8 WAYS TO HELP DEPRESSED CHRISTIANS

Most of us struggle — or know someone who struggles — with depression. Here are some ways to help those you know from Core Christianity………………

Encouragement for the Depressed from Charles Spurgeon

Don’t let anyone try to tell you you must lack faith if you struggle with depression. Charles Spurgeon suffered with it his entire adult life….and there were no meds. Yet, God sustained him and allowed him to make a great impact on the world and believers over a 100 years after his death! From Randy Alcorn and Eternal Perspectives Ministries……………..

Encouragement for the Depressed from Charles Spurgeon — Randy Alcorn’s Blog

What could be better than wise words on depression from Charles Spurgeon and Randy Alcorn?

During this global pandemic, depression and suicidal thoughts are on the rise. That makes the release of the short book Encouragement for the Depressed, with a sermon from Charles Spurgeon, timely. The book description says, “Having battled depression and discouragement himself for most of his years in ministry, Spurgeon encourages the downtrodden to hold fast…

Encouragement for the Depressed from Charles Spurgeon — Randy Alcorn’s Blog

Is it ok for a Christian to take antidepressants?

Defeating depression is not simply a matter of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Don’t let any nay-sayers add to your pain by telling you that you “just need Jesus” to stop being depressed. God has given us medications and good doctors as part of His grace! From The Grace Alliance………………

BOOK REVIEW: Flirting with Darkness

FLIRTING WITH DARKNESS: Building Hope in the Face of Depression by Ben Courson (Harvest House Publishers; 2020)

Young pastor and author Ben Courson writes about his own struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide, to offer hope, encouragement and direction for others who are also suffering. Courson reports he has battled against depression for over 15 years, but he is convinced that depression can actually be defeated.

Courson divides his book into three parts. In Part One, he examines both the clinical and personal information he has discovered about depression, including what light the Bible brings to bear on the commonality of depression and how God assists those who struggle with both temporary and long-term depression. Courson also focuses on the many Christians throughout history who have also dealt with depression, to challenge the erroneous idea that mature Christians should be depressed.

In Part Two, Courson offers eleven “weapons” to fight against the effects of depression on the mind, spirit and body, including exercise and other natural methods to boost endorphins, getting out of isolation and leaning on friends, and learning how to receive love from God. Finally, in Part Three, the author provides about 25 short devotional readings to provide hope and focus to depression sufferers — for them to read on a regular basis.

This book provides the kind of personal experience and Scripture-based viewpoint on depression to offer substantial help to believers who struggle with feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts. The author shares in an honest yet light-hearted way about his own battles with his mind and brain, and helps readers to feel like there is real hope for any Christian who makes the effort to follow through on the thoughts and strategies provided in this helpful book. Highly recommended!

BOOK REVIEW: My Name is Hope: Anxiety, Depression, and Life After Melancholy

John Mark Comer is a pastor, but does not write this book from his pastoral experiences but rather from his decades-long personal battle with anxiety and depression. e does not offer pat answers or promises quick recoveries — in fact, quite the opposite. But what he does offer is the word in the title: hope. Hope in a loving God, hope that things will not always be terrible, and hope that God will stick with us whether we distrust Him, are angry at Him, or just simply exhausted.

Comer starts by defining some terms associated with anxiety and depression, helping readers see how they are different in some aspects, but also tightly tied together. Then he moves on to the root causes for depression and anxiety in a Christian — either some undealt with sin, or struggles such as perfectionism, workaholism, and unnecessary guilt. Once a person recognizes a root cause for their issues (with God’s help), repentance is always the first step to admitting your weakness to yourself, so that you become open to the help the Lord can and wants to provide you.

Following this, Pastor John Mark discusses the obstacles to well-being stemming from our minds and our bodies, and give some biblical and practical advice to begin to remove those obstacles. From there, he makes a biblical case for seeking community and storming the gates of Heaven with prayer, because God usually chooses to use both human agents and His direct work through the Holy Spirit to give us relief and growth.

Comer is very open and honest with his own struggles with anxiety and depression, but delivers his insights with hope and enthusiasm, describing how he won through many years of trials and different strategies before gaining some control over how his mind and body react to circumstances and his inner thoughts and feelings. This is probably the most practical, honest and encouraging book on controlling anxiety and depression for the Christian I have ever read. Most highly recommended!

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