FLIRTING WITH DARKNESS: Building Hope in the Face of Depression by Ben Courson (Harvest House Publishers; 2020)

Young pastor and author Ben Courson writes about his own struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide, to offer hope, encouragement and direction for others who are also suffering. Courson reports he has battled against depression for over 15 years, but he is convinced that depression can actually be defeated.

Courson divides his book into three parts. In Part One, he examines both the clinical and personal information he has discovered about depression, including what light the Bible brings to bear on the commonality of depression and how God assists those who struggle with both temporary and long-term depression. Courson also focuses on the many Christians throughout history who have also dealt with depression, to challenge the erroneous idea that mature Christians should be depressed.

In Part Two, Courson offers eleven “weapons” to fight against the effects of depression on the mind, spirit and body, including exercise and other natural methods to boost endorphins, getting out of isolation and leaning on friends, and learning how to receive love from God. Finally, in Part Three, the author provides about 25 short devotional readings to provide hope and focus to depression sufferers — for them to read on a regular basis.

This book provides the kind of personal experience and Scripture-based viewpoint on depression to offer substantial help to believers who struggle with feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts. The author shares in an honest yet light-hearted way about his own battles with his mind and brain, and helps readers to feel like there is real hope for any Christian who makes the effort to follow through on the thoughts and strategies provided in this helpful book. Highly recommended!

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