Over the past few weeks I have been reading and listening to an old English preacher by the name of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He ministered in London between 1938 and 1968. One set of messages he preached has particularly grabbed me and challenged me. It was on Spiritual Depression.
His point is very simple. Are we happy, joyful Christians? Are we living in the reality of what Jesus Christ has achieved for us through his death and resurrection? Do we say each morning Halleluiah; I am glad and rejoice in the Lord. Or, are we depressed, sad Christians. Are we living each day still haunted, or enslaved in our past? Lloyd-Jones writes;
“If you look at your past and are depressed, it means that you are listening to the devil. But if you look at the past and say ‘Unfortunately it was true I was blinded by the god of this world but thank God His grace was more abundant. He was more than sufficient and His love and mercy came upon me in such a way that it is all forgiven. I am a new person.’ then all is well… . Rise up and realize the truth about yourself, [that if you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ] all the past has gone. You are one with Christ and all your sins have been blotted out once and forever.”
So which are we? Are we enslaved to the past? Are we depressed spiritually? Have we lost the joy of our salvation? Or are we joyful? Are we joyful that God’s mercy is all-sufficient for us? Are we joyful that our past has been dealt with, covered in the blood of the lamb? It is only when we do this that we can truly be joyful, knowing and living each day in the wonderful truths and promises of Christ and the Gospel.
What does your family see when they look at you, depression, sadness or joy? What do your work colleagues encounter when they see you each day? Do we exhibit the rejoicing and gladness of someone who knows they have been truly rescued from the dominion of sin and death?
As we approach Advent and Christmas, let us prepare ourselves not in a glum, sad, depressed manner, but in a joyful expectant way. Let us radiate hope to those around us. Let us share the joy of knowing Jesus and rejoice in the gift of life which comes through the eternal Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.