depression
(© Magicinfoto | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

My heart goes out to Rick and Kay Warren over the death of their son, Matthew. Their grief has to be beyond what words can describe. Knowing how close my own daughter came to losing her life last May and having suffered the loss of several close friends and staff members, this tragedy hits close to home.

It seems that precious Matthew had been struggling with depression for a number of years, even dating back to his teenage years, as I’ve read in some accounts. The Warrens say he had been receiving treatment for his depression for years and that this disease unfortunately did not respond to counseling, medication or a host of treatments Matthew underwent.

I know the Warrens loved their son, prayed for him and did everything within their power to help him overcome his depression. There is no understanding why, at 27 years old, Matthew felt he could not go on living.

Now a debate has sprung up, centering on how depression is treated by the church. Depression is very real issue, and it affects 1 out of 8 teens. We need to remember that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. As the church, what are we doing to love those who are in the grip of depression?

It seems that more and more teens see the taking of one’s life as the only viable answer to cease pain. Take, for example, young Amanda Todd, who took her own life last fall after suffering bullying both in school and over social networks that was so bad she had to change schools several times and even move to a new town. And just this past week, 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons ended her life after she was allegedly raped and photos of the incident were spread around at her school, and police chose not to file any charges in the case. Although these stories are significantly different from Matthew’s, all of them were dealing with the same level of pain, and now all three families are suffering from incredible loss.

When the news of Matthew Warren’s passing away became evident, it felt as though we all lost a son, because Pastor Rick has endeared himself to so many of our hearts. The fact is, when we hear any of these stories of young people in so much pain, we all grieve. We are seeing a generation suffering and hurting, and they can’t make sense out of life.

In some situations, it appears that there’s no answer available. With many parents, as I’m sure it was with Rick and Kay Warren, there’s a sense that they have done everything they can do. Scripture says “and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:13, ESV).

Instead of being those who’ve never been touched by tragedy judging people like the Warrens, the Todds or the Parsons, it’s up to us to find the Amandas and Matthews and Rehtaehs be a source of life and hope for them. It’s up to us to be aware of what’s going on in our own kids’ lives and in their social network lives so we can be sure they’re not being targeted emotionally beyond their ability to deal.

While for some families it may be impossible to know, many times (as with Todd and Parsons), the reason why is obvious. We can be the source of solace to a generation whose hurt is so deep, no words can describe it, and only the love of God through a human being can bring healing.

Ron Luce is the founder and president of Teen Mania Ministries. Click here to visit his blog.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Watch for these danger signals for choosing poorly.

    4 Signs You're Making a Bad Decision

    Avoid distraction and disappointment by testing your choices with these 4 principles.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit