Dealing with depression can be scary and even lonely. In Isaiah 41:10, God makes a promise to be there during our toughest moments in life: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Our faith is a powerful complement to tools like counseling and medication in finding help and healing.
The following is an excerpt of an article written by Dr. Beverly Yahnke for Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Project Connect series.
Major Depression is a cruel and horribly sad disruption of life. Most of us, by the grace of God, are sufficiently resilient to endure small setbacks, reversals and even periods of discouragement and loss. Despair and clinical depression dwarf any sadness the average person experiences. Depression is a life-crippling hurt that can seal baptized Christians into cocoons of hopelessness, isolating them from family, life, health and love. And as if that weren’t sufficiently devastating, depression can result in countless numbers of God’s children who cannot or will not pray, cannot or will not worship and, perhaps, cannot or will not find comfort in the means of grace. Depression is a medical diagnosis with emotional, relational, vocational and spiritual consequences. What we believe about another’s despair will influence mightily how we care for our brother or sister in Christ. Many of us, upon learning that another is suffering with depression, are often remarkably nonchalant about the news. If we believe another’s despair is really nothing more than feeling a little blue, or if we imagine that depression is simply a failure to take charge of one’s life, or if we suspect that another’s distress is merely some sort of drama or plea for attention, we will dispense precious, little mercy. We may not keep vigil with the depressed person. We may not wrap them in our prayers. We may just avoid them and go about our daily lives, waiting impatiently for others to “get their act together.”
Download the rest of this article to assist you in better understanding what depression is and how to respond compassionately to people who may be experiencing depression.
How faith can play a role when dealing with depression
A church-based mental health resource guide
Grace Alliance Grace Group Information
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