Monday, February 11, 2013

An influential preacher talks about depression

How long it has been since I last posted! I'm sorry. I guess my focus has changed to more directly helping people who live with mood disorders. Actually, that has been happening for a long time - through Living Room and other kinds of writings.

I've very recently started sending emails to people who have looked for support through Living Room. Yet there are unfortunately not nearly enough groups to serve everyone. So I'm now sending messages via email to those people - an online Living Room of sorts.

If you'd like to receive these messages, send your email address to me at and I will put you on my list.

Here is my latest sharing:

Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892) was a British Particular Baptist preacher. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is known as the "Prince of Preachers". He was a strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition, defending the Church in agreement with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith understanding, and opposing the liberal and pragmatic theological tendencies in the Church of his day. In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times each week at different places.

Spurgeon suffered from depression and left behind writings about it that should comfort any Christian who longs to be understood by other Christians.

I thank Keith, one of our readers, who thoughtfully shared the following link, which contain a lot of what Spurgeon had to say:

If you don't have time to read it all, or find the old English hard to get along with, here is a quick idea of what he talked about:

“I know that wise brethren say, ‘You should not give way to feelings of depression.’ If those who blame quite so furiously could once know what depression is, they would think it cruel to scatter blame where comfort is needed. There are experiences of the children of God which are full of spiritual darkness; and I am almost persuaded that those of God’s servants who have been most highly favoured have, nevertheless, suffered more times of darkness than others.

“The covenant is never known to Abraham so well as when a horror of great darkness comes over him, and then he sees the shining lamp moving between the pieces of the sacrifice. A greater than Abraham was early led of the Spirit into the wilderness, and yet again ere He closed His life He was sorrowful and very heavy in the garden.
“No sin is necessarily connected with sorrow of heart, for Jesus Christ our Lord once said, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.’ There was no sin in Him, and consequently none in His deep depression.

“I would, therefore, try to cheer any brother who is sad, for his sadness is not necessarily blameworthy. If his downcast spirit arises from unbelief, let him flog himself, and cry to God to be delivered from it; but if the soul is sighing–’though he slay me, yet will I trust in him ’–its being slain is not a fault.

“The way of sorrow is not the way of sin, but a hallowed road sanctified by the prayers of myriads of pilgrims now with God–pilgrims who, passing through the valley of Baca [lit: of weeping], made it a well, the rain also filled the pools: of such it is written: ‘They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.’
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1881, vol. 27, p. 1595

I hope you find comfort in these words - the kind of comfort you need to receive from a fellow Christian.

May God bless you.

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