Excerpts From “Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness” By Edward T. Welch

Post #1
You can’t immediately say that there is one core sin that has caused your depression. Some people race toward this explanation; they hope that once they discover that sin, everything will change. Others run from this perspective; they think spiritual explanations are prehistoric and misguided. The truth is in the middle of these two poles. Sin can certainly be a cause of depression, but you must be careful about connecting the dots between the two. If you are being honest, you will always find sin in your life. Everyone does. That doesn’t mean that sin caused your depression.

No sin is necessarily connected with sorrow of heart, for Jesus Christ our Lord once said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.” There was no sin in Him, and consequently none in His deep depression.

The simple approach is to deal with your sin as it becomes apparent to you. Depression, of course, doesn’t exempt us from addressing these critical matters. Just don’t assume that your depression will vanish upon confession and knowing God’s forgiveness.

So depression does not necessarily have a spiritual cause if, by spiritual, we mean that it is caused by our own sin. But there is a broader meaning to the word “spiritual,” and, in this sense your depression is always and profoundly spiritual. Spiritual can refer to the very center of our being where our basic allegiances are worked out. Who is God? Do we trust him? Why is he allowing this to happen to me? How can I trust him when he seems so remote and unresponsive? These are spiritual questions that, in many ways, identify us as human beings”

(Ed Welch “Despression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness )

Post #2

With all the debate about the causes of depression, it is easy to miss the obvious: depression is painful. It is a form of suffering…If you are familiar with Scripture, you should sense a ray of light. Without Scripture’s insights, suffering is random and senseless. But Scripture is about suffering…You can be assured of this: God really does speak in our suffering, and we have good reason to believe that the words he says are good and powerful and enough to lighten our pain.

When depression is incorporated into the larger problem of human suffering, you will find that you already know much more about depression than you realize.

Turn Scripture’s gaze for example, to the question of what causes depression (suffering, trials). Its answers shun the simplistic and point to at least five possible causes.

-Other People: Beneath some depression you are likely to find a person who is reeling from the sins of other people.

-We, too, are a cause of suffering: Don’t be surprised if you find things within yourself–fears, anger, and selfish desires–lurking behind some depression….There are more subtle ways we can contribute to depression too…misguided beliefs…about God and ourselves…

-Our bodies: Since sin entered the world, our bodies gradually weaken and waste away. Disease, deterioration from old age, post-partum struggles, side effects of medication, and possible chemical imbalances are just a few of the physical causes relevant to depression…

-Satan is a fourth cause of human suffering: the book of Job is one of the few places in Scripture where his work is obviously on display. Satan lies to us, he can afflict us physically, and he generally seeks to persuade us that allegiances to the true God is not in our best interests…It is very difficult to discern Satan’s contributions to depression…Any prolonged suffering can become an occasion to question the goodness of God. As soon as that question comes, Satan sits down next to us and tries to confirm our suspicions.

-Finally God himself is a cause of suffering. “God sometimes puts his children to bed in the dark,” is the way an old preacher put it. WE say that God “allows” suffering and sometimes Scripture uses that language. But biblical authors were absolutely persuaded that God was the one, true, sovereign, Creator God. They could not imagine a world in which God was not enthroned. Nothing happens apart from his sovereign oversight, including our suffering.

“The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts” (I Samuel 2:6-7)

“I [the Lord] form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

God is over all things, and nothing happens apart from his knowledge and will. By the time suffering or depression comes to our doorstep, God did it. To believe anything else is to opt for a universe that is random and out of control, without a guiding hand bringing all things to a purposeful and awe-inspiring conclusion.”

(Ed Welch “Despression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness )

Post #3

“Although Scripture reveals that there are multiple causes of suffering (others, ourselves, our bodies, Satan, and God) and that multiple causes can be at work at any one time, it is less forthcoming about diagnosing the precise causes of particular hardships…

The reason Scripture doesn’t give clear guidelines for assigning responsibility is that it is not essential for us to know precise causes. This is good news: you don’t have to know the exact cause of suffering in order to find hope and comfort. Job once again, is the model. Although we know that Satan caused Job’s suffering, Job did not have this insight. Even after his fortunes were restored he never knew why he suffered. Although he asked for an audience with God to plead his innocence, the only thing God revealed was that God is God and Job was not. Yet this more than satisfied all of Job’s “why” questions…

All suffering is intended to train us to fix our eyes on the true God. Therefore, depression, regardless of the causes, is a time to answer the deepest and most important of all questions: Whom will I trust? Whom will I worship?”

Ed Welch (Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness)

Post #4
Chapter about God
At its very root, life is about God. Whether you shake your fist at him, consider him so distant that his existence is irrelevant, or tremble before him because you feel that you are under his judgement, the reality is this: the basic questions of life and the fundamental issues of the human heart are about God. Life is about knowing him or avoiding him. It is about spiritual allegiances. Whom will you trust in the midst of pain? Whom will you worship?

Job’s intense suffering and great loss drove him immediately to a basic spiritual question. Now that suffering was a resident in his home, would he still trust and worship God?

His answer was unambiguous. When he lost all his children, “he fell to the ground in worship,” and made a shocking declaration: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21)…

As you consider God, expect to find fallacies in your thinking about yourself and God. In other words, although you may think that you know all you need to know about God–or all you want to know–you don’t. When in doubt, let humility be the order of the day. If you resist an offer to know God better, you are probably angry with God, in which case it is all the more reason to consider who he is. He invites angry people to come and be surprised…

Surprise #1 Jesus Shared In Our Sufferings

If you think God is far away and indifferent, here is the surprising revelation. From the foundation of the world, God knew your sufferings and declared that he himself would take human form and participate in them (which means that we, too, could share in his). This is not a distant, indifferent God.

In an African hospital, a pastor who had just witnessed another death was approached by a poor, elderly woman.

“You know,” she said, taking my [the pastor’s] arm, “through many losses of family and friends and through much sorrow, the Lord has taught me one thing. Jesus Christ did not come to take away our pain and suffering, but to share in it.”…

“And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31)

“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10)…

The cross says that life will not be easy. If Jesus serves, we will serve. If Jesus suffers, we, too, will experience hardships. No servant is greater than the master. Yet things are not always the way they appear. Suffering is part of the path that leads to glory and beauty. “He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him” (ps. 126:6). Suffering has a purpose. It is changing us so that we look more and more like Jesus himself. “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” But that death is not the end of the story.

Ed Welch (Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness)

Post #5

Surprise #2: God is Good and Gracious

“It is hard to argue when we are reminded that Jesus shared in our sufferings and has compassion for those who suffer. It is easier to protest, however, when we hear the proposition that God is both good and generous. At this moment in your life, it would seem that goodness and generosity, especially from the all-powerful God, could only be demonstrated by a removal of the depression. If he takes it away, you are persuaded. If not, you remain a doubter.

But remember…“He who did not spare his own Son, but graciously gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32) The cross is the only evidence that can fully persuade you that God is, at all times, good and generous. There is no arguing with someone who is willing to make this ultimate sacrifice. If someone gives his only child for you, you can’t doubt that person’s love…

This is not a religious attempt to drum up some good feelings. It is harder to be surprised by the goodness and generosity of God when you feel so miserable. Of the Puritan Williams Cowper it was said,

“It is possible to be a child of God, without consciousness of the blessings, and to have a title to a crown, and yet feel to be immured in the depths of a dungeon.”

The goal is simply to remind you of the truth. Your job is simply to believe (John 6:29)”

(Ed Welch “Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness”)

Post #6
On crying out to the Lord

“If you are depressed, aspire to be a liturgical worshiper, If you wait until you feel motivated to worship, you might be waiting a long time…

Everything turns inward in depression. A beautiful flower momentarily catches your attention, but within seconds the focus bends back into your own misery. You see loved ones who are celebrating a recent blessing, but before you can synchronize your feelings with theirs, you have doubled back to your own personal emptiness. Like a boomerang that always returns, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get away from yourself.
Pain is like that. If any part of your body is injured, you can’t get away from the pain. You may have brief distractions, but then the throbbing breaks through your consciousness and dominates again…

Your decision is between calling out to the Lord or not. This is the choice that has confronted those in misery throughout history…“They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds” (Hosea 7:14). You can sit in silence or cry to the Lord. You can cry on your bed, or cry to the Lord. These are the two choices.
Now you can see why liturgical prayers might be very useful…The Psalms are God’s liturgy, prepared for you in advance.

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (Ps. 13:1)

I am a worm and not a man. (Ps. 22:6)

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly far away and be at rest–I would flee far away and stay in the desert. (Ps. 55:4-7)

I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. (Ps. 69:2-3)

My soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave…You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths….But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Why, O Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me? (Ps. 88:3,6,13-14)

Begin a search. Start with words and phrases that reflect your experience. If that seems too much, ask someone to read selected Psalms to you…

What these psalms do is straighten the trajectory of our lives. Using the words he gives us, God gently turns our hearts toward him. Instead of everything bending back into ourselves, we are able to look straight, outside of ourselves, and fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2).
Keep this pattern in mind. It is the path of hope. The fact that all your thoughts turn back on yourself is oppressive. The self cannot carry the load. The way we were intended to function was to be able to look outward, toward God and other people…

Hope as your will find, is a skill that takes practice. There is no verse, pill, or possession that will make it magically appear. Reciting psalms that you have claimed as your own is part of that practice…

Say your liturgy at set times during the day. Get others to pray with you and for you.”


(Ed Welch “Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness”)

Post #7

During times of suffering and difficulty, spiritual warfare is virtually guaranteed…

Think about the nature of depression. Life turned inward. You already have a sense that, for all practical purposes, God us not present. Add to that your relentless condemnation and pervasive self-criticism, which have persuaded you that God doesn’t love you. You couldn’t be a more obvious spiritual target if you painted a bull’s-eye on your chest…

Satan’s Strategies:

Lies: Progression of Believing Lies and Satan’s Attacks.

You are spiritually vulnerable —–>your emotions are so powerful that they skew your interpretations—–>Satan Attacks——>you swear allegiance to your most pessimistic interpretations no matter what others say.
There are no incantations, spinning heads, strange voices, or obvious satanic rituals here. It all seems very natural. But this is knock-down, drag-out spiritual warfare.

Lies about us: Satan’s lies are calculated and strategic. They are directed at the spiritual jugular–most important issues of life.
Do you believe that some things you have done are to bad to be forgiven?….Do you believe that it is impossible for the Holy Ghost to love you and even delight in you?…Do you believe that you have no reason to live?…Do you believe that these questions are unimportant?…
Waver on these questions and you will be experiencing the battle.

Lies don’t just impose themselves on our hearts. Instead, Satan’s lies come to us after the seeds already exist. He is the counselor who endorses the lies we already suspect are true. He is the false witness who is quick to confirm our false interpretation. This is why spiritual warfare seems so natural. We are not being taken against our wills. Rather than fight us where we have strong faith and certainty and lies will seem silly and obvious, Satan looks for faith that is weak in the hopes that we will meekly surrender. It begins when we harbor doubts. Satan, ever the opportunist, sees vulnerability and simply says, “Yes, what you believe is true.”

(Ed Welch, “Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness.)

Post #8
Warfare (cont.)

Lies about God:
If you look carefully at the lies you believe, you will notice that you are caught in a cross-fire. Yes, you are an intended casualty and the lies are self-condemning, but you are not the primary target of those lies. Instead, the volleys are aimed especially at the character of God. Their goal is to raise questions about God. Specifically, they question God’s love and power…

For example, “I am worthless” could be reinterpreted as, “God has not given me the success I desires; therefore, I don’t believe that he is good…

“I can’t go on” becomes “I don’t believe that God hears or is powerful enough to work through human weakness.”

Can you see it? Our suffering may come from many different places, but regardless of its origins, Satan ultimately is a player.

Lies that focus on temporal, not spiritual realities:
This popular deception is underway even before suffering begins. During the better times, Satan happily encourages us to see the goodness of God all around us.
“You have a strong marriage? Isn’t God good!”
“Your health is fine? Isn’t God good!”
“Your bills are paid, and there is some money in the bank? Isn’t God good!”
“Train your eye on these earthly blessings, and gauge God’s goodness by what you see because life will not always be an accumulation of good things. Then, when the hardships come, you will look out and have no evidence of God’s goodness.”

This is what Satan tried, albeit unsuccessfully, with Job. Job had all the best things in life, and Satan assumed that once they were gone, Job would turn his back on God. But Job trusted in God throughout, causing Satan to flee.

(Ed Welch “Depressions: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness”)

Post #9
Warfare: Our Counterattack

“Remember you have an enemy:
Follow the lead of wise people who begin each day by actually saying, “Today, I must be alert that I have an enemy.”…Assume that warfare rages:
We don’t know if Satan has a hand in your depression itself, but we do know that he will use the chronic nature of your pain as a venue to employ well-worn strategies….Remember that Satan will always attack the character of God….

Don’t think that your case is unique
This popular lie questions God’s care: all sufferers are tempted to believe that their suffering is unique. This lie immediately renders all counsel irrelevant because no one understands and no advice applies. The result is that the aloneness you already experience is now an established fact, and you are given ever more permission to despair…

Know Christ:
Satan’s energies zero in on one point: the truth about Jesus. If you are growing in an accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ, you are winning the battle…The knowledge of Christ is revealed most fully at the cross…The cross is evidence that Christ’s love is much more than good intentions or compassion without action, It shows us that Christ’s love was a holy love that surpasses our understanding. If we are angry that God allows depression in our lives, we should be reminded that his love is much more sophisticated than we know. Our anger shows that we are small children who think we know what is best…
Another reason it is so important to know Jesus is that one of the grand purposes of human existence is to look more and more like him…Jesus learned obedience through suffering, we will too…
The challenge for us is to think as God thinks. In other words, our present thinking must be turned upside-down. We once thought that suffering was to be avoided at all costs; now we must understand that the path to becoming more like Jesus goes through hardships, and it is much better than the path of brief and superficial comfort without Jesus. When we understand this grand purpose, we discover that suffering does not oppose love; it is a result of it (Heb. 12:8). We are under the mistaken impression that divine love cannot coexist without human pain. Such thinking is one of Satan’s most effective strategies. it must be attacked with the gospel of grace.

Humble yourself before the Lord:
When you are depressed, you feel like you can’t get any lower. But an appropriate and strengthening response to the love of Christ is humility. Humility is different from feeling low. It is lowering ourselves before God and accepting his sovereign will.
Humility says, “God owes me nothing.” “He is not my servant;I am his.” “God is God, and he has the right to do anything he wants.”…

When you have a growing knowledge of God, your natural response is humility. In the face of such a powerful spiritual response to the knowledge of Christ, Satan is powerless.”

(Ed Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)

Post #10

“Scripture beseeches us to remember…For some people, repetition becomes a been-there-done-that, and they check out until there is something new. For the wise, however, remembering is essential to the human soul. It is part of that forsaken art of meditating. It is critical to the process of change and a prominent means of doing spiritual battle.

Here is a Psalm that can guide your remembering.

‘Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. (Ps. 130)

Psalm 130 begin with sufferings that have pulled the psalmist into the vortex of death itself…

While teetering on the edge of the abyss, the psalmist has a choice: he can mourn his fretful condition, or he can cry out to the Lord. Of course, as both our voice and our guide, he leads us in crying out…

Deliverance comes, but…at first glance it seems like a lame rescue attempt. The Psalmist is given what appears to be a flimsy lifeline: His God is the one who forgives sins.

This one takes some reflection. We don’t have evidence that the psalmist’s sin caused his suffering. How is he going to take hope in the fact that he is forgiven?…

To appreciate the Psalm’s guidance on this, we have to believe that sin is a problem in our lives. In fact, to really be led by the psalm, we must realize that sin is our deepest problem, even deeper than our depression. Robert Fleming, a persecuted Scottish minister who lives from 1630-94, said, “In the worst of times, there is still more cause to complain of an evil heart than of an evil world.” In a culture where sin is not part of our normal public discourse, to adopt such a perspective will take some work.”

(Ed Welch, “Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness”)

Post # 11
Continued Discourse on Psalm 130

Do you believe that seeing sin in yourself is a good thing?…
When we see sin, it is evidence that God is close. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals sin (John 16:8). We don’t have the acumen for it. If you see it, have hope—the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. It is tangible evidence of God’s love.

Do you believe that sin is against God?…
…biblical law-breaking is much more personal. It is more like adultery than speeding…Only when the Holy Spirit shines his light on our hearts do we realize that sin is personal.

Do you believe that sin is found in imaginations, motives, thoughts, and deeds?…
It is there, at the level of the human heart, that you will find selfishness, pride…anger and lack of forgiveness, jealousy, complaining, grumbling, and thanklessness to the God who forgives…

Can you pinpoint, right now, a handful of sins?…
If you fail on this one, then psalm (130) is meaningless.
The psalmist knew that his sin problem was deeper and more critical than his suffering…He also knew…his God…did not keep a record of wrongs for all those who turned to him, Therefore, the psalmist stood in awe. He could not comprehend such love, but he was thankful for it…

Love produces hope. If we, in our misery, are absolutely persuaded of God’s love, we will be confident that he will deliver us. Therefore, we hope in him. We can wait as long as it takes because we are sure that he hears us and loves us. He will come. HE will deliver…God’s love inspires both an eagerness to be with him and a confidence that he is true to his word…It is these two—eagerness and confidence—that combine to form hope…

The reality is that we are the watchmen on the last watch of the night. It is 4:30 am. We have seen the sunrise many times, and we are eager for it and confident it will come. What is the sunrise we are waiting for? In Psalm 130, the morning sun is a person. In that person are many benefits such as healing, deliverance, and love, but, make no mistake, it is a person. We wait for him more than for is gifts…

Be careful at this point that you aren’t discouraged by the psalmist. His enthusiasm is inspiring but difficult to match. If it isn’t quite contagious, don’t despair. To move from the depths to a confident hope takes practice. Consider this psalm a condensed version of a long learning process.

God has determined that many good things come through perseverance…So don’t expect hope to happen immediately. It would be like insisting that you play Mozart before your second piano lesson. Hope is both a gift from God and a skill he enables us to attain.

(Ed Welch, “Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness”)

Post #12
“Too often we live on little scraps of meaning…a three percent raise, a new pair of shoes, a one-night-stand, an Internet relationship. We manage to eke out meaning and purpose from fumes. That is, of course until you submerge into depression. Then you notice that there is no larger story, and the stage collapses…

What seemed meaningful and real a few years ago has turned out to be a façade…

‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
(Eccles. 1:2-3)…

The Teacher in the book of Ecclesiastes tries to save us time in our search for meaning and purpose. He tells us that he tried to make life about himself and it didn’t work. He tried learning, laughter, great projects, unbridled sexual pleasure, money, music, and children. None of them, when they were elevated to his life’s purpose, led to anything but despair. He could not find his purpose in the created world.

After briefly envying an ordinary life of honest toil, good friends, food, moderate drink, and doing right, he comes to his answer—his purpose.

‘Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Eccles. 12:13)…

Fearing God and keeping his commandments brings a certain simplicity to life. He is the Creator; we are the creatures. We belong to him. When he directs us, we follow. We come before him and say, “And how do you want me to live today?”…

We can easily remember the summary of God’s law: Love one another. What does that have to do with purpose and meaning? Every command is Scripture is a purpose statement. We are servants of the exalted king. When he speaks to us and tells us what to do, that becomes our purpose. Our purpose is to live for his purpose…

A wise older counselor, who had experienced depression himself, challenged other depressed people this way: “Fight the spiritual battles that accompany depression so that you can love other people.”

If you are familiar with Scripture, you will find the summary of Ecclesiastes in a number of different forms.

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Mic. 6:8)

Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39)

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Gal 5:6)

The language varies: fear the Lord, trust him, love him, walk humbly with him, or believe in him. Then we express this commitment to the Lord by obeying his commandments, the summary of which is love. This is the true foundation for human life. Apart from it, life is meaningless.

(Ed Welch: Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness.)

Post #13

“In Scripture, the word “surrender” links you directly to “persevere, be patient in trials.”…

As with so many commands of Scripture, “persevere” is more than something God says; it is something he does. It is one of the many aspects of his character. The reason it is of great worth is that it is one of the chief ways God has revealed himself to us. Scripture consistently points to God’s perseverance and forbearance with his people.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Pet. 3:9)

For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. (Ps. 69:7)

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thess. 3:5)

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2)…

How can I give you up? How can I hand you over? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger. For I am God, and not man—the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. When the Lord roars like a lion, his children will return. (Hosea 11:8-10)

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. (1 Tim. 1:16)

All teaching on perseverance, patience, and endurance find its source in the character of God. Just as we love because he is love, and he loved us before we knew him, so we persevere because he is perseverance and he has persevered with us throughout history…

Given this connection to the character of God, perseverance is not ordinary but glorious, Think about it for a moment. Let’s say you just heard a testimony from someone who said she had been depressed until God completely delivered her. She is, of course ecstatic. But could it be that she was putting her trust in being healed rather than in the God who loves, forgives, perseveres, and heals?

Now consider another woman who has experienced deep depression. Her testimony is that she believes God is good, whether depression leaves or returns. She has learned to persevere in troubles and find contentment in God in the midst of them. That is a glorious testimony.

Perseverance isn’t flashy. It doesn’t call attention to itself. It looks like putting one foot in front of another. But beneath the surface, where few can see the glory, is something very profound (Rev. 2:2,19). You are becoming more like God. God sees it, and he is pleased by it.

Perseverance is more than just making it through life until you die from natural causes. It is perseverance in faith and obedience. It is perseverance in our God-given purpose, even when life is very hard. Perseverance asks the question, “Today, how will I represent God? How will I trust him and follow him in obedience?” Then it asks for help from others, cried out to the Lord, and looks for an opportunity to love. It may seem feeble, but our confidence is in the God who is strong. The essence of persevering is trusting or obeying because of Jesus.”

(Ed Welch: Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness.)

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