Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
Written by Chris Wilson, High School Teacher and Former Youth Pastor
The human experience is not what it was designed to be.
One of the primary claims of Genesis 1-3 is that God, this all-powerful, loving Creator, made humanity as the pinnacle of his creation, only to see His masterpiece subject itself, along with the rest of the created order, to futility.
As a result, we no longer experience life as God originally planned. Physically, our bodies age and fail. Over time, our bones become fragile and more susceptible to fractures. Our cells can become abnormal and divide at an uncontrollable rate. In addition to this, for many people, our brains become chemically unbalanced, which, along with a number of other causes, can lead to depression.
According to the IMS Health Report, more than 253 million prescriptions were written for antidepressants in the U.S. – a country of only 323 million people. In 2010 alone, Americans spent more than $11.6 billion on anti-depressants, and yet more than 34,000 people take their life by way of suicide each year. That’s 94 suicides per day – one person every 15 minutes. And for every “success,” there are more than 100 attempts.
Depression is a major concern in our country and an increasingly critical issue in our schools, as suicide has become the second-leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States.
Now I am not a doctor or any kind of expert on mental health. I do not have all the answers, nor am I qualified to speak to the pros and cons of various treatment options for depression. However, through my years of working with youth, I have come to believe, “a world that will be redeemed will be better than a world that was never fallen.” Not only will this reality be actualized on a cosmic scale, but I have confidence that it will ring true on an individual level as well.
As a high school teacher and former youth pastor, I have seen hope and beauty in the restoration that comes from being a part of a community of fellow broken people who have placed their trust in an entirely perfect God. I have seen countless students who have struggled with depression – many of whom turned to self harm and made attempts to end their lives – come to know the love that our Good Creator has towards His damaged creation through surrounding themselves with other students who see the Imago Dei in them.
Within the community of God’s people, I have seen students come to realize that through God’s perfect gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are not only offered salvation, but also the hope of the world that is to come. Even in His immediate response to Adam and Eve’s rebellion, God put forth a plan for a Redeemer to come and establish order once again by drawing all things back to Himself. In the meantime, as we eagerly anticipate Jesus’ return, when He will make all things new, we are able to be restored through the community of God, knowing that His grace is sufficient and that His power is made perfect in our weakness.
For those who struggle with depression and other physical or mental set backs, there is no promise in Scripture that being a part of the Body of Christ will heal any and all ailments on this side of redemption. But Jesus did say that He came in order that we might have life and have it to the full, not only in the life that is to come, but in the here and now as well. However, this life that Jesus offers, the human experience as it was designed to be, is only found through Jesus-centered community. Through this fellowship and Jesus’ work on the cross, we are able to be in right relationship with God, with others, and also with ourselves. And despite the trials and hardships that we endure in this life, we will one day stand and see, that “a world that will be redeemed will be better than a world that was never fallen.”
 Romans 8:19-21
 This paragraph was heavily influenced by Chapter 1 of My Name is Hope by John Mark Comer
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014
 Genesis 3:15
 Revelation 21:1-5
 2 Corinthians 12:9
 John 10:10