Summary: Mental Health - Philippians chapter 4 verses 1-9 - sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request –


(1). Stand firm in the Lord (vs 1)

(2). Stand Firm in Unity (vs 2)

(3). Stand Firm in Trust (vs 4-7)

(4). Stand Firm in Practice (vs 8-9)



• He was born Erich Weisz on March 24, 1874, in Budapest, Hungary,

• But he moved with his family to America, changed his name to Harry Houdini

• And became one of, if not the greatest grand illusionist;

• Performing daring and spectacular escapes,

• His acts made him one of the most famous magicians of all time.

• Harry Houdini, the famed escape artist issued a challenge wherever he went.

• He could be locked in any jail cell in the country, he claimed,

• And he could set himself free quickly and easily.

• He always he kept his promise, but one time something went wrong.

• Houdini entered the jail in his street clothes;

• The heavy, metal doors clanged shut behind him.

• He took from his belt a concealed piece of metal, strong and flexible.

• He set to work immediately, but something seemed to be unusual about this lock.

• For 30 minutes he worked and got nowhere.

• An hour passed, and still he had not opened the door.

• By now he was bathed in sweat and panting in exasperation,

• But he still could not pick the lock.

• Finally, after laboring for 2 hours,

• Harry Houdini collapsed in frustration and failure against the door he could not unlock.

• But when he fell against the door, it swung open!

• It had never been locked at all!

• But in his mind it was locked;

• And that was all it took to keep him from opening the door,

• And walking out of the jail cell.

• TRANSITION: According to research and statistics,

• As high as one in three people experience the locked door of a mental illness!

• Now don’t miss that stat:

• As high as one in three people experience mental illness.

• Or episode in the course of a year.

• Look at the person sitting at each side of you:

• If it is not one of them, it may be you!!

Every person will have mental health, just like we all have physical health.

• Both mental health and physical health change throughout our lives.

• And, like our bodies, our minds can become unwell.

• Mental health problems might actually be more common than you think.

• And we or someone we know, may well be affected by mental illness in any year.

• The effects are as real as a broken arm,

• Even though there isn’t a sling or plaster cast to show for it.

Question: What is mental health?


• The most common conditions are probably:

• Major Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorders,

• Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

• Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

• It affects how we think, feel, and act.

• It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

• Mental health is important at every stage of life,

• From childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems:

• Your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.

• Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

• i.e. Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry

• i.e. Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse

• i.e. Family history of mental health problems

• Many factors contribute to mental health problems;

• And it affects far more people that we realise.


• How many of you have read the book ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’?

• Pilgrim's Progress is one of the great works of Christian literature.

• Originally composed in the 17th century,

• But the message is bang up to date for any Christian today.

• The main character in the book is called ‘Christian’,

• He is on a journey, from the city of Destruction to the Celestial City,

• And as he journeys, he comes across various obstacles;

• And these hindrances can’t be avoided.

• One such place they come across is called ‘the slough of Despond’

• Where pilgrims can find themselves sinking in the mire,

• And depending on the size of the burden they have on their back,

• Can find it very difficult to get out.

Now, ‘Christian’ had this problem;

• Until a man named ‘Help’ (who represents the Holy Spirit);

• Comes along and pulled him out.

• ‘Christian’ asks ‘Help’ why has this place not been fixed;

• So that this journey might be easier and more secure for the other pilgrims.

• ‘Help’ responds that this place cannot be mended.

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