Home > Christianity, Criticism, Theology > When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God and Joy

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God and Joy

  • Title: When the Darkness will not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God and Joy
  • Author: John Piper
  • ISBN 10: 1581348762
  • ISBN 13: 9781581348767
  • Published: 2006
  • Pages: 57
  • Format: PDF


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.

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

  • Understanding the physical aspects of depression and the wise use of medication \
  • Knowing God has not abandoned us 
  • Taking action through duty, even when we feel no joy 
  • Confessing our sins 
  • Looking beyond our own needs 
  • 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, 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.

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.

Download this book

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