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

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  889 ratings  ·  175 reviews
Christians should have the answers, shouldn't they? Depression affects many people both personally and through the ones we love. Depression is not new though, indeed the "Prince of Preachers" C.H. Spurgeon struggled with depression and talked openly about it. Here Zack Eswine draws from Spurgeon's experiences to encourage us. What Spurgeon found in his darkness can serve ...more
Kindle Edition, 144 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Christian Focus Publications (first published November 1st 2014)
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Cindy Rollins
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suffering, 2019
It is always encouraging to know that someone who came before you suffered and overcame their suffering in Christ. Charles Spurgeon is one of my favorite expositors. His Faith's Checkbook, Morning and Evening, and Treasury of the Psalms are staples in my life making this book a bit of a different look at the man. He was not a man who went from joy to joy, but rather he struggled against the pains of outrageous fortune and always 'the bottom was firm.' That gives me courage because sometimes the ...more
Excellent short book on depression aimed at both those who suffer and those who care for sufferers. Read this in one day, and will read it again. Chapter 8 is worth reading the whole thing. Highly recommended.
Rose Elliott
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The sun may not rise for a few hours yet. But here amid the waiting hours, the sorrowing have a Savior."
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-life
I can't say enough good things about this book. Depression is such a difficult topic to speak helpfully about, and Zach Eswine has nailed it. This brief book is an effective partnership between Charles Spurgeon, with his raw experience of depression and his forthright, honest and biblical preaching, and Zach Eswine, with his own experience of depression and his uniquely gentle writing style. Highly recommended to read or give away.
Becky Pliego
2016: Depression has never been a temptation I have had to face, however, it is a fight that I must be ready to fight side by side with some of the dearest people in my life and I want to know how to do it better.

This book has been very helpful and I will sure come back to it in the future for reference.

2017: Excellent book. The way Mr. Eswine uses metaphors is a key element that helped me understand more what depression feels like. I think this is a wonderful book to help those who do not
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2019
The best book I have read on the topic of depression and mental illness in the life of a Christian. Beautifully written with grace, empathy, and encouragement for the sufferer. Includes practical helps for both the sufferer and the caregiver. It is hard to choose a favorite chapter, but 7: The Help that Harms was enlightening to me as I have experienced many of these “helps” from well meaning people who, frankly, do not understand the depth of depression’s dungeon nor the Biblical call to “weep ...more
Miles Smith
This book is part spiritual biography and part guide for Christians to walk through depression. The author uses the life and struggles of Charles Spurgeon to show Christ's presence in the depth of woes that the believer inevitably encounters. The entire work is worth reading, but the last two chapters are excellent.
Ho Christopher
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
We’ve all been sad, but have it’s another thing to be in sorrow. One well known preacher known to have suffered from extreme sorrow is Charles Spurgeon. Zack Eswine has written a book that not only shows us Spugeon’s experience and struggle with it. Eswine has also written a book to help others understand and visualise what it is like to be undergoing through such sorrows.

First Eswine helps the readers understand what depress is, he writes out in detail, as one who suffers from such depression,
Justin Dixon
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is not an exhaustive review of depression, but it does not pretend to be so. When I started this book, I was slightly disappointed. Several friends of mine had suggested this book with such admiration, yet within the first few chapters, I was afraid that Eswine would provide only empty epithets followed by platitudes that provided no comfort or hope. But I'm glad I continued to read.

Eswine first provides a very basic understanding of depression that is surely foundational for those who are
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My sister recommended this book after she'd read it. As a Christian who had suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts in my past, I cried and smiled my way through this book - finding comfort in the words and hopeful passages to cling to when anxiety and depressing moments arise. It's a great book for those who struggle to find peace in the midst of depression, mental illness, and anxiety, but it IS NOT only for the sufferers. It's also for anyone who struggles to understand loved ones or ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Zack Eswine has written a wonderful little book that captures the merciful heart of God towards sufferers of depression and melancholy. He accomplishes this by exploring the life and teaching of Charles Spurgeon, that great preacher of the 19th century. Spurgeon was a remarkable man in many ways, but perhaps none more surprising than his deep understanding of human suffering, especially mental anguish. You sometimes get a sense that Christians from other ages were all made of granite and would ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"...when we find ourselves impatient with sadness, we reveal our preference for folly, our resistance to wisdom, and our disregard for depth and proportion."
Logan Maloney
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really amazing book for anyone going through depression OR walking alongside someone who is battling it. This book uses Spurgeon’s life and sermons to bring light to what it is like to live this life with such dark thoughts. This book is really practical and was helpful for me to get a glimpse into what it’s like to help someone walk through depression.
Paul Stuart
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding read. My wife asked me to read this book in order to have a better understanding of the topic of depression. I am so glad that she did. This book is geared toward the one caught in sorrow as well as the one who wants to be a care-giver for those suffering. Very practical advice from the Bible and tons (and I mean tons) of Spurgeon quotes. For some reason, we Christians (including myself) can jump too easily to spouting off Bible verses and self-help tips to the hurting, when that can ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
What I really loved about this book is that it's written by someone who struggles. Even though I didn't completely resonate with everything he wrote or even all of his opinions, it helped me see things from the perspective of someone who lives with the pain and disorientation of depression and pressing on toward a biblical understanding and a Christ-centered hope in life.

The writing didn't really wow me (it was a little too poetic for my taste), but it felt real and I appreciated the gimpse
C.H. Cobb
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cherry-picking Spurgeon at his very best!

The term “cherry-picking” is often used pejoratively—I don’t use it that way here. Zach Eswine has mined Spurgeon’s sermons with the sort of care for detail a private investigator might employ in evaluating a target’s email. Spurgeon was both a sufferer of depression as well as a comforter of the depressed: he knows well of what he speaks. As Eswine demonstrates, the nineteenth-century “prince of preachers” provided a treasure-trove of wisdom regarding
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer #1: I think Charles Spurgeon is the greatest preacher of all time; no one has preached as eloquently as Spurgeon. Disclaimer #2: I suffer from clinical depression. These two facts seem unrelated until you get a hold of this book. In Spurgeon’s Sorrows, Eswine explores the Prince of Preachers’ lifelong struggle with depression. But more than a biography, Eswine explores Spurgeon’s struggle with the twin goals of: (a) explaining how people can better comfort and minister to those ...more
Joshua Novalis
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful doorway into the world of those who live in the darkness that is depression. Eswine(and, by extension, Spurgeon) approaches the topic with a much-needed sense of patience, empathy, and acceptance, using the life and teachings of Spurgeon as an avenue to enlighten his audience to the oft-ignored realities that come with depression. He's slow to pronounce judgement, and his writing is clearly the product of attentive listening. Eswine's approach to depression is also, whether ...more
Michael Boling
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Depression is a painful experience. It can draw one into the depths of despair with the accompanying belief there is no way out of the fog and back into the light of day and happiness. Many suffer from depression and struggle to understand why they are experiencing this malady. Furthermore, those around them are often ill-prepared to be of assistance and there are even more who believe they are helping those in despair but in reality are merely making matters worse. The great preacher Charles ...more
Baylee Pendleton
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Therefore we sufferers of depression in Christ may grow terribly weak, even in faith, but we are not lost to God. Contrary to those who tell us that we do not have enough faith or that we are condemned because of our inability to smile more. ‘Depression of spirit is no index of declining grace.’

It is Christ and not the absence of depression that saves us. So, we declare this truth. Our sense of God’s absence does not mean that He is so. Though our bodily gloom allows us no feeling of His
Connie Couto
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"We need patience under pain and hope under depression of spirit....Our God...will either make the burden lighter or the back stronger; he will diminish the need or increase the supply." Charles Spurgeon

"The anvil, the fire, the hammer, are the making of us; we do not get fashioned much by anything else. That heavy hammer falling on us helps to shape us; therefore let affliction and trouble and trial come." Hayden Searchlight on Spurgeon

These are the best words I can find and they are not mine.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eswine addresses difficult things without sanitizing them, yet leaves the reader with hope. A beautiful book for the soul struggling with depression and for those who want to be better equipped to come alongside those of us who struggle. Eswine does an excellent job examining the hurting heart and mind and poignantly applies the gospel.
Ashley Novalis
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A breath of fresh air. For anyone wanting to know more about depression, for a loved one or yourself. Take your time with this one.

By sharing C.H. Spurgeon's lifelong battle with depression, Zach Eswine offers, by far, the best piece on the subject I've encountered. Gentle and honest and full of hope. I wish I had a dozen copies to hand out.
Brendan Beale
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
Profound, deeply moving, and eminently helpful. The author writes about depression with such powerful imagery and metaphor as is only available to one who has walked those roads of sorrow himself. So thankful for this little book.
Vincent Ng
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and helpful little book on the topic of depression through the lens of Charles Spurgeon, and his life and experiences. This book is sensitive to those whose soul aches, providing the light of the gospel as the means to healing.
Wes Van Fleet
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books you are positive you will read again. Just like with the Imperfect Pastor, Eswine does not write on a topic he is thinking theoretically about but one he knows intimately. This has been a fresh spring in a parched land for me. Thank you for writing this, Zack.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Good material, but a little winded and flowery.
Eric Durso
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: counseling, 2019
This one was good for me to read. A really unique book.
Noah Meyer
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Though I am not one who deals with chronic depression, I do have a considerably pensive nature about me. In many ways, I'm empathetic to those who face depression and anxiety. Yet, in other ways, I do not understand. But, this book provides both encouragement and hope for those that do struggle with these challenges, and guidance and perspective for the caregivers of them. Eswine looks thoughtfully into Charles Spurgeon's own struggles to give the reader certainty that they are in good company. ...more
Ben Potloff
Amazing book. God graciously brought it to my attention during a season of struggle, and I am grateful. So many good insights and encouragements from a fellow pastor (the Prince of Preachers) who struggled with anxiety, depression, melancholy, etc. Zack made it feel as if Charles had his arm around me and was empathizing and encouraging me as a friend. Probably will read this again soon.
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zack is an author, pastor and mentor seeking words for living humanly in Jesus.
“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.” 7 likes
“It is an act of faith and wisdom to be sad about sad things.” 3 likes
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