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Reading suggestions for the depressed

Faith & Inspiration

Question: Why does chaos at times threaten to leave us fearing that Satan is more powerful than God? I could speculate that we need to have bad weather to appreciate the good, that a 5-4 baseball game won with a rally in the last inning is more memorable than a 9-0 clear sailing contest, and so on, yet all of that sounds and is superficial when we think of the depth of suffering in the world.

When evil seems to be triumphing, one way to remember God’s emphasis on mercy is to bite off big chunks of the Bible every morning, reading consecutively from the Old Testament and the New and seeing that the mind of the Lord is far beyond our minds. Evolutionists have the problem of trying to explain how what seems to be the product of design is actually anarchic. Reading the Bible helps you see God’s sovereignty in history that seems to be undesigned.

The Bible has lots of harsh sections. Learning about how God does unexpected things may leave you agitated, but that’s good: Agitation will prompt you not to waste time during the day, but to use everything that happens to fuel your desire to learn from the Master. Parts may not make sense, but getting a sense of the sweep of history is important. To me, one sign of the Bible’s inspiration is that I can read it again and again over the years and learn more each time. I’ve read other good books twice, but that’s it.

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At nighttime, though, I’d recommend either novels where things fall into place or theological reading that clarifies the lines of God’s sovereignty. Pastors Tim Keller and John Piper are adept at making sense of things, as are J.I. Packer and Randy Alcorn. In my experience, sleep is better when we enter it with the contented understanding that while we slumber our dreams may be anarchic but the whole world is in God’s hands, appearances sometimes notwithstanding.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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