depression and pain

s a d l y    i n v i s i b l e

   Depression is quite often a form of invisible pain. Others cannot easily see, feel, understand, or believe it. It is a deeply unique, personal form of pain that attacks the spirit and emotions.

   Invisible pain (spirit) is just as horribly debilitating as visible pain (body). Few healthy people are aware of this. Kind gentle folk who would never dream of demanding that a crippled person perform normal tasks will not hesitate to impatiently “admonish” a depressed person “for their own good.” Why are you so lazy? They are unwisely ignorant of how such cruelly destructive words and attitudes might harmfully push someone toward giving up on the inside (even though that person may have already courageously tried to keep going–for a very long time).

   Pain by its very nature cripples and incapacitates a person. Continuous pain is utterly exhausting; constant pain means you will be constantly tired. Severe pain means you will be barely able to move or even think straight. It is IMPOSSIBLE for someone in chronic or excruciating pain to live and function as a normal human being.

   Living with depression means that you must learn to accept your truly diminished capacities, while strengthening your inner determination to faithfully do those remaining things that you are still able to do! Make sure that those things concern Christian basics, and you will do as well in God’s eyes as the poor temple widow of Mark 12.

   Fight your natural responses, which always involve giving up and engaging in destructive behavior.

   Learn to be content with lesser abilities, slower progress, and a harder life. Focus on what you can do, not what healthy people can do. Try to be as honest as possible with yourself and others about what you can or can’t do.

   solid gospel fact = firm determination

   The chief practical requirement of Christianity, attacking your personal sins, is very hard. Your evil nature will never “want” to do godly things. Force yourself to behave because of the gospel. Paul calls this faith (Romans 1). James calls this actions (James 2). Jesus simply calls it repentance (Matthew 4).


   True knowledge of God and correct methods of proof do not come from “Gentile” nations. Proper proof of the gospel comes to us only God’s way: through the courageously obedient testimony of chosen witnesses from one chosen nation. This testimony is now called “the New Testament.” Read this small book regularly to see if God ever changes His mind about all that gospel stuff ! Since this will never happen, you’d better get used to the fact that giving up is not an option for mature Christians.

   Loss (or lack) of strength is not the same as giving up. Not even the Son of God could carry His own cross, yet He remained firmly determined to carry out His Father’s will anyway (refusing to summon angels and depart: “Behold, I lay down My life of My own free will; no one can take it from Me”). The decision to keep going or give up is something we each make on the inside, deep in our own hearts. Circumstances don’t decide to quit or fight on, we do.

   You must always at least try, even when facing the impossible. God cares little about results or success; the real reason He allows hardships and trials is to test and build CHARACTER (steady faith). God is deadly serious about character! No character, no Heaven (Matthew 22). True character always keeps planning and struggling, growing slowly stronger like a muscle.

   The problems which cause your pain cannot always be solved, especially without God’s permission; focusing on them is often a colossal waste of time. And other people will only be overwhelmed by them, or else consider them ridiculous. Focus humbly instead on slow, healthy, Christian work and play.



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