June 18, 2011

The Christian and depression

Bill Bright, Charles Stanley and Max Lucado have played a significant role in my life over the past two years. I had no one to share biblical counsel during that time that I trusted. However, God used these men and their writing to encourage me, convict me and grow my faith.

God can use anyone to speak to us. I lived in a place where I had been shunned by those I once trusted and would have gone to for help. I was alone and scared but I prayed. God heard my prayers and each time I visited a used book store there would be yet another book by one of these writers that spoke truth into my life. Instead of turning away and losing my way, I was able to hear God's voice over the drama and found my way back.

As I dealt with depression throughout my situation, I often questioned who I was and God's place in my life. There is not a lot of help out there for Christians dealing with depression but thankfully there are resources. There are many who have suffered or are suffering from depression and you need to know there is hope. Sometimes those closest to us are too close to help us cope and heal. If you are alone pray and ask God to place someone or the right resource in front of you that will help find your way again.



The Solution To Depression


We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish (Hebrews 12:2, NLT).

Dear Friends,

Jim grew up in Kenya, the only son of a missionary family.He came to America for the first time when he entered college at18 years of age. Although he was fascinated by life in the United States, he was terribly homesick, and longed to return to East Africa's simpler way of life.

A few months before graduation, however, Jim met Carol, a lovely Christian girl who wanted to serve the Lord. The two fell in love and married. Before long they were expecting their first child, and their move to Kenya was postponed. Then little by little, Jim realized that Carol did not really share his dream to return to Africa and carry on his parents' ministry.

She loved him, and dearly loved the Lord Jesus, but living in Africa frightened her.

As years went by, Jim's hopes of returning to Kenya faded. He gradually became distant and depressed. He began to gain weight, and the migraine headaches that had always troubled him grew increasingly severe. For a brief period of time, he became dependent upon a prescription drug.

Fortunately, Jim received good counsel from his pastor, and through prayer and love, was eventually restored to joy and peace in our Lord.

Although Jim's circumstances were unique, his symptoms were not. Christians are not immune to depression. It is not something to feel guilty about. But unless the depression is caused by some chemical imbalance, there is something we can do about it.

Jim's problem came from unfilled personal desires. Depression can be triggered by disappointments in life, or tragic events, such as the loss of a loved one. All these things are understandable.

But if anyone ever had a reason to be depressed, it was our Lord Jesus Christ. "He was despised and rejected -- a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief" (Isaiah 53:3, NLT). He knew that as only a young man at age 33, He was going to be tortured and publicly executed by the most painful method of execution ever devised by man -- the dreaded crucifixion.

If depression ever tries to come upon you, think about our Lord, what He did, and the victory He has given us to overcome the world. Negative attitudes leading to depression can severely handicap us in our witness to others, and God has given us the way to deal with it.

"Every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:4-5, NLT).

Yours for helping to fulfill the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,

Bill Bright

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