Christians And Depression: How To Keep Faith During Hard Times

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated June 27, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

Christian depression, like depression for anyone else, can be a mental health struggle that might begin or worsen during challenging times in someone’s life. Although life contains ups and downs, learning how to keep the faith and remember God’s love is a skill that can help you to push through the most challenging parts of life’s challenges. Research has shown that faith and hope outside of ourselves can be a supportive factor in wellness and can help a depressed Christian. This doesn’t mean that a Christian’s life will be more comfortable than the life of a non-Christian or that a Christian won’t face mental health challenges and possibly need professional help. It indicates that as someone of faith fights to keep their faith in God intact that they might also seek the help of a licensed professional counselor as a resource to help treat depression and better manage their feelings and overcome their pain. 

How does one keep a hold of their faith and God’s promises during hard times when you experience depression? Below are some things that may be supportive of your faith in Jesus Christ and helpful in keeping it available to you as a resource while you tackle life’s challenges like clinical depression or other mental illness.

Bible Studies: Spend Time In The Word To Improve Mental Health

A lot of Christians spend time every day in their Bible. Whether it’s for a few minutes or a few hours, time spent reading the Bible is one way to keep your faith. It’s not magic, however. You can’t merely crack open the Bible and expect all your problems to be suddenly answered or your mental illness go away. When you take the time to do Bible studies, your mind’s thoughts are placed elsewhere: on the teachings within the Bible, on the inspirational stories about Jesus and King David, and all the uplifting guidance that it contains.

Consider how depression might make it as though you worship your mind. You might spend every second of the day in your head, putting weight to thoughts that might not be true, putting yourself down, and feeling shame about it. Although this is entirely normal, it isn’t always the best place to get your facts. Rather than putting hope and faith in what your mind is telling you, turn to your Bible readings and discover what things there may be helpful in your present situation. You might even seek out a Christian counselor or other Jesus Christ followers who have overcome mental illnesses to work through studies and apply them to your situation and world.

Whether you do a Bible study with a group, alone, or in a counseling session, the most important component is that you are spending time in His truth and applying the word of God to your life. Allowing that truth to take over your emotions and thoughts, filling your mind is essential to maintaining your hope and faith in God and overcoming your mental illness. It can also provide you with a sense of spiritual growth and trust in the Lord that carries you through any challenges that you and your family may be facing. Don’t let mental health issues and depression take that power away from you! Keeping your faith in God is possible in times of trouble.

Keeping Faith When You’ve Lost Interest As A Result of Mental Illness

People suffering a mental illness like depression or another lifelong struggle can cause individuals to lose interest in the things they once loved, such as time with family members, the desire for heaven, and their belief in God. You may have enjoyed spending time reading the Bible with your family members. Then you started dealing with depression and anxiety. Now, however, this mental struggle with depression might have made it so that you don’t feel like you can crack open your Bible or pray. Perhaps it has made you too tired to even try, or it’s difficult to concentrate – this is a common side effect with mental health issues. Or you have started feeling isolated from your family members and other Christians. When depression affects you and your mental health like this, keeping faith in God and maintaining hope requires just a little effort and possibly some support from others.

Although reading and studying require effort, several activities are far more straightforward that will keep you connected to Jesus Christ and can simultaneously improve your mental health. Attempting one or more methods may help you to hold on to your faith in God and make it feel as though your psychological problems are not too big to handle.

Music To Help Mental Health

When reading is too hard or carrying on a conversation with God feels impossible, music makes things a bit simpler. For many experiencing mental illness or feeling depressed, listening to a contemporary Christian music station gives them that bit of necessary light. Others turn to Southern Gospel tracks to reconnect with God. Even if the actual words are too much to handle, if you listen to an instrumental version of your favorite Christian song, it can remind you of your faith in the Lord and the feelings of love, inspiration, and inclusion you experience from it in this world. Some songs might even lead you down a path of spiritual growth, improved mental health, a sense of self-love, and a renewal of your soul.

Christian Podcast As A Mental Illness Guide

In the technology era that we live in, podcasts are a dime a dozen, and some of them are award-winning for their insightful help. Although you may not have the energy to get up on Sunday morning and attend a church service, there is a wide variety of Christian podcasts to choose from. For many Christians, merely listening to the words of a fellow believer can help to ease your state of depression and may even feel as though there is something to hold on to that renews your hope and eases your challenge.

Prayer As A Mental Health Cleanse

Depression and mental health, in general, is all about what’s going on in our heads. While it is always a good idea to seek out help from a licensed professional counselor when your depressed mental health gets to a low point, talking to God is a great way to deal with what’s on your mind and overcome the troubles of this world. It helps to speak to someone, and while God doesn’t necessarily talk back to you in words, praying allows your mind to untangle itself. If you are unable to communicate what’s on your mind with a professional, remembering to pray and share with God reinforces that you are not alone in this world.

Mental Illness Help: Journaling Or Drawing Feelings

If you have the energy, it can be great to journal your prayers or unconfessed sin. When it comes to mental health, it can be a great reminder to see how far you’ve come and how God has acted in your life. By journaling what you are going through and how you’ve talked to Him about it, you can go back and see how things improved from what they once were. This activity is a great way to see the path of your spiritual growth and how your mental health may have improved with it.

Writing can also be cathartic and is an excellent way to learn about what you’re feeling and get over thinking that it’s wrong to have hope. In fact, the American Psychological Association even promotes doodling as a form of emotional release. Drawing your emotions can be effective for both children and adults, so choosing this outlet is excellent for all family members.

Finding A Bridge Between Faith And Mental Health

Ultimately, finding Christian counselors, a family member, or a method that can help you with feeling depressed can bridge the low point and renew your faith and hope, letting you come out stronger in your belief in God. Your faith in God’s love and Jesus can have so many connections, as many individuals have communicated how their belief system keeps them afloat. When times are hard for a depressed person, focusing on your faith in Christ will help to keep you strong.

Helping Faith And Mental Illness Meet

The connection between the two should always help, not harm. A Christian therapist is someone trained in this, as they are eager to help in a faith-based manner. They can also help you rule out a physical illness or other medical conditions as a factor in what you’re going through. They might address your feelings or weak faith with the reminder that you are loved by God in a way that helps your mind accept this truth. Mental illness has a way of making people believe things that are not true. When you have a method to remain rooted in Christ that focuses on helping you to get better and stop feeling depressed, you will likely find that depression can be beaten, your mental health can be good, and you faith in God can be renewed.

Find A Mental Health Professional Or Friend That Listens Well

Another imperative quality is that he or she listens. While therapists and counselors do this, friends, family members, and fellow church members might also be people to turn to with your emotions. Although you might be hesitant to use a Christian counselor to communicate your deepest thoughts, it is essential to remember that they are there for your mental health first and foremost. They are not there to judge you, to say you are a bad Christian for feeling this way, or point out your most significant flaws. A good counselor will listen first and foremost and completely understand your life struggle.

Mental Health And Strong Faith Ties

Seeking someone or something that is intentionally faith-centered can also be important in improving your mental health and supporting your faith in God. Although any counselor might help you with your mental health, and all counselors are trained and ethically responsible for being supportive of your beliefs, you may feel more comfortable speaking with a counselor who you know is a Christian and shares your specific beliefs.

Aiming To Improve Mental Health And Keep The Faith

By aspiring to find these qualities in a mental health professional or a method in which you hold on to your faith and trust God, you may find that spiritual growth is occurring amid your depression and anxiety. For a person who is a Christian, depression can be easier to overcome with God’s care. The realization of spiritual growth in hard times is a great way to pull through those times. It can be a great way to improve your mental health if you remain rooted in His love.

You may think it’s easier said than done to improve your mental health with faith in God. Perhaps your own mental condition prevents you from making attempts at Bible readings, studies, or prayer. If that’s the case, starting with one of the easier methods might help you to get stronger. With that, you can add another component to your growing faith and perhaps feel your mental health grow stronger as well. Mental illness is a challenge that many must face; maintaining a hold on your Christian faith will serve to make that challenge a bit more guided. Another option is to seek professional help from an online therapist who also shares your love of Jesus and who can work with you and pray with you.

 

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