Handling a Depressed Christian

As many of you know, I’ve been depressed for almost five years now. I had a major break in March of 2010. It came out of nowhere and has been a frequent uninvited guest in my home ever since.

I won’t go into it now, but almost seven weeks ago I came out of the depression. I think I know the triggers. But I often tell people not to get too excited. I can never be sure which “me” is going to wake up tomorrow. Will it be joyful me? (who I love) He’s the one who sees life positively and has no time for worry (too busy serving God)? Or will it be broken me (who I hate)? He can’t dwell on anything but the bad and sees no hope in life (and doesn’t even act like there’s a God)? 7 Things NOT to Say to a Depressed Christian But while I have my thoughts straight, I’ve been able to dwell on so many positive things. One of these is the subject of this post. I’ve accumulated a list of seven things depressed people (Christian’s especially) are told. They’re meant to help them out of their depression. I’ve even had these things said to me. But these things are wrong.

Please Note: None of these things necessarily come from evil intentions. These come from people who sincerely want you to recover. However, they do come from the evil flesh that dwells in all of us: judgmenalism. I hope this becomes clear as you read.

Further Reading: Dealing With My Depression #1: Muffling Its Voice

“Just Snap Out of It”

I don’t know how many times I said this to my depressed sister before she took her life. “Just snap out of it, Angie.” From my perspective, I thought you could. I thought that being depressed or happy was an act of the will. If you just make the right decision, you can think your way out of it. But more often than not, depression is not an act of the will. It is an interplay between the mind and the brain that you can’t snap out of. Don’t you think that people who are depressed would “Just snap out of it” if it were that easy? Remember, they don’t want to be depressed. It is the worst torture that one can possibly imagine.

“Think Positively”

Again, this might seem right. Please realize that most of the time a depressed person can’t think positively. That’s why they’re depressed. If I were to tell you there’s a giant elephant in your room, would you believe me? What if I said that all you have to do is close your eyes and trust it to be true? You’d probably say, “I can’t!”Telling someone who’s depressed to “think positively” completely misses the problem. They can’t think positively any more than you can believe there’s an elephant in the room. They don’t want to think negatively. They just can’t stop.

Further Reading: Depression – When We Want to Die

“Confess Your Sins”

Trying to find a sin trigger in the life of the depressed is a hard proposition. There may be some evident sin in their lives that they need to deal with, but consider this:

1) Everyone Sins But Not Everyone’s Depressed There is evil in everyone. According to Martin Luther we’re all, simul justus et peccator which is Latin for “at the same time just and sinners.” Additionally, according to the Gospel of John we have to admit to sin in our lives:

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. – 1 John 1:8 (ESV)

All to often a lengthy (and often judgmental) assessment of every sin the depressed person has takes place. Once they’re identified they’ll try to get rid of them one by one. This is both impossible and can cause deeper depression. The depressed may believe you and think getting rid of all these sins is the answer. When they realize that this cannot happen this side of heaven, the depression deepens.

2) They Can’t Change the Past Sometimes the sins that led to depression are from a years of lifestyle choices. They build up over the years. It’s usually the little ones that end up getting us. However, bringing this to the conversation with the depressed does little good. They can’t back up and change their choices. If they could, they would.

3) They Already Know They’re Sinners The depressed person likely knows if it’s sin that’s causing their depression. If it’s alcohol, drugs, etc. bringing this up early will only harden the person. It will make them defensive. If sin is causing the depression (and that’s a big “if”) tact and prudence should be used in abundance. This will allow them to recognize their sin without becoming defensive.

“Get On Some Meds Immediately!”

I am no Tom Cruise. I believe that psychiatric medications are often the answer and are a gift of God. I believe that there are many out there who are not taking due to a taboo or stigma attached to them that should be. However, the use of mind altering drugs also needs to be considered very deeply. I also think that they are prescribed too easily without a plan of attack.

Briefly, I believe that some people need to go through the darkness without an immediate way out. Many of the Psalms might not have been written had these drugs been available to David. His ups and downs would have been leveled by a script from the doctor. But we needed David to go through his mental bipolar disorder (if that is what it was). The same might be said of Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation. He definitely needed to be on something! However, God used his mental anxiety for great things.

Book Suggestion: Genius, Grief, & Grace: A Doctor Looks at Suffering & Success (Biography of great saints of the past who suffered greatly, but were used greatly.

For some people—as hard as it is to hear—God wants you to go through this darkness. But this is not for everyone. These drugs are a blessing of God when used properly. For some, they can get you over the “hill” of darkness and are only needed for a short time. For others, they are needed permanently for the stability of the mind.

All I am doing is asking you to consider that the depressed person may be a David or a Luther to the church. Don’t immediately demand that they get on these drugs.

“I’ve Been Through Worse”

I had a relative say this to me with absolute resolve and conviction in her voice. She said, “Michael, whatever you have gone through, I have been though worse! So don’t try to give me your sob story.” She meant well, but this is not something to say to a depressed person. It may be true that you have been through worse and been able to get out of it. What you mat not know is that this is meaningless to the depressed for two reasons:

  1. Once you’re in the black hole of depression, the hole itself is the worst thing you’ve gone through. The tragic events that might have brought you there often pale in comparison.
  2. Suffering is relative. There are always going to be people who have it worse than you. This isn’t the issue. It’s how you perceive and internalize your suffering relative to who you were before. For some, the loss of a job can make them suicidal. For others (who live in harsher climates of society) even the loss of a child is expected and absorbed with less depression.

So depression is a very relative thing. Letting people know that you’ve been through worse—while it might be objectively true—can be both unwise and irresponsible. It will only harden the person in their depression.

“God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle”

This is in my top ten things of what the Bible does not say that Christians often quote as Scripture. There is nowhere in the Bible that says God will not give us more than we can handle. It does say that he will in temptation provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). But never does it say that God will not give us more pain and suffering than we can handle.

Many Christians have suffered to the point of death at the hands of executors. Many suffer to the point of death at their own hands. All we can say is that, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18). This may not solve our depression, but it does give us perspective. Even if our depression has caused us enormous doubt this can be helpful.

“Depression Is a Sin. You Should Have Joy In Your Life”

This always comes from the person who has never experienced real depression. Once you have, you would never say something like this again. Unfortunately, this often comes from those who feel that it’s their job to deliver us from this evil. But is depression a sin? I don’t think so.

Matthew 5:4 says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” This mourning should not be thought of as some temporary bout with suffering. It’s not purely circumstantial (like mourning for the death of a loved one). The Greek word for mourn (pentheo) is a present active participle. It is actually the best word to use for “sadness” or “depression.” Christ is saying that those that are always (present, active) sad and down, will be comforted. The comfort, in the context, does not come in this life, but in the life to come.So far from being a sin, depression is often going to be the progressive state of the “blessed.”

How You Bear the Burdens of the Depressed

So, if these are the things you don’t do, what do you do? If you have a loved one who’s depressed, it is hard to handle. It can cause depression in you if you are not careful. All you want to do is solve it. Please understand, it’s not your job to solve the depression. You may be able to be a great influence in getting the depressed to feel better, but God has not given you the responsibility to deliver a loved one from depression. Let yourself off the hook. Don’t make yourself responsible for something you cannot do. Though you may be used by Him to bring the depressed to wholeness, you are not the Holy Spirit.

Most of what you “say” will only cause more depression, as shown above. This was the mistake of Job’s friends. They stayed silent for seven days (Job 2:13). They should have stayed silent for good. After seven days they couldn’t take it any more and made all the mistakes we’ve looked at.

Silence, with your arm around the depressed is the best advice. There may be a time for verbal inquiry, but this needs to come naturally and without judgement. You’re not given a podium to preach to the depressed; you’re given arms to hold them. Even if this doesn’t “work” your goal should not be to bring them out of their depression. Your goal should be to be there for them their entire life if necessary. It is a terrible burden to bear when this is a loved one, I know. But this is how we bear the burdens of the depressed.

“Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.” – Margaret Runbeck

When someone is there for you without all the answers and requiring you to follow their advice “or else…”, you have a true friend. And, unfortunately, these friends have been rare from the beginning of time.

Purchase on Amazon: Now That I’m A Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    82 replies to "7 Things NOT to Say to a Depressed Christian

    • Davy

      I would have rather layed hands on. or at least speak on the phone/skype is second best. But were down to third best option, praying at a distance. Well I prayed Ralph Look forward to reading all about it.
      But your results does not change the bible. Believers will lay hands on the sick and they WILL be healed. Thats the end of it. Buts are devils, man is full of buts,

      So do you know whats happening in the seconds after I prayed. What did I say again? Wonder if I said it right? Wonder if I should maybe hmmm. where is all that garbage coming from, satan in my soul trying to destroy may faith.
      This is why we renew the mind.
      By the way this is how the prayer went.

      “Lord thank you for this opportunity to pray for Ralph. I just speak the love of you into his body in Jesus name.”

      Jesus I love you.

    • Ralph Dave Westfall

      Thank you very much for praying for me, Davy.

      I just picked up my phone. I still can’t even hear the dial tone in my really bad right ear and it doesn’t seem any better in the left one either. How long do you think it will take?

      I love Jesus too. He saved me out of alcoholism and saved my marriage.

      May the Lord bless you.

    • JCD

      First of all, I think this is a great article. I have been depressed both before and after becoming a Christian. I have to say it was much worse before I came to Christ. It’s true that Christians shouldn’t say these things to anyone who is depressed.in fact I think some of the same is true for any Christian going through ANY trial in their life. We so easily assume we know what other people are going through but unless we’ve truly walk down the same road, we have no idea what they’re really going through. Sometimes we just need to be like Job’s friend at first, and be quiet. We so easily judge, and think we know what they should do. Job’s friends were completely wrong about Job and his situation.

      Anyway, I have my opinions about depression…. but I’m not going to tell you who I agree withand who I don’t. Why? Because honestly all I see on here is a bunch of Christians arguing about who’s right and who’s wrong. Sometimes I think that God is up in heaven shaking his head and saying, “All my children do is argue with each other about who is right about this thing or that thing or what the Bible means in this verse or that.” Personally I think in some ways we are all wrong about some things. The problem is that everyone thinks they are right and everyone who disagrees with them is wrong. I really believe that we are all supposed to be on the same page … with everything! Think of Acts 2. At the end of the chapter, the people were all on the same page serving God together! Sometimes I think we waste so much time arguing with each other that we aren’t getting His work done. Sorry, this is just something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

    • Wayne G.

      JCD, I wonder if we’re reading the same comments. What I see is people having an honest discussion of an issue (and several related issues).

      In the Scriptures, I see the apostles wrestling over issues, the full truth of which some of them had not come into. Much of Paul’s epistles were written to correct problems in churches or bring better knowledge of issues which were causing problems in the individual churches.

      From my perspective on the comments here, I have seen brothers in Christ sharing parts of truth which should be brought into the whole. None of us have come into a full understanding of all things pertaining to this life as Christians.

      While we may not always agree with what others share with us or question us about, I have found that often God will use those things to plant seeds of a fuller understanding of His truth in my heart which, He brings to fruition later on.
      I have also come to realize that in almost every issue where the discussion seems to be at opposite poles of the issue that there are kernels of truth. When I put the kernels together, I often come to a realization that I have a deeper understanding of the truth – even when it requires me to modify my previously held position. I don’t think I’ve read any comments in which I did not see some truth (and to be truthful, some of them have helped me come to a better clarification and understanding of some of the issues raised).

      I don’t know if any of what I’ve commented here has led to your conclusions. If it has, I ask you to forgive me. It was not my intention to “argue” here or give that impression. I was trying to help all involved work through various faucets of the issues with the hope that we all grow in grace as I’ve stated. If it has come across that way to you, please let me know and I’ll review my comments and see if I can see it from your perspective. Perhaps, if I can see things your way, it will help me to do better next time.

      I don’t know if this helps but I thought I should share this with you.

      I, too, have some practical experience with depression and I thank God that He has saved you and brought you into His marvellous deliverance – even if it’s not to a complete stage yet. One day we will all come into full consummation of the salvation, wholeness, and health He died to give us. We won’t have to struggle to know in part, for we will know as we are known – and all of our questions will be answered. What a day that will be, won’t it?

    • Wayne G.

      Davy, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to do this or not, but if you have some things to share with me which didn’t get through, you are welcome to email me privately at [email protected] .

      Michael, I know some sites don’t allow the posting of private emails. If this is the case with yours, feel free to delete this post. Again, thank you for posting this blog from the heart, being vulnerable, and bringing an issue to the fore which the church needs to address. You’ve done us all a great service. I trust that those who’ve contributed here will, at the very least, lift you up in prayer. I will do so, as the Lord brings you to my mind. I know I’ve had times in my life when the circumstances were such that I couldn’t pray – however, it was in those times that I could feel the prayers of others lifting me up.

      God richly bless you, my brother.

    • Davy

      Ralph I know I always expect instant and dont always see that. But I dont question Gods word. God said it I believe it to the best of my ability to believe it. And as my mind is renewed I look more like Christ daily as I also die to self.
      Self says why isnt it working. That what the apostles said , when the boy was still having a fit. Then doubt comes in and thats unbelife. Believe in your heart and it will be given you. and dont doubt. NOW I am talking to me there not you. Some were healed with one prayer one guy took nine for a blood disorder. Some I never saw a movement. SO I go to my Father and say someting like. Father I know if Jesus prayed the man would be healed. There a lack in me. Would you just Father me in this. Theres something I am missing. Thank you Lord. Reveal to me my lack.

      @ JCD
      Most of the modern day church is wrong about Job, and what they think it means.

      Wayne best post I seen on a forun in a long time.

    • Davy

      Hi Garth I missed this post.

      Gareth Brown February 28, 2015 at 5:53 am

      “Yes! I’m so glad that was your experience Harry 🙂

      Jesus isn’t waiting at the finish line of our struggles, he is right there with us AND as well as transforming us he is feeling with us.”

      Gareth said
      ” Not being healed instantly means we get to know Jesus as he walks loyally with us and shows such fierce love and commitment to bringing the Kingdom into our lives more and phasing the World out of it.”

      Being ill can and does draw you closer to God because you need help. We say it all the time. And on the other hand, some reject Jesus because they thought He was a God of love. And dont understand why they never got healed.

      Gareth said
      “Being well is often our number one priority for God to move in but God’s number one priority is that we get to know him better.”
      There is no slight of change in God, what He does for one He will do for another. God has no favourets.

      So Jesus who says if you seen me you seen the Father. So the things Jesus done was the Fathers will. And he healed them all.

      Proof here.
      He healed them all: Matt 4:24
      He healed them all: Matt 8:16
      He healed them all: Matt 12:15
      He healed them all: Matt 14:14
      He healed them all: Matt 14:36
      He healed them all: Matt 15:30
      He healed them all: Matt 19:2
      He healed them all: Matt 21:14
      He healed them all: Mark 6:56
      He healed them all: Luke 4:40
      He healed them all: Luke 9:11
      I dont think there is a single scripture that says God want a relation ship with us more than our healing. Evry scripture points to what has all ready been paid for.

      Gareth said
      “As we get to know him better our faith increases and we find the truest purpose which in our hearts we long for even more than for our health (which should be right up there by the way!)We don’t do the transforming, God does,”

      Sciprture says Faith comes by hearing the word. Obviously, to use faith you need to step out and start doing what God told us to do. lay hands on the sick raise the dead, cast out demons, cleanse the lepors. When you start doing that your faith can increase as you realise that God ment what He said.

      Gareth said
      “Process healing is entirely biblical “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds”

      This was already paid for ,for every one now. We choose to walk in it and do what God/Paul said to do. Its a command to renew the mind.

      Rom 12:2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. The process will take as long as you do.

      Gareth said
      “so that burden is off us and we are also allowed to be in the process of renewing our minds (continuous tense) so it’s not sinful to not be better yet.”

      The burden is off us as much as Its Finnshed, Jesus done it all. But there is still battles to be won and peopel to be set free. From sin illness and spiritual oppresions

      Gareth said
      “With our minds it’s especially important because God has given them to us – they are ours – God is committed for the long haul to guide us in using them better but he won’t take the keys off us and do the driving because we are free not robots and to say we shouldn’t have minds in the first place is to say God made a mistake.”

      We are free sons of God brothersof Christ who represent Him on the earth today in every way. As He did all things so do we.

      Gareth said
      “God also healed Jacob’s insecurities over time and stuck with Jonah all the time that prejudice was rife in his mind. What did God give Paul to stop him persecuting? Guilt? Shame? He gave himself. He makes us better in relationship and doesn’t use guilt and shame as tools for our learning or to keep us in line.”

      Amen brother.

      Gareth said
      “A lot of us seem to have read this imaginary Bible where Jesus took on our guilt and shame on the cross and defeated it…but then brought it back to life and gave it back to us as a tool to fight sin all on our own with.”
      This imaginary Bible also seems to state that now that Jesus is completely perfect he can’t go anywhere where he might get dirt on him so he waits for us at the finish line cheering on from a distance.”

      He is in us and will never leave you or forsake you. Amen and thats what make you the highest authority where ever you go.

      Gareth said
      “Shame is a huge underlying factor in mental illness. Shame, though defeated, still lives in the world because we have people who hurt us and an enemy who hurts us. It’s not the decent or moral thing to keep hold of it, it’s Jesus’ mission to eradicate it from our lives. As it goes, we get better.”

      satan hurts us when we dont understand what we have available to us to deal with all satans works. Christ came to destroy them. They are still manifesting. So we now deal with satan and all his minions. The weakest Christian is stronger than the strongest demon, becuse of who we are in Christ. And who dwells in us. The full God head.

      Gareth said
      “We’ll have a voice in our heads criticising us for feeling alone Harry, for wasting God’s time on self-centred indulgent feelings, for being weak and immature for not being strong enough to cope with what “everybody else” copes with. Well that voice is not God’s voice.”
      Yes his name is satan and all your battles are in the mind. Some of the disgusting thoughts that went through our minds and we think it came from us. No some of it is satan, who comes to steal kill and destroy.Jesus still has enemies. He wont come back untill they are under His footstool.
      Who puts then there the manifest sons of God, and who are they. They are the ones that these signs will follow.

      Gareth said
      “Feeling alone is not healthy and is counter to our species. God said it was not good for the man to be alone and God will rescue you from the sense of isolation as many times as you need it :)”
      I am in the Father and He is in me, we will make our dwelling in you. I will never leave you or forsake you.

    • Wayne G.

      I don’t know why your reply to me hasn’t been put through.

      May I make a suggestion to you. Often I type my comments into my word processor (like Microsoft Word). Then I copy it and paste it into the comments section of the site I’m on. Doing this, your word processing program would also pick up any spelling mistakes and errors in grammar (both of which your posts are full of – it makes it difficult for readers to understand some of what you say). Also, if you save it to your word processing program (or document files) you don’t lose it but can re-sent it if your comments disappear (as your reply to me did).

      May I also suggest that you check your facts before you include them in your posts. You stated, “John G Lake sent his guys out to lay hands on the sick. They had 30 days to get the job done or dont come back. They all came back. 240.000 recorded healings.” I am familiar with John G. Lake’s ministry and have done research into such (there is a healing room in my town). There were never 240,000 RECORDED healings – his ministry CLAIMED that there were 240,000 healings. This is vastly different from keeping record of every healing, totally 240,000. They (and it was not Lake himself) estimated that those were the number of healings which took place.

      I, too, have been kicked out of 6 out of the last 8 churches which the Lord directed me to make my home church – quite literally with several of them. The Lord sent me there as His messenger to bring Truth, Righteousness, and calls to return to the Lord. I know what it is like to have the Lord’s truth rejected.

      In an earlier post, you claimed you’ve been banned from 41,000 Christian denominations. REALLY??? So, you’ve personally gone to the head offices of 41,000 different Christian denominations and they have personally banned you??? REALLY??? Are you 200 years old??? If you went to a different one every day it would take you over 100 years!!!

      May I suggest that you not only check your claims for accuracy and truthfulness, but that you be careful not to exaggerate to the point of lying. These character traits only make others doubt the truthfulness of ALL you claim. I used to tell my employees never to lie to me – if you lie to me even once, then what can I trust you with. Lying is not becoming a disciple of Christ – nor is “exaggeration.” This is misrepresenting what the truth is. I’m hoping that you are not doing this on purpose – as God says that no liar will enter heaven.
      I’ve been part of and around Pentecostals and charismatics my whole life. One common feature is that those on the extreme end of your claims of “faith” and “healings” and “miracles” is that they often lie with their claims. As I stated in my first response to you, I AM one whom God has used in healings, miracles, and casting out of demons. The Lord has taught me to not lie about His giftings and callings. Scripture warns us that we are “not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3 NASB). Notice this verse says also that we are to operate within the “MEASURE OF FAITH” each one is allotted. This means that NONE of us has ALL faith. As a small member of the Body of Christ, the Spirit gives a measure of faith to the things He calls us to. Together, the WHOLE Body of Christ may have ALL faith, but this verse teaches that each of us only has a measure of faith – not all faith.

      Also, this verse says that we are “TO HAVE SOUND JUDGMENT.” Sound judgment comes from a number of things: to name a few, it comes from spiritual maturity in Christ; it comes from fearing the Lord and gaining wisdom; it comes from counsel with other mature and wise brothers and sisters in Christ; it comes from “exercising ourselves in godliness” (Hebrews 5:14) (it comes from experience and growth in maturity). It would appear that you have not used sound judgment for some of the claims you have made (not necessarily true – but the way you brought it across, it would seem there’s a lack of sound judgment and/or truth).

      There is one more thing which you revealed which concerns me a fair bit. That is that there are many more people you’ve prayed for who have not been healed than have been healed. Christ, who we are to be disciples of and follow, healed everyone who came to Him, as Scripture records. As his disciple, do you really think you should be trying to teach others your version of “truth” when you, yourself have had such a miserable failure rate?

      If I am wanting my car repaired, I am going to take it to a mechanic who has a good reputation for fixing the problem every time. I am not going to take it to a mechanic that only successfully repairs only 1 in every 6 cars (which is what 40 out of 240 is, as you claimed). Would you? If you wanted to be a mechanic, would you train under such a mechanic – or would you want to learn from someone who fixed the problem 100% of the time?

      May I suggest that until you can either heal EVERYONE 100% of the time or you can find the Scriptural basis for not having 100% success that you might want to stop trying to “teach” others.

      And copping out by saying you don’t have enough faith really isn’t based on ALL of what Scripture teaches on the subject. I know you can list off a number of Scriptures which appear to say that you won’t get what you want if you don’t have faith – but such conclusions contradict the meaning you and others are taking from them (for example, 1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” So, it HAS TO BE ACCORDING TO HIS WILL – not ours. That rules out a lot of praying in “faith”).

      By the way, in Christ’s ministry, He demonstrated that lack of faith is not the only reason healing/miracles do not come. He said that healing could also be prevented by lack prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). So, why do you claim lack of faith when you fail?

      Also, I ask you again, what do you do with Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” which he said was from Satan? Why did God refuse to heal him of that? And what do you do with Job? God prodded Satan to bring all the destruction and sickness into Job’s life? I know it was a different “covenant” but God does not change and there are many instances of God healing people under the “old covenant.” So, what do you do with these examples which quite clearly contradict the extreme teaching you put forth?

      Have you not read, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22)? The Greek word for “tribulations” can also be translated “afflictions.” Afflictions can include physical ailments, sickness, or debilitating diseases. Can God not choose which tribulations or afflictions HE knows are best to help His children grow, mature, and make sure they “endure to the end” (Matthew 24:13) and make it into His kingdom? He did with Paul; He did with Job. What makes you think that it is impossible for Him do to so with anyone else He chooses? After all, does not the disciple of Christ die to self and take up whatever cross His Master chooses for him? What if our Master chooses for some to walk through this life with infirmity? Do you think you or anyone can muster “enough faith” to stop God’s work in one of His children???

      No, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17). So then, ALL TRUE FAITH originates with God and the Word He speaks, does it not? He has taught me to seek HIS WILL for individuals who have infirmities, demons, etc. If HE SAYS, “Yes, go ahead” (or whatever equivalent) THEN I pray or command or whatever He directs. If in my seeking His will and purposes for an individual, I have to give myself to prayer and fasting, then I will – UNTIL I HEAR FROM HIM. That is what the Scripture means when it exhorts us to SEEK the Lord. We don’t just “say” a prayer. We seek Him, we learn to hear and discern His voice, and we learn to obey.

      If you pray against His will, He will not answer your prayers (1 John 5:14) – no matter how much “faith” you might think you have. He has taught me to seek HIS WILL for individuals who have infirmities, demons, etc. If HE SAYS, “Yes, go ahead” (or whatever equivalent) THEN I pray or command or whatever He directs. If in my seeking His will and purposes for an individual, I have to give myself to prayer and fasting, then I will – UNTIL I HEAR FROM HIM. That is what the Scripture means when it exhorts us to SEEK the Lord. We don’t just “say” a prayer. We seek Him, we learn to hear and discern His voice, and we learn to obey.

      If you pray against His will, He will not answer your prayers (1 John 5:14) – no matter how much “faith” you might think you have. You don’t work the faith up in yourself. You seek our Father’s will and get HIS WORD on an issue which confronts you. Then you can pray in faith in His Word. Until you get that, any “faith” you have is in “faith” itself, or in your ability to have “faith.”

      Now, you may claim you had “faith” without hearing a specific “word from God” and you healed 40 out of 240. I would counter that God likely did it, not because of your “faith,” but in spite of your brand of “faith.” Maybe, He did give you a specific word for the 40 or some of them. However, it has been my observation (and word from the Lord) that when man messes up what God wants done, that there are instances where God does HIS WILL in spite of man’s mess-ups. and misunderstandings of what He has said.

      When you can answer the questions I asked of you how you explain what God did with the great Apostle Paul and Job, whom God, Himself, described as being “perfect in all his ways,” then I have another one for you – “What is faith?” Closely related to this is, “When the Bible tells us to ‘believe,’ what does it mean?” In other words, “What is biblical belief?”

      I continue to pray God’s richest blessings upon you in Christ Jesus and that you will continually grow in your knowledge and love of Christ, our Saviour and Lord until the day when that which we now know in part will be known to us even as we are known.

      Your brother in Christ, Wayne

    • Wayne G.

      Michael, you may have moved on to other things and are not monitoring this blog’s comments anymore. If you are, you should be aware that some comments have not showed up here. There is at least one Davy posted and two I posted which have not shown up.
      If you do see this, could you please check the spam folder again? Perhaps there is another reason – if there is (e.g. deliberate elimination) could you please advise us so that we can make adjustments for future comments.
      If you see this, thank you again for your blogs, and thanks for making the time to deal with this. If it is something in the program bouncing these to the spam folder, I hope you can rectify the problem.

    • C Michael Patton

      Interesting perspective Melissa. But is it possible that you play the elitist contrarian that believes she should get special pleading? After all, you always do play the contrarian who believes that saying something “nice” is a compromise.

      Yet you don’t deal with the individual biblical arguments. Special pleading that you don’t have to deal with what the Bible says?

    • C Michael Patton

      All one has to do is look at your comments and see how “broad” your perspective is.

    • Stephan A

      Thanks for this post. Being transparent helps us all. I have struggled in this area and I’ve always said David obviously did too. I think of David writing “why are you so downcast my soul, put your hope in God” but that is usually when I am coming out of the valley already. I’ve started on a journey to see what my triggers are and not just treat symptoms, learning to manage it because the depressive episodes seem worse in duration and intensity, and praying God to heal/guide me. If there is no relief, then ask Him for His grace to truly be sufficient and help me walk through it. Thanks again brother! Deepest sympathies on your sister’s passing.

    • Cheryl Doyme

      ‘Think positively’ might be detrimental said in isolation, but is exactly what is required. Depressives have irrational negative thoughts, without exception, and how we feel is a direct result of what we think. If automatic negative thoughts can be identified and challenged the resulting emotions and behaviours will change. Of course curiing depression is not this simple.
      Underlying will be dysfunctional assumptions
      about living. Challenging & modifying these is the
      life changing answer.. Find a CBT therapist.

    • Davy

      Hey Cheryl. Is that what Jesus said? Did He not say greater things will you do than I did? Did He not say believers will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed? Did he not say anything you ask in my name will be given? We have all been taught to go to the docs as soon as anything is wrong.

    • gifts for guys

      Awesome post.

    • As soon as you are positive all the elements have been despatched then you will want to dress up
      the boiler.

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