The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog references something I have been reading lately. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book, magazine article or blog post I have or am reading.
I have been searching for a “go to” book on dealing with depression. I know of a number of people in my sphere of influence who struggle with depression and all Christians will wrestle with it at times in their Christian life. Perhaps when I attend the ACBC Conference in early October, I can build my library on this common problem.
Most books I have come across on the subject of depression are disappointing for the following reasons:
- They focus way too much on raw data and statistics on how prevalent depression is. That is, what church people like to say “preaching to the choir.” We all know depression exists and is prevalent and we don’t need a book showing us what to be common sense.
- They focus too little on the Scripture. Sometimes the books just rehash stories of people who have suffered from depression and how they were able to be delivered from it. It’s story after story, experience after experience. Those testimonies can be encouraging to read but not necessarily examples of equipping others in how to tackle depression.
- They try to merge psychology and the Scripture to come up with a remedy for depression. What I would really like to see is a Christian author tackle the issue with a thorough dissection of the Word of God. Most books I have come across mix a little pop psychology and Scripture and then try to come up with a formula for how to help someone who is depressed. Unfortunately, when that integration is done by Christian leaders, an excuse is given to the church to consider the world’s philosophies with equal weight to the Bible. And that should never be so. Sure, the world can help us and give us remedies from time to time. But nothing the world can offer will ever supersede or equal that of divine truth that does not return void (Isa 55:11; II Tim 3:16-17; II Pet 1:3).
So help me out if you can recommend any good resources on counseling those with depression. In the meantime, here are four practical helps from the Bible on how to fight depression.
- Meditate upon the divine resources God graciously provides for you (Ps 19:7-11; 34:18-19; 119:28, 105, 143; 145:14; Matt 11:28-30; Rom 8:11-14, 26; II Cor 12:9-10; Phil 4:6-7, 13; Heb 4:15-16).
- Memorize passages of Scripture: John 13:17; Rom 8:28-29; II Cor 9:8; Eph 5:20; Phil 4:13; II Tim 3:16-17; Jas 1:25; II Pet 1:3
- Remember Jesus Christ has overcome every difficult situation…as a human (John 16:33).
- God will not allow anything in your life you cannot handle (Gen 50:20; Jer 29:11; Rom 8:28-29; I Cor 10:13; II Cor 12:9-10; Phil 4:13).