I have schizoaffective disorder. I have had a recent relapse. I encountered many disturbing occurrances racing thoughts and hallucinations from the enemy, and I did not do well. I rebuked and prayed, but I feel broken and lost like I did something wrong. I have been a Christian for many years, but I have always struggled in my faith, especially with the unpardonable sin and attacks that I think are from the enemy. I hope that God still loves me, and that I have not gone too far. I have also during the relapse gone through strong doubts, which is also a sin. I have felt a lack of peace and no longer hear or feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. What can I do? I still pray, read my Bible, and go to church. Can you please pray for me, and help me to find God's presence again? I'm scared and feel like I'm the only one going through this. My wife is a Christian, and she has continued to pray for me along with my church. Is there any hope for me?
Thank you for your time and prayers.
Schizoaffective disorder refers to an illness where a person has mood swings or depression combined with schizophrenia, which is an impairment in the perception of reality. A person with this disorder has trouble distinguishing reality from hallucinations. And jointly or independently they also experience moodiness or depression. It is not a constant problem. Cycles of severe problems are followed by periods of improvement. What generally happens is during the periods of improvement, the person with schizoaffective disorder becomes convinced that he doesn't need his medication, stops taking it, and then, when the symptoms inevitably return, they become difficult to manage.
Paul told us, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13). Even something like schizoaffective disorder is experienced by other people. See: Can a person with schizoaffective disorder truly have faith? which discusses the problem of faith when you have trouble distinguishing reality. I think the same advice will do you well.
Faith is not about feeling. Faith produces feelings, but it is not the feelings you have at the moment. Faith is what you are determined to put your trust in. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Nor does faith mean you will never have periods of doubt. Faith is something that continues to grow. See: Does faith mean you never doubt?
In the same way, it is not about whether you feel you have done something wrong, but whether you have done something wrong. God judges us based on what we do, "who "will render to each one according to his deeds"" (Romans 2:6). The racing thoughts and hallucinations are the symptoms brought on by your disorder. Even when you do wrong, those sins can be forgiven if you are willing to change. See: Are You Unforgivable?
It is hard when you are battling your own thoughts, but try to find an anchor in the facts that you know are true in the Bible. Let those facts carry you through the hard periods. "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).
Thank you for your advice. Please pray for me.