Return to Book List

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God -- and Joy
by John Piper ©
2006 (Crossing Books: Wheaton, IL). All rights reserved. [79 pages]
[Answer 7 of 10 questions correctly to receive
2 hours of Continuing Education credit].

 

Introduction (p. 11-22)
1. The purpose of this book is to
a. diminish the importance of the physical causes of depression.
b. describe how melancholy can be eliminated.
c. produce hope through the righteousness that only Christ provides.
d. show how depression originates from sinful thinking.

Chapter 1: The Darkness of Melancholy (p. 23-31)
2. What’s the author’s view of anti-depressant medication?
a. It may be necessary and helpful, since the condition of our bodies makes a difference in the capacity of our minds to think clearly.
b. It is unnecessary, since the old Bible-saturated Puritan pastors like Richard Baxter believed that melancholy was spiritually, not physically, caused.
c. It was not considered important by the great preacher at Westminster Chapel in London, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, who was also a medical doctor.
d. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers of all time, showed how it was possible, without medication, for any Christian to rise above a physical ailment and not allow it to contribute to spiritual depression.

Chapter 2: Waiting in Darkness, We Are Not Lost and Not Alone (p. 33-43)
3. Which is NOT true?
a. In the Old Testament, King David often cried out to God in helplessness and desperation.
b. It is possible to be so overwhelmed with darkness that you do not know if you are a Christian -- and still be a Christian.
c. If we have enough faith when we are discouraged, and we cry out to God, He will improve our situation immediately.
d. Even when we have no strength left to hold onto God in our darkness, He still holds onto us with His strong hand.

4. Which is NOT true about a Christian who is depressed?
a. When he questions whether or not he is a child of God, he really is questioning whether or not his faith is real.
b. It would help him to shift his attention from analyzing his faith to the person of Christ.
c. While he is depressed, he will tend to dismiss any good assessments of his own condition, including any past evidence of grace in his life.
d. He can be 100% certain of his right standing with God.

Chapter 3: Fold Not the Arms of Action (p. 45-52)
5. This chapter begins by saying, “Waiting for the Lord in a season of darkness should not be a time of inactivity. We should do what we can. And doing is often God’s appointed remedy for despair.” Which of the following was NOT a suggested activity mentioned in this chapter?
a. preparing a meal
b. watching a movie
c. sweeping a room
d. visiting a friend

6. What should a depressed Christian do if he cannot perform his duty with joy?
a. He should go ahead and perform his duty, confess to God his lack of joy, and ask God to restore his joy even as he performs his duty.
b. He should not perform his duty without joy. To do so would be hypocritical.
c. Just do your duty. Obedience to God is more important than feelings of joy.
d. He should spend some time in thanksgiving and praise to God until he feels grateful. Then he should do his duty.

Chapter 4: Does Unconfessed Sin Clog Our Joy (p. 53-59)
7. Which is NOT true about the influence of Satan on Christians?
a. Satan cannot do anything beyond what our loving God permits.
b. Satan can harass us and sometimes kill us physically, but he cannot destroy our souls because of Jesus Christ’s death for our sins.
c. Satan and his demons are always at work.
d. A major way to combat Satan’s influence is through the exorcism of demons.

Chapter 5: The Darkness that Feeds on Self-Absorption (p. 61-68)
8. Isaiah 58:10-11 says “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in the scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” What lesson did Pastor Bill Leslie learn from this Bible passage after almost having a breakdown?
a. Take precautions not to become burned out when doing ministry.
b. Depressed persons are unable to care for others.
c. God’s way of lifting gloom and turning it into light was through pouring ourselves out for others.
d. All depression is caused by some self-absorption.

9. Most Christians live with a low-grade feeling of guilt, and therefore little joy, because they fail to
a. live moral lives.
b. go to church regularly.
c. tell unbelievers about Christ.
d. read the Scriptures daily.

Chapter 6: Loving Those Who Cannot See the Light (p. 69-79)
10. The author tells the inspiring story of John Newton, “one of the healthiest, happiest pastors in the 18th century,” and author of the popular hymn “Amazing Grace”, who be-friended a suicidal poet named William Cowper, who struggled with a “spiritual despair that made him feel utterly God-forsaken and lost” even until he died in 1800. What insight does the author offer about Cowper’s life-long struggle with this “unutterable despair”?
a. At some point in our lives, God will help us understand the reason for our suffering.
b. Because of John Newton’s influence, Cowper no longer attempted suicide.
c. If a depressed person feels utterly rejected by God, you might be able to persuade him otherwise.
d. Had Cowper not struggled like he did, he might not have written hymns that have brought hope to thousands of others.