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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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About the Author
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the 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?
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Top Customer Reviews
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 [...]
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.
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
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a good starting place for those who want to learn the biblical stance on depression and what the church fathers have taught. Read morePublished 22 hours ago by Bridget
The darkness still hasn't lifted but I no longer feel alone and hopeless.Published 1 month ago by Derek Lee
The book may get fabulous later, but I stopped reading pretty early on. I was hearing if I could just figure out what sin to confess, this depression would be lifted. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jewlery Fan