Spiritual Depression Chs 1-3 (Quotes)

By D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
from Chs 1-3, Spiritual Depression

General Consideration (1, p.9); The True Foundation (2, p.23); Men as Trees, Walking (3, p.37)

In a world where everything has gone so sadly astray, we should be standing out as men and women apart, people characterized by a fundamental joy and certainty in spite of conditions, in spite of adversity.  p. 23


Are we happy(assured) Christians or miserable Christians?




Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me?  Hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.  Psalm 42:5


Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  And why art thou disquieted within me?  Hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11


Here we are able to watch noble souls struggling with their problems and with themselves.  They talk to themselves and to their souls, baring their hearts, analyzing their problems, chiding and encouraging themselves.  Sometimes they are elated, at other times depressed, but they are always honest with themselves.  That is why they are of such real value to us if we also are honest with ourselves. p. 9


…the reason why so many today are living superficial Christian lives is because they will not take time to examine themselves. p. 12


We are all in the same fight, of course, as we share the same common salvation, and have the same common central need.  But the manifestations of the trouble vary from case to case and from person to person. p. 15 – temperament, physical condition, reaction to blessing or unusual experience, the work of the devil, unbelief


…I say that we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing “ourselves” to talk to us!….Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?…The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself.  You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself.  You must say to your soul:  “Why art thou cast down” – what business have you to be disquieted?  You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself:  “Hope thou in God” – instead of muttering in this depressed unhappy way.  And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do.  Then having done that, end on this great note:  defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man:  “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God”.


Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

 Romans 3:28


We have to realize that there are certain things about which we must be perfectly clear before we can really hope to have peace, and to enjoy the Christian life.  p. 27


You must be made miserable before you can know true Christian joy….Ultimately, the only thing which is going to drive a man to Christ and make him rely upon Christ alone, is a true conviction of sin…If you have not a conviction of sin, and if you do not realize that you are unworthy before God, and that you are utterly condemned and a complete failure before God, pay attention to nothing else until you have it… pp. 28, 31, 32


Do I know God?  Is Jesus Christ real to me?  I am not asking whether you know things about Him but do you know God, are you enjoying God, is God the centre of your life, the soul of your being, the source of your greatest joy?  He is meant to be.  He made man is such a way that that was to be the position, that man might dwell in communion with God and enjoy God and walk with God.  You and I are meant to be like that, and if we are not like that, it is sin.  p. 31


The essence of the Christian salvation is to say that He (Christ) is good enough and that I am in Him!…Say:  “It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ”.  That is your first step.  Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is only than that true happiness and joy are possible for you.  pp. 34 – 35


And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto Him, and besought Him to touch him.  And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when He had spit on his eyes, and put His hands upon him, He asked him if he saw ought.  And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.  After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up:  and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.  And He sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, not tell it to any in the town.  Mark 8:22-26


…there are many people like this man, there are many people who seem to be in the first stage through which this man passed in the process of healing…you have to say at one and the same time that he is blind and that he is not blind…Sometimes when they have been in a service they will say:  “Yes, I am a Christian, I believe this.”  Then something happens and they say:  “I cannot be a Christian.  If I were a Christian I could not have such thoughts.  I would not want to do the things I do.” ….they feel they are, and they feel they are not Christians.  pp. 39-40

They seem to know enough about Christianity to spoil their enjoyment of the world, and yet they do not know enough to feel happy about themselves. p. 40

Causes?  No clear understanding of certain truths, heart that is not fully engaged, will that is divided, objection to clear-cut definitions (the most comfortable type of religion is always a vague religion), less than full acceptance of the teaching and authority of Scriptures, lack of interest in doctrine, not taking the doctrines of the Scriptures in their right order. pp. 42-46


There is nothing that so clears a man’s spiritual sight as the apprehension and understanding of the doctrines of the Bible. p. 46



…the great cause of the condition which we are considering is a refusal to think things right through.  It is the fatal danger of wanting to enjoy something before you really grasp it and possess it.  It is men and women who refuse to think things right through, and who do not want to learn, and who become unteachable for various reasons – often self-protection – these are the people who generally become victims of this spiritual confusion, this lack of clarity, this seeing and not seeing at the same time.  p. 46


Cures?  Avoid making premature claim that blindness is cured, but don’t feel hopeless.  Ask – Where do I stand, what exactly do I see?  Have I got things clearly?  Am I happy? Do I know God?  Do I know Jesus Christ?  Not only as our Saviour but do I know him?  Am I rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory?  p. 47


The last step is to submit yourself to Christ…Say:  “I want the truth whatever it costs me.”  Bind yourself to it, submit yourself to it, come in utter submission as a little child and plead with Him to give you clear sight, perfect vision, and to make you whole. p. 47


The Christian position is a clear position.  We are not meant to be left in a state of doubt and misgiving, of uncertainty and unhappiness. …If you are unhappy about  yourself as  result of this examination come to Him, come to His Word, wait upon Him, plead with Him, hold on to Him, ask Him in the words of the hymn:


“Holy Spirit, Truth Divine,

Dawn upon this soul of mine,

Word of God, and inward Light,

Wake my spirit, clear my sight”


If you are unhappy about yourself…come to Him, come to His Word, wait upon Him, plead with Him, hold on to Him… He is pledged to do it and He will do it, and you will no longer be an uncertain Christian seeing and not seeing.  You will be able to say:  “I see, I see in Him all I need and more, and I know that I belong to Him”. p. 48


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