Charles Spurgeon – Depression Part 4 (Final)
I know Christians who have suffered with bouts of depression who do not appear to be nurturing a heart of ungratefulness. I can never know for sure because I am not them, but it seems clear to me that many afflicted are very thankful for their salvation, families, jobs and possessions.
So depression is not always caused by having an ungrateful spirit and losing sight of one’s blessings. Yes it is true that when people are feeling low, a reminder of who Jesus is can pep up positivity and energy flow. I will also agree that having a good old praise session is one of the best remedies for feeling downcast. And leading someone to the loving arms of Jesus can snap one out of a hopeless state of melancholy – just like handing a dying oncology patient a pill that will completely cure their Cancer.
But a large proportion of Christians are hit with depression owing to circumstances that transcend their humble gratitude for what God has done for them. They know they should ‘forget not all his benefits’, but the foreboding grey cloud that mocks them night and day, still hovers over their heads, taunting them that they are a bad example of faith in Christ.
Then there are chemical imbalances and medication-induced sadness. Also there is bereavement, not just of a death, but a loved-one who is suffering terribly. I know a lovely Christian lady whose toddler became so ill, she spiralled into a deep darkness of mind owing to her utter sorrow of seeing such a helpless cutie afflicted so severely.
So, how can we help those who are in the darkest pits of despair?
Maybe our main assistance should be to always remember 2 facts:
1. One of the main reasons the book of Job was written was to remind us that great things can happen to ungodly people, while awful things can happen to the righteous. For no reason other than that we live in an imperfect world.
2. Sickness can be of body or mind. Ill health can be physical or mental. Pain can manifest in the muscles and skin or affect the brain and perception of the world around it. Hormonal imbalances, trauma, fear or distress can affect the mind just the same as a bump, inflammation, tumour or aneurysm can cause a lesion or soreness in an organ.
So unless we can go through our lives without one single headache or sore throat, we need to exercise godly silence when the subject of, ‘Do Christians Get Depressed?’ comes up. Otherwise we are at risk of being in the same category Job’s three useless friends were, when they could offer no spiritual and practical support, despite claiming they knew the heart and mind of God.
The simple fact is, that all Christians get sick, so nobody has the right to judge another just because their malady is of the body rather than the mind. We know that not all physical ailments are demonically related, so neither should we assume every depressed person is crazy and needing deliverance.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon is a prime example and here, after 4 posts on the subject, I rest my case.
Thanks for travelling with me on this journey of many thoughts. It is God’s opinion which matters in the end and he brought Job, David, Hannah Elijah and many more out from the brink of despair to show us that he doesn’t despise the depressed.
I wish you every success in climbing out of yours, with Jesus by your side, strengthening you each step of the way.