Reviewed by Wes Samuel
“How are you doing?” is one of the basic questions we learn from a young age. Yet, as we grow older, it is somewhat difficult to honestly answer. It almost feels harder to answer this question as a Christian. We want to show to everyone “Everything is okay,” but the reality may be that we hurt more deeply than we show.
Charles Spurgeon is a man synonymous with the Christian faith, a believer who showcased great strength and conviction from the pulpit. At the age of 22, the evangelist was preaching to thousands. What wasn’t known as much, however, were Spurgeon’s struggles with depression that began at 24.
In Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression, by Zack Eswine (Christian Focus, 2014), the author takes a deeper look at how Spurgeon dealt with his bouts of depression.
We see a man considered by many to be a spiritual giant, and a man of great faith, go through depression. As Christians, we strive to want to get better in all facets of life. We want to be able to be a light to a dark world, but what happens when we are not in the best place mentally or emotionally? How do we remedy that?
“We plead not ourselves, but the promises of Jesus,” answers Eswine, “not our strengths but His; our weaknesses, yes, but His mercies. Our way of fighting is to hide behind Jesus who fights for us. Our hope is not the absence of our regret, or misery or doubt or lament, but the presence of Jesus.”
It is never of our own strength that we can do anything. The answer is summed up in Philippians 4:13, my favorite quote. St. Paul says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” That’s a simple verse that can help us deal with the complexities of mental health. The journey will never be an easy one, but when we cling to the truth of the cross like Charles Spurgeon did, we will always have the strength to carry on.
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