This week past week Kathy and I saw the movie Least of These: The Graham Staines Story. It is the true story of missionary Graham Staines who ministered to the lepers in India in the 1990s. This terrible disease wrecked havoc on the lives of many.
Jesus encountered a man with leprosy. We read in Mark 1:40–44…
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”
I love that the man said to Jesus, “If you are willing, you can heal me.” Jesus immediately responded, “I am willing. Be healed!”
Although leprosy is a physical disease, many people today struggle with emotional maladies that keep them from experiencing the emotional and spiritual wellness that Jesus desires to bring. While I believe there may be physiological conditions that can cause emotional sickness and must be treated properly by licensed professionals, for many the emotional struggles can have spiritual solutions.
How can Jesus bring us emotional healing? Through His death and resurrection we have been healed. The Apostle Peter declares,
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24; also see Isaiah 53:5)
Much of emotional health isn’t about feelings, but actually it’s about THINKING! I would argue that our feelings are brought on by our thinking. Christ-followers should have healthy patterns of thinking because of what we have as a result of our relationship with God:
- We have Fullness of Joy
1 Peter 1:8 (NIV84) Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
- We have Perfect Peace
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
- We have Unconditional Love
Ephesians 3:19 (NLT) May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
- We have an Encouraging Hope
1 Peter 1:3b (NIV84) In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Although the above truths should promote emotional health, we still often struggle with our thinking. So here are 6 STEPS TO EMOTIONAL HEALTH:
- Change The Way You Think
Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
- TakeEvery Thought Captive
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV84) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
- Mediate on Good Things
Philippians 4:8 (NLT) 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.
- Mediate on God’s Truth
Psalm 1:1–3 (NLT) Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
- Keep Your Mind on TODAY…Only!
Matthew 6:34 (NLT) “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
- Trust the Lord
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
It is encouraging that Jesus desires to bring healing to anyone who will come to Him in faith. It is our responsibility to keep our mind under His control by faithfully applying these steps above. May God provide emotional wholeness to us all.
Onward in health,