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Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
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Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  2,023 ratings  ·  97 reviews
This enduring collection of twenty-one sermons by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, each originally delivered at Westminster Chapel in London, carefully and compassionately analyzes an undeniable feature of modern society from which Christians have not escaped -- spiritual depression."Christian people," writes Lloyd-Jones, "too often seem to be perpetually in the doldrums and too oft ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published July 21st 1965 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published January 1st 1965)
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I didn't read all of this book, but more what pertained to me at the time. One thing I really appreciated from Lloyd-Jones was that he didn't throw out that we all have different temperaments. He talked in the beginning of the book about how we are all made differently and have a propensity toward legalism or antinomianism. Toward self-pity or more flaming arrogance. Timid or outgoing. In the "Christian world," I've seen for many years how Christian counselors, pastors, and the like try to make ...more
Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure by Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a good read. It was very insightful at points, filling my soul with nuggets to chew on, but also hard to plod through at times. For those who dare to take the plunge, you will find great reward for your soul if you stick with it.

Lloyd-Jones writes with great detail, sometimes feeling very laborious, about some of the causes and cures for spiritual depression. Spiritual depression isn’t to be confused with clinical or phycologic
I've had this book sitting on my shelf for years now, as I'd picked it up from a giveaway box somewhere... but only this week did I get around to actually reading it. A collection of 21 sermons originally given at Westminster Chapel in the 1960's, the book dates itself somewhat with the universal use of "man" for humanity, repeated references to the events of the early 20th century, and a formal style with long paragraphs which require concentration to fully appreciate. But given the thought-pro ...more
Jody Shee
This book was written in 1965 and has had a lasting impact on me. The author says that the solution to overcoming depression is to talk to yourself rather than listen to yourself. He mentions several times that you need to take yourself in hand and have a talk with yourself and remind yourself of God. I plan to use some of what he said in an upcoming book I'm writing about depression.
I'm about a quarter of the way through this book, but I've already learned more about God and myself than I have in reading any other Christian book. It is actually a series of sermons the author did back in the 50s or 60s, so as I began reading I was a bit skeptical that it wouldn't apply to today's society. I was completely wrong! Spiritual depression is a huge plague within the church that is destroying our joy as Christians and our ability to minister to the world. We are quick to reach for ...more
Laura Clawson
"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? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he star ...more
Cameron Bernard
I read a chapter or two of this book almost every Sunday for the past couple of months. MLJ's sermons have been such a blessing. The book in a nutshell: practice your faith and rest in Christ. But you should really just read it.
This is one of the best books on the Christian life that I have ever read. It's a series of twenty-two sermons by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones on the subject of spiritual depression, or the condition of being a downcast, dispirited Christian. He takes the subject logically, working through a number of causes for such a condition, using stories from Scripture as case studies. Topics of discussion include the importance of solid Christian foundations, vain regrets, fear of the future, the place of feelin ...more
Debbie Howell
A collection of sermons, first published in 1965. Refreshing in that it's a different perspective from today's Christian publishing marketing/packaging machine, but I found it best to read it one chapter at a time, not in long stretches. At times it had a bit of a "get over it" feel, but as I got further into the book there seemed to be less of that. Lloyd-Jones' use of the term "depression" is a bit different from what comes to mind now--while we would tend to think in terms of clinical depress ...more
Marie Butson
This may not be a new book found on the self-help or in Family Bookstore, but the simple wisdom and admonition to those of us who are of a more melancholy temperament could benefit well from this book. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a British pastor wrote an exhaustive commentary on the book of Ephesians that is a classic. This book reminds me of the voice of my grandmother, lovely Christian lady who died in 1997 who could admonish with love and clear words that would encourage me to keep moving forward. T ...more
Derek Regier
This book is worthy of more than five stars. I just recently finished reading this book, and I cannot adequately put in words the value I found in this book. No other book short of the Gospel of John has been as seminal for me as this book. D.M. Lloyd-Jones crafts this series of messages in such a way that I experienced sort of a water-shed spiritual moment (or, really, series of moments throughout my time reading it). Spiritual Depression by D.M. Lloyd-Jones has served to turn on the light-bulb ...more
Joshua D.
Good pastoral help for someone grappling with depression. Some good challenges in there, but as always, I find Lloyd-Jones a little abrupt in places. Additionally, I'm sure this was more impressive as a sermon series where people waited week to week to hear the messages. Reading the chapters in close succession made it seem repetitive.
Excellent book! The main point is that as Christians, we are to live lives that demonstrate God's goodness and our satisfaction in Him. If we go around crabby or depressed, we are making other things more important than Him. As believers, He is our highest joy. Since I am prone to letting my circumstances dictate my mood, I was very convicted by this book. He addresses various sticking points such as guilt over past sins, anxiety about the future, and a lack of knowledge of God, all of which con ...more
I originally started this book just because my brother told me I had to read it. It took me a while to get through it. I thought 300 pages should be no big deal but nearly every page had me highlighting, writing notes, and thinking. The author takes a look at spiritual depression on a number of levels without merely treating a specific symptom and leaving the root untouched. Neither does he generalize to the point that the reader feels vaguely encouraged or convicted but not really sure why or w ...more
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the title of this book has the word “depression” in it that it doesn’t relate to you. Martyn Lloyd-Jones identifies numerous sources of spiritual discouragement, and encourages us to counteract those causes by preaching the truth to ourselves. His writing is a wonderful mixture of lofty prose, common sense, and practical insights. If you’ve experienced spiritual discouragement of any degree, this book is heartening and applicable.

*note added a year
Nathan Moore
This is a collection of 21 sermons that Lloyd-Jones preached on the topic of Spiritual Depression, a broad term he uses as a sort of catch all for various types of unhappiness in the Christian life. Though I felt introduced to very few new concepts, I have a suspicion that is because I have been taught by many who have been influenced by Lloyd-Jones' teaching.

One of the most helpful concepts he suggests is quite foundational and is the issue of one speaking to himself rather than listening to h
Mark Nenadov
This is an extremely helpful classic from the 20th century Welsh pastor, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. As is usually the case with his books, this is a collection of transcribed sermons.

There is a lot of fantastic insight and great gems are to be found here. Reading the book has personally been beneficial to me. Don't let the title fool you into thinking that this book is merely about "clinical depression". The term "depression" is used far more broadly here than we are used to hearing. The topic appli
The author addresses a very common topic that has many causes. The book is arranged as a series of sermons that the author preached during the mid-twentieth century. Lloyd-Jones preaches in the Puritan style: a single passage of Scripture is exposited and applied to the topic of interest. Each chapter addresses a different topic and progresses the theme from personal characteristics of those who are most likely affected by "spiritual depression" to possible causes to the cure.

I have never read a
I am in the middle of reading a biography of the author of this book, Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, and what I have read has given me a great respect for this man. This is a helpful book, not only for someone struggling with depression, but for any Christian who has undergone any kind of trial. Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones has an unusual amount of wisdom and that comes through in this book. I especially appreciated the place he gave to individual personality differences. He acknowledges that this plays a fa ...more
Steve Hemmeke

Introspective, but not morbidly so.

Lloyd-Jones examines from several angles hindrances to the Christian's joy.
The title is probably the worst marketing ever.

He seems inconsistent in parts, but I think it is just the difference of what is called for in the situation. Much of the time we need to forget ourselves, move beyond ourselves. At other times we need to talk to ourselves, and tell ourselves the truth we don't feel, or don't want to accept. Lloyd-Jones often sounds Stoic, but will the
I guess it's about time I wrote in my review for this book. To sum up my thoughts about the book, I would say it's an excellent breakdown of the importance of Christian doctrine, primarily justification by faith alone.

I was happy to see Lloyd-Jones hammer the importance of the mind; knowing doctrine will affect your heart/feeling which will manifest in the will/actions. Coming from a Charismatic background, it was refreshing to see it laid out so well.

My only issue with the book (hence -1 star)
As others have pointed out, this is a series of sermons Lloyd-Jones preached in 1965 reworked for publication in book form. Lloyd-Jones did a masterful job, generally speaking, in this book, but I find that I cannot give it even three stars or higher based solely on the conclusion he makes in his "cure" for spiritual depression in the believer." His solution was so naive and vapid that I could not believe it when I first read it. His solution was put into a song a long time before he preached th ...more
Why don't Christians have joy? This is the question Martyn Lloyd-Jones wants to answer and it's one that is just as relevant today as it was when this book was written 50 years ago. Are not Christians supposed to be the most joyful people in the world? Yet so often, as Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out, this is not the case. Christians are susceptible to losing sight of their Savior and fall into the rut of spirit depression. This book wants to help Christians everywhere diagnose where this depressi ...more
This book is Martyn Lloyd-Jones at his best. Like the meticulous doctor he was prior to becoming a minister, Lloyd-Jones in classic "attention to detail" style, breaks down a solid diagnosis on the many causes that stop Christians from being what they should be in Christ and offers the remedy just as skillfully. This set of 21 sermons is very readable and worthy of one slowly sifting through to gain the best understanding possible while reading. You won't get everything the first time through bu ...more
Neil Steinwand
A wonderful set of sermons by MLJ on depression, both spiritual and physical. The set challenges the reader to get a handle on themselves and Scripture, explaining what triggers depression in our lives and how to combat it. He touches on the physical/medical side, suggesting that medical help may be necessary in the solution for some people.
Michael Locklear
I want to thank my friend, Bob Dimmitt for introducing me to this book written by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I would strongly encourage you to get a copy, read it through and re-read it from time to time as needed. These chapters (sermons of Dr. Lloyd-Jones) are timely and fitting to the various spiritual and emotional needs that we encounter in our Christian life.
In the forward, Dr. Lloyd-Jones writes:
Believing as I do that the greatest need of the hour is a revived and joyful Church the subjec
Heidi Schaap
So good. Not only theology (which is frustrating for a person in the depths of depression to handle) nor only a hands-on checklist (which can be frustrating for a devout Christian who wants real meat). The perfect blend of understanding, surrendering, and doing.
As always, Dr. Lloyd-Jones doesn't disappoint. This book is a great resource for Christians wanting to study the subject of joy. Not happiness, mind you, but real, abiding joy. With his usual finesse, MLJ picks apart many modern (and age-old) reasons why Christians struggle with joy. Sometimes it's personality, sometimes it's sin; MLJ gets to the heart of the issue quickly and with clarity.

Each chapter follows his traditional method: Scripture regarding the topic, exegesis on the passage, examp
Becky Pliego
Very good.

We (especially those of us who are more "optimistic") need to read more books like this one, books that will help us be more understanding and compassionate toward those who fall into depression more easily.

Apr 12, 2009 Gregory marked it as to-read
I had begun this book about about a year ago but I put it down due to trials and work.
I hate having to relearn something, but it is not the relearning that is most difficult it is the applying of something that should have been done along time ago. Suffering for rightousness sake is good but to suffer for stupidity well, oh well.
Many great saint's suffered with depression and for instance Charles Spurgeon would leave the pulpit for month's, King David in the cave, Elijah and the Apostle Paul
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  • Holiness
  • When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God--And Joy
  • Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture
  • Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change
  • Lectures to My Students
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
  • Quest for Godliness
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
  • The Religious Affections
  • How People Change
  • Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life
  • The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to Liberal Christianity, which had become a part of many Christian denominations; he regarded it as aberrant. ...more
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“To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say “Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?” And they hesitate. And then I say, “What’s the matter? Why are you hesitating?” And so often people say, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough yet. I don’t think I’m ready to say I’m a Christian now.” And at once I know that I have been wasting my breath. They are still thinking in terms of themselves. They have to do it. It sounds very modest to say, “Well, I don’t think I’ good enough,” but it’s a very denial of the faith. The very essence of the Christian faith is to say that He is good enough and I am in Him. As long as you go on thinking about yourself like that and saying, “I’m not good enough; Oh, I’m not good enough,” you are denying God – you are denying the gospel – you are denying the very essence of the faith and you will never be happy. You think you’re better at times and then again you will find you are not as good at other times than you thought you were. You will be up and down forever. How can I put it plainly? It doesn’t matter if you have almost entered into the depths of hell. It does not matter if you are guilty of murder as well as every other vile sin. It does not matter from the standpoint of being justified before God at all. You are no more hopeless than the most moral and respectable person in the world.” 47 likes
“we must never look at any sin in our past life in any way except that which leads us to praise God and to magnify His grace in Christ Jesus.” 18 likes
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