In a simple discussion concerning the power of God to heal anxiety disorders, a friend suggests that faith in God cannot change brain chemistry. The question begs to establish a difference between occasional battles with “minor” stress verses the deeper anxiety complications associated with the likes of dementia. The contention is that stress though it induces minor changes in the mind, is not near the equivalent of a mental sickness that revolves around the lack of certain chemicals in the mind. While recognizing that healings are based upon the purposes of God rather than the will of men, this article declares that faith in Jesus Christ can, if it is his will, change the chemistry of a broken mind.
I will make this answer quick and short. Many will disagree. That is to their loss and sorrow, for victory is so near.
The Medical Evidence
We start with the medical evidence that feelings can generate chemical changes in the human mind and body. I need not prove that adrenaline is a chemical messenger that is released as a response to human anger, fear, panic (perhaps the nearest relative to anxiety), and other emotions. If you want to learn more about the human mind and chemical reactions to stress, visit the website at Human Diseases and Conditions. For this article, it is sufficient to admit that science confirms the medical relationship between emotions and the mental state of a human being.
We look next through the eyes of simple common sense. What young man will not confirm the intoxicating mental explosions that accompany a kiss from the right woman? How many will deny the quivers of excitement that supplement a good scare? And what of joy verses depression, pride verses shame, hate verses love? We need no doctor or scientists to teach us that these things are related to the state of our mental being. Even if we have no concept of chemical reactions within the brain, we know that something awesome is taking place within that mysterious area that occupies the space between our ears. So, accept it and move forward.
In the book of Psalms, the Holy Spirit prompts the author to pen the following words:
“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him,” (Psalm 126:1-6).
Though written as a celebration of the church returning from captivity, this psalm so clearly relays the difference between depression and joy. Notice how it is as if they are waking from a “dream”; this simple, Holy Spirit inspired word speaks so deeply into the heart of any who have know a great and deep period of trial, suffering, and depression. It is a reflection of that wonderful moment when the clouds began to clear away, and our mind once more finds a focus and a peace. It is the moment when our faith in Jesus reaches its highest peak.
Note what happens when God delivers his people. See the mouths filled with laughter, the tongues rolling with song; even common sense knows that laughter and song lift the heart, free the soul, and loosen the chains that bind a mind. See that they are “Glad”. Understand that they give the glory to God, and that they walk with him from moment to moment. Therein lies the power of the healing. Faith that does not walk with Jesus is but a secular mishap.
Joy comes from having a personal relationship with the creator of all that is; joy comes from knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Herein is a promise from God: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones,” (Proverbs 17:22).
So often people speak religion. They visit the church and fellowship with other Christians only upon the weekend. God is treated as a once-in-a-while point of interest. He takes second, third, and even last place in the order of their life. They do not speak to him as they awaken. They do not speak to him when they lie down to sleep. And then they claim that Jesus does not heal.
They put their faith in men, in doctors, in science, in their own good works, in long dead saints, or even in the Virgin Mary. But they will not trust in Jesus Christ alone. Then they lose their faith and claim that Jesus has failed. Yet Jesus was never the person of their faith. For if he had been, they would have remained among us. Scripture confirms that Jesus always keeps his own:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time,” 1 Peter 1:3-5).
See that it is the “power of God through faith” that holds your relationship with Christ.
Perhaps you conclude that the likes of dementia and other so-called deeper anxiety disorders are not compatible to these scriptures. I sorrow for you, for you are wrong. Here is simple evidence.
My mother-in-law now lives with us. She has suffered from dementia. There was a time, before coming to live with us, that she was plagued by visions of demons that sprang out from the TV set. She was terrified by shadows and red streaks that crossed the walls of her home, of sounds in the attic, of imaginary people knocking on her door in the wee hours of the night. She was under a doctor’s care and on prescribed medication, but these demonic attacks remained continuous in here life.
Two weeks after coming to our house, the visions began to vanish, the fears lifted. We take her to a Christ centered church on a regular basis. She has learned to transform her mind through the written word of God. She prays with us, she fellowships with us, she hears as we speak the word of God upon this home and within this home. There is power here. Not my power, nor my wife’s power, but the living presences of Jesus Christ is always in this home. Though they sometimes seek to find entrance, the devils of the mind are not permitted in our home.
We have not taken away my mother-in-law’s medications. She still sees the doctor on a regular basis. At times, she still suffers, though on an ever-lessening occurrence, an attack of fear and dread. Her healing is not complete, and it may not be absolute until such time as she meets Jesus Christ face to face. But the quality of her life now, verses what it was before coming into a home that places Jesus first, far exceeds all that medicine had to offer.
I am not telling you that doctors and medicine have no place in the Christian world. I am telling you that my mother-in-law’s healing only began after she came to live in a house that holds Jesus Christ above all other answers.