God controls our minds. ...

Deb asked:

God controls our minds. Yet sometimes, it is difficult for people to control. With so many things happening in life all at once, it is hard to stay focused on God and His promises to us wtihout letting anxious and idle thoughts run through our heads. My question is, sort-of on this order: Does God let people who love him go crazy? It just seems like trying to figure God out (which we aren't supposed to completely) but trying to even get to the heart of what we believe ends in paradoxes and even more questions. It seems to me that even thinking really deeply about it can blow your mind. Like eternal life, for example, life that goes on forever, never ending, I cannot comprehend that. So again, my question is: does God protect His children from totally losing it, especially when confronted with all these seemingly nonsensical aspects of faith? And do crazy people go to Heaven? Thanks so much.

Jack Answered:

Thanks, Deb, for the questions. I don't think it is totally accurate to say that "God controls our minds." He has given us the freedom to think our own thoughts. This is one of the scary blessings of being human! He wants us to fill our minds with His truth, but the choice is ours.

You are right in that controlling our minds and keeping them focused is difficult. This is one reason why we close our eyes when we pray. However, as you mention, it is an art to keep from "wool gathering" and letting our minds get off on other thoughts when we want to pray or think on Him. I find the following disciplines helpful: 1) Pray out loud. (Better to do this when we are alone!) 2) Write down what we plan to think and pray about. Keep a journal and a prayer diary. 3) As God gives us promises in the Scripture, write them down, memorize them, and in times of anxiety, repeat them. It is a blessing to find promises that we have memorized long ago surface in times of need.

Why do people "go crazy?" Many reasons, Deb. 1) Some have mental problems because of chemical imbalance, which is a physical "disease." Or tumors in the brain. Often these can be corrected through medication or even surgery. Why does God allow this? Some good people feel that God will heal all diseases, and we must respect their faith, but we find both in Scripture and in the lives of most of us, God allows illness and accidents. Sometimes He heals when we pray, sometimes He heals through medical science, and sometimes He allows us to suffer and even die. He has His own purposes. 2) Other people have mental problems through the stresses and strains of pressures caused by great trauma (such as a war situation). Peple used to call this "shell shock." This is not the individual's "fault" but he or she needs careful, patient, and often prolonged treatment. 3) Others have mental problems due to the pressures and strains of the unrealistic demands of work. The Lord recognizes that we need rest and freedom from excessive pressure. This is why He instituted the "Day of Rest" (Sunday) one day in seven, and even made it one of the Ten Commandments. Not all Christians take the need of rest seriously and as a result suffer from "burn out" or even develop mental problems. Jesus said, "Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28). This is a marvelous promise. As we draw near to the Lord, give Him our burdens, He has promised to take them. But we have to follow His direction. Many of our burdens are not ones He imposes on us, but ones we assume - for one reason or another. 4) As for things we cannot comprehend, well, Deb there are many! You mentioned one. How about the whole issue of "time" itself? What is "time?" We can't really explain it - it just is. We can struggle with these issues, but sooner or later, we recognize that there are some things we can understand, other things we can't, and we just have to keep on functioning with the things we do understand! 5) As for "crazy people going to heaven," well, Deb, I am so glad that I can leave that in God's hands! And not only mentally disturbed people, but children who die in infancy, children born mentally defective, etc. Our responsibility is to respond to the Lord according to the light He gives us and share the Gospel with as many people as we can. God is sovereign and knows far more than we do. He reveals to us what is needful.

Blessings on you as you continue thinking and also continue growing in faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

Jack

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