Tag: Overcoming Depression and Anxiety

Mental Illness & Spiritual Warfare

Mental Illness & Spiritual Warfare

Dealing with mental illness or depression could be one of the most difficult things some of us would have to go through. But this is not anything ordinary. We can say that this has something to do with the spiritual warfare that we could be facing.

How then should Christians handle this kind of situation?

Bible Verse: 1 Kings 19:4, NKJV

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

Background of the Passage

Elijah Runs for His Life
Elijah Flees from Jezebel

When Jezebel issued her murderous threat against Elijah, the victor of the Mount Carmel showdown ran for his life.

The combination of emotional burnout, weariness, hunger, and a deep sense of failure brought Elijah into a deep depression.

We can see that in this particular instance, Elijah exhibited a lack of faith. But an element of pride and some self-pity were also involved. Elijah was sure that his courageous ministry on Mount Carmel would bring the nation to its knees.

Perhaps he was also hoping that Ahab and Jezebel would repent and turn from Baal to Jehovah. But Elijah’s expectations weren’t fulfilled, so he considered himself a failure and would rather die.

Since Israelites believed that suicide was an affront to the Lord, it was not an option. So, Elijah asked the Lord for death because he viewed the situation as hopeless.

Struggling with Insecurity

Recently, I have become aware that I struggle with insecurity. This is because I have a strong desire to be heard. I desire others to follow me as I follow Christ and I desire the approval of others.

Like many people, I have sought the validation of others. It never occurred to me that I struggled with insecurity. When God brought this to my attention, He also brought 1 Kings chapters 18 and 19 to my attention.

Elijah, a man of God, also struggled with insecurity that led to his depression. Multiple times Elijah said that he was the only prophet of God. He even said it in his speech on Mount Carmel to the people (1 Kings 18:22).

No doubt, loneliness can make anyone insecure. Although God gave Elijah victory in his spiritual battle at Mount Carmel, he still ended up depressed. Despite the victory, a powerful demon took possession of Jezebel and triggered a deep depression in Elijah.

Winning a Spiritual Warfare

Some people would say that spiritual warfare is not in this passage. That begs the question, “What caused such a radical change from a great victory to a despondent life? Why was Elijah so afraid of a woman who threatened to kill him?”

The answer is in 2 Corinthians 10:4. Many believers today do not realize that the church is involved in warfare. And those who do not understand the seriousness of the Christian battle do not always know how to fight the battle. They try to use human methods to defeat demonic forces, and these methods are doomed to fail.

Ephesians 6:12 also talks about wrestling against the powers and principalities of the air. Satan is a strong enemy and we need the power of God to be able to stand against him. We must never underestimate the power of the devil.

Christians are in spiritual warfare but their enemy is not people but rather the spiritual forces of darkness. This is why God harshly condemned consulting witches and magic practices in the Old Testament. These activities are an abomination to the Lord and dangerous for anyone’s spiritual well-being.

2 Corinthians 10:4, NLT

Victorious in Christ

As we draw closer and closer to the return of Christ, demonic forces are working harder to lead us astray. Satan and his minions are working hard to discourage Christians and lead them into depression.

Do not allow the enemy to control you and make you believe you are defeated. God has already won the victory. Think about those times when you thought you’d lost and yet, in the end, you won because of God’s power.

Mental illness is a reality and so is spiritual warfare. But Satan has already been defeated by the death and resurrection of Christ. Do not ever give the enemy a chance to rule your life again.

We are victorious because of what our Lord has done; always keep that in mind.

Concluding Words

Knowing that the enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, are you engaged in holy living? How well are you encouraging other Christians toward holy living?

As the church, we are in this spiritual warfare together and God is always with us. But Christians should also be working together toward the same goal. How are you contributing?

If a powerful and anointed prophet of God got attacked by spiritual forces, we are not exempted. Just because we might suffer from mental illness does not mean God does not have a purpose for us.

Anyone can overcome through the power of Jesus (Romans 8:37).


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Recommended Resource:

I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Depression by Sarah J. Robinson

Dealing with Anxiety and DepressionWhat happens when loving Jesus doesn’t cure you of depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts? You might be crushed by shame over your mental illness, only to be told by well-meaning Christians to “choose joy” and “pray more.”

So you beg God to take away the pain, but nothing eases the ache inside. As darkness lingers and the color drains from your world, you’re left wondering if God has abandoned you.

You just want a way out.

But there’s hope.

In I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die, Sarah J. Robinson offers a healthy, practical, and shame-free guide for Christians struggling with mental illness.

With unflinching honesty, Sarah shares her story of battling depression and fighting to stay alive despite toxic theology that made her afraid to seek help outside the church.

Pairing her own story with scriptural insights, mental health research, and simple practices, Sarah helps you reconnect with the God who is present in our deepest anguish and discover that you are worth everything it takes to get better.

Beautifully written and full of hard-won wisdom, I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die offers a path toward a rich, hope-filled life in Christ, even when healing doesn’t look like what you expect.