…in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:11


The goal I’ve set for myself is to write devotionals that will build you up and encourage you. We all need that. However, as I sat down to write today, I realized we mustn’t overlook the realities of the mental health issues so many of us face.

The sad truth is that the injustices of stigma and discrimination affect many. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA): “…discrimination usually ranks higher than actual symptoms of mental illness in terms of what contributes most to the level of distress experienced.” Suicide is a frequent result.

One of the worst forms of prejudice is when we’re not trusted. Although we may in general terms be well thought of, the knowledge that we live with mental illness too often means that what we say or do is suspect. This is prejudice and it’s unfair.

In his article in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, James W. Nickel states: The “premise that one group is less worthy than another is insulting to its victims, because it harms its victims by reducing their self-esteem and opportunities, and because it is unfair.”

Discrimination becomes particularly hurtful when someone with mental health issues has a conflict with a person in authority. In such a case, the person with the health problem seldom stands a chance of getting a fair hearing – or any hearing at all. She will be blamed. The healthy person will be heard, his word not doubted. The victim ends up ostracized through no fault of her own.

What can we, as Christians living with mental health issues, do with such injustice?

The emotional pain is the toughest to cope with. For some of us it might be greater than anything we’ve experienced before. What can we do to deal with such anguish?

Find a trusted friend or pastor to talk to. Professional counselling will be helpful. Most importantly, go to Jesus.

Jesus understands in ways no one else will. He himself was rejected, falsely accused, crucified. When we draw close to him and trust him with what we’re going through, he will help us carry it. We won’t be alone. And, unlike friends and counselors, Jesus is always available.

As with many things in our lives, we will find that God has a way of making good come out bad. When we keep Jesus close during our times of suffering, transformation will eventually take place. We’ll grow stronger, wiser, more courageous. He may very well give us new and exciting ways to serve him.

When we trust God, what can man do to us?