Coping with Depression: Turning to Faith

Depression is not about ‘being gloomy.’ Depression “affects not only your mood, but also your ability to feel, think, and function. It blunts sensations of pleasure, closes off connectedness, stifles creativity, and, at its worst, shuts down hope. It also often causes deep emotional pain not only to the person experiencing it but to that person’s close family and friends (everydayhealth.com).”

And more people live with it than we may realize. A 2018 study was conducted on faith and mental illness. One of the three groups researchers surveyed was comprised of 1,000 senior Protestant pastors. 74% said they knew someone diagnosed with clinical depression, and 57% said they knew at least three people who fell into the clinical depression category.

Part of our mission at Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries is to provide education to help individuals better understand themselves so they can move forward in faith. If you or someone in your life is living with depression, we want to share ways to cope with depression and maintain your faith.

Depression is an Illness, Not a Sin

Unfortunately, there is a stigma around depression and mental illness. Some Christians look at depression as failing to trust God or failing to give thanks to God. But, depression, like any physical ailment, is an illness.


“Yes, mental illness [can be] triggered by stressors or negative environmental factors, but that does not mean it is not real. Physical illness is also frequently triggered by stressors and negative environmental factors. Stress can cause ulcers and increase the risk of a heart attack, very serious illnesses that, like depression, need treatment, not condemnation (cru.org).”


Prayer is Powerful, But It's Not a Cure


While prayer should be a part of your daily life, as with any illness, depression often requires professional medical treatment. While God can divinely heal mind, body, and soul, He does not always intervene in that way. Instead, God gave people like doctors and mental health professionals the understanding and skills to help those who are suffering.

Just like you would seek medical treatment for chronic back pain, there’s no shame in needing professional support to manage and treat depression.

Don’t Stop Being Thankful

Depression is not a punishment for sin. We see this in John 9:1-3 (New Living Translation):

As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” His disciples asked Him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.

Depression can take hold of every aspect of a person’s life, making it hard to find joy and positivity. As a result, a person living with depression needs faith more than ever.

  • Continue reading the Bible and praying.

  • Thank God for loving you and bringing you through this season of life. God’s Word, not your present emotional outlook, is your authority.

  • Thank God for caring for you and loving you even when you can’t feel or see it.

Let Us Help You

Depression is treatable, and Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries work with individuals to help them understand depression, themselves, and find hope and purpose in their faith. Contact us to learn more.

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