Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Total Despair Unless

A portion of a letter by Francis Schaffer to a friend who had spent time with his family at L’Abri in Switzerland, a retreat center for Christian study and growth. Schaffer’s friend was struggling with depression. He himself experienced depression at times and knew by experience, not just in theory, the pain of ups and downs in mind and heart. His suggestion to her is to keep in mind the objective work of Christ on the cross. The letter was written January 4, 1971.

We all have our times of being strong and our times of being weak. The swings of the pendulum cover different ground for different ones of us, and the swings of the pendulum are of greater intensity for one of God’s children than another. But the swings are there for all of us—for weakness and unhappiness and also for sin. It is for this reason that any honest person must be totally in despair unless they understand the reality of the finished work of Christ upon the cross for us. If it was not for this, none of us could have any peace of mind either for this world or from the world to come.

Letter of Francis A. Schaeffer, edited with introductions by Lane T. Dennis, Crossway Books, 1985, pp. 118-19.

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