Faith or Lack Thereof and Demons Even Know

Faith or lack thereof … James 2:14-26 is a challenge (see below)…

With mental health, I see it as a two-fold issue – for those with AND without mental health issues…

With mental health the first, and often instant (stigma),  is “not showing it by our actions” – I mean come on – how is it you are able to stay in bed all day? Just get out, proclaim the wonders of God when you take a walk – “suck it up” –  have more faith!!

To those without mental health issues – my challenge would be – don’t judge what you don’t understand on a personal level… look at verse 15 & 16 (below) – we may not be without food or clothing – but we need prayer at the least – we might need someone to talk to on the phone – or just a text message saying you are praying for us… if you ask how we are doing – ask how we are REALLY doing – but ONLY if you are willing to really to commit yourself to listen, for coffee dates, for answering “help” text messages… don’t run away – that’s the worst thing you can do… you are either in or out

You see, mental health isn’t a one-time happenchance – it’s lifelong… (miracle healings not included)…

Yes, there are times of depression after someone passes away or something else that saddens us – and it will resolve after a while… and I’m so glad that this will be short lived…

For myself though – it was well beyond being just depressed – it was suicidal thoughts, it was suicidal plans, it was planning my funeral as my family would be so much better off without me… it was even more than what I have written here…

Taking a look deeper for those of us with mental health AND a relationship with God – it often seems insurmountable – but we do need to step out in faith – even though every cell in our body is SCREAMING against it… even though our arms, legs, bodies, head feel like they are cased in cement…

It doesn’t mean we are going to suddenly be hopping and skipping around – it’s likely going to just get up and sitting in the living room… opening the curtains… maybe sitting on the deck on a sunny day… texting someone – reaching out…

And it means reaching for our Bible – trusting that God will bring verses of comfort to replace the negative thoughts… these are the good deeds

One thing I learned recently – and a really comforting fact actually – is that Satan cannot hear our thoughts (yeah!) this also means – we need to tell Satan to get away from us out loud. I don’t know about others but on my not so great days – I tend to just think in my head when talk to God…

James 2:14–26 Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

Even the demons believe this

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

I recently went through a rough patch myself… and I did what I have just written

  • I reached out to my friends who I know will pray
  • I kept an open channel with God
    • praying out loud (often just a whisper) tell Satan he wasn’t welcome – using verses from the Bible I have written down – and I spoke them
    • I kept doing my devotions and I found support in everything I read
    • Psalms showed me attributes of God – and I claimed them… if the Psalm writer could claim them back then – I could claim them now – God is the same yesterday, today and forever!
  • I continued to reach out as needed

Eventually, life got better… I still deal with mental health every day – but sometimes are just harder than other times… showing my faith by actions – but getting true with God – by seeking Him… (and it isn’t just like turning on a light switch)… intently listening to that Voice inside… that tells me to do something I really don’t want to or feel I haven’t got the energy to do… it’s those actions of faith that get me through…

And no – I am far from perfect… there are days when I ignore the nudge… but then I realize I MUST… and after being obedient the first time – the second time is easier and so forth…

 

 

 

 

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