Greats Books Alert! On Happiness and Depression

Short and sweet, Randy Alcorn’s study on the Biblical view of happiness was a cool read on my wife and I’s short getaway to Galena, IL. Reflecting on its truths made wandering from antique store to women’s clothing store relatively tolerable to me — which is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

Key quotes:

  • Happiness among believers is proportionate to the time invested in the humble study of God’s Word.
  • When I meditate on Christ’s unfathomable love and grace, I lose myself in him, and before I know it, I’m happy. But when I focus on my problems and especially how badly others are treating me (or so I imagine), happiness flies away.
  • If the gospel doesn’t make us happy, we’re not believing the Good News or grasping its extent. We need to remind ourselves of what the gospel really means. As Jerry Bridges says, “Preach the gospel to yourself every day.”

If you know someone in your church or in the ministry struggling with discouragement or depression, the Prince of Preachers’ words of courage and sympathy would be a stellar addition to the bookshelf.

Eswine expertly compiles Spurgeon’s own writings on his personal struggle with depression, bringing to life 2 Corinthians 1:3-4,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Key quotes:

  • In this fallen world, sadness is an act of sanity, our tears the testimony of the sane.
  • We plead not ourselves, but the promises of Jesus; not our strengths but His; our weaknesses yes, but His mercies. Our way of fighting is to hide behind Jesus who fights for us. Our hope is not the absence of our regret, or misery or doubt or lament, but the presence of Jesus.
  • The mind can descend far lower than the body, for in it there are bottomless pits. The flesh can bear only a certain number of wounds and no more, but the soul can bleed in ten thousand ways, and die over and over.
  • Charles saw in the Bible a language for the sorrowing, an advocacy to disrupt helpers who harm, and a man of sorrows sent from God out of love for the wailing world so that those who sat in darkness could finally feel the home they were made for and enjoy the sun again.

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