One of my favorite preachers of church history is the one and only Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon suffered with depression through his whole ministry, not doubt due in part to the huge burden on his shoulders of all the souls he was shepherding. And it seems that the issue is a common one among pastors. (Perhaps I should prepare myself!)
What did Spurgeon think the cure for depression was? Here’s a snippet of one of his sermons (bolding emphasis is min):
Again, it may be that I am speaking to sad ones who suffer under mental depression. Some of us are by constitution inclined to that condition. I have sometimes envied those good people who are never excited with joy, and consequently seldom or never despond. “Along the cool, sequestered vale of life they hold the even tenor of their way.” Happy people! At the same time, when I rise, as upon eagle’s wings, in joyous rapture, I feel right glad to be capable of the blissful excitement. Yet if you soar to the skies, you are very apt to drop below the sea-level. He that can fly, can faint. Elijah, after he had slain the prophets of Baal, was found fleeing into the wilderness from the face of Jezebel. If you are so constituted that you rise and fall; if you are a creature that can be excited, and that can be depressed; and, worse still, if you happen to have been born on a foggy day, and to have swallowed so much of that fog that you have found it shading your spirit many a time ever since; then you can only be strong by faith. If you are one of those plants which seldom bloom with bunches of bright flowers, but have your blossoms hidden and concealed, be not disquieted. If you are never mirthful, and seldom able to call yourself joyful—the only cure for depression is faith. Settle this in your heart: “Whether I am up or down, the Lord Jesus Christ is the same. Whether I sing, or whether I sigh, the promise is true, and the Promiser is faithful. Whether I stand on Tabor’s summit, or am hidden in the vale of Baca, the covenant standeth fast, and everlasting love abideth.” Be assured, beyond all questioning, that he that believeth in the Lord Jesus is not condemned. Believe in him, though you see no flashes of delight nor sparkles of joy. We are safe, because we are in the City of Refuge, and not because we are, in ourselves, ill or well. If you will stand firm in Christ Jesus, even in your weakness you will be made strong.
Read the whole sermon here. It would be good for your soul. Also, here’s a short video on depression from another one of my favorite preachers, Paul Washer.