How Should Christians Deal With Depression?
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How Should Christians Deal With Depression?
Are there specific biblical examples of depression and answers for how to deal with it? What should a Christian do in general when finding themselves overwhelmed and in the grip of despair or depression? How can a Pastor or fellow churchman respond and help someone who is dealing with depression?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the topics of despair and depression. They help us think through these questions and even how to recognize the need for transparency when it comes to these difficult realities that can and do come upon Christians.
Dr. Caldwell begins by saying that there are multiple examples in the Bible of discouragement and depression. The Psalms especially give voice to discouragement, disillusionment, and despair. He shares that a good example is in Psalm 73, where we find the reality of discouragement and depression, but also we find the answer for them. The answer – Go to the Lord and listen to His Word. The best thing a Christian can do is look away from themselves, away from their circumstances and feelings, and look to God.
Scripture teaches us to fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith. Jesus, Himself tells us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”(Matt.11:28-29). What will help Christians most is to preach the Word of God to themselves. God is involved in every detail of our lives, He knows what we are going through, and He cares for us with a love that is steadfast and faithful.
God Is On The Throne
He is not powerless in our situations and does not restrict Himself in them. God is on the throne; He is sovereign, omniscient, and omnipotent. There is nothing outside His rule and reign; we have nothing to fear. The more we can preach these truths of God to ourselves, the more accurate our perspectives will be.
However, says Dr. Caldwell, as Christians, we must be clear about what we are aiming at in this endeavor. We are not aiming at some form of artificial encouragement; that kind doesn’t help anyone. All of us can become confused in our thinking during difficult times and troubling circumstances. We don’t want to tell ourselves nor anyone else who is discouraged, something that only makes us/them feel better. That is wrong thinking.
What we need is the whole counsel of God, and what God calls us to in His Word is not positive thinking, but truthful thinking. So for any discouraged Christian, we have the Word of God. It is not artificial, nor temporal. God’s Word is real, it is true, and it is timeless; this really is good news. We can call this to our minds and receive real encouragement instead of some pie in the sky feel-good pleasantries.
What about the Christian who finds themselves gripped by these mind and soul darkening struggles; how can they do these things if they lack strength and have no desire at all? Dr. Caldwell says that even here, the Christian is not left alone to themselves. God has given us multiple means for our encouragement. The Church, in this aspect, is so important. We want to make sure that we do not isolate or separate ourselves from the local church and other believers.
Engaging With Other Christians
We want to be fully involved and engaging with other Christians. There are brothers and sisters in Christ in our local congregations who can come alongside us and preach the Word to us as well. The Church, the body of Christ, should be a haven of help and hope for our struggles here, no matter the nature of them. We should not hesitate to pick up the phone and call a Christian friend. We need not be afraid of using the words ‘I’m discouraged’ or ‘I’m depressed’. This kind of transparency allows others who know the truth to come alongside us and preach God’s truths to our hearts.
Lastly, Dr. Caldwell offers some scripture passages that will help us preach the truth to ourselves. He recommends 1 Peter 5, Psalm 73, Psalm 42, and Psalm 43. Another resource Dr. Caldwell believes will be helpful is a little book called Answering Anxiety. This little book is an exposition of 1 Peter Chapter 5, by Dr. Caldwell. He also mentions there are a lot of great books that have been written on anxiety, discouragement, and depression by solid Christians. In these books, these Christian authors will take us to the Word of God, and that is our need.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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