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Categorized | From the Pulpit

From the Pulpit: Putting good theology to good use in our battle against depression 

By Pastor David Vander Meer

In the old days when someone milked a cow they typically sat on a three legged stool. Why a three-legged stool? Because the ground in the barn was never even and so to keep from rocking around and being unsteady they could get good footing with just three legs.

In this article I want to write on three great theological Christian truths to aid us in our battle against depression. We might think that theology is just for seminary professors to argue about but I am here to say that these three great truths are the very thing that can help Christians find a steady footing in a life that often is unsteady. And frankly, what I find to be the most unsteady area in my life, and others, is our emotions…namely, our depression. These three great truths are well worth the effort to call to mind when our emotions are unsettled.

For the Christian, the first great truth is “justification.” What is so wonderful about this truth is that God declares, merely by grace, His people to be forgiven of all their sins and accepts them as righteous in His sight. This great truth gives the believer their identity. But so often when we are battling for joy we are confused with who we are. We may think and say things to our self that are just not true. This only works to put us down instead of helping to lift us up. Our first task is to identify who we are before God—forgiven and righteous because of the finished work of Christ.

The second great truth is “sanctification.” Wow, now there is a word! We get a lot of English  words from the root word, like sanctuary, sanctity, sanctify, etc. But all of these words have something to do with being holy, or separate, or special. So what this truth teaches is that God, again by His grace, enters into the process of making the believer learn to hate sin and desire righteousness. Once again I say that this is a great truth as we battle our unsteady emotions. Yes, I may be a mess, but I have hope that I will change as God works in me. The ultimate aim of my salvation is to become more and more like Him. And God is not depressed!

There is one more great truth for us to speak of, and that is “glorification.” In our depression we can think that we are losing the “game.” The scoreboard says we are behind. Life has us rocking back and forth. But look, the score for the end of the game is posted and we have won. To be clear, Christ has won, and so we have won because for the Christian we are in Christ. He has won the victory, even death itself. He is our vision for victory.

Battling depression is hard. And it can be complex. Often it means getting physical assistance and support from our medical care providers. But it is also a spiritual issue that requires the foundation of truth to help us. It is so wonderful that God helps our body and our soul. May God help you as you battle for joy.

Pastor David Vander Meer

Rockford Springs Community Church 

5815 Fourteen Mile Rd NE 

Rockford, MI 49341

 

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