It has been long understood that Charles Spurgeon, the famed preacher at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in the 1800’s, wrestled against this darkness through much of his pastoral ministry. As a result, many of us who fight this same aspect of our humanness have received immense help and comfort from his pastoral approach and the biblical counsel he faithfully fed to his congregation….In his new book, Spurgeon’s Sorrows, Zack Eswine has mined the sermons and writings of the famous preacher, culled that which is most valuable, and organized it in a manner that is helpful to those who suffer with depression and the spiritual friends who are faithful to not let go of them in the midst of the fog.
Spurgeon’s Sorrows, takes a balanced approach to the role of diet and medicine to relieve some of the symptoms of depression, in some people, some of the time. However, the author also wisely concludes, as did Charles, that dietary or medicinal relief is not a solution in and of itself and should not be pursued alone, apart from the deeper, more important work of the Spirit in the soul. True hope is renewed by means of focusing on the promises of God and consistently tapping into our never-ending resources in Christ. The book also touches on what Charles referred to as the disease of melancholy, that is, that some people seem to be constitutionally more prone to wrestle with depression than others. For some, fear and worry seem to naturally dominate. Therefore, understanding oneself is important, as is the constant discipline of turning eyes of faith to Christ and learning to find rest in the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. In other words, the fleshly struggle with despondency becomes a blessing when it is recognized as the weakness that keeps one dependent upon God. Read my full review of this book at Books at a Glance.