Faith and Depression (a short thought)

For those who do not have to live with chronic depression, God has blessed you. Unless you face this mental murder of merry moods on a regular basis you likely have no idea what I am talking about. I am thankful for you. It would be an even more difficult world in which to live is not for the fact that chronic depression does not affect most people.

How does such a state affect the faith of those who must deal with this demon? Well, to be honest in my case the words, “Why God” are uttered often through a veil of tears and a searing pain of feelings that hurt worse than any physical injury I have had. In such times I admit it is hard to rejoice always.

Still, the unique thing about being a human being is that God has given us the capacity to separate our feelings from our faith. It also allows us to accept the truth that what we suffer, God suffers with us. In fact, I have no doubt that when I hurt God hurts. Why do I believe this? Because of the nature of our Lord. God is love and love hates to see a loved one in pain.

Think about a parent who agonizes beside the bed of a sick or injured child. Do you believe that parent is also in pain?

Ok, then why does God allow depression to exist? I would not dare to offer an answer. There come times when faith must be faith and willing to trust even when one cannot understand.

When God became a human being, he entered this world knowing the enemy would do everything in its power to try and break our Lord down. I am sure Jesus knew the demons of depression quite well and would cast them away when they attempted to pull him down into the mental pit that some of us live in. Still, can you imagine living a life knowing your purpose, your existence, your very life would be hated? Imagine (some of us do not have to imagine) knowing that you would be rejected, abandoned, humiliated and that your suffering would make other people happy. Pretty good stuff to cause depression.

God has given us the knowledge to treat chronic depression. God has given us a community (the church) to support us (when it has not compromised itself). Most importantly God has let us know that the suffering in this life is not comparable to the joy that is ours to come.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. (Rom. 8:18 NRS)

This helps me make it through the hours, days, weeks of darkness. It is my prayer that through the gift of faith it will help you as well.