This past Sunday I spoke on the ultra heavy topic of confronting depression. It was NOT easy. In fact, I wrestled with God so much to avoid speaking on this I almost changed the message the Saturday night before. In my mind I’m thinking, I just don’t want to go there. I’m up until 2am processing this and God says “don’t wuss out Josh, say what I tell you to.” When God speaks I’ve learned to listen! I’m glad I did. Within 48 hours here are just a few examples of the feedback I’ve received.
- A teenager was struggling with depression, prompted by God working on her heart she opened up to her mother for the very first time ever about what she has been dealing with. The healing process has brought a mother and daughter together.
- A married couple shared how they have been struggling in their marriage. The stress has led to depression. It’s been so severe that they’ve considered ending their relationship. They heard truth and are back on the path to reconciliation.
- A young man heard and received Gods Word. He decided to give his life completely to Jesus.
- A man shared how he has taken on so much at work, it’s wore him down. So much so, that he’s fallen into a state of depression that is affecting his entire life. God began the restoration process on Sunday.
Wow! I could go on.
The church is God’s hospital. It’s a place to find hope, strength, peace, rest, encouragement and life. “Life” is key. Romans 8:1-2 reminds us that there’s no condemnation or no need for unnecessary guilt for those who are in Christ. But it also reminds of a pretty serious law. I’m referring to “The law of sin and death.” This law is universal. If something is cut off from its source of life, this law kicks in. That’s why when you cut a tree down then use that wood to build a fence, eventually after the weather, the storms, the sun, the heat, the rain, the ice and the wind beat down on that fence, the wood will rot and die. It can’t help it. It’s the law of sin and death. When you’re cut off from the source of life, death begins to take over. That law doesn’t just affect wood, it affects people. It affects all of us if we aren’t watchful.
Thankfully, through Christ we are set free because of the Law of life. The emphasis there being on “Through Christ” because we HAVE to stay connected to the source of life! (Things work best when they’re plugged into the source of power! Unplug your toaster and see how that works out for you.)
Depression is an epidemic. It has worked its way into so many different people, messing with minds, stirring up stress, rocking emotions, stealing joy and destroying lives. At any given time up to 25% of the people you are worshiping with in church are struggling with depression. Some more severe than others. All instances are serious.
One of the biggest problems I see when it comes to believers confronting depression is that many of them are too ashamed to ask for help. They may secretly pray to God, but are too embarrassed to ask someone that they trust. They’re afraid to admit weakness. They’re afraid to let other believers know something is wrong. (Because nothing wrong EVER happens to Christians…) So many Christians have bought into the stupid lie that as Christians, we’re suppose to have this perfect faith. NOT TRUE! Let me help you. That’s called performance, not faith. The only thing that separates believers and non believers is Jesus! Don’t ever forget that. I say it’s time we drop the camo we wear everyday to hide the mess inside and we get blunt honest. Healing requires honesty.
Stop believing the lies that the enemy fills your mind with. Lies like: “You can’t make it, you won’t live, you’ll never be married, your kids will never be saved, you’ll never have a home, you’ll never get that promotion, you can’t be forgiven, they won’t accept you.” Replace those lies with God’s truth! We have been set free through Christ Jesus. You’re free. Live like it.