Day 241: When All Else Fails
Jeremiah 8:18 (AV)
18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.
The word depressed is not found in our King James Bibles. It's not that we don't suffer from depression, it's just that other words were used to describe that condition of spirits. According to the Webster's 1828 dictionary, the word means to sink; to lower; to deject; to make sad; as, to depress the spirits or mind.
Jeremiah spoke about this when he said: "When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me." Depression happens to us and often is a condition of the emotions after the mind has been assaulted by thoughts that bring us low. Jeremiah said that he tried to cheer himself up, but his heart was not strong enough to lift his spirits.
Have you ever been in that frame of mind? No matter what you tried, you couldn't shake the depression?
You might be surprised to learn that even the famous C. H. Spurgeon, renowned for his excellent preaching in the Master's service, suffered great depression bouts. He had this to say about a particular fight he had with depression:
When I was exceedingly ill in the South of France, and deeply depressed in spirit—so deeply depressed and so sick and ill that I scarce knew how to live,—one of those malicious persons who commonly haunt all public men, and especially ministers, sent me anonymously a letter, openly directed to "That unprofitable servant C. H. Spurgeon." This letter contained tracts directed to the enemies of the Lord Jesus, with passages marked and underlined, with notes applying them to myself. How many Rabshekahs have in their day written to me! Ordinarily, I read them with the patience which comes of use, and they go to light the fire. I do not look for exemption from this annoyance, nor do I usually feel it hard to bear, but in the hour when my spirits were depressed, and I was in terrible pain, this reviling letter cut me to the quick. I turned upon my bed and asked—Am I, then, an unprofitable servant? I grieved exceedingly, and could not lift up my head, or find rest. I reviewed my life, and saw its infirmities and imperfections, but knew not how to put my case till this second text came to my relief, and answered as the verdict of my bruised heart. I said to myself, "I hope I am not an unprofitable servant in the sense in which this person intends to call me so; but I am assuredly so in the other sense." I cast myself upon my Lord and Master once again with a deeper sense of the meaning of the text than I had felt before: his atoning sacrifice revived me, and in humble faith, I found rest.
[Spurgeon, C. H. "Unprofitable Servants." The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons. Vol. 26. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1880. 331. Print.]
Our souls' enemy knows how to use the moments of depression to send his fiery darts to pierce our hearts! What are we to do when we cannot lift ourselves out of the miry clay?
Ah, friend! We have a truth we can rest our souls on and find solid footing once again, though our bodies and minds might not follow for a season, our spirits can find a place to cast anchor. Spurgeon found it at Calvary.
He discovered that he might have very well have been an unprofitable servant. But Christ died for that unprofitable servant as much as He died for the most useful one. Yes, He died even for me!
One thing cannot fail when all else fails, and that is the Cross of Christ. He died for me. No matter my circumstance in life, no matter how far I stray from the Master and no matter how strong the fierce winds of opposition, Calvary conquered it all!
Colossians 2:10 (AV)
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Complete in Thee! no work of mine
May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine,
Thy blood has pardon bought for me,
And I am now complete in Thee.
Complete in Thee—no more shall sin,
Thy grace has conquered, reign within;
Thy voice will bid the tempter flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.
Complete in Thee—each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied.
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more—complete in Thee.
Dear Saviour! when, before Thy bar,
All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen may I be
At Thy right hand—complete in Thee.
Aaron R. Wolfe, 1884.