Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression

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by Zack Eswine



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781915387
Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
Publication date: 11/20/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 505,339
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Zack Eswine is the Senior Pastor at the Riverside Church, St Louis, Missouri. He previously served as Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri. A list of his writings can be found at zackeswine.com or on his blog at preachingbarefoot.com.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Trying to Understand Depression

1 The Road to Sorrow 17

2 Depression and our Circumstances 25

3 The Disease of Melancholy 33

4 Spiritual Depression 41

Part 2 Learning How to Help Those Who Suffer from Depression

5 Diagnosis Doesn't Cure 57

6 A Language for our Sorrows 67

7 Helps that Harm 75

8 Jesus and Depression 83

Part 3 Learning Helps to Daily Cope with Depression

9 Promises and Prayers 93

10 Natural Helps 105

11 Suicide and Choosing Life 119

12 The Benefits of Sorrow 133

What People are Saying About This

Richard Winter ~ Author of When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression

Zack Eswine, like Spurgeon, a preacher, pastor, and no stranger to suffering... there is much encouragement, comfort and practical help to be found in this rich and poetic treasure.

Jason Byassee ~ Senior Pastor

Zack Eswine is a pastor with the mind of a scholar and the heart of a poet. His wisdom gleaned from Charles Spurgeon's struggle with depression is theologically profound and pastorally lucid.

David Powlison ~ CCEF Executive Director

The river of life often flows through sloughs of despond. Charles Spurgeon knew that well... Ditto Zack Eswine in this unusual, refreshing, sensible book... Read it, and take it to heart.

Tom J. Nettles ~ Senior Professor of Historical Theology

...Spurgeon from early years to final days found dark distress ever hovering on the edges of his mind and sometimes launching an all out assault on his very being. How he managed all this, by the grace of God, both for himself and for others, drives both the gripping content and the riveting literary style of Zack Eswine in Spurgeon's Sorrows.

From the Publisher

Zack Eswine, like Spurgeon, a preacher, pastor, and no stranger to suffering... there is much encouragement, comfort and practical help to be found in this rich and poetic treasure. ~ Dr Richard Winter (Author of When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression, Director of Counseling at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri )

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Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
This review is being written from the perspective of a fellow sufferer of depression. The book discusses a condition I have had a bent toward from my early years. I am not a psychologist, theologian, pastor, therapist, counselor, Bible student, professor, or church staff. I'm just a garden variety human being and found this book very readable and appealing.  After reading through Spurgeon's Sorrows a couple of times I realized that it is a bit different from other books I've read that focus on depression. There seemed to be a sub-text that I didn't understand at first. The marked difference seemed to come from the heart of the author, Dr. Zachary Eswine. The writings indicated a poetic heart, a sensitive nature. This is not a textbook. I am a person who lives with a condition called Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression. I experience different mood swings in spite of the use of stabilizing medications. In reading this book, I immediately recognized the author's sense of empathy for those of us who live with depression as a matter of biology as well as for those who become depressed because of a sensitive nature or troubling circumstances. His non-clinical approach is a breath of fresh air. I didn't find any judgmental attitudes in any of his chapters. He writes out of a sincere desire to lend a helping hand.  The author's arsenal is twofold: a gentle nudge toward understanding, and a surprising revelation for Christians who may recognize the prolific works of Charles H. Spurgeon. In the author's words, "How is it then that this preacher could stand up publicly in a congregation and talk so openly about depression? He was a mega-church pastor, one of the first ever. It was the 1800's. He was British, Victorian, and Baptist. How was a guy like that talking so openly about a subject like this?" Apparently, there was as much need then as there is today for one believer to stand along side another believer, and any sufferer of depression, in commiserating companionship. It definitely doesn't come naturally. We all need a push to get us moving in the right direction.  The book is divided into three parts: Part I: Trying to Understand Depression Part II: Learning How to Help Those Who Suffer from Depression Part III: Learning Helps--How to Daily Cope with Depression It contains numerous quotes from Charles Spurgeon's sermons, cited at the end of each of the 12 short chapters. I think its greatest appeal would be for pastors, Bible teachers, therapists, counselors and theologians. However, excerpts are short and to the point. For a person studying the Bible and wants to understand how God views depression and sorrow, this makes a fascinating study. One of the most impressive facets I appreciate in this book is the way Pastor Eswine gives us three godly examples of how depression, heaviness of soul, the troubled spirit and even the mentally ill ought to be understood. First we have Pastor Eswine himself, who has experienced deep sorrow and trouble in his life. Then we have the passionate, fiery, historical figure of Charles Spurgeon whose prolific writings and sermons inspire hundreds every day. Finally, both pastors point to Jesus, a "man of sorrows" who was sorely afflicted on our behalf. He knows and understands the burdens we carry because He carried them too once.  One of my favorite aspects of this writing was learning of Spurgeon's own torments and melancholy intensified by a tragic incident that occurred while he was preaching. This was part of his life I had never known about before reading this book.   Finally, Chapter 6 caught my interest. It explores the language God uses in the Bible toward the troubled, and the way He communicates His heart to us. He uses metaphors and similes to ease the suffering and help us understand. "Since depression is a condition that is almost unimaginable to anyone who has not known it, its diagnosis (and aid) depends on metaphors." We endure winters. We are bruised like a cluster of grapes, trodden in the wine-press, waves of agony roll over us, and so on. The use of such word pictures and metaphorical phrases encourages our neighbors and fellow Christians to grow in understanding, empathy and helpfulness.  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC)on behalf of Christian Focus Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”