A few posts ago I made reference to a personal list of the top 20 (or so) items I must maintain in my life in order to battle depression. As I stated, based on experience, I know I need to have these items fully implemented in my life before anti-depressant medication is "needed."
The number one item on the list is a grace-infused resolve to fight and persevere through the dark times. The fight of depression is really a fight for joy. I am not talking about willing myself to feel better. I mean that the fight for joy starts with faith in God's grace and sovereign control over all of life, and this includes emotions. In His sovereign plan, fighting through depression is to be part of my life. Notice here too that I did not say living in depression is to be part of my life. But, the grace and mercy supplied by God while fighting with depression is the means by which I become more like Jesus. This is just something I have come to learn and accept about the really dark times of my life. God alone be praised!
John Piper has been helpful to me with this idea. I learned today that he has a new book out that looks like it will provide practical help with the fight - When Darkness Will not Lift - Doing What We Can While We Wait for God -- and Joy.