We were delighted to welcome Helen Thorne to speak at our Ministry Training Morning on 11 July 2018. The experience of depression is not new, even if the label is a modern one. The psalmist confesses, ‘My tears have been my food day and night.’ He questions himself, ‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?’ In the darkness of depression, joy may seem beyond reach, giving or receiving love impossibly hard, hope lost, closeness to the Lord a mere memory. When people are afflicted in this way, we know that we should draw alongside to help; walk with them, listen to the struggles of their heart and address those struggles through a Scriptural lens. But as we seek to do so, many questions arise:
- How does the Bible frame the experience of depression?
- Is it pointless or somehow purposeful?
- What should be our goal as we counsel people who are afflicted in this way?
- How should we view psychiatric therapy or medical treatments?
- Is the Bible sufficient for this ministry?