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 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.
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/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.
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/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 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.
It's by design we raise our ebenezer on the battlefields of life (1 Samuel 7:10). Maybe for you, that place is a hospital bed. Maybe it's a courtroom. Maybe it's a jail cell. Maybe it's a clinic. Maybe it's a cemetery. Believe there is no place too taboo for our Jesus, no building or circumstance can keep him away from consoling your hurt and wiping your tears. Uncomfortable places of despair may separate us from the outside world for a time, but they cannot separate us from his steadfast love (Romans 8:35-39).
Sometimes disappointment comes in the form of forced humility—the moment when we must admit we cannot fix our problems or ourselves in our own strength. Sometimes we compound our sorrows by not recognizing the season we are in, and the error only serves to make things worse.
When someone is struggling or suffering, they can sometimes be hesitant to reach out for help. But what does the Bible have to say about our neediness? Is it a character flaw or sin? This article explores some of the ways we view neediness as annoying or inconvenient, and how God's design for his people and community go against the grain of trending cultural norms.