone. You see, for some people, having a mental illness was seen as demonic or a punishment from God. For others, spirituality is a crutch, a way out, and harmful. Unfortunately both views have pre-vented many people from getting the help that they need.
Thankfully, we now understand that people with mental illness are not demon-possessed or being punished by God. And spiritual warfare and demonic possessions are not the same as a mental illness. Therapists and Doctors know that they do not have to fear religion/spirituality or try to talk people out of their faith.
Mental illness is a medical condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function daily. Mental illnesses are real and are treatable.


Stressful feelings are triggered by our view of a situation or event, not necessarily the event itself. Just because a situation is stressful for me does not mean it will be for you. But when the mind does perceive a situation to be stressful it sends orders to the rest of the body. The body then responds to the orders it receives from the mind by becoming both emotionally and physiologically aroused. Have you ever almost had a car accident? Or have you ever been startled by something that seemed to come from out of nowhere? If so, you may have experienced a sudden increase in your heart rate, sweating and muscle tension. Those symptoms were activated by the mind to prepare the body either to flee or to face the situation that was triggering the response. When the event that caused your body to be aroused was removed, those symptoms diminished. But some of us live in a constant state or near constant state of arousal or stress.


 Our bodies and emotions don’t get a chance to relax so we are always on guard. Unfortunately, the longer our bodies are subjected to stress, the more detrimental the impact will be. Ongoing symptoms of stress can trigger a whole host of negative symptoms that include increased sleeping, overeating, depression, muscle tension, ulcers, nervousness, loss of sexual appetite, tiredness and memory loss (Cunningham, 2000).

There are many strategies we can use to manage our stress. But there is no one strategy that will work for everyone in every situation. So in order to manage your stress you must look at the specific situation you are facing and choose a strategy that will work best for you. For example, changing jobs, learning how to relax and learning better communication techniques may be appropriate strategies for one situation, but making diet changes, learning assertiveness skills and exercising may be more appropriate in another. While a person can manage stress in many ways, the one strategy we want to focus on here is the strategy of changing the way we think. Face it—we may not be able to change the situation that is causing us stress, but by changing our thoughts we may be able to decrease the impact of stress on our lives. Take a few minutes to review the list of strategies below and pick the one that works best for you.



Managing Stress—Changing How We Think


  1. Face reality. Some things you may not be able to change.
  2. Learn to release feelings of anger in appropriate ways before it builds up.
  3. Evaluate the things that cause you to worry. Instead of letting your mind focus on the problems, spend some time trying to identify ways to solve the things that cause you to worry.
  4. Learn to see a crisis as a chance for change.
  5. Learn to see both sides of a problem. Remember every situation may have three sides: your side, my side and the right side.
  6. Instead of meditating on negative things, meditate on ways to solve your problem using the Word of God and His principles.
  7. Eliminate thoughts that distress you. Challenge negative thoughts that come to your mind. Are those thoughts balanced? Are they accurate?
  8. Think about the consequences.
  9. Have realistic expectations.
  10. Realize you will have to say no sometimes.
  11. Realize you will have to make a decision sometimes.
  12. Realize you will not get what you want sometimes.

He Is Risen

He Has Risen So You Can Live
A grave can be defined as any place that becomes the receptacle of what is dead, lost, or past. Our sins or offenses against the Lord can keep us in a grave-like condition. A state in which we are dead to the potential that the Lord Jesus Christ has for our lives and lost to the wonderful future He has envisioned for us. When we have not accepted Jesus Christ or are not walking fully in the love of Jesus Christ, we are living in a grave.
But instead of dirt, we are covered by thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are contrary to God. We are being held down by the fears and hurts of our past. The grave of sin is holding the pain that we have refused to let go and those negative feelings that we did not even know that we still carried. The grave that has been dug for us by sin can keep a lid on our desire to love God and prevent us from obtaining all that God Has for us in Him. Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh loves you, and He knows all about you. His thoughts and feelings toward you are always good. It is the enemy or the chief liar who does not want you to know that.
Things happen to us as a result of our failure or someone else’s failure to follow the directions that God has set. When we are operating in thoughts and behaviors that are contrary to the word of God, we are in rebellion. Rebellion or sin brings with it consequences and opens the door for pain, problems, and more sin. God wants us to Love Him and His word because He wants to shield us from those consequences.
For example, when a loving parent sets rules, he or she does so because they love their children and do not want the child to face the consequences. When children break the rules, it bothers the parent, but the love that parent has for their child will compel them to help their child cope with the consequences of their actions. You are not reaping the judgment of God but the natural result of your sin or the sins of someone else. Jesus Christ wants you to trust Him with the consequences in your life.
The consequences of sin can keep us in bondage to pride, arrogance, anger, low self-esteem, pornography, abuse, and hurts from our past. The results of sin can bring us so low that we will have sex at a bus stop for 5.00 dollars, sleep in the gutter, and even sell our children for sex. Sin has such a hold on some of us that we will savagely beat those that we say we love, commit adultery, and abuse our children.
Sin will cause us to hold on to and protect “that something” in us that we have grown so accustomed to that we do not want to give it up, even though it is costing us money, friends, sleep, and opportunities. That “something” can be fear of what we will have to give up, a fear of rejection or pride. That something could be hurt, misplaced anger, or low self-esteem. The enemy has come to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus has come so that we might have life and be entirely free from sin and death. Not just natural death, but the death that comes to steal our potential and to make it look as if God is not who He says He is (Apostle Robinson).
Again, that “something” can be any thought, feeling, or behavior that is contrary to the word of God. That “something” could even be a good thing that is only bad because it is not what God is calling you to do now.
The problem is that we tend to protect that “something” by putting up emotional walls or engaging in behaviors that prevent us from dealing with the issue. When we allow those emotions associated with our hurts to influence our lives, it can lead to a variety of unhealthy behaviors and thoughts that can prevent us from trusting the Word of God in the now. Living in the past can cause us to react in the present to something that happened in the past.
You see, whenever we anticipate a challenge in the area of “that thing,” we erect emotional defenses as a way to protect ourselves from the pain. While man-made defenses may seem to protect us from the negative feelings we are trying to avoid, they often come with unexpected consequences.
For instance, to shield ourselves from the hurts of our past, we may find ourselves withdrawing from people, arguing, masking our feelings with alcohol, getting into abusive relationships, and or allowing those feelings to control our lives. Additionally, unhealed past hurts can cause us to be oversensitive in certain areas of our lives, and to misinterpret or to react inappropriately to things and people around us. When we internalize the hurts of the past, we can spend the rest of our lives, allowing past hurts to control our present, and cause us to reject people who want to love us.

Over time those emotional walls can become so thick that it is hard for anyone to get in or for you to get out. Any time anyone attempts to touch the wall that you have erected, you get defensive. Putting up barriers to defend yourself can cause you to spend so much time protecting your pain that you do not realize that you are not living.
Unfortunately, man-made defenses, just like the fig leaves, that Adam and Eve used in the Garden of Eden to hide their sins; only conceal they do not heal us. Man-made defenses or gimmicks give us the illusion of being free, but the feelings we are trying to cover up always have a way of manifesting in other areas of our lives. Jesus Christ did not rise again just so a fear of rejection or the defenses that you have created to deal with your hurts can rule your present or control your future.
When we try to cover up our hurts as opposed to allowing God to heal them, we are not free. God wants to set you free from your walls and the influence of your past. God wants to elevate you out of the grave and above your past.
Romans 10 9-11

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.