John Mark Comer is a pastor, but does not write this book from his pastoral experiences but rather from his decades-long personal battle with anxiety and depression. e does not offer pat answers or promises quick recoveries — in fact, quite the opposite. But what he does offer is the word in the title: hope. Hope in a loving God, hope that things will not always be terrible, and hope that God will stick with us whether we distrust Him, are angry at Him, or just simply exhausted.
Comer starts by defining some terms associated with anxiety and depression, helping readers see how they are different in some aspects, but also tightly tied together. Then he moves on to the root causes for depression and anxiety in a Christian — either some undealt with sin, or struggles such as perfectionism, workaholism, and unnecessary guilt. Once a person recognizes a root cause for their issues (with God’s help), repentance is always the first step to admitting your weakness to yourself, so that you become open to the help the Lord can and wants to provide you.
Following this, Pastor John Mark discusses the obstacles to well-being stemming from our minds and our bodies, and give some biblical and practical advice to begin to remove those obstacles. From there, he makes a biblical case for seeking community and storming the gates of Heaven with prayer, because God usually chooses to use both human agents and His direct work through the Holy Spirit to give us relief and growth.
Comer is very open and honest with his own struggles with anxiety and depression, but delivers his insights with hope and enthusiasm, describing how he won through many years of trials and different strategies before gaining some control over how his mind and body react to circumstances and his inner thoughts and feelings. This is probably the most practical, honest and encouraging book on controlling anxiety and depression for the Christian I have ever read. Most highly recommended!
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