Through physical healing and mental restoration, Jesus made disciples. Often Christ’s patients suffered both mental and physical diseases. Physical restoration itself was never the final objective. The ultimate goal was always discipleship. Healing could provide twenty, fifty, perhaps seventy-five additional quality years. Discipleship offered eternal life with Christ.
In Luke 8:26-39, the demon-possessed man from the Gerasene region begged to accompany Jesus. Instead, Christ commissioned him to evangelize his family and townspeople. Having been so miraculously delivered, he could be a powerful witness for Jesus.
Study Matthew 6:19-34, 1 Peter 5:7, 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, Philippians 4:4-9, and 1 John 3:20-22. How might the principles taught in these verses relieve the anxiety, guilt, and shame that underlie many mental illnesses?
Physical sickness is sometimes caused by mental stimuli. The relationship between mind and body is well-established by medical science. Anxiety predisposes some to stomach problems. Worry causes sleep disorders. Uncontrollable anger factors into heart disease. Teaching people about mental-health principles should highlight the importance of trusting God, naturally leading them toward personal spiritual commitment and full discipleship.
Each day has its burdens, its cares and perplexities; and when we meet how ready we are to talk of our difficulties and trials. So many borrowed troubles intrude, so many fears are indulged, such a weight of anxiety is expressed, that one might suppose we had no pitying, loving Saviour ready to hear all our requests and to be to us a present help in every time of need.-Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 121.
Though a close walk with the Lord is no guarantee of good health, there’s no question that the peace of mind that comes from knowing the Lord can have a positive impact on us, even physically. What are some practical ways in which we can learn to take the principles taught in today’s lesson and apply them to ourselves, especially if we are prone toward worry?