As we wrap up this series on spiritual depression, here is a helpful excerpt from one of the books that was helpful in the preparation for this series.
“One final cause of depression in the Christian is the sovereignty of God. Hard though it may e to accept, the ultimate cause may be, “It pleased God.” This, however, is not some sheer arbitrary, sadistic, and pointless infliction of suffering. Not at all. God has wise and loving motives and purposes in all His dealings with His children. The Westminster Confession of Faith says that God will sometimes allow His children to descend into the depths of the depression “to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends” (WCF 5.5).
A well-known example of this is Job, where God allowed Satan to afflict His beloved servant. A lesser-known example is Hezekiah. “God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chron. 32:31). This does not mean that God actually left Hezekiah. God will never leave nor forsake His people. This is not an objective leaving, but a subjective leaving. God withdrew Himself from Hezekiah’s spiritual feelings so that he lost his sense of God’s presence, protection, and favor. So Hezekiah felt like God had left him. But God had a wise and loving purpose in this. It was to test Hezekiah and to reveal to him what was in his heart when God’s felt presence was withdrawn.”
- an excerpt from Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray (pp 66-7).