There have been a number of guest on the show whose books (or interview topics) have revolved around offering gospel hope and help in depression/grief contexts. If you are someone walking through a season of grief/depression, or have been called to care for someone who is, these podcast episodes are sure to offer helpful biblical insights, gospel-centered comforts, and practical applications for taking next steps by faith.
There are some observations made about depression that seem like a blasphemy to mention. One of those suggestions being that depression is sometimes a person’s choice—their elected response to circumstances when hopes are dashed or difficulties come. While this sort of view about the nature of depression doesn't encumber all experiences of despondency and its complicated, holistic nature, there are those of us who know there’s an element of truth to it; we’ve often retreated to the supposed “safety” of depression ourselves.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and bible teacher Nancy Guthrie. They discuss Nancy's book, "What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)" to better understand the raw emotions people face as they experience grief, and to learn how to compassionately and confidently interact with those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Nancy shares about walking through the deaths of her two infant babies, and how grief can become a hurdle in everyday relationships. She offers some cautions about what not to say to someone who is grieving, and also suggests possible conversation starters that demonstrate a proper esteem of the loss. Additionally, Nancy observes the misguided assumptions supporters can sometimes make about grieving people, and shines a light on the pain that is felt when friends and family keep their distance. Lastly, Nancy steers listeners back to the hope of heaven through Jesus Christ, and examines why spiritual sentimentality is too flimsy to offer real hope in the midst of unbearable pain.
While Revelation 21 specifically lists death, mourning, crying, and pain as fundamental grievances believers will face, there's a shocking lack of corporate preparation to meet with such sorrows. Removing the stigma of deeply painful sadness requires the local church’s unhurried commitment to making room for it on Sunday mornings and a desire to equip leaders in one-another care.
As I was writing last week, I stumbled upon John Mark McMillan's record, "The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down" on Spotify. His song, "How He Loves" is one I am quite familiar with, but there's a particular version of the song on this record which was totally new to me—and it stopped me in my tracks.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews pastor and author Jonathan Hayashi. They discuss his book, Ordinary Radicals: A Return to Christ-Centered Discipleship to learn how the gospel of Jesus Christ informs the way we foster genuine, mission-minded Christian community within the context of the local church. Jonathan shares how God used intentional discipleship relationships to radically alter the gang-related trajectory he was on as a teenager. He explains some of the reasons why the church-at-large is failing to faithfully commit to making Christ-centered disciples, while also highlighting some of the unbiblical beliefs church members have about what it means to belong to the body of Christ. Jonathan encourages believers to remember that there are no special qualifications for making disciples, and offers practical suggestions for pursuing a discipleship relationship within the respective "mission fields" everyday Christians find themselves in.
If I have learned one thing on my brief marriage journey, it’s that the pursuit of happiness swallows more marriages than we realize. It can chew you up and spit you out an unrecognizable, bitter mess. Pursuing personal happiness and fulfillment in your wedded relationship is only fueled by selfish desires, for our quest to be happy is always rooted in the search for soul-satisfaction rather than the offer of self-sacrifice and service.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and biblical counselor Deepak Reju to discuss his book, Pornography: Fighting for Purity. During the conversation, Deepak explains what makes porn addiction a form of "voluntary slavery," unpacking the various heart struggles that can tempt men and women to become habitual viewers. Deepak also helps listeners discern what it looks like to "coddle" porn addiction, highlights the importance of radical corrective action, outlines what to look for in an accountability partner, and encourages strugglers to remember their identity in Christ when facing discouragement in the battle for heart change.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed on The Ride Home with John & Kathy radio show regarding my article at The Gospel Coalition, "How to Talk to Your Depressed Child." For fifteen minutes, we spoke about some of the challenges and necessities of caring for a child who is walking through depression. While I would have loved to have been able to expand on certain points (and of course, I neglected to say a few things I wish I would have), I hope the interview offers some helpful insights into the incredible difficulty of the situation, and stresses the need for compassion, grace, and God's truth in the midst of a disorienting season.
As parents, we can’t take the place of medical professionals, licensed counselors, or pastoral care. A child’s depressed feelings can indicate ordinary sadness or a more serious disorder, and we’ll typically need outside help to identify the nature of our child’s struggle. But parents do have something valuable to offer: love and encouragement.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Joel Fitzpatrick about his book Between Us Guys: Life-Changing Conversations for Dads & Sons to discuss how both parent and child can lean in to important conversations with the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. During the interview, Joel talks about what biblical manhood is meant to look like and the importance of teaching our sons to embrace a gospel-centered view of women. He also addresses biblical wisdom for helping dads and sons navigate friendship problems, performance pressures, identity traps, as well as some helpful ways to practice generosity and financial stewardship.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Trillia Newbell to discuss her new book, Sacred Endurance: Finding Grace and Strength for a Lasting Faith. During the interview, Trillia shares her story of coming to Christ as an adult. She also takes on the "fake it 'till you make it" mentality, warns against the toxic effects of the prosperity gospel, and explains how the Scriptures invite us to engage God in the midst of our suffering. Encouraging listeners with gospel-centered reminders, Trillia also helps us to understand how to keep our hearts from growing cynical in the midst of tumultuous political/cultural climates.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Sam Crabtree. They discuss his newest book, "Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children" to discover how the gospel of Jesus Christ helps parents pursue consistent, faithful discipline that mirrors the grace-giving, truth-speaking God of the Bible. Sam explains what corrective discipline looks like from a biblical perspective, outlines why establishing an atmosphere of affirmation and correction is important in a Christian home, and highlights the difference between destructive fear and healthy regard for parental authority. He also addresses the issue of corporal punishment, lays out three core imperatives for wise correction, and speaks powerful words of encouragement to parents who are struggling to implement consistent disciplinary standards for the children in their care.
Psalm 126 is a song of hope for those held captive by present sorrows and dire affliction. It encourages those who walk with weighted steps to wait expectantly for their God. There is a special promise for those who shed tears in desperate places—the sorrow will not endure forever. God will restore us once more, and our joy will be made all the greater for having endured the tribulation by faith. When rock bottom feels like the end of us, we can trust that Christ will hold us fast—for “with him is plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:7).
While this poem is for my dearest nephew, Timothy Sawyer, born 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 inches long, it is also for family members who have walked alongside a grieving parent—who have shed tears for a baby they never cradled in their arms. May the love for that child never be deferred, lost, or forgotten, but cherished and proudly worn as a reminder of the joyous reunion that awaits upon the horizon. May we grieve, may we hope, and may we look forward to the day when sad things come untrue.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews counselor, speaker, and author Joy Forrest. They discuss Joy's book, Called to Peace: A Survivor's Guide to Finding Healing and Peace After Domestic Abuse to discover how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers the resources necessary to turn victims into victors. During the conversation, Joy shares her own testimony of overcoming abuse, shedding light on the twisted thinking process that kept her in harm's way for more than two decades. She also explains why victims cannot change the behaviors of their abuser, how she overcame the guilt that resulted from watching her marriage fail, and the importance of rooting our identity in Christ when walking through domestic violence recovery.
It’s imperative to remember that there are specific wellsprings of consolation and healing that God has set in place for his people which cannot be received apart from discipleship. If we continue to promote the segregation of care for despondent persons in the church, we restrict access to the promised sustaining and transforming graces God specifically supplies in the midst of their pain and suffering (1 Peter 5:10, Psalm 119:50).
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and social media influencer Chelsea Hurst. They discuss Chelsea's brand new book, Above All Else to explore the common challenges facing young Christian women today. Chelsea highlights the various performance pressures that "20-somethings" grapple with, and explains how the temptation to conform to worldly standards leads followers of Christ into self-inflicted pain and disappointment. She also recounts a monumental story of forgiveness after murder, warns listeners about the danger of using God's grace as a cop-out for intentionally sinful lifestyle choices, and encourages young women to pursue spiritual growth and maturity in the context of authentic Christian community.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor and author Paul Tautges. They discuss Paul's brand new book, Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace to explore how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers meaningful resources for the fight against crippling worries and fears. Paul addresses the spiritual and physical components of our anxiety, explains how it can help us reorient our hearts toward God, and offers listeners biblically-based comforts and wisdom for fighting anxiety on the spiritual battlefield. He also suggest passages of Scripture which help us to engage our anxiety, gently inviting listeners into a deeper understanding of and reliance upon God's peace.
Depression is not something new. God’s people have grappled by faith with deep pain and darkness for generations. Yet, we have become so used to seeing despondency through world-colored glasses, that we are tempted to neglect one of the most helpful resources available to sufferers: Spirit-led, one-another care. Discipleship is not some optional flabby excess in the realm of treatment options. For the follower of Jesus, discipleship is a critical lifeline of sustaining grace meant to facilitate conformity to Christ for the glory of God and the perseverance of his saints.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Megan Hill to talk about her devotional, Contentment: Seeing God's Goodness. During the conversation, Megan explains what biblical contentment looks like, the differences between "righteous" and "unrighteous" discontent, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ invites believers to put off bitterness and grumbling when they aren't getting what they want out of life. She also illumines the detrimental effects pride has on our ability to find contentment in Christ, and gives practical helps for stepping away from self-sufficiency mindsets.
Drinking to drown our sorrows, contrary to the chart-topping songs, is a dangerous—potentially deadly—way to respond to seasons of excessive sadness. Alcohol won’t lay its life down for us, but it can demand we lay down our life for it.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor Erick Cobb about the Christian's experience of seemingly causeless depression. Erick shares about his personal encounters with despondency, describing some of its mysterious components, and how the Scriptures normalize our seasons of dread and darkness. He also talks about the redemptive benefits that can result from walking through depression, highlights the importance of biblical metaphor in comforting the despondent Christian, and suggests practical physical and spiritual sustaining graces for enduring the dark.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Sam Allberry. They’re talking about his book, 7 Myths About Singleness, in order to help Christians—married and unmarried alike—value singleness as a gift from God. Sam explains frequently misunderstood aspects of singleness, why celibacy and intimacy are not mutually exclusive, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ helps singles take hold of the unique opportunities their singleness affords. He also encourages singles in the various ways they can contribute to the creation mandate without having kids themselves, highlights ways marrieds and singles can strive to better support one another in friendship, and exposes some of the tender feelings singles experience when they feel like they're missing out in life and love.
It’s true, the experience of depression is exhausting—both physically and spiritually. We find ourselves desperately feeling around for a light switch that we may finally land our fingers on a toggle. But alas, there are no quick remedies for instantly illuminating our gloom—no switch to flip, no immediate assuage of our pain. Yet, while depression is a season where our capabilities may be diminished, there are small sustaining graces to partake of which can carry us along while we wait.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Kathryn Butler. They discuss Kathryn's book, Between Life and Death: A Gospel-Centered Guide to End-of-Life Medical Care to help Christians become better equipped to handle medical decisions for incapacitated loved ones. They take an honest look at how common critical care procedures affect the body, discuss what it feels like to wake up as a patient in the ICU, unpack common misconceptions about what it means to protect the sanctity of life, and share how the gospel of Jesus Christ gives family members wisdom in the midst of overwhelming medical situations. Kathryn also talks about biblical perspectives on physical health, comforts to cling to when death is imminent, and offers words of support and encouragement for those presently tasked with making medical decisions for a loved one.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/biblical counselor Alasdair Groves. They talk about his book, "Untangling Emotions," to learn more about a biblical approach to addressing our overwhelming feelings, to discover how negative emotions can actually serve redemptive purposes, and finally, to understand how the gospel of Jesus Christ frees believers to engage our emotions in fruitful ways. Alasdair also offers insights into unhelpful views on the importance of our emotions, helps listeners to understand a biblical view of the mind-body connection, and gives words of encouragement to those who feel frequently overcome by their emotional state.
Grief can often feel like a bully. It’s not uncommon for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to be overtaken by waves of sorrow when they least expect it. Sometimes it’s a simple sight or smell that brings us to our knees; we’ll find ourselves head-in-hand, weeping as if the loss […]
Our faithful pursuit of taking pleasure in Jesus is the best witness we can offer our family. By taking the time to share how God is working in our lives, we attract our children to the larger story of God’s redemption. If Jesus is the Gift that keeps on giving, what better way to share the treasure than by inviting our children to come and see for themselves?
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Cameron Cole about living through your worst nightmare and his book, "Therefore I Have Hope: 12 Truths that Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy." Cameron shares about the sudden death of his 3-year-old son, some of the raw emotions and thoughts that arise when facing unexpected bereavement, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ comforts and sustains in times of excruciating grief. He also addresses the harmful mentalities Christians can mistakenly adopt during the grieving process and encourages mourners to cling to God's provisional grace to make it through impossible days.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Jessica Thompson on the topic of her new book, How to Help Your Anxious Teen. During the conversation, Jessica unpacks some of the commonly overlooked factors that can contribute to our teen's anxiety, the harmful ways parents sometimes approach helping their child, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers teens and parents alike the assurance and hope needed to walk through anxiety recovery. She also explains the dangerous effects of "helicopter parenting," why today's culture has a disdain for normalcy, and the importance of fostering an environment of grace and age-appropriate transparency in our homes.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Sara Wallace on the topic anxiety in motherhood and her new book, Created to Care: God's Truth for Anxious Moms. Sara discusses God’s good design for our “mother bear” instincts, the heart struggles that take place when fear dominates our parenting, how to approach concerns over our children’s salvation, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers anxious moms the necessary resources to learn how to trust God with their children’s lives. She also highlights some of the ways moms can fall into guilt-ridden performance traps and control idolatry, offering anxious mothers words of encouragement and comfort for the weary—but priceless—privilege of raising children.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Glenna Marshall on the topic of infertility, suffering, and her new book, The Promise is His Presence: Why God is Always Enough. During the conversation, Glenna shares about her personal experiences with infertility, church hurt, and chronic illness, unpacking the devastating heartbreak of deferred hope and the dangers of basing our beliefs about God's goodness on whether or not he will give us "good" things. Glenna shares how her struggle with infertility negatively impacted church fellowship and personal friendships, gives suggestions on how to respond to seasons of spiritual dryness, and soothes sufferers with words of comfort for when the grief of barrenness feels all-consuming.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker/writer Marissa Henley on the topic of living with cancer, exposing some of the raw emotions that go along with facing a life-threatening illness, the honest fears about death that believers with cancer wrestle with, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ strengthens sufferers to face an unknown future with courage and hope. Marissa shares about her own battle with a rare form of cancer, describes what it's like to sit in the "chemo chair," and gives concerned friends and family members practical tips on how to best support their suffering loved one during a season of uncertainty and medical overwhelm.
How we respond to disappointment reveals what we really trust and treasure. But there is a path forward for the dejected heart, and it involves trusting the protection and the promise of God’s providence.
Serve food for the sheep while growing the fold—these are not mutually exclusive tasks. The Good Shepherd wastes not an opportunity to carry one of His wanderers to safety. Let the church be a place where saints are built up in quality and converts are built up in quantity, for such is the work of kingdom people.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker/biblical counselor Camille Cates on the topic of post-abortion trauma, unpacking some of the difficult emotional and spiritual battles that manifest in abortion’s wake, and sharing how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers real hope and help for those who seek to heal. During our conversation, Camille shares her personal testimony of horrifying tragedy and loss, recounting the path that lead her to choose to abort her unborn baby. We talk about the lie of "self-forgiveness," why coping mechanisms ultimately fall short in alleviating the grief and guilt of post-abortion trauma, and the various impacts friends, family, and church community members can have in the healing process. Camille also addresses the frequently asked question, "Will I see my aborted baby in Heaven?" and suggests practical ways to lean into God's Word for meaningful healing and spiritual peace through forgiveness in Christ.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/pastor Mark Vroegop on the topic of his new book, "Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy", learning how the God-given language of lament offers the broken-hearted hope and help for life’s sorrowful seasons. During the conversation, Pastor Mark shares his family's personal story of tragic loss, and how lament provided them—and ultimately, his church community—an outlet for their pains to be voiced while placing their trust in God. We talk about the key components of lament, heart-attitude cautions (what lament isn't), and why today's culture has such a hard time walking alongside broken-hearted people. Pastor Mark also offers practical steps for traveling by faith through grief and sorrow, as well as encouragements on how to cling to biblical hope, even when we've lost all sense of it.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Lindsey Carlson on the topic of growing in godliness as a teenage girl. Lindsey shares why she was compelled to write her new book, Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl's Guide to Maturing in Christ and unpacks what the path of spiritual maturity looks like for a young Christian. She talks about the struggles today's teens have with finding purpose and identity, as well as the challenges that arise when it comes to managing moodiness, struggling with sin, and finding motivation for attending worship services. Lindsey also helps listeners understand why learning to trust God's plan for their lives is a difficult, but necessary part of growing up in Christ. This conversation is geared toward the teen girl, so if you know a Christian young woman in your life, invite her to take a listen!
Depression demands to be heard—to have a voice. Ed Welch writes, “There are times when depression is saying something and we must listen.” If we don’t take notice of the dirges despondency sings, we fail to capitalize on an important catalyst for spiritual growth.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/teacher Terry Powell on the subject of handling depression in ministry. Terry shares pieces of his life-long battle against depression with vulnerable humility, giving us a picture of God's sustaining grace for those involved in leadership positions. He offers thoughts about combatting negative self-talk, and answers the question, "Is depression a hinderance or a help to fruitful ministry?" The episode also explores the issue of suicide in pastoral ministry, and whether or not the concept of victorious Christian living can be reconciled with the believer's experience of depression.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Laura Fleetwood on the topic of panic and anxiety recovery. Laura shares details about her personal struggle with anxiety, what recovery has looked like for her, as well as the various ways God has ministered to her as she has battled on-and-off seasons of disruptive anxiety in her life. She also explains how panic and anxiety manifests itself in her physical body, and gives listeners a practical acronym designed to help us turn more quickly to Christ and his body when panic strikes.
Where are the afflicted ones who will take the risk and let their brothers and sisters know they are not alone in their struggles—that they too have walked a forlorn road? The church needs the afflicted to care for the afflicted so the comforts of God can be fully dispensed. When the afflicted are shamed or silenced or shunned, Christianity suffers and God’s name is profaned.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author Christina Fox on the topic of weariness in motherhood and her new book with P&R Publishing, Sufficient Hope: Gospel Meditations and Prayers for Moms. Christina shares about her reluctant struggle with postpartum depression, the importance of having proper expectations in motherhood, and how to turn from helplessness to hope in Christ. She also addresses common heart issues that moms of all ages wrestle with, such as control idolatry, discontentment, and general discouragement with the motherhood experience.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor/author Dave Dunham on the topic of self-harm. Dave shares how he got started working in addiction ministry, why helping an injurer requires attention to both the body and soul, reasons it's important to uncover the struggler's motivations for injuring, the necessity of having a robust theology of sin in order to treat strugglers with compassion and grace, the helpfulness of practicing repentance, and words of encouragement for the person who feels enslaved to their addictive habit.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell and Reverend Chris Moles unpack the heart of domestic abuse. Chris shares why he believes there has been some push-back from the Christian community about pursuing violent men with the hope of the gospel, the problem with treating domestic abuse as an anger issue, reasons why focusing on abuse as spiritual rebellion is so important, realistic ways of measuring intervention "success," and words of admonishment (as well as hope) for the man who senses he is abusing his power and wonders what true change will require. He also shares a variety of reliable resources that the audience can explore to further educate themselves on the issue of domestic violence, or find guidance for next steps if they are in a abusive relationship.