Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
If you are not depressed, or have never been depressed, you can shout Hallelujah and thank the dear Lord. It's only by virtue of His sacrifice on your behalf when He suffered depression on His cross, that you are free to sing and rejoice in the bright sunlight of His favor.
If He had not suffered and died in your place on your behalf, you would be in the place of that poor man Jesus told us about--who has been cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 25:30). And you will not despise those who do suffer depression. You will not be hard-hearted toward them, callous, telling them to "snap out of it," "you're foolish," "go help somebody else," etc. The closer you come to Jesus, the more sympathy you will have for others who suffer.
The basic problem for Christian people in depression is the haunting fear that God does not hear their prayers. They pray, and nothing happens; it seems that God does not care. And to believe in God but that He does not care is worse than not believing in God at all! That's why Christian people, especially Christian teenagers, often suffer the most excruciating pain in their depression.
So, once again, we look to that cross where Jesus was uplifted, and where He will draw "all" unto Himself, where we too can learn to "glory" (John 12:32, 33; Gal. 6:14). As He hung on His cross in the darkness, He felt that His Father was despising Him. He said, "My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are you so far from saving Me? ... I cry out by day, but You do not answer" (Psalm 22:1, 2, NIV). The weight of all our sinful guilt was pressing upon His human heart.
But did He give up and yield the battle to Satan? No. Look what He did--read the rest of Psalm 22. He made a choice to believe in the character of His Father as He knew it from His own history. Thus He was able to trust, to believe, despite the total darkness of His soul. In Him, right there, is healing for our human depression.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 21, 1997.
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