Charles Spurgeon: Depression Part 3

charles spurgeon depression part 3

Charles Spurgeon is undoubtedly my favourite Christian author:

Straight to the point, yet compassionate, discerning, yet gracious, of an old era, yet understandable, pious, but relatable, famous, but humble, successful, but modest, holy,k  but human.

It seems he never allowed his struggles with depression to get in the way of what he was called to do by God. In fact, it helped him exercise more empathy and compassion. He once said:

“I would go into the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted that I might know how to speak a word in season to the one who is weary.”

Yet depression can still be a taboo subject among Christians. It makes many scared, as if the sufferer they are observing is declaring that Jesus cannot bring deep joy after all. Or that they are just not grateful for their salvation. Or they are someone to be avoided in case their tormented mind rubs off on them. It has others questioning the possibility of demonic oppression or whether this depressed Christian is saved at all.

All this brings more unnecessary stress to the one who never asked to feel this way in the first place. Wounding the wounded through our ignorance and lack of sensitivity can force the suffering brother or sister ‘underground’ in a lonely state of denial and having to pretend everything’s okay.

Yet God took Spurgeon’s melancholy mind and used his voice to be an apple of silver in settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)

His books on prayer show this guy not only preached it, he lived it.

So be encouraged: God loves the crawler as much as the sprinter and uses the weak far more than the strong.

In your weakness, he will be your strength, just like he was with the despondent preacher who allowed his Lord to use him despite his low spirits and constant battles with a heavy heart.

“Blessed – gratefully praised and adored – be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble, so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

10 comments

  1. I think Christians suffer from depression about as much as anybody but they do seem more afraid to admit it. There’s good reason for this fear too. Many will look down on those who do not appear to have their lives together. This is a tragic mistake in my opinion because it causes so many people to hide their struggles and put on masks about their fellow Christians. This is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. Strength is gained through authenticity not fake smiles and pretend morality. Relationships are intensified when people can be real. God has always showed his power through human frailty, but I don’t think our culture has grasped this concept yet. Instead we follow the crowd for acceptance regardless of our struggles, questions, and doubts. But there is strength and grown available through our weaknesses that cannot be obtained through pretending. Personally, I would prefer one relationship where I can share my true thoughts and struggles instead of a 1000 friendships where I can’t be myself.

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  2. Yes, the stigma of depression is definitely still present, perhaps more so among Christians, some of whom believe that it’s just the depressed person’s lack of faith or inability to develop a close relationship with Jesus that’s the problem. Love this reminder: “So be encouraged: God loves the crawler as much as the sprinter and uses the weak far more than the strong.” Thanks for that!
    By the way, I think it’s apples of gold in settings of silver 😉.

    Liked by 1 person

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