Dr. Josh Packard, Executive Director of the Springtide Research Institute sat down with CBN Faithwire and discussed some encouraging findings about the link between mental health and religion. The Institute focuses on 13-25 year-olds and Packard has spent many years researching the connections between faith and mental health. In sitting down with Faithwire, he insisted […]
In an interview with The Christian Post, author Max Lucado discussed his recent health battle and his new book, “Help is Here: Finding Fresh Strength in the Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit.” The book details the comfort the prolific author received after a diagnosis of an ascending aortic aneurysm over a year ago. Lucado noted that the diagnosis had left him with a great deal of anxiety, especially due to the fact his aneurysm is just two centimeters away from needing open heart surgery. However, within just a few days of his diagnosis, he felt his anxiety lift. “I really did feel it just lift. And it’s not that I was healed, because I’m not, but the fear or the anxiety was lifted. And I attribute that to the Holy Spirit. I sought prayer and I received prayer, and so I can say now honestly, I do not live in fear of that,” he said.
Although the book includes what Lucado has learned about the Holy Spirit during his health crisis, the seeds of the book had started years ago. “The discussion of the Holy Spirit is vast,” he said, describing the daunting task of trying to discuss the Holy Spirit’s role in the Christian life. Having been asked to preach a sermon on the Holy Spirit, Lucado just wasn’t sure where to start. Then, about 4 years ago according to Lucado, “I realized the Holy Spirit is introduced to us in metaphors.” He made a list of word pictures and began to separate them into the different attributes that made up the Holy Spirit. Lucado noted that the concept of the Holy Spirit can be a difficult one to grasp and that if the Church understood Him more, there would be significant changes. He reflected on the way the early church first received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. “What would that be like today?” he asked. “Well, I think that if we were to be a church of the Holy Spirit, would do what the New Testament church did, we would spend much time in prayer… a little less doing, a little more praying. The time in prayer would result in an outflow of encouragement and messages. Wouldn’t that be great?” He also stressed the importance of the peace that the Holy Spirit brings, such as how it helped him to face his health issues. “We’re a worn out people, we’re worn out or absolutely exhausted,” he said.
To further highlight the importance of the book, an American Worldview Inventory in 2021 found that most adult US Christians don’t even believe the Holy Spirit is real. This leaves a gaping ache for something “spiritual” that can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit if they don’t understand Him or believe he exists. That yearning for something more has presented itself as an increasing sense of mysticism, with a growing interest in tarot cards, astrology, and crystals. The rise in witchcraft matches the current interests in particular with millennial women because, as Alden Wicker wrote for Quartz, “witchcraft is the perfect religion for liberal millennials who are already involved in yoga and meditation, mindfulness, and new-age spirituality.” As stated by Lucado, a warn out people will seek different ways to find peace, even turning to such mystical practices as witchcraft. Lucado stressed the importance of seeking the Holy Spirit when anxieties try to crowd Him out. “Please lean into the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, for He is here to help you.”