Elephant In The Church: Mental Illness / Suicide


Sermon Notes & Group Questions

2 Samuel 17:23 - When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

1 Kings 19:3 - Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree.

Job 6:2-4 - Oh that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my words have been rash. For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison;

John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Psalm 91:14-15 - Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

Isaiah 43:1-3 - But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Proverbs 24:11-12 - Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

Job 6:14 - He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

2 Corinthians 1:4-5 - Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

Romans 12:12 - Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Philippians 4:13 - In every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

1 Peter 5:7 - Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 

Q1: A lot has changed in the last few decades concerning the view of mental health both inside and outside of the church. What changes have you noticed?

Read 1 Kings 19:3 and Job 6:2-4

Q2: It’s not uncommon for Christ followers to feel overwhelmed by circumstances life can bring. It can rattle our faith in the goodness of God. Has there ever been a time or a season that life seemed too difficult to manage? If so, share your story with the group.

Read Proverbs 24:11-12, Job 6:14

Q3: For many, seasons of depression, anxiety, etc are not temporary. They can last much longer; causing great pain both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately mental and emotional struggles are not easy to talk about or share with family and friends. How do you think we should react when we learn that someone is struggling with some sort of mental illness?

Read 2 Corinthians 1:4-5

Q4: Paul reminds us in this scripture that we have all faced affliction. God’s comfort brings healing. How can we best serve one another in our groups as we face mental or emotional affliction?

Read Romans 12:12

Q5: Often times there are people in our inner circles that struggle with the challenges of emotional or mental healthiness. How do you think the counsel of this verse can help as we minister to those around us?

Read 1 Peter 5:7

Q6: People who struggle with any type of mental or emotional challenges often wonder if they will find acceptance and help even among people at church. What motivation does Peter give us for caring for the broken and wounded?

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Elephant In The Church: Mental Illness / Suicide
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