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What You'll Discover in this Episode:
Dr. Daniel R. Berger II is the founder and director of Alethia International Ministries (AIM), where he continues to write and to speak around the country in various churches, organizations, medical communities, and at various counseling and teacher's conferences. He is also an experienced pastor, counselor, school administrator, and the author of ten books on Biblical counseling, practical theology, education, and the history and philosophy of the current mental health construct.
In this episode Dr. Daniel Berger and Pastor Jeff talk about mental-illness. There is a separation from physical and spiritual sickness, that is talked about in this episode.
Biblical counseling is needed because of the fall of man written about in Genesis Chapter 3. When dealing with any problem whether it presents as a mental health problem or something with a clear connection to the physical, we should return to Genesis Chapter 3 where it all began.
- In the narrative of Genesis 3:7-21 we find that when man fell from his state of innocence, he fell in four broad categories.
- Man fell in relationship to God - Genesis 3:7-11 (resulting in trying to hide from Him).
- Man fell in relationship to Self - Genesis 3:7-11 (resulting in the problem of identity confusion and self-centeredness).
- Man fell in relationship to other People - Genesis 3:12 (resulting in alienation between people, in this case Adam blaming Eve).
- Man fell in relationship to nature - Genesis 3:13-19 resulting in ecological breakdown and hardship as man sought to live in a fallen universe.
There is much more that we could say about this chapter but in dealing with any problem it helps us to now that man brought this on himself and only with a proper world view that includes the nature of sin can we truly know how to press on in the Christian life even though we are not yet without sin (see Paul’s struggle with sin and how he did not allow the fallenness of this world hold him back from following Christ – Philippians 3:12 in context).
These broad categories overlap. Any time we have a physical ailment we are often tempted to blame God or become hostile to others. Yet just as nature fell so our bodies deteriorate and die. This is normal this side of heaven as is sadness, anxiety and a host of other bothersome problems. But understanding God’s remedy to the Fall helps us to understand how He desires us to live for Him.
In verse 7 of Genesis 3 Adam and Eve tried to cover their shame with leaves and the hid from God. What we find is not that God brought an immediate end to their suffering, but He brought a substantial answer for all mankind. We see this in verse: 21: And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. God shed the blood of innocent animals to cover man’s sin. Commentators through the years have seen this as our first glimpse into the work of Christ. That God would shed the blood of the innocent to remove the shame and hostility of man’s sin.
Are you sad? There might be a good reason. If it is because your friend is suffering do something for your friend that shows the love of the Lord. Are you sad because you sinned and have ruined your relationship with someone and with God? Confess your sin to God and to the person you wronged and lean on the faithfulness of the Savior. Perhaps your problem is less definable. You are one who often experiences a sadness in life, and you don’t know why. Well, you know that unruly emotions are a result of the fall. You know that Jesus faced profound grief and sadness in the Garden the night He was betrayed (John 17) and rather than avoiding the Father’s will He pressed on with what He knew was the right thing to do and brought salvation to all who would believe.
Even when struggling with neurological conditions that tear the body apart or the sadness that makes it hard to face the day the answer is always to follow God’s remedy for dealing with these conditions (including going to a physician for relief they might be able to provide). His remedy always includes trusting Him and pressing on to grasp or lay hold of that for which He has laid hold of you by the power of the finished work of Christ. God’s timing might not be your timing but after the torture of the cross and separation from the Father He rose again to new life. He also promises to raise us and while we await our blessed hope and His glorious appearing we can walk in a way that honors Him and gives us a new reason for overcoming the results of the Fall by going to Him with our sin, our struggles our relationships and our work in this world and living in a way that honors Him (Titus 2:11-14)
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