About the author: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
About the book: Hope Prevails
Purpose: “Few books discuss what depression does to us on a spiritual level. That is the emphasis of this book. While I address what depression is, where it comes from, and ways to treat it. I will also share what it does to us spiritually and how that perpetuates the problem.” P. 16
“Not until I realized how depression is perpetuated on a spiritual level and addressed the spiritual issues did I start to walk out of the valley.” P. 17
Michelle records statistics, “18.8 million American adults suffer from a depressive disorder… 350 million people globally live with depression.” P. 27 When I read her bibliography I realized that these quotes are a few years old.
“And I remember getting frustrated to the point of being angry when fellow Christians would quote Bible verses to try and make me feel better. I felt like all they were doing was giving me platitudes, which in my mind, just proved to me they had no idea what I was going through.” P. 36
“Studies indicate that our thoughts affect our neurotransmitter production, which then directly influences our physical experience of a situation.” P. 43
“For many years I considered peace a nice word in a Christmas carol. Now I think of peace as an absence of worry, concern, or annoyance-a calm experience in both my mind and my heart… I suspect that if we could have peace in our hearts on our own, Jesus would not have left it with us as a gift.” (John 14.27) P. 93
“When we don’t appreciate our worth in Christ, many of our thoughts, attitudes, and actions run adrift, and depression has an open door to enter.” P. 123
“The ultimate goal of an unloving spirit is to keep us from receiving the fullness of God’s love.” P. 134
“God does not call us to a life of perfection, although for years I believed the lie that he wouldn’t love me if I weren’t perfect. He accepts us as we are but loves us too much to leave us that way.” P. 143
“Our thoughts must align with God’s truth in order for us to find freedom from whatever holds us prisoner.” P. 173
Hope Prevails is the first book that I have ever read about depression. I know nothing about depression. I have a few other books that I will be reviewing soon. Dr. Michelle Bengtson writes about her struggle with depression. As the book progresses she elaborates on her personal experience. I appreciate her transparency. Her vocation as a neuropsychologist did not prevent depression, nor did it help her much during her suffering.
If I understand correctly, Dr. Bengtson identifies that depression involves a spiritual struggle. She does not deny genetics, mental health, or the need for therapy and/or medication. However, she does insist that although depression may eventually evolve into a physical problem, it includes a spiritual problem and/or wrong thinking. I am not writing to debate her opinion, nor am I forcing her opinion on others. I am writing a book review. I found her writing to be interesting.
Throughout the book, Dr. Bengtson kept referring to the influence of the enemy (satan). I agree with her suggestion that the enemy continuously tries to persuade us with lies about ourself and God. The book contained many Scriptures and application. Each chapter concludes with practical and biblical prescriptions, a prayer, and a recommended playlist (Songs that encouraged Dr. Bengtson.) I was pleased to read this book. I think that I will probably keep this book nearby to reference as needed. I plan to continue reading about depression.
In exchange for an honest review, Revell Reads (Baker Publishing Group) has provided me with a copy of Hope Prevails. I have written an honest review.