Study Helps for Christian Depression

Part of how I tried to help a Christian who was struggling with some depression.

I do not want you to be discouraged or to conclude anything without prayer and guidance from the Word. As you move into approaching/encouraging her as a Christian (different than the first approach), your daughter (you being the teacher) may benefit from some instruction from the Word about God's character and ways. It would be a nice opportunity for you to draw close to her. The first thing I would say is that no matter how you feel, no matter how I feel (and I have been in this situation), God demonstrated His love toward us on the cross (Romans 5:8). It is a fact of history. Feelings can be telling us one thing but the facts are that "God publicly displayed Jesus as a propitiation in His blood" (Romans 3:25). He did this for all to see, the whole world sees it.

Another thing to do is show how Moses (Numbers 11:11-15), Job (Job 6:14; 27:2; 29:2), Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-8), Jonah (Jonah 4:3), and Jesus (Matthew 26:37-38) had feelings like she did. They were downcast in spirit. (1)Let her identify with their plight and situations and recognize that great men of the faith, even our Lord, were severely distressed. (2)See how they responded by noting the details and circumstances. (3)Ask her if they responded properly and what can she learn from them. Maybe she will identify with Hannah who was discouraged about being barren (1 Samuel 1:8-18).

Often times we need to preach to our souls and listen to them less. I do not encourage one to ignore one’s conscience but that the way we think is how we will feel. Proverbs says, “As a man thinks, so is he.” David preaches, even rebukes his soul for being downcast when he is losing hope in Psalm 42:5, 11. He says twice, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you so depressed within me? Hope in God, for yet I will praise Him.” He calls God the help of his countenance in verse 11. You do not want to tune your soul out but you want to avoid hyper-introspection which usually ends in despair. There are also Scriptures such as the following that will comfort:

But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish. Psalm 9:18

My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:81

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Psalm 23:18

"A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoldering wick shall he not quench, until he sends forth judgment unto victory." Matthew 12:20

For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103:14

1 comment:

  1. I have struggled with feeling of deppression for a number of years. One day I was at wits end. I picked up a book that I happened to just run into collecting dust. It was given to my husband by some friends of mine years ago but he never read it and ofcourse neither had I until years later. Anyway, I don't remember the name of the book but as I read through it I came across this beautiful verse and it really got a hold of my heart reading God's amazing promise! Just knowing that people are going to try to break us but Our Everlasting Father will not allow it. It is His promise. Putting our total trust in Him allows us all the benefits of His everlasting promises! I cling on to Him when I feel that the world is falling on me and I cannot go on anymore...Matthew 12:20. Thank you for the reminder.