What She Needed Was Not More Law

Back in 2018, I was suffering through a time of intense mental depression and anxiety set off by my physical experience of chronic pain and fatigue. The longer I was trapped in that condition, the more overtly spiritual it became, so that I felt as if the devil himself was upon my back. Modern people tend to call this a crisis of faith. Martin Luther called it an Anfechtung: a spiritual trial or testing.

. . . It was at that critical point in my life that I began reaching out for something that might help to restore my joy. John Piper had written a short work for people experiencing depression in which he links the joy to our satisfaction in God. He showed compassion for depressed persons but encouraged them to work toward a point where they could have joy again, since that is how one must glorify God: by being satisfied in him.

Sadly, this advice was not helpful to me. Try as I might, I could not conjure joy within myself. The fact that I was in the situation at all was proof of my inability.

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Amy Mantravadi | “God’s Covenants Are Object Lessons of His Trustworthiness” | October 5th, 2023


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  1. What a lovely essay.

    Those of us who know sehnsucht in our lives treasure it, even in pain and despair. It is the truth in troubles. It is the real. It keeps us from planting our feet here, planning kingdoms here, longing to stay here. It is the insouciant song in us that sings without care though the world roars about us.

    It is what allows us to go to death with blithely. Our Lord awaits us. Our pilgrimage over.

  2. Distracting the eye from the glory and works of God, putting all that on the believer, is an unbearable burden. Our salvation and sanctification is not based on the quantity or quality of our efforts, but on what Christ has done and will do, quantitatively and qualitatively. K.A.T.

    • Amen! Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8. That is our only comfort in this life. Heidelberg 1

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