People in crisis do not need ten easy steps on how to turn that frown upside down. They don't need a few pointers on how to get up and get going. They don't need reminders of past failures and sin - they know them all too well. They don't need new goals, a new outlook, a different perspective, or the latest health improvement regimen. People in crisis are in a complicated situation that no one really understands.
One way the Bible instructs us when facing a friend who is suffering is found in this passage from Job. Upon hearing of his sorrow, Job's friends went to him to show him sympathy and comfort. They wept with him and sat with him.
However, the opposite is true. People in crisis need the help other's can provide. Think about it this way. Suppose you break your leg. You go to the doctor but the doctor does not come out to see you. You are sent home having received no help, no care. Although you are in severe pain and can hardly walk, the doctor has determined it is best for you to heal on your own.
Jesus reached out his healing hand to those in greatest need...the crippled, the demon-possessed, the dead, and those who had no idea of the depth of their need.
He did not wait for their repentance to come. It was in his coming that he granted it. Only the gospel compels that kind of love. Love engenders love.
It's what we all need most...