“The righteous cry and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:17-18)
Mental suffering revolves around our attitudes and thought patterns; emotional suffering reflects the pain we experience in our feelings. In our culture, many equate emotional struggles with spiritual weakness or even mental disturbances.
The vast majority of human beings struggle from time to time with depression. We call it “feeling blue,” or “being down.” Some of the great saints of the Bible struggled with these same kinds of feelings. Read about Elijah in 1 Kings 19 or about Moses in Numbers 11. Or read through the Psalms and hear the pain and despair in King David’s heart from time to time.
The difference between those times and now is the way the church, in general, condemns or makes the battle against depression a moral issue. The general comments might be “You just need to pray more” or “You must have some unconfessed sin somewhere in your life.” Such comments usually evoke more guilt, shame, or inadequacy, which only makes the problem worse, leaving the person in an even deeper tailspin.
I’m telling you that God expects more out of His church than those kinds of responses. Emotional pain and suffering are very real. Unfortunately, rather than helping people see God as their merciful Father, eternally filled with compassion and care, often our responses drive people further away from Him by heaping on guilt or shame.
The Scriptures indicate that God desires for us to draw near to Him in our time of need. It also says that we are to help those in need - whatever the need.
Daily Scripture Reading:
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