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TEXT: Psalm 77:1-12
Recently, the names of several pastors who have committed suicide have been in the news. One of those pastors was a man by the name of Phil Lineberger who had struggled with depression for many years. He was 69 years old. Ironically, just four years ago, this pastor preached at the funeral of another pastor who committed suicide after a long struggle with depression. Terry Parker, Isaac Hunter, D.B. Antrim, Seth Oiler, Michael Mullis, and David Huskins are all pastors who have sadly committed suicide in recent months.
It seems as though with each passing week, we hear the news that someone else has taken their own life either because of depression or because of some kind of mental disorder. For example, comedian Robert Williams, wrestler Sean O’Haire, singer and Voice contestant Anthony Riley, Arizona high school track star Marcus Wheeler, actor Sawyer Sweeten, Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich, and multimillionaire hedge fund manager Robert W. Wilson. These are just some names you might recognize.
The topic of depression has gained much attention in the church due to the number of Christians, and, yes, even pastors, who have admitted to struggling with it. Some would say that Christians are not supposed to struggle with depression, but it is a fact of life. One writer calls depression "the common cold of emotional disorders." In the classic book, Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan, two of the main characters, Christian and Hopeful, struggle with a period of depression on their way to the Celestial City.