Christians get depressed too. (That is actually the title of a small and well written book by David Murray which helpfully deals with the misconception that true Christians do not get depressed.) I’ve never understood the people who think otherwise. Emotional, as well as mental maladies are just as real as physical issues. Christians get cancer. Christians have heart issues, back problems, high blood pressure and cholesterol (gotta love those potlucks and the official bird of Baptists worldwide: fried chicken). Christians’ bones break. So too do their hearts and even minds.
Christians get depressed too, and not just because of unconfessed sin, or lack of discipline, or as a result of a shallow faith. C.H. Spurgeon could never be accurately labeled as one with a shallow faith, yet he knew “by most painful experience what deep depression of spirit means.” In his useful book Lectures to My Students, Spurgeon dedicated an entire chapter to this topic, entitled “The Minister’s Fainting Fits.” I would encourage every believer, not just pastors, to read that chapter. (One would benefit from the entire book as well.) Spurgeon wrote:
“Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.
Despise not the lame, for it is written that they take the prey; but honour those who, being faint, are yet pursuing. The tender-eyes Leah was more fruitful than the beautiful Rachel, and the griefs of Hannah were more divine than the boastings of Peninnah. ‘Blessed are they that mourn’, said the Man of sorrows, and let none account them otherwise when their tears are salted with grace. We have the treasure of the gospel in earthen vessels, and if there be a flaw in the vessel here and there, let none wonder.” (Emphasis mine)
One of the emotional conditions handled in the Psalms is depression. How should it be handled? Only God’s Word, as applied by the Holy Spirit, is sufficient to answer that question. Psalm 42 provides us with the biblical reasoning to enable mental and emotional healing for those suffering with depression on any level.
Tonight at 7pm at the Bible Baptist Church we will walk through the 42nd Psalm together. Hope to see you there.