The truth is, Asaph’s experience isn’t unusual for believers. Indeed, these deep, dark trials were experienced by great preachers of the past. For example, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as one of the godliest Bible preachers of all time, a praying man who sought the Lord continually. Yet he faced deep, awful depressions (in his day, the condition was referred to as “melancholy”).
John William Fletcher, another great servant of God, suffered deep depression. Fletcher ministered under none other than John Wesley, who called him the most godly man on the face of the earth. This man exuded the Spirit of Christ, yet he also experienced the depths that Asaph described. A horrible depression would come over him out of nowhere, afflicting him for days on end.
Andrew Bonar, a godly pastor of the nineteenth century, described having similar experiences. He wrote this agonizing entry in his journal: “I need to be free from the shadow of fear, uncertainty … Shame and sorrow fill me because of my unholiness … There seems to be a cloud between me and the Son of Righteousness.”
Each of these prayerful ministers faced an hour of deep depression. Not even the godly, devoted apostle Paul was immune. He wrote to the Corinthians, “Trouble … came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). Of course, Paul was delivered and came out victoriously!
Even Christ faced a deeply trying hour and he told Andrew and Philip, “Now my soul is troubled” (John 12:27). When Jesus said this, he was facing the cross, knowing the time of his death was near. Later, Jesus told those who would crucify him, “This is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53). Jesus was saying, in essence, “This is Satan’s hour.” Likewise, you can be sure your dark, troubling hour is Satan’s doing.
It’s good to know that the Lord doesn’t put awful depression on his people. He wants to help you recover your joy, peace, and rest as you come into a clear understanding of his own glorious purpose in your testing — delivered and victorious.