Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why does God create people with mental illnesses? (Talk Back Series)

Why does God create people with mental illnesses (i.e. depression, bipolar disorder, etc.)? 
[Answered by Shannon and Josh]

  This is not the easiest question to answer because there isn’t any clear answer in Scripture about this.  Genesis 1:27 says that we are "created in the image of God".  If we are created in the image of God, then God doesn’t create people with any illness, whether mental or physical. 
Many people attribute illness and disabilities to “the fall of man” in Genesis 3.  There is some justification for this, because before Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they didn't know any wrong or even that they were naked.  At the fall, sin entered the world.  There was now the opportunity for people to choose between good and evil.  
God didn't create all of the bad things that happen to people and all of the suffering that many people face.  People throughout the generations have chosen to disobey God and to live sinful lives. We are all born sinners, and sin and its consequences have been passed on from generation to generation. Because of this, there have been negative results on our world and in our lives as human beings.  People are born into a world that is literally being destroyed by the people living in it.  
On the other hand, when Jesus was asked about the reason for the man's blindness in John 9:1-3, Jesus said that his blindness was not because of his sin or his parent's sin, but to bring glory to God.  That's not that reassuring for someone who is suffering with an incurable disease or a mental illness, but God has used the faith and lives of many people who have suffered to draw people to himself and to bring glory to His name.  
When we are suffering with something, it's really hard to be positive and think about the good that can come from a situation that we are going through. After we get through it though, we often look back and realize that God was with us the whole time and that we were never alone. Through everything that we have faced or are facing, God walks with us, and we can praise Him for strengthening us, healing us, and sustaining us regardless of what we are going through.   
       Also, the collective effects of human sin throughout the world are basically an un-creation, a descent into chaos.  However, God is constantly working for re-creation, healing our brokenness, setting things right.  God wants us to be healthy and whole here in this life, and God is working through his Spirit and people to move us toward more health.  But eventually, when Jesus comes again, he will set everything right.  He will make everyone whole and cure every disease and heal every wound.  For now, we keep taking baby steps toward healing in God's love, but we also look forward in hope to the total healing God will eventually give.

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