In 1954, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached on a subject that few other preachers cover: sermons on depression. Dr. Lloyd-Jones veered from his customary practice of preaching through books of the Bible verse by verse in order to preach this sermon series. The origin of the series is referenced by Iain Murray in the second volume of his authorized biography of Dr Lloyd-Jones, “The Fight of Faith”:
“I got up one morning, washed and was still half-dressed when quite suddenly that verse came to me, ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God…’ There and then some seven or eight skeletons of sermons came to my mind on the subject of Spiritual Depression. I rushed down to my study to put them on paper and so powerful was the impression that I knew I had to do this series before Ephesians. I am not surprised it was so used. It was a pure gift.” (Iain H. Murray, The Fight of Faith, Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 1990, p. 259)
This essential collection of 24 sermons on depression was the result. Delivered in a post-war world of unrest and grief, this extremely helpful collection of sermons on depression by Martyn Lloyd-Jones are both as timeless as its topic and the trust we can place in Jesus to renew our spirits.
Included in this collection are the 14 sermons Dr. Lloyd-Jones used to create his book, Spiritual Depression — a book which has become a Christian classic — as well as 10 unique sermons on depression that can only be found here. Listen as Martyn Lloyd-Jones divulges both the true root of depression from the biblical worldview, and the true solution to all ailments of mind, body, and spirit in these 24 sermons on depression.
Christians can suffer from bouts of unhappiness in their faith. One contributing factor may be conflict and confusion due to false teaching within the Christian church. The main problem of spiritual depression lies within the church, not outside. In this sermon on Galatians 4:15 titled “False Teaching,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on the apostle Paul confronting false teaching within the church. Today, false teaching can be very subtle and creep its way into the believer’s life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that false teaching sometimes detracts from the Christian message. Other times, as in the case of the Galatians, it adds to the Christian message. Either way, false teaching leaves the believer conflicted and confused. Maybe the believer hasn’t thoroughly embraced false teaching, but they are disturbed by it. In either case, the believer has lost their first happiness. How might the church safeguard herself against these dangers? Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the church to embrace and cling to the original apostolic message. It cannot be subtracted from, and nothing can be added to it. There is joy in the Christian message.
Weary in Well Doing
Christians may grow weary of well doing. Despite being on a correct path, all Christians have experienced spiritual depression. Much of this can be attributed to a “middle period” of the Christian life; a time that comes after much growth and momentum, with the struggle to continue despite feeling routine. In this sermon on Galatians 6:9 titled “Weary in Well Doing,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones outlines some common pitfalls and dangers during this period. Negative voices encourage giving up, resigning to the feelings of hopelessness and artificial stimulants such as alcohol or drugs that provide no lasting hope. For Christians who feel like they are just putting one foot in front of the other, Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages that such feelings are normal. Instead of stalling, look to the word to discover “Why am I weary? What has caused me to feel this way?” Energy for serving Christ and growing in maturity is not from feelings, but from the Savior. Acknowledge that this life is a time of preparation for what is to come, and rest in knowing the Lord will rescue and redeem in due time. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages the listener that the walk will have ups and downs, but they can stand in their faith and not grow weary in doing good.
Christians can find themselves discouraged or depressed in their faith, noticing that attempts to grow in knowledge are met with fatigue or busyness. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon on 2 Peter 1:5-7 how this is not just a coincidence. Symptoms of spiritual depression are subtle and come creeping into the Christian life. Times like this remind the child of God of their life before Christ, one filled with uncertainty, shallowness, and misery. Causes for this spiritual depression come from having the wrong view of faith and sheer lack of diligence. Christians must safeguard their time with the Lord, be diligent to grow deeper in faith and in the knowledge of the Lord, and supplement faith with virtue. Faith grows when the pressures of the world are confronted with the truth of God’s Word. When this is done with patience and diligence, the Christian will not be as prone to fall away, and will begin to grow and enjoy the Christian life with abundance.
No one escapes life’s trials, tribulations, or depression. The heaviness and darkness of life can surround and leave people feeling without hope. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon from 1 Peter 1:6–7, it is natural for Christians to feel grieved and sorrowed. But why do trials and tribulations happen to Christians? What is God accomplishing by allowing difficult circumstances into the lives of his children? Each situation is designed by God to refine the precious character of our faith. Just as gold is refined by the fire to remove impurities, the Christian faith must be refined to remove the impurities of sin. Lloyd-Jones proclaims the words of Peter, that trials are essential in order to show the genuineness of faith, to prove that by God's power, His people can withstand the test. There is no need to despair. Christians are able to endure such times because the Lord loves his children and they can trust Him. These trials are only for a season and there is understanding that the Lord is faithful in all circumstances. The day of revelation is coming, and those who have been refined and are proven faithful will be delivered on that day. The Lord will present those who have been refined as faultless before God.