Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."



1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)

"Believers and Depression" By Shane C. Montgomery

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
 For twenty years after my ETS (Army Slang for separation)  my service to our country was mostly a distant memory, except for some side effects, such as  ever increasing nightmares, anxiety, things were  mostly okay, but once I hit my early forties things started to fall apart quickly, and one right after another.  I found out that if you let things go and neglect having certain issues addressed, then they will one day grow out of control, and that is where I found myself, some not so serious injuries in the service, ignored for a couple of decades, bloomed into some serious health problems, and a few incidents of severe stress left untreated and more or less, denied, lead to its own set of problems.  Once I began to realize these things were not going to go away on their own, and I had better see someone about them, it was almost too late, my injuries left untreated mostly now cause daily pain, and the stress, let me tell you about stress, never, ever take it lightly!  Stress is a killer with a capitol "K" my friends.  Left untreated, ignored, denied and pushed to the back of your mind will lead to serious problems over time, no matter what anyone tells you, on-going stress will eventually take its toll on you.

  In life, things have a way of weighing on you, bringing you down, making you feel low and miserable, and stress, if left unchecked it will build up, it will accumulate and it will most certainly catch up to you eventually and then you will have no recourse but to deal with it.   I am not telling you anything you don't already know, I understand, and many people will tell you that as a Christian, you should never be depressed or down, they say if you do get down like that, then you are not truly a believer because you are not having enough faith and therefore you lack the proper joy in Christ.  Maybe they are right, but I know my love for God is not nearly enough, my faith yet lacks proper strength, but I will not doubt my salvation, my adoption as one of God's children is sure.  This I have no doubt.  When you belong to Christ, when He has found you and justified you, when you experience God's loving free grace and you can now see the gift of repentance in your life, well then, you can see the evidence of a justified person in the process of sanctification, being made ready for Holy Heaven where Holy God dwells.

  So, what is the deal then?  Can Christians get depressed?  Or is it a sign of a lost soul?  Well, this much is sure, it is a sign of a sinner, this I do not deny, for I still struggle in sin, maybe not as much as before, but in sins of commission and sins of omission, I am still not perfect.  And never will be, that's why I needed a Savior then, and why I still need a Savior today, but now more as a Mediator between me and God.  How wonderful our Lord Christ is!   Our Prophet, Priest and King!   Even one who belongs to Christ can find themselves suffering from depression,  look at Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther and John Calvin, all spent ample time suffering great depression.  Would anyone deny that Christ reigned in these men?  Not that I am anywhere the man of God these men were, but they are evidence that godly men do get down at times.  Maybe more so than non-believers.  You see, we spend a lot of time in meditation and in contemplation.  Maybe not enough time in prayer, this I admit is something I lack in obedience, I should spend more time in prayer, no excuse for that either.   I will admit that being down drives me to prayer, but often times I am opposite of other people in that way, it is easier for me to go to God in prayer when I am happy and I go to Him in thanks, when I am down, that is when I struggle, I should be in prayer more then, but I have a harder time asking for help than I do in giving thanks.   Even thanking Him for my suffering, as long as it grows me as a child of His and glorifies His Name.    It is easy to tell someone else to rejoice in suffering for that is when God is growing you, but it is another thing to practice it yourself.  Just being honest here, once depression sits in, you begin to question if God will ever lift the fog you are in now.  You wonder why the refining has to take so long anyway and if you could just have some indication of how much longer, then it would be so much easier to understand and undertake, but when you begin to loose interest in things you once loved, not sin, but healthy things, then you start to ask hard questions, and I think that is normal.   Show me one Christian who doesn't from time to time cry out for his or her thorn to be removed?

   We are followers of Christ, we are New Creatures, but at the end of the day, we are still humans, and humans have problems, humans make mistakes, humans get sick and humans get down from time to time, but if the Bible tells us that anxiety is a sin and you suffer from anxiety, what do you do?   Well, you could do like I did and deny it, cover it up because if you admit it to be a problem then you might have to address the fact that you might not be the believer you thought you were after all.  Anxiety is a sin.  But so is anger,so is thinking angry things, so is getting upset for prideful reasons.  So is not loving God enough.  It is a sin to not love your neighbor enough, do you always put your neighbors welfare before your own?   Of course you do, you still sin, just as I still sin.  Let me make one thing clear real quick, I hate sin!   The thought of sin makes my stomach upset.  Sin disgust me, yet I still sin.  What I am trying to say is, anxiety is a sin, but it is no more a sin then gossiping, or telling little white lies so as not to hurt someones feelings.   So why beat yourself up over it, after all, maybe that is why we get so down on ourselves to begin with, we don't understand why we cannot be sinless, so we start to get frustrated and we start to think too much.

   I never want to be one of those guys who lays every single bad thing off on Satan, for one thing, I do not believe he has half the power we think he does, (read Job) we know he cannot do much without consent from God, so much of what happens to us, is not from Satan, but from God and what we look at as a tragedy is God's way of purifying us, making us fit, or "meet" to use the KJV, for the Masters service.   This being said, I do not doubt that Satan attacks believers in hopes of crushing their faith in Christ, but I also believe I do not always know how to tell if Satan is attacking me or if God is protecting me!  Where does depression fit in in all of this?  I am not sure, maybe you know, and if you do, please email me!  LOL  But one thing I am sure of, and that is that it can't be forever!  It can't be!   Never has God let me suffer more than I could handle, never has God let me give up completely.  Never has God let me slip away all the way without picking me back up when I needed it the most.  I wish I had some words of wisdom to help those of you who may be suffering depression, I really wish I did.  The ugly truth though is that this is one of those things that has no easy answers, no quick fixes, no shortcuts.   For now all I can say is, hang in there.  Stay obedient to God, have faith in Christ and pray.   Have faith that He will work everything out for us in the end.   In the mean time, try to find a friendly person someone who will listen to what you have to say, just talking to someone, anyone, unless they are a jerk, does help, the problem is finding someone who will just simply listen.

Live Holy!
Shane C. Montgomery


Post a Comment