An Inconvenient Madness, [A Broken Believer]

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Very simply, bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that are defined by major shifts between incredible mania and clinical depression. It’s usually intense and quite disabling.

Depression: There are days when I wake up and I don’t like what I see in the mirror. At times a deep and profound sadness seems to grip me like a vise. It’s like a huge heavy grey cloak covers me, and I can’t shake it off. Typically I hide and crawl into bed for weeks at a time. All is hopeless and I despair of life. I am irrevocably lost. This is bipolar depression and I’m slowly learning that I can shake it free.

Mania: When I’m manic it’s as though I have wings! I’m blasted with a special grace which makes me creative and intelligent and superior to mere mortals.  I become energetically impulsive and irritably crass. It’s all about ME! Thankfully these times don’t happen too often. These moods don’t last long but they’re intense. A measure of freedom can also be found.

Medication prescribed by my psychiatrist helps smooth things out. It was hard to adjust to taking them, but now I know I did the right thing. It’s been over 10 years since my diagnosis and I suppose I have the dubious honor of just surviving. I have several scars on my wrists that remind me of a long journey. Those afflicted will understand.

It’s been suggested that bipolar people can become more empathetic and sensitive to the suffering of others. I’d like to believe that this is true. This seems like a biblical idea.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT

 “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.”

Isaiah 50:4

For the broken believer, I’m confident that the Lord can turn my mental illness into something positive and good. The Holy Spirit empowers the Christian to do the extraordinary. It’s in our weaknesses we can become strong. We are fully enough in Christ. (2 Corinthians 12:9).

I stepped down from my positions as a pastor and a Bible instructor when the bipolar symptoms became clear. This wasn’t easy but I knew it was what God wanted. Today I still speak on occasion at a local Church.

I also minister here at brokenbelievers.com and http://www.lambfollowers.com.. I try to post everyday and I get constant feedback from those who are in need. Just a single post, a list of 24 hour crisis hotlines, averages 175 hits a day by itself! (https://brokenbelievers.com/247-crisis-lines/)

I do covet your prayers for both ministry sites.

This work would never have happened unless I was “detoured” by my bipolar.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Romans 8:28

I want to urge you to look at the big picture of mental illness. Sure it can be remarkably disruptive, but the Lord can transform you. Meds and therapy are vital for me. Prayer and Bible reading even more so. You can find a way through this. It’s not easy. Don’t fight the illness. The Father works close to His “special” children. There is a real and abiding hope for you. I’m convinced you can find it.

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A 100% Authentic Sinner

‘This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.”  

1 Tim. 1:15, NLT

There are some things that can be easily understood, they are obvious.  As believers, there are certain things that are just written in stone.  They are revealed to us in a moment of time, and give us dimensions to a knowable truth.  In this case, ‘people sin all the time’. Our essential nature as a human being is to sin. We are “factories of sin.”

Paul’s relationship has its starting point in theology.  He declares to us directly the perhaps ultimate fact in the entire universe.  Jesus has come for sinners.  Sinners, transgressors, perverts, and the foolishly ignorant are special recipients of a grace that is irresistible.  This is why Jesus came, to find us who have been so twisted up by life, and left wrecked by the side of the road.

It’s funny but I have a point of departure with Paul’s proclamation of being the worst, or the chief of sinners.  I contend with it because I know and believe in my own wickedness.  (I’ve always felt Paul was a bit premature on this).  My own iniquity is such that I feel I can supplant Paul’s personal place.

But in this central verse in 1 Tim 1:15 lays out some vital truth.

  • Jesus has come.
  • He has focused on the “world.”
  • His purpose in coming was to save each of us.
  • Paul understands and thinks he is the ultimate sinner.

Who are we, exactly?  I think we need to realize that scriptural truth has come to us, and rather some diverse mist that just accepts all of us just as we are.  Rather, it’s more like each of us accepting God’s terms of what is theologically real and walking away from it, having absorbed the truth.

It is true, that united with Christ I live a resurrected life. But there can be no resurrection with something dying first. Both are needful. Both are to be part of our theology. Thats what is really important.

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An Armored Response

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When the Holy Spirit talks we listen. What He shares is usually pretty relevant, and typically mandates our action. He is into change, and guides us into Christlikeness.

In my prayer time I saw a man climbing into the turret of a tank. He was sheltered there, protected by the tank’s armor. He seemed to be discovering the capabilities of the tank. He slowly began to grasp the potential of it, and soon began to turn the massive gun. He played around, not so much as a soldier, but as a child would. It was fun to spin the turret around. He could go places on its tracks. He could run over trees.

But slowly he realized that this was much more than a shelter, but it was an offense weapon as well. The tank could be quite formidable, as well as safe and secure. Surrounded by the armor, he at last began to understand exactly what this tank was capable of, and his role as driver/gunner. Using the gun, he could go up against enemy strongholds.

We come into a certain maturity when we begin to obey. God-given tasks become a joy. We start to see not just the defensive perspective, but the offensive as well. God’s ability is given to anyone who asks. His power can’t be diminished. He alone is the force to be reckoned with.

We are often stunted by our vision, we simply don’t grasp the enormity of what has been given to us.

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead,”

Ephesians 1:18-19

“For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”

1 Corinthians 4:20

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