Depression is a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal. All of us know what it is to encounter a series of difficult circumstances that have left us feeling down. But Charles Spurgeon, the great British preacher of the 19th century, wrote about a more ambiguous form of depression. He wrote about a type of pervasive sadness that could not be explained. He called it “causeless depression.” Mental health professionals today would call it clinical depression. Spurgeon himself battled depression throughout his life – even though God used his ministry in a great way through the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. Spurgeon took numerous trips to sunny southern France to find relief from the cloud of darkness.
- Whether you are going through a season of melancholy or whether you have a persistent proclivity toward depression, there are some questions you should ask yourself:
- Am I taking care of my physical needs? Make sure to get enough sleep and ensure good eating habits.
- Is there any unconfessed sin in my life? Broken relationships, unresolved bitterness, and selfish pursuits can lead to legitimate feelings of guilt that need healing and resolution.
- Do I need the help of a professional? Every part of us has been impacted by humanity’s fall into sin. For some people, the issue is not simply spiritual but also biological.
- Do I have any thought patterns that need correcting? In reflecting on Psalm 42, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggested that we do too much listening to ourselves and not enough talking to ourselves. We need to make a conscious choice to reject lies and think about what is true (Phil. 4:8).
- Am I putting myself in position where people can help me? Isolation is dangerous – particularly for those who are inclined toward depression. Have you put yourself in a position where people can speak truth into your life?
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