SUMMARY: Many Christians struggle with the mistaken idea that depression is a sign of a lack of faith on their part. But it’s not. Faith can help a person have the strength to reach out for needed treatment.
Depression affects people from all walks of life, including Christians. In fact, many Christians struggle with mental health issues. Unfortunately, many may not seek out the help they need to deal with those issues.
To make matters worse, Christians may be hard on themselves, believing that they are in direct conflict with their faith when they experience feelings of depression.
The truth is, depression is just one more thing that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can help alleviate. Further, there is help available, including assistance from faith-based counselors who can help Christians deal with their depression in a biblically sound way.
In any given year, depressive disorder can affect approximately 7% of adults in the US. Depression is a mental illness that requires treatment, much like a physical ailment would warrant medical attention.
The difference is one can be seen, while the other cannot. It’s this invisible component to mental health issues that may hinder people from seeking the help they need. And from a Christian perspective, asking for help may seem like a sign that they’re in sin.
But Jesus specifically says to seek Him in our time of need.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28
It is our faith in Him that draws us nearer. Depression is not necessarily a sign that your faith has wavered. It also doesn’t mean that God has left you.
Even early leaders of the church who had great faith in the Lord and were filled with the Holy Spirit experienced some level of depression and anxiety. Paul, for instance, experienced many dark days throughout his ministry. His severe persecution and struggles made things very difficult for him, and he was vocal about his torment.
Paul knew that only God could help him through his trials and times of emotional darkness, as trying to handle it solely in the flesh would not be enough. He knew he also had to rely on the strength of the Lord for help, which he did through his faith.
“Indeed we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.” ~2 Corinthians 1:9
Rather than blaming his season of despair on a lack of faith, Paul instead sought God’s living grace.
No matter what type of mental health issues you may be experiencing, God has not abandoned you. Instead, He wants you to seek Him in your time of need.
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” ~1 Peter 5:7
Your faith can help you muster up the strength needed to reach out for treatment. Fortunately, there are plenty of faith-based counselors who can help you manage your symptoms of depression and put you back on the path to happier, healthier living.
Christian health sharing ministries like UHSM can help you access behavioral health benefits. Members of UHSM make use of counseling services to help deal with life’s challenges, including depression.
If you’re looking for an option other than traditional health insurance, UHSM has a program for you. Get in touch with a representative from UHSM to learn how you can share the health.