Adventures in Christian Living
By: Keith Newell
Depression hurts. Worry hurts. Loneliness hurts. Hurt hurts!
We've all been there. Some have had more trials in life than others. Still, we've all been there. It's very sad to see a person reach "the bottom of the barrel." (Especially if that person is not a Christian.) They find themselves alone, searching for the answers of "today's pain" with no hope of a better life to come.
When a friend or loved one has been beaten down, taken advantage of, used, abused or hurt in so many possible ways, they often don't want your help. In fact, they may not even want your concern or compassion. Quite simply...they just want to be left alone. (At least, that's what they think they want)
In Peter's first epistle, he tells us to cast ALL our cares upon God, because He CARES for us. (I Peter 5:7) There is no doubt in my mind that the Apostle Peter spoke the truth. However, why would a non-Christian care about what the Bible says? They probably don't want to hear God's comforting words. The fact is, they need Jesus more than
they know! Not only does he bring salvation, but he can comfort during these stressful times.
What's a Christian to do in these situations? The best thing you can do for your non-Christian mend is to pray for them. Let them know that you care. Tell them you've been praying for them. While they may wish to be alone, make sure they unden;tand that you will be there when they want or need to talk. Be their mend and it may open a door for Christ to pierce their heart.
Though painful for us to see a non-Christian friend hurt, it is much worse to see a fellow Christian suffer. It can break your heart to see a brother or sister in a sad or depressed state. It hurts because they know that this world is not
our home…rather, Heaven is our destination. Having said that, Christian's are not immune to depression.
Often, we become depressed because of unrealistic goals or expectations. We feel that since we're a Christian, we shouldn't be tempted by sin. (Wrong!: See Romans 3:23) Maybe we aren't living in a sinful manner, but we just can't let go of our painful, sin-filled past. (Our sins are forgiven and forgotten! I John 1:9, Psalms 103:12) Finally, Christian's can hurt over things totally out of their control.
"My adult children are no longer faithful to The Lord."
"My husband cheated on me with a younger woman."
"My wife won't attend worship services any more. She has fallen away!"
Let's be clear. These things can and would bring pain to any of us. We want the best for our loved ones and when they let us down, the wound is deep. Only a fool would suggest that you should just "move on" or "quit worrying about it." Don't give up! Rather, continue to pray for them and share your concerns with them.
We have a home prepared for us in Heaven. Though we still suffer on earth, we have fellow brothers and sisters to lean on. Many of them have been where you're at right now. Like you, they have sinned, they have been hurt, they have been depressed and they have felt alone. Because of that, they will do everything in their power to help you in your trial.
"Blessed are those who mourn, ,for they shall be comforted." - Jesus (Matthew 5:4)