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Apr

19

2011

Depression Is a Sign of Love for Life

Depression is a sign that love for life still exists, albeit not the greatest sign. It is frustrated with the present unhappy state of things and wishes for life as it ought to be. Indeed, things are not as they ought to be. Any sustained meditation on the extent of this fact is quite able to sink the highest spirits. The depressed soul still has the capacity to long for life as it ought to be.

Granted, it does not always long for the right reasons. These longings quite often are, frankly, idolatrous. The soul longing for recognition (i.e. worship) is crushed when it is instead rejected and mocked. Step one is to recognize the initial longing was wrong in the first place. Step two is to deal with the pain of being rejected and mocked. Yet, even then, there is probably still a recognition that life should not consist in being laughed at and rejected. It is an (understandably) adverse reaction to the experience of being sinned against, or, as in other instances, to one's own sin and failures. 

But even when the depressed soul realizes that life is supposed to be better and that the lack of true life does indeed account for a large part of their sorrow, what else can be said? This could very well lead to yet another layer of depression: Life as it should be will forever be out of my reach. There is then the added layer of depression brought on by a feeling of injustice and powerlessness. 

For the Christian, however, there is an entirely different response due to the power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The good news is that Jesus has died on the cross to exhaust the wrath of God due to us for our sin, which sin is the very cause of all suffering and evil. Sin has put us under the curse of God, and sin has corrupted our hearts and twisted and ruined our lives. Jesus' death paid our price, and thereby purchased our redemption (i.e. freedom) from these things: freedom from internal corruption, and freedom from God's wrath.  His resurrection sealed the deal and made it clear for all to see. Having completely freed us from the cause (sin), we will eventually be completely freed from its effects (sickness, sorrow, death, etc.). 

For all who trust in Jesus Christ and repent of their sin, we can look forward to and await with eager anticipation the renewal of all things. The life we long for and groan in lack of will be granted to us if we lean wholly upon Jesus' blood and righteousness as our substitute for our salvation. Take heart, fellow pilgrim, when the depressing sorrows of this life get you down. Life as it should be has been brought into your reach by the free gift of God's grace.

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22-23)

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Matt Hauck (郝柏昇)

A once enemy now son, forgiven and freed by Jesus' blood, adopted and called by grace for glory.   (more...)

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