Assurance, Not Insurance


I’ve had an email today asking this: ‘can I be a Christian and still struggle with self harm?’


Being a Christian does not protect you from feeling sad and numb and worried and lonely and scared and guilty and squashed.

Being a Christian doesn’t stop you getting depressed or dementia or cancer or measles or bulimia. It doesn’t stop your house flooding or being burgled or repossessed.  It doesn’t stop your bullying or your abuse.  It doesn’t stop you failing your exams or losing your best friend in a car crash. It doesn’t guarantee you anything in this world that can be taken away: a parking space or better skin or a partner or children or clear test results.


It guarantees that in all these things, you will never be alone.
It guarantees a purpose for suffering – though you cannot see it.
It guarantees a Father who loves you, with unquenchable fire.
A Brother who fights for you with His dying breath.
A Helper who comforts and washes and renews and restores.

It guarantees a life that you cannot predict. A strength that comes from brokenness. And a reality greater that what you can see.

So when you’re tempted to give up
When you’re scared and tired and confused
When you’re wounded and hungry and ashamed and bowed

Don’t panic. You’re in the right place. He came for someone exactly like you.

4 thoughts on “Assurance, Not Insurance

  1. Your entry that replies to that question in particular and to other circumstances that might occur in our lives has been very, very helpful, Emma.

    Just some of my own experiences on this topic.
    Whenever we’re tempted to give up, we should only give in to Him who’s got the whole world – including ourselves – in His strong hands. It is true that trials and afflictions are part of the human existence. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we stop being a human being. ;-)
    Nonetheless, from personal experience, I can say that I had many times in my life when I thought, “That’s it. I can’t go on anymore.” And particularly then, when I saw NO way out, the Lord caught me unawares and saved me out of the blue. Those experiences of utter helplessness followed by God’s always reliable provision and help have strengthened my faith more than easier circumstances in my life could have ever done.

    Regarding self harm, I must say that I know several girls who harm themselves with knives, scissors, and suchlike. They feel a certain pain (emotionally) they can’t bear up at the moment so that they quasi displace the problem (the wounded heart) to the physical realm of their body. This is a dangerous thing, indeed. I don’t want to go into detail here since I know one of these girls very well, but I learned especially during the last years that NOTHING in our life can happen which the Lord doesn’t want. Even, if you think you want to give up, you can be assured of the fact that the Lord will find at least one person who prays with faith for you. It is not necessary for me to know who wrote that email. However, you can rely on the fact that my prayers will guide you – the writer of the email – as they did in the case of that particular girl I mentioned before. Even though she wanted to commit suicide more than once, the Lord gave me faith and hope that she wouldn’t succeed.

    Additionally, God pointed me to a specific scriptural promise that He also made me believe without doubt. There the voice of wisdom says,

    “…but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Prv 1:33 ESV).

    Experientially, this meant for me that I secluded myself in order to talk with God and to listen to Him (in prayer) as soon as I was in fear or anxious about anything. After a certain time, often accompanied by many tears, all fear was gone. It vanished without a trace. Instead, hope and quietness of mind had been put into my heart. Without prayer, it rarely happens that God gives us sudden peace, joy, love, and hope. Yet with prayer, you can expect miracles to happen. Promise!

    Moreover, no human being can live this life without being wounded or without hurting others (sin). And our Lord is the only One who is able to see our hearts and to heal them completely over time. Even though rivers of tears and painful memories have to be relived through, Jesus is always by our side. We are never alone, as Emma said above. The more He has healed our wounded hearts, the more we can leave our past behind. Then the desire to harm yourself, or to eat too much or far too little, to smoke, to take drugs, to drink alcohol, to work too much, or to be addicted to pornography – whatever addiction we might think of – Jesus Christ will heal everyone COMPLETELY.

    And then, we can experience another kind of life, although our circumstances do not have to be easy. But trials and afflictions, even the death of loved ones, won’t touch us the way they could before because God’s deep comfort, His peace which surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7), His tender and passionate love [Emma’s ‘unquenchable fire’ ;-) ], and inexpressible joy will increase more and more,

    “for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 14:17)

    Jesus Christ did not become a man in order to show us that life with Him would be more difficult than before. Quite the contrary. He brought the Good News of salvation attainable for everyone who calls on His name. He came to set captives free and to give us life abundantly (Jn 10:10). While that abundance refers to our spiritual life, we may experience its deep comfort permeating our outward life as well. And eventually, since Jesus is still the Savior who heals, any mere human mental suffering and sometimes even physical suffering will come to an end due to the power of God. What remains here on earth then is only suffering with Christ, that is, weeping with those who weep, encouraging those who suffer, and grieving with God about unrepentant sinners.

    Also, we may never forget that broken people are always near to God, even if they don’t feel it for some time. For it is written,

    “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Ps 34:18)

    Thank you, Emma!

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