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When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God--and Joy Paperback – December 14, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (December 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581348762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581348767
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

Customer Reviews

I am thankful to my daughter who put me onto this book.
Doris Strain
~When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God--and Joy~ is insightful work by Baptist pastor John Piper.
R. Setliff
I had a cold for three days and I just kept reading this book and finished it..
Antarra Yannoulatos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Christian Book Previews on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
John Piper has once again blessed the Body of Christ with his latest book, When the Darkness Will Not Lift. A small volume, portions of which are drawn from other of his larger works, it is its succinctness, I think, which enhances its impact.

The Introduction lays the foundation for what follows by discussing the nature and essence of spiritual darkness. Piper then moves into an eminently helpful treatment of justification, how it "severs [the] root of misery;" sanctification, and how confusing the two will kill joy in the believer.

The rest of the book is a tightly-packed, compassionate, insightful, practical, biblical tool for helping those who "wait for joy." Piper touches on the physical/medical aspect of spiritual darkness, "the ground of assurance when we cannot see our faith," "when a child of God is persuaded that he is not," doing our duty in the midst of darkness, the place of thanksgiving, unconfessed sin, the role of Satan, and the danger of self-absorption. Don't be fooled; at a mere 79 pages, this is not a fast read. You will want to go slowly and drink deeply, and also to benefit from the other sources noted. - Pamela Glass, Christian Book [...]
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L Edelen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
John Piper's little tome _When the Darkness Will Not Lift_ addresses the the scourge of our age, depression, from a Christian perspective. In it, he examines what solace a sufferer can find in the reality of Christ.

A scant 68 pages, Piper wades right into the subject, giving us six chapters of advice covering the following:

1. Understanding the physical aspects of depression and the wise use of medication

2. Knowing God has not abandoned us

3. Taking action through duty, even when we feel no joy

4. Confessing our sins

5. Looking beyond our own needs

6. Loving those shrouded in depression

Piper summons the wisdom of the Scriptures, well-known doctors of the Faith, and his own experiences as a pastor to provide a good word to the hurting. His reminders of who we are in Christ will help even the darkest souls.

A very needed book from an excellent author, but though helpful, it's simply too short. Piper attempts to alleviates this lack by including a bibliography of other, more thorough, works on the topic (I particularly recommend D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones's _Spiritual Depression--Its Causes and Its Cure_), but it's a cheap fix. Surely Dr. Piper has a more through treatment of this topic in him. He's written excellent words on the issue of Christians who commit suicide, so I know he's up to the task of a more fulfilling book.

Great for what it is, but readers will be left craving more.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Heather Ivester on March 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Piper's book, which is an expansion of a chapter in When I Don't Desire God, offers comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness.

The six chapters explore topics such as the physical causes for melancholy, waiting in darkness, fighting for joy, how confession of sin leads to freedom, and how to break loose from the bonds of self-absorption.

This book is helpful for anyone who has suffered from depression - and it's a good resource to have on hand to offer those needing encouragement. You can read this entire book in a pdf format from Piper's ministry website, Desiring God.

--Christian Women Online Book Buzz
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Erik Raymond on September 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
When the Darkness Will Not Lift is a short (79 pp.) book written to encourage those Christians who are dealing with spiritual melancholy (depression). John Piper writes, "My aim is to give some guidance and hope to those for whom joy seems to stay out of reach." (p.12) Piper also writes to instruct believers as to how to help those who are encountering times of spiritual darkness.

By Piper's own admission this book is not intended to fully treat such a subject. I think this quote should be considered before anyone jumps all over Piper for not `dotting all his I's"

This book began as the final chapter of a larger book titled When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. I hope that if this small book proves helpful, readers will consider what is in the larger one. There are crucial foundations in that larger book which are not included here." (p. 13)

In "treating" despair Piper advises that we "start with despair. Despair of finding any answer in yourself. I pray that you will cease from all efforts to look inside yourself for the rescue you need. I pray that you will do what only desperate people can do, namely, cast yourself on Christ." (p.21)

There are great practical exhortations throughout the book for those in despair or not, but particularly for those who are afflicted. In the following chapters Piper reminds us that We are not alone, a reminder of the prevailing faithfulness and power of God; Fold not the Arms of Action, a call to constantly be thankful and offering praise so as to produce joy; Does Unconfessed Sin Clog Our Joy?
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More About the Author

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available free of charge at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noël, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.

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