Combating the Dark Nights of the Soul

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A study on depression published in The American Journal of Psychiatry made a remarkable discovery. People who had a relationship with God showed a 76 percent decrease in major depression when compared to their parents who had also struggled with mental illness.

Certainly, this doesn’t mean that believers never struggle with clinical depression or dark nights of the soul, but it shows that Christ’s ongoing, redeeming work in our lives has very tangible impact.

For many Christians who do wrestle with mental illness, frustration and despair can easily overwhelm our sense of God’s presence in our lives.

In this episode, Gary Wilkerson discusses biblical ways that believers can seek healing and restoration from depression. Most importantly, he offers encouragement to those who may feel as if they are fighting alone. God is walking right alongside us, even in our darkest hours.

Key Questions from the Podcast

  • What are some things we can do to maintain spiritual health in difficult times?
  • What does it mean to have abundant life?
  • What is the importance of a father’s blessing? What is the benefit of having elders in our life?

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

Our American Christian culture has lost its ability to lament. We think every Sunday should be a pep rally. But scripture, particularly psalms, is full of lament too. We've lost our ability to lament and that has limited our tool of worship. – Gary Wilkerson

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16–18

I thought abundant life meant pain-free, problem-free. Abundance isn't circumstantial. It's something beyond that. In the midst of having cancer, in the midst of having a broken back, in the midst of having a prodigal son, there's an abundance of God’s presence and of contentment that the world doesn't have. – Gary Wilkerson

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; - Job 42:5

Even though Job was an upright man that knew God, that worshiped God, he didn't really know God until that suffering had taken place. Abundant life for Job was getting to know who God really is. – Bob Ditmer

We believe in ourselves what we believe the person we believe in the most believes about us. – Gary Wilkerson

We often feel like the area we're being attacked in is weakness. But the Holy Spirit has shown me that the enemy always attacks your strengths, not your weaknesses. – Gary Wilkerson

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast


About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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