OCTOBER 15

Alone in the Dark?

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? PSALM 13:1

Some people believe the words "Christian" and "depression" should never appear in the same sentence. They believe that a person whose Bible proclaims, "The joy of the LORD is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10), should know better than to be unhappy.

It makes you wonder, though, if that was the case with William Cowper, author of such classic hymn lyrics as "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform" and "There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins." Severe depression forced him early in life to abandon his career in law.

If not for the patient mentorship of John Newton (composer of "Amazing Grace"), who knows how low Cowper's depression would have taken him?

Charles Spurgeon struggled mightily with depression, particularly after a false cry of "Fire!" set off a stampede in his packed-house congregation, killing several in attendance. He often talked about hearing his "own chains clank" as he delivered his sermons, comparing his feelings to a chariot stuck in the mud.

King David, we know, cried out in melancholy many times through the psalms. Paul, who wrote, "God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus" (2 Corinthians 7:6), certainly knew seasons of darkness and despair. Biblical figures such as Moses, Job and Elijah went through overwhelming valleys of doubt and fear.

So if either of you find yourself under the heavy weight of depression today, grappling to work free but not always able to win the fight, you're not alone in your struggle. Your suffering is not unknown by God. Your dark circumstances are not beyond His power to heal, restore and redeem.

As you seek God for relief, take a measure of comfort in your good company.

DISCUSS

What purpose could possibly be served by depression? Why would some of God's greatest servants be touched with it?

PRAY

Comfort one another in praying for each other, casting one another's burdens on Him, because He cares for both of you.  

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