Charles Haddon Spurgeon was one of the greatest preachers of his day. At the age of 20, he became pastor of a rapidly growing church and he regularly preached to thousands. His love for God and His Word continues to minister and exhort today, as his writings are still on the shelves of pastors and layman everywhere. But Spurgeon also suffered from often debilitating depression. You can read more about this depression here.
ERunner, over at More Than Coping posted this quote yesterday, and I thought I should share it here as well. It is a great comfort to me to know that a man so mightily used of God suffered with depression also, and his words about depression are as true today as they ever were.
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