Is there Christian Counseling for Depression

4 Ways Christians can handle depression


Faith doesn’t mean you are happy all of the time.  God made our emotions.  He made sadness, depression, anxiety, etc.  When you feel these emotions it doesn’t mean you are messing up.  No, but you need to make sure you are handling these emotions in a healthy and biblical way. 

In today’s culture we are normalizing the need to receive mental health care.  Overall I think this is a good thing.  We need to be able to help others receive help when they are facing significant depression or anxiety.  In today’s world mental health concerns are rising at a high rate.

Christians are not exempt from depression.  Many Christians are hesitant towards receiving counseling or any type of mental health care. This is for a myriad of reasons.  However, one of the big reasons is Christians often feel they are showing a lack of faith if they admit to being depressed.  Therefore, you may feel sin is the only reason you are depressed.

I believe this is not only wrong but it is also quite harmful.  There are certainly times our mental health is worsened by sin, no doubt!  But we will face many difficulties in life as Christians that are not due to our individual sin necessarily, but due to the sinful world we live in. Even when we live righteous and pure lives we cannot escape the effects of sin. This world is tainted by sin and we cannot escape that fact even if you are a Christian.

I am going to list out 4 practical ways for Christians to deal with their depression. 

1.  Confess your Sin

I know I said that being depressed doesn’t mean you are sinning.  However, depression could be a symptom of sin in your life.  If you are engaging in secret sin then this absolutely will affect your mental state.  As a Christian this may lead to feelings of depression due to feeling like you are failing.  

If you know you are living in sin then you need to confess! 

First, confess your sins to God.  

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 ESV

If your sin is affecting other people then you should confess this to them and ask for forgiveness. 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:15 ESV

I know individual sin is not always the cause of your depression but as Christians we must take serious how our own individual sins are affecting us. It would be wise to take time to confess sin often and strive towards righteous living.

Christian Counseling for Depression

2. Assess the Root Cause


If you know you are living in sin then that is the root cause.  Get that solved first.  If you have assessed what is going on and there aren’t any apparent sins that are causing your emotional state, then let’s look for the root issue.  

Did your dog die?  Have you lost a loved one recently?  Have you experienced trauma?  Did you not sleep well last night?  Depending on the answers to these type of explorative questions the root cause of your problem will be different.  


It is hard to come up with a better way to handle our depression if we don’t know where it is stemming from.  Take some time to explore what the root issue is and this will assist with our last step. There may be times finding this root cause can be done through prayer. But you also may need to pray for guidance and wisdom of finding this root cause. You also may need some counsel from a friend, family member, pastor or even a counselor to explore these issues together.

Christian Counseling for Depression

3. Be Active

We need to be active in life.  God gave us the ability to act.  Sitting around and waiting for God to do things for us is not actually showing faith.  Of course praying is great!  But God made us to do certain things on our own. 

Develop a healthy schedule. 

This should include physical exercise on a consistent basis.  I won’t tell you how often to do this.  But remember it is better to consistently do exercise in short bursts (i.e. 15 minutes daily) as opposed to a long time on an infrequent basis (i.e. 1 hour once a week.)  God made our bodies to move.  And moving often is helpful in managing our depression!  

Another healthy part of our schedule is being productive. Being physically active is certainly productive. But this productivity could be getting up and going to work in the morning. Maybe it means reading a book (especially the bible) on a consistent basis. If you are in a deep enough depression even making yourself shower could be a form of being productive. Make sure you are doing productive things in a consistent basis. This will help assist keeping depression in check. in general.

Eat healthy. 

This isn’t American’s favorite answer.  However, our diet is generally poor.  We need to be eating consistently with healthy options.  Don’t overthink it.  Just start eating more fruit and vegetables and less produced food.  This alone can help (not solve) your depression. 

Talk to someone. 

Basic research shows the very act of talking to someone about your issues helps you handle your emotions better.  The other person doesn’t even have to have the right answers for you.  This can be your spouse, your friend, pastor or even a counselor like me.  It is vitaly important that you get these issues out of your head though. 

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Christian Counseling for Depression

4. Have Faith

As a Christian this is incredibly important.  There are ample amounts of stories of individuals struggling with their emotional state in scripture.  Think of the story of Job.  He lost just about everything material in his life.  You think he didn’t face issues with his mental state?  Of course he did!   

But what else did he do?  Let’s look at a passage from Job 1:13-21. 

13Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

To summarize quickly Job lost all his livestock, servants and children.  Talk about trauma!  What was his response?

Let’s return to 1:21-22 

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!  This had to have been one of the worst events in human history!  He lost everything!  And he responded “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  He also did not sin or charge God with wrong!   Now that is faith


That’s not to say Job was happy at what happened.  Of course not!  In Job 3 Job lamented his birth!  But he lamented to God.  He trusted the Lord.  He cried out to his Father.  

Faith doesn’t mean you are happy all of the time.  God made our emotions.  He made sadness, depression, anxiety, etc.  When you feel these emotions it doesn’t mean you are messing up.  No, but you need to make sure you are handling these emotions in a healthy and biblical way.  Cast your cares on him as 1 Peter 5:7 states.  

Christians, remember that God made our emotions. Don’t run away from them! But also don’t let them control you. Cry out to your Father for help.