You can pull news stories straight from the headlines of each day’s newspaper, indicating reasons for Christians to be depressed. The stories are often filled with corruption, or extenuating circumstances causing pain and strife. As a society we love to see moral people, people of faith, fall from grace. As the old saying goes, “misery loves company”. It’s not enough for people to wallow in their own self-pity and day to day drudgery. They like to know that people of faith aren’t any better. Reason number one why Christians should be depressed: everyone is waiting for you to fail.
Christians are often questioned by atheist, agnostics, and followers of other religions about the alarming state of the world today. In fact, there’s a large non-Christian organization that starts every prosthelytizing conversation with the question, “Do you know why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world today?” It’s difficult for a Christian to answer that question with anything other than, “Because we live in a fallen world.” What kind of answer is that? Is that supposed to explain away the genocide, wars, and slavery that are so prevalent throughout our world? Reason number two why Christians should be depressed: the world is “fallen”.
There are a host of other issues that go along with our third reason, but I will attempt to describe my point in a few sentences. Many people who profess to be atheist, or agnostic, in reality have taken up those points of view as a direct result of the actions of a Christian. The people who seem to fight the hardest against the Christian world-view were set on their current course by Christians. Reason number three why Christians should be depressed: the Christian church is full of sinners.
If that were the end of the story, I imagine that Christianity would’ve died out many years ago. Now, let’s take a look at the modified title of this article, “Why Christian’s Should Be Depressed, But They Aren’t”. Christians today are living in a society that is not Christian-friendly, however, they have hope. Why, would Christians have hope given the three previously-stated reasons for depression listed above. Let’s re-examine those reasons and see if we can find any hope.
The first reason we give for Christians to be depressed is “because everyone is waiting for you to fail”. Where is the hope in that statement? There is none, and time and time again Christians use that very logic to justify their lack of faith in various callings on their lives. I submit, the hope that should be found in this statement is listed in the sacred text used by Christians, the Bible:
“But he said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor 12:9, NIV).
“God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27, NIV).
Do we see a theme here? It appears that God is also waiting for Christians to fail so that He can show his power through their failure. Peter lost faith when Jesus called him to walk on the raging waters. However, until that point, Peter walked on water! Peter is also the only disciple to experience physical salvation as well as spiritual salvation directly from Jesus Christ. This is the hope that lies in the first reason: God’s power shines brightest through your failure.
The second reason for Christians to be depressed is “the world is ‘fallen'”. Every day there are reminders as to just how much pain and sadness there is in the world. Where is the hope in the statement, “We live in a fallen world”? There is no hope in that statement, however, we can look to the Bible again for an explanation of Christian hope:
“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”(Gen 9:13-15, NIV)
“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations!”(Is 14:12)
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and who knows God listens to us” (1 John 4:4-5,6a, NIV)
Do we live in a “fallen” world? Yes. Why? The enemy of God and embodiment of evil, Satan, was given the earth as his home. Many people like to think of the devil as a spirit currently ruling over hell, however, in the book of Revelations it states that he won’t be cast into the “Lake of Fire” (Yes, Nirvana was quoting scripture) until Christ returns to judge the world. That means he’s still free at this time to roam the face of the earth. How is that hope? As we read in the passage above, if you are a Christian you are not subject to “the one who is in the world”. So the hope for the second point is: the world is “fallen”, but Christians are not subject to it.
The last reason for Christians to be depressed was “the Christian church is full of sinners”. There has never been a more truthful statement. I can save you a ton of guesswork with the following statement: everyone you meet who claims to be a Christian, is a sinner. So where is the hope in this third statement? Let’s look to the scriptures one more time:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23, NIV)
“But God demonstrated his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”(Rom 5:8-9, NIV)
So, to be clear, everyone is a sinner, according to the Bible. However, the hope that lies in this statement is: God doesn’t care if we’re sinners, He loves us anyway. Now does this mean that we can go on doing the same old things or not doing what he tells us to do? Webster’s defines a Christian as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ”. If a Christian fits that definition, then even though he/she might make mistakes, he/she has changed the way they think and act.
In summary, yes, there are many reasons that Christians should be depressed. However, there is a single reason that fulfills the second half of this title, and that reason is Jesus Christ. If you’d like to know more about how to be Christian, or what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, leave a comment here and I will answer as many as possible.