“The Lord afflicts us at times; but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve, and much less than many of our fellow-creatures are suffering around us. Let us therefore pray for grace to be humble, thankful, and patient.” John Newton (1725-1807)
For the person who believes, this can be a real thorny issue. Can a God who will and can afflict us for our good, can he be trusted? There are some who suggest that God is intentionally malicious; like a young boy pulling the wings off of flies in bored amusement, to watch them scramble about. I am certain this is not the case.
Those of us with mental illnesses who are believers will face this issue fairly often. I get terribly depressed, to the point of despairing and even suicide. One of the inner dialogues that happen, is “Why?” “Does God know?” “Does he care? ” “Why is this happening to me?” You know what? Only God knows, and he is not telling. Sometimes we just have to live with questions.
The believer must accept this at face value. It really doesn’t matter. You face the fiery furnace, and that is a fearful thing. But whatever transpires, our trials teach us about love, especially when we find a fellow-sufferer. I have found that mentally ill people are almost always good, gentle people. They have finally learned how to love, they generally have the scars to prove it.
To get stable, a prayer life should be established in our lives. (If you have tried and tried, I would recommend getting prayer beads.) Praying will clarify things and settle things. Luther once said that just like “a cobbler’s task was to make shoes, so a Christian’s is to pray”. Prayer is real-life for the believer. It is a shot of adrenaline into the heart of a dying man. I take my meds and I regard prayer as one of my other medications. Prayer for me is both an anti-depressant and a mood-stablizer. It is that significant.