It was almost 6 months ago that the doctor looked me in the eye and said, “Chad–you have depression.”
Can’t be… I love Jesus. I have the joy of the Lord. How can I be depressed? I’m a pastor for crying out loud. I’m just a little tired and run down. As soon as this season is over I’ll be back to my normal self. This too shall pass. I can’t be depressed, I’m a Christian, wouldn’t that mean I have a lack of faith? Or that I’m not a good believer?
These are lies from Satan that I believed. And lies that are still perpetuated by a misunderstanding of the church.
My physician could see the doubt in my eyes So, she showed me the test results of my bloodwork. She circled the four hormones that my body does not produce any more. She explained that without the right balance of chemicals in our body, we don’t have the capacity or ability to be happy. She was right.
So what is a biblical view of depression? Is it just something if we have enough faith that God will heal? Is it a spiritual defect that we need to repent of? Can loving Jesus fix it?
Well–what is the biblical view of a broken leg? Is it just something that God will heal by faith? Or did our leg break because of our sin? If I love Jesus harder and spend a day alone with him will my fracture be fixed? OF COURSE NOT!
Our brain is an organ in our body. Just as the appendix, heart and lungs are. It too breaks. It too needs nutrients and chemicals–that’s how God designed it. Would we tell a brother at risk of a stroke to not take blood thinners but repent? So why do we tell our congregations that faith is the answer to depression?
My friends, God does heal. And often he uses the wisdom he has given to doctors (including psychiatrists) to accomplish that healing. He gave the pharmaceutical developers the wisdom to create medicine (including anti-depressants) as grace to a broken world.
Please stop sharing Satan’s lies from the pulpit. Don’t put up with it when you hear it. It is a horrible destructive lie to say to a group of people that “you don’t have to be depressed, Jesus loves you.” The truth is, redeemed Christians get depression. Regenerated Christians have mental health issues. Born again believers have suicidal thoughts. Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ does not heal you from depression, addiction, congestive heart failure, ALS, cancer or schizophrenia. But it does cleanse you from your sin. It guarantees the presence of God will never leave you or forsake you. It brings hope of a better life to come. It restores your relationship to the Creator of the world.
Please stop with the nonsensical teaching that believers shouldn’t get depression. It damages more than you can imagine.