In a very candid admission, Jerry Bridges states that he did not know how to turn to God in times of trouble. As a matter of fact he stated quite frankly that he was "alone" in his adversity.
Bridges observes wisely that all human beings experience adversity at different times in their lives and as he puts it in varying degrees.
Bridges makes this bold and candid statement, “Learning to trust God in adversity has been a slow and difficult process for me. It is a process that is still under way.” So, Bridges sets out to help us learn how to trust God in his book Trusting God – Even When Life Hurts. You will find this to be a very encouraging and edifying book that all will benefit from.
Bridges makes it clear that the purpose of his book is two-fold; to glorify God by acknowledging God’s absolute sovereignty and secondly, to encourage God’s people through the process of demonstrating from the bible that God is in control of their lives. As a matter of fact Bridges makes it very clear that God loves His children and as Paul stated in the eighth chapter of Romans, God works all the circumstances in their lives for their ultimate good.
Trusting God opens in chapter one with a very penetrating, yet valid question, can you trust God? Using scripture, real life examples, and years of tried wisdom Bridges answers this question in the affirmative. He hopes that as you read this chapter and the rest of his book that you too are able to answer with a definite yes.
Bridges takes on the challenging task of demonstrating that God is in control regardless of the trial, tragedy, or tribulation that comes into your life. He makes it clear from the Word of God that these painful events that we all experience are not merely chance or blind fate. With years of pastoral wisdom and biblical knowledge he comforts and gives guidance to each individual regardless of the tragedy that you are facing.
One thing that I truly appreciated is the fact that Bridges cannot give an answer for every individual tragedy that takes place in our lives. He does differentiate between the times when we both sin and reap discipline from our heavenly Father, or we are foolish and violate rules of common sense. There are times each of us suffer as a result of our own sin or foolishness. However, there are times when we do not know why cancer strikes a loved one, or why we lost our job, or why we are cruelly and viciously slandered, or why a dear one is killed. Sometimes God does not reveal the purpose for these painful tragedies. For example, God never revealed to Job why he suffered the loss of property, possessions, reputation, health, and children.
Bridges makes it clear that we can go to God and seek wisdom and answers from God. He makes it clear God is under no obligation to explain himself to us. He also makes it clear that we are obligated to trust God. What makes this book a very comforting and practical handbook is that Bridges is careful to exegete the scriptures and show us that we should and that we are enabled to trust God with our lives in the most painful of times.
Bridges makes excellent explanation and application in all fourteen chapters in his book. Each chapter is very useful and needs to be read very carefully. However, the last three chapters are the meat and potatoes of this book. Growing through Adversity, Choosing to Trust God, and Giving Thanks Always are very down to earth and encouraging to the hurting saint.
Chapter Twelve, Growing through Adversity reminds us that we cannot develop the beautiful Christ like character without adversity. Bridges emphasizes the point that God works through adversity. He very deftly reminds us that though the pruning process is painful it is necessary to bear much fruit.
Chapter Thirteen, Choosing to Trust God comes from a real life experience with his first wife who died of cancer and the experiences of men and women of God in the scripture. We must choose to trust God and as we make the choice God’s peace with settle in our hearts. This is a must read chapter.
Chapter Fourteen, Giving Thanks Always contains a difficult proposition. If God is trustworthy and is in absolute control, then we must always be thankful to God. Why? We realize that God never makes a mistake and God uses these painful and tragic circumstances for our good and His glory.
Trusting God, like all of Jerry Bridges books is not only well written, it is very easy to read and understand. He writes with clarity that is rare. He not only uses Scripture but he explains it so that anyone can grasp its meaning and be comforted. This book needs to be next to your bible, concordance, dictionary, and study guides. You will want to reach for this book again and again. First, for your own help and comfort when tragedy strikes, and secondly, to help others. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially to every believer. Use it as a practical guide but use it as devotional tool.
I received a copy of this book for review through the NavPress Blogger Review Program and received no other compensation for this review.