Are Christians ever supposed to get depressed or sad; or should they always be optimistic?
Good things happen to 'bad' people and 'bad' things happen to' good'individuals. Someone told me that they are behind in their rent and their door can be kicked in any day.Her husband, a photographer plans to pawn his camera to pay the rent. A check was delayed.She asked me for help but I am one month behind in rent and have $5 to last two weeks.She seemed disappointed and sad to the point of depression.I told her that I am trying to sell my camera too.I tried to encourage her but both of us are ready to cross a thin line. Normally I am optimistic but...
There is no shoulding to this question. We are who we are as humans .. to deny that is to live a very shallow and frustrating life. We all have to deal with our stuff and with our life. Life can be depressing for everyone. As a believer I turn to God or a trusted friend in the midst of depression, anxiety or whatever ... and He and my friend walks beside, encourage me with their words as I work through my stuff.... No shame in wading through the effects of Hard Times...
Of course Christians are going to get depressed or sad at times; after all, they are human.
Also, of course, Christians should always be optimistic because they have the hope of Jesus Christ.
The bible tells us that God doesn't like us to worry and to lift up our worries to Him. That doesn't mean that we won't be sad or depressed sometimes, it just means that God's got our back and we needn't worry. Max Lucado just wrote a book about worry among Christians, titled Fearless.
Being unhappy certainly isn't a sin, or bad! A lot of what I get out of my faith is more hope during hard times. Often, when I'm having a problem and go to church or youth discussion, the topic happens to come up and discussed without being related to me, and I feel that through that I can look at my problems differently. When I feel weak, praying for strength does help. Support systems are really important for people who struggle with depression, and when you ascribe to a religion, that's one more part of your support.
Life can get hard. Faith helps a lot of people deal with some of the hardships emotionally, even if prayer doesn't magically produce enough money to pay the rent under your pillow in the morning. Faith gives many hope, and hope is one of the most important things that can help someone get through hardship, because giving up certainly doesn't make things better.
I agree with all who have posted that we are all human. I was down once myself and I told a friend of mine (nothing was working) I just feel like "giving up." Her answer was; what are you going to give up to? That answer has stuck with me many times after that. There is really nothing to give up to and when you are so down it is sometimes hard to pray but if you can stand on God's word, He will not let you down. Fear could be what you are feeling most also. We fear what might happen, what are we going to do. Faith is hard to have when everything seems impossible but if we can rid our mind of the doubts and fears...the Father knows what ye have need of. That is a firm statement because He has said He would supply "our needs". Bank on that...He does not go back on His word...pray believing...let go of the fear (if you can) and if you can't pray at this point...simply whisper His name. I hope this helps and may the Lord supply your needs and your friends.
I believe we shouldn't get depressed or sad, if our faith has reach a full maturity state. You know like Enoch, or Jesus. To reach that place in God would be awesome. It can be obtained through a process of building one's faith and trust in God. I believe we strive to reach that place and yet knowing the flesh wars against the spirit and the spirit aganist the flesh. In the mind. Flesh is a state of mind and walking in the spirit is a state of mind also.
Being a babe in Christ, it's likely to happen but as we go and grow it should be less and less and as I stated, hopefully through striving and growing our faith and trust in God we can reach that place of maturity and not be depressed or sad through the good the bad and ugly. The joy of the Lord is our strength. And if we don't have any joy then we should leap for joy; meaning grab a hold on to God's word and let it into your spirit. The more we walk in the spirit depression has no place but sadness we'll more likely experience. Depression is of the devil but sadness comes with different experiences. It's like be angry but sin not. I hope this make sense.
We should always be optimistic if we love and obey God, since Romans 8.28 would then apply to us (And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God). But depression can lead us to more trust in God, as happened with the great preacher Spurgeon, David in the Psalms, and others.Do I get sad and depressed? Of course, and I must repent of that in order to walk with God again. I pray God guide and encourage you in your difficulties-we all have assorted ones!
Christians and depressions. I don't think both go hand in hand. The Bible teaches us that 'cast all your cares on God, and He will sustain you'. Jesus said that 'do not worry about what you will wear , eat , where you will sleep, because worrying cannot add anything to it.' Consider the lilies of the valley, who gives them beauty? Consider the birds of the air, who provides them daily?
Having said that many time it is human to worry about uncertainties in life. When things are not going as expected. When children get sick. When the mortgage fails etc..
Trust in the Lord with all your hearts and He will sustain you. Amen
I wrote a hub about this topic. Especially because I couldn't write everythinh here.
http://hubpages.com/hub/Oppression-Poss … ion-Part-1
Read the Psalms and then look at the answers you were given.
I am a Christian man.
Knowing and loving God does not exempt me from the same temptations or tolerances of heat and cold as others.
That being said I do get depressed and sad and no I'm not always optimistic.
I will tell you though that since receiving the Holy Spirit and trying to live a Godly life. I have this perception. This wonderful feeling of an immovable foundation. In the midst of the storms of life; regardless of how ugly or evil things get. I perceive God is with me and though I am sad or depressed. I still have Joy.
Before Jesus lived in me I didn't have this Joy; this understanding, these arms holding me.
Life or Death I still have Joy.
It sounds enigmatic and oxymoronic but I imagine many Christians who have received the Holy Spirit will know exactly what I mean.
Anyone can get stressed or depressed under tough circumstances. Many great people go through hard times and vice versa. If you can stay optimistic, that is great. If you get sad, or depressed, it's very normal.
I don't know your total circumstances and if there's a light at the end of the tunnel, like you mentioned waiting for a check that was delayed, that's life for a lot of people. I can see why she was in a bit of a panic. Try to look at the bright side obviously, but that can be easier said then done. People will say, well you have you health, etc. It's all true for some but it doesn't change that there's going to be extra stress due to money, or more harsh circumstances so if it's money, try to downsize in spending. For instance, have the cell phone turned off until you get on your feet or change the plan on it so it's less money. Get rid of cable and other things like that. Make sure lights are turned off. Just be extremely frugal.
Even then it still might be tough then you have to go to plan B and figure out how to make more money. Rent a room, a second job, take a semester off from school, again...I do not know your life but you have to make some changes, just like the rest of us when things happen. Get help by a professional if you need to. There's nothing wrong with that and they will help you sort things out that works for you.
As far as being Christian, that doesn't mean anything when it comes to hard times. Yes, you can turn to your faith and that can be helpful for many but whether your Christian, Jewish, white, blue...it makes no difference. We are all people and life can be hard for anyone at times in more ways than just money so try to stay strong and seek some help to organize a plan. Your faith is great to have and the one's best to help would be your Christian friends, and people from your church. Have them help you seek the guidance you need and always know God loves you and you are a good person.
Just saw the question and since it's been such a troubling thing in our American culture in the last quarter century, but really nothing new, as one of the previous have said. The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, would sometimes not be able to preach on a Sunday morning, because of his despair.
I've been thinking about this for a good while.
My answer - We are not supposed get depressed or sad, but we do because we are sinful humans who forget often that we've been saved for eternity by our Savior, Jesus Christ. We forget to remind ourselves, we go and look for encouragement and hope elsewhere, we don't meet regularly with God's people, we don't go to the Word for help, and so we wallow in our thoughts.
We need to look up to Christ, need to know what He did to save us, what He continues to do to save us, what He saved us from, what He saved us to. We'll be more and more amazed, and our focus shifts from ourselves to Him! Then He gets the glory and when He gets the glory, we are blessed and happy in our souls.
Even though it is only natural and human to sometimes be depressed, I'd like to say a few things about it. For more info please read my hub titled "Be Not Dismayed"...
In 2 Corinthians 4:8-18 Paul was talking about how troubled he was on EVERY side and yet not distressed. He was perplexed but not in despair. He was persecuted but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed. He went on further to let us know that our afflictions are preparing us for something great and that we shouldn’t be discouraged by the things we see. We should always walk by faith and not by sight. If God has promised you something (through his word or prophecies), there is no need for you to be moved by what you actually see. Even Jesus (the son of God) was forsaken, crucified, ridiculed, mocked, rejected, etc. But where is he now? He is seated at the right hand of God making intercession for us. In fact, he’s been given a name that is above every other name! When Job went through the storms (only because God allowed it), even his closest friends told him that perhaps he was being punished for his sins. The bible says MANY are the afflictions of the RIGHTEOUS but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). (CONTINUED IN MY HUB TITLED "BE NOT DISMAYED")
The link between being happy or depressed and any religion, as being a projection, is misleading and poses an impossibility as being possible. Therefore, starting from a false idea or concept, it cannot be properly answered.
Why is your identification as a Christian so important to you?
Is it so much more important than being happy and optimisitc?
Look inside into your heart, open yourself up there, and not only all answers, but the proper questions to be asked will arise from it.
I feel that Christians are human beings and they will have the same emotions as others who are not Christians. Just because we are Christians does not make us immune to feelings of despair or depression or sadness. We will have these moments in our lives. God tells us that he uses these times to bring us closer to him and also to show himself in a more wonderful way. God uses these times to make us aware that we are not immune to feelings that are lowly. It is the way that we handle these emotions that separates us from the rest of the world. I know that I have had some hard times in my life, but through my faith in God I have managed to overcome them and become a better person for havaing gone through these times.
One of the most powerful verses in the Bible,
"Jesus Wept". -John 11:35
We don't live in a perfect world, we would be naive to think we are never going to experience pain or sadness. We are only human.
Sadness can come from many things:
Unhappiness or grief; sorrowful or mournful: to feel sad for someone, sorrow, a sad disappointment; sad news, and to feel sorry. We are free because of Christ..it is normal to feel all these things..and then get depressed..but as a Christian when you fully trust that your life is in Gods hands that sadness and depression will be dissipated. 2 Corinthians 12:9 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 weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me
Christians are people and I reckon they are prone to depression because no matter how many times they pray to their god, he never answers. They must feel really let down.
I asked this question of a priest some years ago 'Why do Christians cry when someone they love dies?' After all, they are so convinced that they will go to heaven and will meet up in the afterlife, they should celebrate. Like the Chinese do, they have brass bands and dance around the grave, celebrating that they will meet in the afterlife.
The priest couldn't give me a proper answer.
It is normal for anyone to become sad or depressed sometimes. Life is difficult and sometimes the best that we can do is not good enough. So, we become sad, even to the point of depression, sometimes.
We are all humans, therefore, we suffer many times, from many different problems, in this world, as we struggle to survive.
Christians are only humans, also. There is a verse in the Bible that reads, "Jesus wept," it is the shortest verse in the Bible.
The reason that Jesus was weeping had to do with his sadness over the death of his friend "Lazarus." The point is, "even Jesus, himself, was saddened to the point of tears."
Peace be unto you, and let us pray that things get better for you, sooner than later.
I do not know if Christians, or anyone else, are "supposed" to get depressed or sad; or that they should always be optimistic.
My reaction to the question is of course Christians -- including very devout ones -- do often become depressed, sad and pessimistic because, after all, they are mere human beings. It is just that when someone who truly believes becomes depressed, sad and/or pessimistic, that person is carried by his or her undying faith during those tough times. They have no doubt that God will provide them with the means and the strength to perservere, no matter what.
And at one point while he was dying on The Cross, Jesus, Himself, became what could be described as depressed, sad and pessimistic.
The short answer first, is that you are normal in your down moments. We are all human and have to deal with the tribulations of this world, that affect our emotions and feelings. There is some consolation in knowing, you are not alone!
Expanding on that idea, it is very helpful to have others to talk to, to share with, to find comfort in understanding. Try to get involved with a group, maybe at church, or other, that you can find fellowship with. Pray, and ask them to pray with and for you.
Talk to God for an answer to your situation, and be specific in your prayer. As you pray daily, be open to answers that may come your way, and be ready to take action.
And yes, yes, keep your positive thinking about you! It's ok and it's normal to become sad or depressed about things, but don't let yourself dwell in it. Each day say, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Then pray each morning and do what ever you can to affect positive outcomes, trusting continually in God to stay with you through your troubles. Have faith that He will be with you and see you through it for a better outcome, that you may not understand at this time.
And finally, read God's word and "pray unceasingly."
1 Thessalonians 5:17
God Bless you!
We are told to always have joy and faith in everything. Of course we are only humans and most can't ignore your feelings. You will see everyone with problems, drama, death and other situations. It's ok to feel for people, care and try to help them. If you can't help them financially or otherwise, you can only pray for them. You shouldn't feel guilty, take on people's problems, because they will drain you ...and besides you have your own problems..so I've learned to let stuff go..not worry and pray on everything in good and bad...Then you have joy more, because God will take care of those that love him and are true!
Depression and sadness are both legitimate feelings that anyone that is human should have. The difference for a christian is that we should not allow ourselves to stay or linger in that state of mind.
Many biblical characters went through their state of depression. and/or sadness.
*Job - We all know that story.
"And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness ; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God." Ezra 9:5.
"But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Ikings 19:4.
*David, a man after God's heart, had his share of depressions -
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Psalm 43:5.
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, had a similar episode in the Garden of Gethsemane, and so did Peter after he denied the Lord three times.
Peter was so depressed, he fell back into his old trade of fishing when he was supposed to be winning souls.
So if you are a christian and you find yourself falling into a state of depression, follow the example of David,
"...for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Psalm 43:5.
Let's cutivate the habit of praising Him who has brought us out of farkness into His marvelous light. For He has promised us "...the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:1,3
I don't think there's anything inherently wrongful in getting sad or depressed, but you still have to maintain your faith. During trying times, I usually look to the story Joseph. How must he have felt when his brothers sold him into slavery and told his father he was dead? But he had no idea that GOD allowed those things to happen so that he could become a great man, and the savior of his people.
Like the story of Job, bad things can happen to even the most righteous, but the takeaway there is that suffering is not equal to sin. I firmly Believe that GOD has a plan for all of his children who are faithful, so focus on staying true to HIM and have faith in HIS word that HE will pour you out such a blessing that there will not be room to receive it.
You pose a very interesting philsophical question however as a neuroscientist i can answer this practically .the reality is that depression cuts across all religious cultural social and social divides. It is typically call by imbalance of serotonin in the brain and can be corrected quite easily with proper diet and exercise in maintaining your social circle.
You are human. All humans will experience a period of depression or sadness in their lives, regardless of religious affiliation. Theists tend to lean towards a higher power to give them solace, which may take away some of the pain. But, all emotions can be felt whether you are Christian or not.
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