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 Previews.com
“It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him.” John Piper
Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or hereditary and other physical causes. In When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper aims to give some comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness.
Readers will gain insight into the physical side of depression and spiritual darkness, what it means to wait on the Lord in a time of darkness, how unconfessed sin can clog our joy, and how to minister to others who are living without light. Piper uses real-life examples and sensitive narrative to show readers abundant reason to hope that God will pull them out of the pit of despair and into the light once again.