When it comes to discussing depression there is no shortage of opinions. Desperation and frustration with the overwhelming amount of information to sort through can cause a further sense of hopelessness.
“Using worldly terminology traps people.”
In Seeing Depression Through The Eyes Of Grace, Julie pierces through the noise with definitive Biblical terms and practical applications as she guides the individual through depression and into a life pleasing to the Lord as well as discovering joy in Christ once again or perhaps, truly for the first time.
Section One: Roots of Depression
The book is divided into two sections. The first section systematically addresses issues that tend to be at the root of depression such as pride, anger, bitterness, self–pity, idolatry, self–indulgence, lack of assurance, guilt and faithlessness.
“You must address the root system.”
Each chapter defines these terms biblically and offers biblical solutions to address the heart issues at hand. The pages are saturated with rightly applied Scriptures.
Throughout the first section Julie provides what is designated as ‘Heartwork’. These are questions that give the reader the opportunity to consider how to apply what they are reading to their lives.
“The biblical counselor will help you deal with your depression by examining the source of the feelings: your beliefs, desires, and thoughts or, as the Bible says, your heart.”
An added treasure is the prayers she has written out to give the reader a place to begin speaking with God about the issues they are facing. This is a wonderful tool for those who may struggle in this area.
Genially, in Chapter 8, Julie shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ and exhorts those readers who may be unbelievers to consider their need for salvation, what the Lord has accomplished in His death and resurrection, and to seek Him as their Savior.
“If you have fallen on His grace and confessed you need the Savior, confessed your sin, and asked Him to redeem and adopt you as His own child, He is Faithful to do it. He graciously washes you clean and places His Holy Spirit within you.”
Section Two: Secular View of Depression
The second part of the book delves into the labyrinth of the secular world’s view and treatments of depression in contrast to a biblical worldview.
Quoted throughout this section are medical doctors, neuroscientists, neurobiophysicists, and psychiatrists who have done extensive research in this area.
“Elliot Valenstein, University of Michigan neuroscientist, writes, ‘Contrary to what is often claimed, no biochemical, anatomical, or functional signs have been found that reliably distinguish the brains of mental patients.’”
If the first section hasn’t challenged our perceptions and presumptions, this section certainly will, particularly if this information is new to the reader. Nonetheless, it is to our benefit to grapple with the material.
Who Would Benefit?
Seeing Depression Through The Eyes Of Grace is written with clarity and ease of understanding for the reader. Whether you are a counselor, someone struggling with depression, or know someone who is, this volume is a valuable resource to refer to again and again.
“Upon reflection, I would describe the experience of grace as a supernatural ability to bear up under something that would otherwise crush or kill us. It presents itself as strength and an undergirding of power that cannot be seen by the one in the midst of the fire, but is seen by those observing the recipient of that extraordinary grace.”
Disclosure: This book was provided by Biblical Counseling For Women and Reigning Grace Counseling Center in exchange for my review.