Depression

REAL HELP FOR DEPRESSION

9781781915387

Depression.

Being confronted by this word brings an instant desire for avoidance.

However, if you suffer from depression, you can’t run from it. And if someone we love is burdened by depression we shouldn’t try to run from it.

That still leaves us with the frustrating and exhausting problem of not knowing what to do!

Zack Eswine provides an outstanding resource for us in his book, Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who suffer from depression.

Eswine not only has personal experience with depression, he draws in the wisdom of Charles Spurgeon who was one of the most famous and fruitful pastors in history. Yet, Spurgeon struggled bitterly for many years with his own depression (that knowledge itself should provide some comfort for believers who battle depression).

I heartily recommend this book to everyone, because we all will either walk through depression or know someone who does. Eswine writes:

Diagnostic words like “depression” are invitations, not destinations. Once you’ve spoken them, your travel with a person has begun, not ended.

If you have read books that promised to help and found them to be frustratingly empty of real help, Zack Eswine and Charles Spurgeon combine gentle pastoral care with clear biblical wisdom.

DEPRESSION and the CHRISTIAN

masking-depression

Depression is widespread

Anxiety is common

Like everyone else, I know what anxiety feels like, but I cannot say that I understand depression.

How do these conditions fit in with what the Bible says about faith, godliness and sin?

What does someone’s struggle with depression say about their spiritual condition – if anything?

Certainly the way we think about God is by far the most important ingredient in how we look at fear, anxiety and depression. Yet, that is not the only factor.

Some of the most famous (and godly) men in church history had long struggles with depression. Even with their depth of biblical knowledge and faith – often these men still did not understand their depression.

Pastor Stephen Altrogge opened up with his own personal struggle with anxiety and his father Mark Altrogge, (also a pastor), added the experience of his wife’s long battle with depression.

Stephen and Mark graciously share their experiences and their responses from a biblical perspective in a series of articles that appeared sometime ago on the blog they co-author, The Blazing Center.

I have listed the articles separately so you can click each individually

Don’t Judge the Depressed

Talking Freely About Depression and Anxiety

Understanding the Workings of Depression and Anxiety

20 Years of Depression

Why Many Christians Don’t Want To Talk About Depression

FROM A DARK PLACE

Depression is a dark place that not only burdens us, for unnecessary reasons it also shames us. No one wants to struggle with depression, and no one wants to be known as the weak person who cannot find their way out of this darkness.

For Christians who struggle with depression, there is the added fear of appearing as someone who is lacking in faith or godliness. Not to mention the internal struggle of wondering “why doesn’t God deliver me?”. You are not alone in this lonely place.

Keri Seavey, is a pastor’s wife who walked through this deep valley. She writes:

I wrestled with thoughts about God’s goodness and love. My clandestine fears had apparently given way to cruel doubts concerning his character.

Many famous Christian leaders throughout history spent years fighting this battle; discouraged by their bouts of depression, and frustrated that they couldn’t even understand where their depression came from.

Keri Seavey has given us a gift by sharing her struggle. Through her article, Keri helps us whether we walk through depression or know people who do.

TALKING TO YOURSELF

Early in the summer I gave quite a bit of attention in my teaching and preaching to the truth behind one of my favorite quotes.  It has been a theme in my series “Putting on the Gospel”. The quote is by the great preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and is found in his book “Spiritual Depression“.  I have noticed the quote is becoming more widely quoted and for good reason, it is a truth that can radically change how we process the difficulties of life.

Tim Challies wrote a brief article about it that you can read HERE.  Oh, I suppose you want to know what the quote is:

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

If the quote and the article interest you, then get the book, it is considered a classic.

DEPRESSION

Depression is one of mankind’s great struggles and burdens. It touches all of us at times and to degrees. However for some it is debilitating! This includes many people love Christ. Some of Christianities greatest figures have struggled with depression. One of the hardest aspects about depression, is that we may not fully understand where it came from or why it hangs on.

If you have ever tried to help someone who is depressed, you know how frustrating that effort can be. We end up feeling almost as helpless as the depressed person.

In his blog,”Head Heart Hand”, David Murray gives us some practical guidance that is biblically sound as we seek to help those who carry the burden of depression. Murray’s blog is geared for church leaders, but his advice on this topic can be used by anyone. To read his blog, click on the following link: 5 Questions to ask someone who is depressed