Honoring Jarrid Wilson and stepping in to help the hopeless
Tim St. John | SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 | 2 MIN READ
On Monday, Pastor Jarrid Wilson went home to be with the Lord. He openly talked about his struggle with depression. He cared deeply for those struggling with the same suffering that afflicted his life. One great desire he had throughout his ministry was to de-stigmatize the issues of depression and suicide. Here are a few quotes from Jarrid himself from the ChurchLeaders podcast:
“The only way for you to de-stigmatize something is for you to talk about it.”
“Read the book of Job. Some of God’s brightest saints dealt with the darkest of depression. What we have to understand is that just because you’re dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts does not mean that you’re any less of a believer or a Christian than anybody else.”
“If the local church really wants to be the hope of the world, then the local church needs to step into areas in which the world finds itself hopeless: Mental health.”
There is so much to say about the impact of Jarrid Wilson’s life and Gospel witness. But I believe a way to honor him through this post is to listen to what he said in his life. Based on the last quote, let’s ask the question, “How can we step into areas in which the world finds itself hopeless?”
One simple step we can take is to move more deeply into one another’s lives. Consider the close relationships in your life. Who fully knows you, accepts you, and walks with you through the struggles that seem to haunt your life? Do you have a relationship in which you can be 100% honest? Do you have someone who knows every battlefield in your heart, who knows the lies you’re tempted to believe, who knows the pressures you face in this broken world, and who prays for you?
Every Christian is a sufferer, sinner, and a saint. Sadly, we can often minimize our own suffering and the sufferings of others. We can often fail to identify and celebrate evidence of grace that is on display that could encourage someone to press on. And we can often only have a single response for sin, “Just don’t do it.”
A challenge I want to offer is that we step into areas of hopelessness in this world by first stepping more deeply into one another’s lives. By simply being present in the lives of those God has brought into our path, we can begin to know each other in ways that allow us to truly let the light of the gospel shine in the darkest and most shameful places. Only then will we begin to know how to wisely share the hope of Christ in a way that silences the lies of hopelessness and depression.
Tim St. John serves as the counseling pastor at Lighthouse Community Church in Torrance, CA. He's a graduate of the Master's Seminary (M.Div, Th.M) and completed counseling certificate training through ACBC and CCEF. Tim's passion is to see the grace of gospel-centered counseling grow and thrive in local churches.