3 John 4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” ESV.
My friend continued: “Then one more step: What about spiritual health? The lagging of graciousness, the fighting with doubt, and on and on the list goes? Brother, I suppose I’m writing this out of a need to articulate it more than out of a need for your wisdom, though that would be much appreciated too. I know all or a good many of the responses to my questions: it’s a fallen world so we will experience fallenness in all these areas, the Good Lord is upping our desire for His perfect kingdom, etc. “.
I am not inclined go believe that spiritual health equates to psychological or mental health. I believe that have psychological disturbance might just foster spiritual health in ways that nothing else does. Consider some of the examples of biblical characters. Hannah ached for a child. Job suffered the loss of most everything he had. Daniel was removed from his country and may have been made a eunuch. Hosea was instructed to marry a prostitute and languished over her infidelities. Joseph was sold, falsely accused, and imprisoned. Esther was a showpiece. John the Baptist was thrown into prison and was eventually executed. He questioned the very one he baptized. He held the Son, saw the Holy Spirit, and heard the voice of The Father. Stephen was stoned. Paul suffered. Paul asked for the “thorn” to be removed. It was not, and he grew to appreciate the thorn because it led him to rely more fully upon Christ.
Suffering has its place. We tend to want to avoid it.