Faith and Mental Health - Jesus Our Hope
Have you ever stopped to think about how often the gospel writers comment on Jesus’ emotions and felt reactions - anger, compassion, terrified, anxiety, troubled, indignant, depressed, forsaken, grief, suffering, pain, tears, joy, rest, love and hope to name a few. (See Matt 9:36, 11:28; Mark 3:5, 10:14 &21, 14:33, 15:34; Luke 10:21, 24:26; John 11:33-35, and 12:27)
Jesus gives us hope, a certainty about now and the future, because he walks with us, strengthens us, and guides us fully knowing how we feel and what we face.
One of the great gifts of the incarnation is that Jesus was fully human as well as being fully God. We can’t say to Jesus “You don’t know how I feel” or “You don’t know what I am going through”. He does in even greater ways than we can understand because he knows us, knows the depth of sin and brokenness and awaits the day when his victory can finally be fully realised when he returns, and evil is dealt with.
Jesus gives us hope, a certainty about now and the future, because he walks with us, strengthens us, and guides us fully knowing how we feel and what we face. Great love and great compassion. He knows we walk in the “now and not yet”. The promise of his voice and presence in the midst of a broken world, the “Now”. That gives us hope. And the “Not yet” because he will come again to judge, to remove sin and pain, and to re-create a new heaven and earth for us who follow him. That also gives us hope.
So, in the darkness you may be facing, the challenges of despair, anxiety, depression, pain, and loss, Jesus declares come to me and I will give you rest. I can give you light and hope. Romans 5:1-5.
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.