Happy November, VOBC Students.

As we conclude the fall quarter here at Victory Outreach Bible College, I want to take a moment to commend each of you for your dedication, hard work, and the spiritual development you’ve achieved in these past few months. Your enthusiasm for studying God’s word is truly inspiring.

You are now on break until January 2024.

But in the midst of all the November and December celebrations, it’s quite possible that you may be struggling with a sense of overwhelm, the weight of expectations, or even a need for balance in the middle of the festive chaos. 

Both men and women encounter mental health challenges. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in their article titled “Leading Causes of Death in Males,” the report states that men face a higher risk of mortality from leading causes such as heart disease, cancer, accidents, and suicide.

Mental health encompasses a person’s feelings, thought life, and relationships, influencing how you handle stress, make decisions, and navigate challenging situations. When your mental health is good, you feel well, can manage daily tasks effectively, and cope with challenges.

Here are my thoughts on promoting your mental health and well-being because when your spirit is thriving, you are more inclined to address and navigate your mental health challenges effectively to rejuvenate and nurture your soul. 

Four steps to promote mental health wellness and rejuvenate your soul.

1. Open Conversations

Remember, you are not alone on your journey. Take the time to engage in open conversations with fellow students, friends, or mentors. Reach out to your spiritual leaders in the church, also. Share your experiences, challenges, and joys. The power of community lies in our ability to support one another, and through shared conversations, we can find comfort and encouragement.

2. Meditation and Reflection

Amidst the busyness of life, find moments for stillness and reflection. Consider incorporating meditation into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated—find a quiet space, breathe deeply, and reflect on affirming scriptures. For example, Philippians 4:13, Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 41: 10, Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:6-7. John 14:27, Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 34:18. This practice can help center your mind and bring peace to your soul.

3. Resting in Christ

While on school break, intentionally take a break and rest in the Lord. Let go of worries, fears, and anxieties and surrender them to the One who provides rest for our weary souls. Spend time in prayer, seek comfort in Scripture, and allow God’s presence to bring you the peace that surpasses all understanding. 

You don’t need to pray an “hour of power,” but you should develop the habit of consistent and heartfelt communication with God. It’s the sincerity and continuity of your prayers that cultivate a deep and meaningful prayer life. By the way, don’t limit yourself to just a few minutes with the Lord. See 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2, Psalm 145:18, 1 Timothy 2:8.

4. Self-Care as a Spiritual Discipline

Self-care is not a selfish act; instead, it’s a necessary spiritual discipline. Take time for activities that bring you joy, whether reading a book, riding a bike, enjoying nature, or pursuing a creative endeavor. If you find yourself upset, short-tempered, and mean, it’s time to take a break: a sacred break. It’s also a time to pray and cast your cares to the Lord. By caring for yourself, you’re better equipped to pour into others and fulfill your divine purpose.

Don’t believe the lies!

So there you have it, students. In this season of rest, don’t believe the lies of the devil. You are called, chosen, and destined for a purpose beyond your wildest imagination. Let us prioritize our mental health and well-being, recognizing that a healthy spirit is better equipped to serve the Lord and others. 

May you find comfort in the love of God, strength in the community, and passion for God’s calling upon your life.

See you in January!