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Could Soul Sickness Be Causing Physical Illness?

The word disease signifies weakness or impotence of various kinds.  Disease or sickness can be in the body, the soul, and the spirit.  It means to be weak, sick, or in a state of incapacity.  Being mentally ill means not having the mental faculties to overcome a thing. 

The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary says, “References to mental diseases in the biblical literature, as elsewhere in the ancient world, are likely to be more affected by notions of the causes of these conditions than is the case for physical diseases.”[1]  Since sickness and disease are a form of death, sin is at the root of all disease.  For this reason, we see the notions of the causes of these conditions in the Bible.

Strong’s Concordance translates infirmity with the Greek word astheneia; defined as want of strength, weakness, or infirmity of the body.  Want of strength and capacity required to understand a thing, to do things great and glorious, to restrain corrupt desires, to bear the trials and troubles of the soul.


Like the man who lived in the tombs (Mark 5), mental illness does not allow people the strength to restrain from corrupt desires.  This man cried out in torment day and night while cutting himself and showing extremely unusual strength.  Many demons had taken up residency in this man, and he was under their power.


 A person goes to the doctor to explore their symptoms in hopes of finding the root cause of their disease.  However, more likely than not, the cause will not be found, and a drug of sorts will be given to the patient in hopes of helping with the symptoms.  The drug is usually a band-aid and offers little to no hope of future healing.


One example of such “treatment” is high blood pressure.  I have not heard of a doctor explaining the cause of the high blood pressure, yet they give a person heart medication to resolve it.  If the heart is not diseased, then that is not the cause.  Yet, after a long period of having high blood pressure the heart can become diseased.  It truly makes no sense.  But it seems to be all the medical field offers unless they are willing to explore a more natural remedy.


Jesus offers eternal life and healing.  He gives power and authority over the sin and demonic spirits that can cause sickness in our minds and bodies.  Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.    – Luke 9:1-2


Medical treatments can fail, but when God touches an individual, it is eternal – if they walk in it.  God’s healing can take time, or it can be immediate.  Sometimes, a demon needs to be cast out for healing to take place. 


Whenever we see the words heal or cure in the Bible, it always relates to something done supernaturally.  God can give a person supernatural wisdom or a word of knowledge regarding treatment for an illness, or He can simply touch a person and bring about complete healing.


John wrote, Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  – 3 John 2  The key to this verse is found in two words: health and prosper. 


Figuratively, the word prosper means succeed in reaching something or somewhere.  It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning good and the other meaning progress or journey.   Prosper could also be translated as “get along well” or “complete.” 


The word health is translated from hugiainō, and it means to be well and uncorrupt.


When we read these words together with the expanded definition, the writer is saying that he is praying that as you go along on your journey, your soul (psuchē), which represents your mental faculties, will be healthy and, in return, the rest of your body will be healed as well.


There is something to say about the way we think about things.  Our soul can be corrupted with mindsets (strongholds) which are ways of thinking.  Our belief systems can be contaminated with unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, wrath, jealousy, spite, envy, and so forth.  These things can root into our bodies and make us sick.


Some medicine from the word of God can help us go much further on our journeys during times of trouble.


  • Years of grief can make one sick.  For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away.     – Psalms 31:10

  • When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.          – Psalms 32:3

  • The fear of the Lord brings health, mentally and physically.       Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.  8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.  – Pro 3:7-8

  • A sound mind keeps the body healthy.  A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.  – Pro 14:30

  • Positive words, especially the word of God, will keep us healthily fed.  Pleasant words  are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones– Pro 16:24

  • A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.  – Pro 17:22 CSB

As you can see from these scriptures, there is a strong connection between soul health and physical health.  If you are suffering emotionally or physically, Jesus Christ is your answer.  There is healing power in His name.  The wounds that He took before He hung on the cross bear our name.  He took our shame, guilt, and sickness upon Him so we could prosper on this journey called life.

This is not to say we will not have trials and hard times because we most certainly will.  Nobody gets off scot-free from the issues of life.  But our mental expression and heart posture is the first thing that needs to yield before our bodies will.  Even if we do not see the fullness of healing on this side of the cross, there is a supernatural grace and strength that God gives His children to walk out a journey of pain and get to the end of it with moral character strengthened and integrity obvious.


Let’s Pray,

Heavenly Father, I confess my attitude of bitterness and anger concerning my current situation.  I need the love of Jesus to invade the areas of hopelessness.  I ask that even before my physical needs are met, You would touch me in my soul.  Heal my heart so that my attitude would reflect one of a redeemed and grateful person.  I choose to walk in sonship as a child of God and no longer in the defeated mindset of a victim.  In Jesus name, Amen

[1] Max Sussman, “Sickness and Disease,” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 13.


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