Aug 15

When God Withdraws the Sense of His Presence

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link,Recommended Resources

If you’ve been around DSC for a while now, you may have heard Ryan address the subject of depression. Of course, there are different kinds of depression, but one often neglected kind of sadness for Christians comes from what could be called, spiritual desertion.

Last week, John Starke posted audio to an interview with Ryan about this subject over at The Gospel Coalition Blog. Here’s the introduction with a link to the interview:

We regularly pray personally and corporately for God to increase the sense of his presence among his people. But what happens when it feels like God has withdrawn his presence? What introspective questions should we ask? What prayers should we pray?

Ryan Kelly, pastor of preaching at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Council member for The Gospel Coalition, talks with Mark Mellinger about the doctrine of desertion. He describes how this doctrine helps us make sense of the psalms and our experience of spiritual dryness. Kelly reflects on a scary time in his life and directs us to Puritan writing on this topic, since so few modern writers address desertion directly.

Click here to download Ryan’s interview with Mark Mellinger.

If the subject of depression and spiritual desertion is of interest to you, you may find several links helpful. This past spring, Ryan preached two sermons on depression from Psalm 42 and 43, “How to Really Talk to Yourself,” and, “Unpacking Depression: Why Are You Downcast?.” In follow up to these sermons, we posted two blogs, including links to books, articles, and other resources helpful for understanding this subject: “Resources for Depression and Spiritual Desertion,” and, “Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?” Unpacking Depression.”

Then, back in 2006, Ryan conducted a Saturday Seminar on depression that explored the Bible’s teaching on how we should understand and address depression as Christians.