depression for God’s glory (answers, motivation and hope)

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This is a practical one guys. We all know it is. How many times have we felt alone, felt guilty, felt broken? Sometimes I still think I’m catholic 😉 Honestly though, what does the Christian do in the face of darkness? Are we to doubt our salvation. Certainly not! We are saved by the free and sovereign grace of God. So should we just accept God’s act but be frustrated by his distance and get over it? By no means, God is not distant, he is with us. Rather than being promised ease and comfort I’m pretty sure we were assured of a cross. This is, of course, an interesting dialectic, but the bottom line is that the NORMAL Christian life is a combination of both comfort and hurt. Or, said differently, our lives are a constant cycle of creation (2 Corinthians 5), fall (Romans 7), and Redemption (Ephesians 2). We are made new, screw up, and redemeed again by the unending grace of God.

In light of some recent conversations I’d like to make three observations about our life in Christ that sets us apart, not in pride but love, from adherents of every other world view. In the face of even the toughest challenges, the gospel gives us security in three things. This is the gospel for Christians, and apologetic for our personal struggles.

Answers: The Christian worldview has answers, to your like and dislike, to the hardest questions we humans can ask. These answers, centered on God as our first principal, should always be compared to the confusion and vanity of systems that cannot give an answer for the hope that they have. We have certainty in the impossibility of the contrary, no other worldview can consistently provide truth for man, nature, and realty.

Motivation: Once we see how great our redemption is its amazing how we’re not left to flounder but instead filled with the power to live out our convictions in love. Jesus does not just provide heady answers but provides both a willing heart and a renewed mind to put his truth into practice. His death, his joy, and his work provide the Christian person with a compelling motivation to serve, love, and die for the sake of God and others.

Hope: One final thing that sets Christianity apart is its specific hope in the eternal reign of Christ. That is, we are not reincarnated, nor are we promised a paradise aloof from our creator, but an eternal reward of redemption, work, and praise as the new heavens and earth are joined. Ours is not the sad and purposeless fate of matter in motion. Even in the face of the worst trials we can cling to the hope of new life and purpose.

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One response to “depression for God’s glory (answers, motivation and hope)

  1. Yes– the true, living, and completely sovereign God, incarnated in Jesus Christ, is the only real hope for those who are depressed! I say this NOT in an abstract way, detached from real life. My own depression was more than a “I’m having a bad week, month, or even year” kind of darkness. It radically affected my life for a long time. However, I am no longer who, or where, I once was, praise God! It is only because of my coming to know God (by His mercy and grace) and understand and apply His word to my life. Psychology is simply a dead-end road for those who are looking for more than band-aids for machine-gun wounds. More importantly, psychology cannot GIVE LIFE to dead hearts and open sin-blinded eyes! The sovereign God can and does though, and this is the beginning of the answer to depression. Any other “answer” starts in the wrong place and goes in the wrong direction.

    God knows our trials, because He knows all things, and He is in control of our trials, because He is in control of all things. For years, I didn’t understand/refused to accept these truths of the Bible. I thought that God’s complete sovereignty over all things was a man-made doctrine that made Him seem “cruel.” When I found it in the Bible, however, and accepted it, by God’s grace, my understanding of Him deepened, my love of Him grew, and my depression began to lift. He took my eyes off of ME and onto His wonder, magnificence, and glory! I pray that He does the same for other suffering Christians, especially those who are in churches where they are not taught the full truth of God’s soverignty! What a comfort that truth is in this world!

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