Suffering depression is bad enough; the emotional torment crushes you. But almost worse than that, for the Christian, is wondering how on earth you can reconcile your faith with your illness. Is God disappointed with you when you don’t live the life you wished you could? You certainly don’t feel like “Nancy Righteous!” That’s for sure. When His word says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” and you lie there and weep into your pillow, how can you feel God is happy?
When you’ve been raised to believe that the litmus test for loving the Lord is how well you behave, and you mope around the house, hardly able to breathe, you are left feeling like, “How do I make sense of this? I DO love the Lord, but I can’t break free of these feelings!”
I believe that Christians and the church have forgotten the good news of the gospel! They have forgotten that the purpose of the cross that Jesus gave His life on was to take away the curse of sin. That’s what makes suffering with depression unthinkable and unlivable; that’s why some would rather take their life than live under the condemnation they feel. They haven’t embraced the grace that God is offering. The gospel doesn’t just offer us heaven! It offers us life!
You see, there is “BEFORE the cross, I was condemned by God for this _____ (fill in the blank)!” But, AFTER the cross, our Passover Lamb has done away with everything that could be held against us! My book isn’t just a book about living with depression. It is my journey of discovering 50 gospel principles, which I call “Foundational Truths” which helped me see beyond the helplessness of my condition. Instead of a God of wrath and judgment, I discovered a God of kindness, mercy and grace. And while these attributes of God might be powerful truths for all Christians, they offered me, someone who experienced awful depression, sweet relief. I felt like the elephant that sat on my chest became lighter. These truths were like a pressure valve releasing every single one of my “you’re not good enoughs.” But hope for the depressed to assimilate these gospel principles is 3-fold.
First, you, my depressed friends, must learn and embrace gospel principles for yourself. It is by wrestling in the tensions of all your not-good-enough feelings and marrying them with gospel truths that you discover how much God has already done to make peace with you, be present with you and accepts you just as you are. Not only that, but He loves you with NO “ifs,” “ands” or “buts.” There is such relief in depression that there is at least one person who understands what you are going through and is compassionate and merciful towards you.
But it doesn’t stop there! If family and loved ones don’t own and experience these gospel truths, the ones who are depressed will have a hard time embracing them for themselves. You will stand in the way of their emotional and mental relief. Why? Because while they want to embrace relief, you want them to get on with getting rid of their depression. You want more than they are capable of giving you. So, most won’t be strong enough mentally and emotionally to do so standing alone if you are in opposition to it. They need you, loved ones, to get on board or they’ll drown in their own condemnation.
Finally, if there is any fear that their church or their spiritual leaders look down on them or if they condemn them as sinful, they’ll be afraid to embrace the life-giving gospel principles that they are. They will not only need their pastor’s and spiritual leader’s stamp of approval, but they will need to start hearing more gospel-heavy, grace-saturated preaching from the pulpit. What I discovered when I experienced depression was that I wasn’t hearing what I needed to hear to help me bear up under the weight of such an oppressive illness.
I had to discover these principles one by one as I asked God to help me understand how I could live with my illness and still feel His smile upon me! Day by day, as I suffered, God re-taught me the gospel. Instead of what I could do to earn favor with my Savior, He taught me what He had already done to make peace with me! This book describes my journey of God re-teaching me the significance of the cross and the gospel, precept upon precept; when I couldn’t do anything to reach God, He reached down to me!
I plead with pastors and loved ones to read what actually helped me live with my illness which had me by the throat! I urge you to understand how the gospel changes everything and that His mercy and grace are the keys to living with depression.
Read Romans 5:1-2, 6-11, 15b-16, 18, 21; I love the way the NLT reads. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+5%3A1-21&version=NLT
I believe that Christians and the church have forgotten the good news of the gospel! That makes suffering with depression unthinkable and unlivable because haven’t embraced the grace that God is offering. The gospel doesn’t just offer us heaven! It offers us life!Tweet
Discovering God’s Grace in Depression
The kindle version and paperback are available on Amazon. I’m slowing working on an audiobook version. This is a grassroots project. Sharing, reading, and positively reviewing are the only ways that this is going to get into the hands of those who need to see it.