The Deep Depression

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.” (Ecc. 1:2)

My wife shared with me this morning about a non-Christian friend of hers who is really struggling with depression. She’s telling me about this friend and asking me how to answer in a godly way. The back story is that my wife doesn’t deal with depression, but I do.

So, as she was sharing, I was nodding in agreement about this person’s feelings. And she asked me, “How do I share the love of Christ, without causing further damage?”

Of course, the message of Jesus Christ can be a heavy topic. We are sinners in danger of Hell, but God loves us so much that he sent his son to die on a cross.

I agreed that perhaps the message of Jesus Christ (the message of redemption) may be a hard pill to swallow. But, I did think that Ecclesiastes was a great place to start. It’s a story of a rich king who can’t find pleasure in life (sounds like depression to me). If a rich person can’t find pleasure, than we can at least rule out the flawed belief that money buys happiness.

So, I said, “Start with that. And if (the friend) gets some encouragement from that, maybe go to Job. A terribly depressing story, but in Job 19, he concludes the entirety of the Bible:

“Oh, that my words were recorded,
    that they were written on a scroll,
that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
    or engraved in rock forever!
I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:23-27)

Our redeemer is Jesus Christ. Malachi 3:18 tells us that such a scroll of remembrance does exist. And Revelation 21:4 tells us that God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

“Oh, that my Redeemer lives.”

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