There's no more crucial topic in today's world than understanding what God is up to in the midst of personal and global tragedy. Author Jerry Bridges helps readers answer the question "Is God in control?", offering comfort and hope by exploring the greater purposes of God in light of Scripture.
Where is God when life is falling apart? From Job on, people have asked this question when their souls have been in anguish. Jerry Bridges supplies answers in Bridges writes for "the average person who has not necessarily experienced major catastrophe but who does frequently encounter the typical adversities and heartaches of life". (p. 11)
Using Scripture and quoting other writers, many of them Puritan writers, Bridges grapples with the problem of understanding how a good God who is sovereign can allow, and sometimes initiate, suffering through humans, nature, and accidents.
(I)t often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him....The circumstances in which we must trust God often appear irrational and unreasonable....Obeying God is worked out within well-defined boundaries of God's revealed will. But trusting God is worked out in an arena that has no boundaries. (p.21)
Bridges confronts questions about God's goodness, His sovereignty, His wisdom, and our responsibility. Then he goes beyond the questions to apply Scripture to our times of hurt and confusion, helping us to accept our hardships and to grow spiritually.
His approach is very readable. He leans toward Calvinism in his acceptance of all things arising from the hand of God, and, though he does not excuse sin in human beings who bring us grief and pain, he suggests ways of dealing with our resentment, hurt, and anger against them. He promotes both recognizing God's sovereignty and our responsibility with a good discussion of prudence. Each chapter ends with discussion questions, making it easier to use in a group setting, as well as in private study.
Jerry Bridges, a Bible teacher for the Navigators, has written several books, including the highly acclaimed The Pursuit of Holiness. Whether one fully agrees with him theologically, he addresses a thorny question thoughtfully, yet approachably. He offers much help in this short book. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
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