Student Opinion – This is how Depression Brings You Closer to Jesus

Okay, let’s just talk about it. You’re struggling with depression. You see a counselor every Tuesday after class. It’s unlikely that these are among your go-to fun facts that you share on your first day of college post every semester.

Mental health is not an easy topic of discussion, especially when you don’t know the viewpoints of the people you’re talking with. The tide often turns far too quickly to judgment, unhelpful advice and shame.

My not-so-hot take is that the church needs to do better. Instead of being quick to offer personal opinions or a how-to guide on solving anxiety, we need to be quicker to listen to those who are hurting and weep with those who are weeping. 

The church should be a place of refuge. The Father welcomes and cares for all who are weary and burdened, and we are commanded to do the same. If someone will not come to the church for help due to fear of being shamed or condemned, we are doing something very wrong.  

Our role is not to decide the legitimacy of antidepressants or clinical therapy. Our role is to love, minister and support — our privilege and responsibility.

In a world searching for healing, we are the ones with the only true answer. Every wretched thing we encounter provides another opportunity to share the hope of the one who came to redeem. May we see the mental health crisis not as a political issue to take a stance on, but as an avenue for the spreading of the gospel.

Yet even within the church, the vulnerable among us who struggle with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts are being cast to the side. We cannot let our lack of understanding prevent us from carrying out the command to care for the weak and hurting.

Ever since the fall of humanity, we have been sinful and broken humans living in a sinful and broken world. This is not a controversial topic of debate. So why then do we debate the possibility that our minds are also capable of being impacted by this physical state of sinful brokenness? 

Scripture time and time again warns us that the mind is a battlefield for intense spiritual warfare. Every one of us is under attack, some more than others. We are foolish to believe otherwise.

The well-meaning CGL will tell you to just pray, and Jesus will take your depression away. While this is a possibility, we cannot rely on that as a promised truth. On the contrary, Jesus promises that we will struggle and endure hardship.

Although God does not cause any evil or broken thing, he is sovereign over all evil and brokenness. You do not have depression or anxiety by accident. God wastes nothing and has a glorious purpose for all things.

Perhaps yours will be the miraculous story of Jesus taking away your depression overnight. Or perhaps your depression will be the vessel God uses to draw you closer to him for the rest of your life. 

Christian, I do not have the answer to why God would allow you to struggle with these things while others don’t, but God does. Bring your struggles, worries, fears, doubts, questions and pain to him. 

If your anxiety is what brings you to the feet of Jesus, if your depression draws you even one centimeter closer to him, it is worth it. Every trial, struggle and pain that brings you to Jesus is worth it. All these present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed.

In the meantime, I pray that we, the church, will continue to seek ways to better love and care for you. In the meantime, I pray that you would look to the God of all comfort as he beckons you into his arms.

Ginion is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion.

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