Depression is a black pit for the sufferers and no fun for the carers. But on this side of Jesus’ return, it will continue to be a feature of church life. This MiniZine is designed to help churches and Bible study groups talk about the issues involved with facing depression and anxiety as Christians, and reflect on them from the perspective of God’s gospel.
These articles will encourage all involved to keep looking to God and acting with grace and wisdom in the face of discouragement and despair.
Depression, anxiety, the black dog, dysthymia, the blues, despair … it’s not a particularly happy list, but your response to it says something about you. As a friend of mine says, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who immediately ‘get it’, and those who wish the melancholics in the corner would get a life.
As much as some of us would like to take a magic pill that would make it all go away, while others wonder what all the fuss is about, the sad fact is that depression and anxiety are a big part of life for God’s people living in God’s family.
That’s why we’ve produced this MiniZine on the topic of depression. As with the other MiniZines in the series, our aim is start a discussion that gets you thinking biblically with others in your church about how to tackle an important issue together. In God’s grace, this is an area of life where being part of God’s family can make a real difference.
‘Trusting in the dark’ is about what the gospel says particularly to those who struggle with depression and anxiety, but the truths apply to us all. Mark Baddeley’s article contains wisdom about how to encourage those who struggle with depression, written by someone who has been through the experience on both sides of the fence. And finally, Jean Williams encourages us to find the biblical wisdom of another age by introducing us to Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s Spiritual Depression.
We want to stress that this MiniZine isn’t the sole solution to the problem, nor is it a diagnostic manual. Our aim is to get onto the table a topic that is so often hidden away, so that those who suffer can voice some of what they experience, and so that those who don’t can learn a little about how to love their brothers and sisters who do.
— Paul Grimmond
It's not a booklet, or a leaflet, or a tract. It's not a full-sized magazine either. It's somewhere in the middle: a short collection of articles, in an economical, easy-to-read format, with a discussion guide included.
The aim is simple: to provide high-quality Bible-based input to help Christians encourage each other.
MiniZines are ideal for giving away, for starting personal conversations, and for small group discussion.