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The closing exhortations of Charles Spurgeon’s priceless counsel on “The Minister’s Fainting Fits” in Lectures to My Students:

The lesson of wisdom is, be not dismayed by soul-trouble.

Count it no strange thing, but a part of ordinary ministerial experience.

Should the power of depression be more than ordinary, think not that all is over with your usefulness.

Cast not away your confidence, for it hath great recompense of reward.

Even if the enemy’s foot be on your neck, expect to rise amid overthrow him.

Cast the burden of the present, along with the sin of the past and the fear of the future, upon the Lord, who forsaketh not his saints.

Live by the day--ay, by the hour.

Put no trust in frames and feelings.

Care more for a grain of faith than a ton of excitement.

Trust in God alone, and lean not on the reeds of human help.

Be not surprised when friends fail you: it is a failing world.

Never count upon immutability in man: inconstancy you may reckon upon without fear of disappointment.

The disciples of Jesus forsook him; be not amazed if your adherents wander away to other teachers: as they were not your all when with you, all is not gone from you with their departure.

Serve God with all your might while the candle is burning, and then when it goes out for a season, you will have the less to regret.

Be content to be nothing, for that is what you are.

When your own emptiness is painfully forced upon your consciousness, chide yourself that you ever dreamed of being full, except in the Lord.

Set small store by present rewards; be grateful for earnests by the way, but look for the recompensing joy hereafter.

Continue, with double earnestness to serve your Lord when no visible result is before you.

Any simpleton can follow the narrow path in the light: faith’s rare wisdom enables us to march on in the dark with infallible accuracy, since she places her hand in that of her Great Guide.

Between this and heaven there may be rougher weather yet, but it is all provided for by our covenant Head.

In nothing let us be turned aside from the path which the divine call has urged us to pursue.

Come fair or come foul, the pulpit is our watch-tower, and the ministry our warfare; be it ours, when we cannot see the face of our God, to trust under THE SHADOW OF HIS WINGS.

[See also this helpful series, “Depression and the Ministry” at TGC.]

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6 thoughts on “Encouragement for Pastors Tempted with Depression”

  1. Tim Spivey says:

    Among the many things that amaze me about Spurgeon…I continue to stand in awe of his use of language. Thanks for sharing, Justin!

  2. It was around 2 years ago when depression really started hitting me hard. Here’s a summary recap of what that was like for me:

  3. Mrs. JD Darr says:

    How encouraging for everyone! Thank you Mr. Taylor! I daily look forward to reading your posts. They are always uplifting and informational. Thank you for the hard work and the time you put into your blog!

  4. Steve Bice says:

    So timely brother. Thanking God for working through you to care for my soul.

  5. Since depression tries to pull in everyone, I’ve learned to put my trust in God alone and to love people.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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