On Seeking Help

CounselingDear Christian Counselor:

I’m always trying to reconcile what the Bible says about giving our cares to God and trusting in Him versus seeking professional help from secular counselors. My concern is, if we’re turning to fallible man for answers on anxiety and depression, we’re not trusting completely in God.  If He wanted that “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) removed from our side, He’d remove it.  But if prayers go unanswered for so long, when is it time to say “enough” and seek professional help?

– Jewels


Dear Jewels,

Would you say the same thing about medical care?  If God wanted to instantly heal a person’s diabetes, He could certainly do that.  But we observe that He often heals it through medicine.  Perhaps that is so we don’t grow proud or complacent; perhaps it connects us better to others in community; perhaps we need the ongoing process to stay dependent on the Lord.  Talking to a counselor represents less intervention than your average doctor visit.  However, you used the word “secular,” so I want to make sure you know that there are plenty of educated, licensed Christian counselors around, combining the best of both worlds.  In my view, Christian counseling is just discipleship on steroids.  Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. (Prov. 19:20)

One of the things a counselor might suggest is that you visit a psychiatrist for an evaluation and possibly for medication.  You get to decide whether that’s something you want to do or not.  I have seen many cases where anxiety and depression can be alleviated without medication, carriage wheelsbut I have also known others where medication has been an amazing blessing.  Once our brains have been stewed in the chemicals of sadness and fear for a while, it can be like a cart which is stuck in the sand.  Just turning the wheels isn’t enough to get it out.  Sometimes medication gives you the jump-start you need to change direction. 

Anxiety and depression tend to be self-focused conditions.  Jewels are made to shine outward.  I would encourage you to seek help and comfort in your struggle so that you can *sparkle* for God’s Kingdom.

Please see our Resources page for some suggested reading material on anxiety and depression.  Here’s another article you might find helpful: Fear Not: Command or Comfort?

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Tired of Life

Dear Christian Counselor:

I know that we are supposed to try and be like Jesus every day. But we are never going to be perfect until he comes back. So what happens if you have been hurting for years inside and out and you have no fight left in yourself anymore and you take your own life?  Would you still go to heaven?

Tired of the Fight


Dear Tired:

If someone asked me whether they should have an affair or abort an unwanted child, I wouldn’t mess around with theology and what might happen afterward.  I’m not going to do that with your question either.  You are asking me whether serious and deliberate sin could be a good choice.  It can’t.  The choices God endorses lead to life and hope and peace.  I know there are times when that doesn’t feel true, but that’s where faith comes in.  God has already given His only Son in exchange for you.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Cor. 6:19-20  You are not your own to destroy.  The One who cared enough to purchase your life also cares enough to help you.

There are many things you can also do to help yourself through the kind of depression which births questions like yours.  Counseling and medication are two options to consider.  Here is a list of practical things you can do, as well: Helps for Depression.  An article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that, “more than 90% of people who survive a suicide attempt, including attempts that were expected to be lethal … do not go on to die by suicide.”  What this means is that you will not always feel this way.  If I had trusted my own dark thoughts rather than the truth of Scripture and the love of God, I would not have lived to find the light and purpose God had in store for me.  Don’t give up.  Lean hard on the Lord’s strength rather than your own.  It does take work, but you can find healing, too.  That’s God’s plan for you – not self-murder.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11.


If you are having suicidal thoughts, tell someone (a spouse, a friend, a pastor, a counselor).  If there’s no one you can tell, contact one of these resources:

800-273-TALK
1-800-SUICIDE
800-884-0585 (before 10pm)
800-421-5183 (before 10pm)
1-800-759-0700 (for prayer)
https://www.imalive.org/ (live chat)

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