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

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  1,285 ratings  ·  70 reviews
This is a commentary on Epheians Chapter 5:8 to Chapter 6:9
Kindle Edition
Published (first published July 15th 1964)
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Tamara Blickhan
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
Ryan Adair
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...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.
Rachel
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
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
Rachel
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
Jenna
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
Jo
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...more
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...more
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...more
Allen
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...more
Heather
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
Solid.

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...more
Dustin
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)...more
Jt
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
Shay
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
Chapronrin
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
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...more
Gregory
Apr 12, 2009 Gregory marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Pascal Denault
I'm preparing a series on the "normal" Christian life, I found this book useful.I don't like that MLJ rarely uses subtitles in his writings, but otherwise he's a man of great wisdom.
Laura
May 04, 2011 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Dr. Tim Keller mentions this book in his sermons
Though the speech is old fashioned, the advice is invaluable. Most of it is about making the gospel central in your life. But it goes through various common ways in which straying from the gospel causes a Christian to lose his joy, while acknowledging that some temperaments are more prone to introspection than others.

There is lots of good advice in here, and I'll definitely pick this book up again from time to time and meditate on various chapters.

One caveat: D. Martyn-Lloyd Jones does hold th...more
Melissa
Jun 26, 2008 Melissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ERM
So why are we Christians, who are supposed to be full of joy, so moody and depressed? What does that say to the unbelieving world? That we are no better off than them? So why should they have any reason to look at us and think we know anything better? This book explores why Christians SHOULD have joy, and why a lot of times we don't, and what to DO about it. We should not let the worldly "stuff" get in the way of our view of the life to come... This book convicted me IN THE INTRODUCTION, and ble...more
Mark A Powell
With pastoral precision and theological acumen, Lloyd-Jones explores the paradox of the ‘miserable Christian’—one whose life should be full of God’s joy yet is often marked by spiritual depression. From various Scriptures, these sermons (originally presented in 1964) examine the conditions and causes of this depression and, more importantly, discusses the cure as revealed in God’s Word. A blend of powerful exposition and helpful practicality makes this book a wonderful resource and easy to comme...more
Stephen
This is one of the foremost books on my understanding and edification in my life. Depression is a big word in the 21st Century and the Church us scathed by Christians who are depressed. It is an issue that is in need of address and MJ delivers. It gave me insight into my own thinking and took me carefully through Scripture to provide conviction, comfort, and a realization that I must take an active role in Christ's Sovereign work, which is the mystery of the indwelling of the Son of God.
Scott
A really wonderful book full of wisdom for Christians to discern how to approach the "dark nights of the soul" that are sure to strike in the Christian life. There is much that I will - and have been - utilizing in counseling those in my community. Most notably, the difference between "listening" to oneself vs. "preaching" to oneself, and the difference between "introspection" and "examination."

This is classic Lloyd-Jones - all the way to his characteristic excessive wordiness.
Penny
Feb 25, 2008 Penny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who proclaims to be a Christian needs to read this book.
Recommended to Penny by: I found it in LWLC library while waiting for a committee meeting
I am currently reading this book and find it facinating. I originally borrowed this book from LWLC library early in 2007 and sort of looked through it and picked out a few passages here and there. It struck a chord with me and I have picked it up again to re-read from cover to cover. It opened my eyes to what it means to be depressed and how we can deal with depression. Having gone through major depressions in 2006 and 2007 it has great meaning to me.
Crystal
One of the best books I have read. Martyn Lloyd-Jones opened my eyes, wrestling through countless questions that have developed in my mind over my short lifetime. Questions (and even some doubts) in regard to living faithfully through the difficult, all be it beautiful, life God has given us. I would call this a book on understanding sin and our tendencies toward giving in, and the need for fighting, and overcoming.
Vaughn
This book, a collection of MLJ sermons, is really about living the Christian life and what obstacles get in the way of experiencing the joy of a relationship with God. Every one of the twenty-one chapters contains solid, biblical teaching on finding fulfillment and each one individually is worth the price of the complete book. Aside from the Holy, infallible word of God, this is one of the best books I’ve read. Solid 5 stars.
Darrell
A life-changing book. Compiled and transcribed from a series of sermons, Dr. Lloyd-Jones covers a variety of "ailments" that keep Christians from being the joyful representatives of Christ that we're called to be, re-focusing believers on their identity in Christ and the power that is available through him. This was the first book by Martyn Lloyd-Jones that I've read but I'll be adding more of his works to my collection.
Leigh Ann
I cannot recommend this book enough. It was filled with doctrinal truths that as a Christian we must not confuse or miss. It was constantly pointing me to Christ and helping me to see much sin in my life. I would have to say it is my #1 favorite book that I have read this year, and quite possibly, my favorite book that I've ever read. Please get a copy of this book and read it.
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  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • Holiness
  • When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God--and Joy
  • Depression: A Stubborn Darkness--Light for the Path
  • Seeing With New Eyes, Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture (Resources for Changing Lives)
  • Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives)
  • Lectures to My Students
  • The Reformed Pastor
  • A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
  • The Religious Affections
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
  • The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
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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
More about D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones...
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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.” 29 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.” 15 likes
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