“When walking in the valley, the only way out is up. He is our only path out of our despair.”
~Dr. Michelle Bengtson, Hope Prevails
Some of us find ourselves trudging in deep valleys, others journey through shallower ones. Regardless, the only way out is to grasp onto hope. Yet sometimes that hope is lost in the darkness.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson, in her book Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression, assures us that we won’t dwell in that valley forever. She helps us learn where to find a glimmer of hope, in even our darkest days.
Although I strongly supported the message of this book from the moment I heard about it, I hesitated to read and review it, thinking it didn’t really pertain to me. After all, I didn’t suffer from long-term debilitating depression. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
We all need a hope that prevails, because we all face affliction. In the pages of Hope Prevails rings encouragement for all who walk through dark seasons. And that’s all of us!
With her knowledge as a board-certified neuropsychologist, Dr. Bengtson discusses the underlying causes of depression and the traditional treatments available. And with the compassion of one who’s been in that darkest valley and eventually found her way out, she tenderly speaks to the reader’s heart and honestly shares what finally made the difference for her.
Although exploring all the underlying causes of depression is an important step in healing, Dr. Bengtson suggests that addressing the spiritual roots is often a missing critical component in treatment. The missing piece that eventually lead to her freedom.
We have an enemy that is a spirit, and Dr. Bengtson contends, “he seeks to separate believers and nonbelievers alike from God.” He does so by feeding us lies. Lies we often unconsciously agree with.
Ignoring Satan’s hand in guiding our thoughts, allows the enemy of our souls an open door to influence our lives in a negative way. He leads us down a spiraling staircase into a deep, dark hole of despair.
Yet, he hasn’t won, far from it!
We can find freedom in any situation because in the Lord, hope does indeed prevail.
Hope in the Darkest of Days
When we realize the enemy’s tricks, we can gain weapons in our arsenal to fight them.
Dr. Bengtson provides such weapons throughout the book. She includes exercises at the end of each chapter that proved instrumental in her own journey out of depression, including Scripture verses to memorize and a playlists of songs. Along with those, the reader is encouraged to offer ongoing praise to God, even when we don’t feel it.
“In those periods of despair, I had to choose to believe God and trust in his promises rather than my feelings,” confessed Dr. Bengtson.
Separate chapters in Hope Prevails explore practical ways to recover your joy, reclaim your peace, and reestablish your identity, the three primary areas the enemy attacks. For instance, practicing gratitude, serving others, and praying often help us recover joy.
Scripture verses fill the pages of Hope Prevails, because that’s where we find truth. However, to grasp and truly believe that truth, we need to saturate ourselves in the promises of Scripture.
Because when we replace Satan’s lies with the truth of God’s Word and fill our days with praise, feel like it or not, we are well on our journey out of the valley.
“I will rejoice and be glad in Your faithful love
because You have seen my affliction.
You have known the troubles of my life” Psalm 31:7
Reflections: Are you currently walking through a dark season? What is one truth from Scripture you can claim to replace a lie the enemy has been feeding you?
Thanks to the generosity of Revell Publishing and BlogAbout, I am able to offer a free copy of this incredibly practical and potentially life-transforming book to one of my readers. For chances to win, simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below.
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I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Yours in grace ≈
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**I received two copies of this book in exchange for an honest review.