As Silver Refined: Learning to Embrace Life's Disappointments
Job's Friends Should Have Read This
My pastor has been preaching through the book of Job. One obvious lesson from Job's friends is how easy it is to give bad "encouragement" to people who are suffering.
Kay Arthur's book As Silver Refined is an example of the opposite of Job's friends. It's filled with Scriptures, true stories, and warm encouragement for people who are in a season of suffering.
My only complaint is that the book meanders. Joni Tada's When God Weeps is a highly organized, Biblical answer to the problem of suffering that could be used as the basis for a college class. But As Silver Refined is more like a sit-down conversation with a good friend over a cup of tea. The topics repeat in slightly different ways throughout the book. Part of this may be because As Silver Refined was originally a series of messages Kay gave on her radio program.
And actually, this repetitiveness is probably just what a sufferer needs. When we're hurting, we don't primarily need concise answers; we need repeated, caring, truthful encouragement from Scripture. And that is what Kay Arthur delivers in this book. If you know a woman who is going through a trial, this book would make a great gift.
March 19, 2013
Dealing with life's disappointments
Has your life disappointed you? Do you feel defeated by the unavoidable disappointments of life? When your prayers seem to be unheard or unanswered, do you wonder where God is? How do you respond? Fall into depression, launch into despair, spiral into discouragement?
Kay Arthur is an international teacher and speaker who currently serves with her husband, Jack, as co-CEO of Precept Ministries International. She has written numerous books and led thousands of Bible studies.
In her book, Ã¢ÂÂAs Silver RefinedÃ¢ÂÂ, Arthur uses biblical truth to teach us about dealing with the inevitable disappointments in life. With the compassion of someone who has been there, she gently dispels the fear that God has totally abandoned you and replaces it with the hope found in GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word. She eases you into faith and lovingly helps you see where faulty thinking keeps you chained to feelings of disappointment and despair.
If life is painful and you think it will never get better, allow Arthur to guide you to the scriptures that will give you hope and a future.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
February 19, 2013
Have you forgotten the face of your Father?
I have forgotten the face of my father Ã¢ÂÂ Roland Deschain
The above quote is from an entirely different book, by an entirely different author. But it was what came to my mind after I finished As Silver Refined. In the Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King, it is an oft repeated phrase that means essentially that the person has behaved in a way that reflects poorly on their name Ã¢ÂÂ dishonoring their heritage and lineage. Kay Arthur relates in As Silver Refined that when a Christian begins spiraling through the 5 deadly DÃ¢ÂÂs, they have believed wrong things about God. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs what brought the King quote to mind Ã¢ÂÂ when, as a Christian, I begin to live as though God is who I have made him to be and not who He IS, then I have forgotten the face of my Father Ã¢ÂÂ my true Father, the one who has given me a heritage and lineage of grace.
I almost didnÃ¢ÂÂt finish this book, though. Not because of anything the author said or did, but because, as soon as I started reading it my life imploded. My husband, who has a chronic illness, got very sick and had to be hospitalized and have multiple surgeries, I had to have surgery, my daughter got sick, I was told my job is going to be eliminated next year (I am the sole provider for our family), and someone I trust hurt me. August was no fun, September was even worse, and IÃ¢ÂÂm still not certain what all of the final outcomes will be.
I had read two chapters of As Silver Refined when this started. And while I was struggling desperately with the concept of GodÃ¢ÂÂs sovereignty (I hadnÃ¢ÂÂt read that far yet) in my own life, I at least was getting two things Ã¢ÂÂ One, the Refiner never leaves His silver on the fire unattended Ã¢ÂÂ He was with me, even when it seemed really hard to hear His voice or to see His face. And two, this was somehow all in GodÃ¢ÂÂs hands.
My sister texted me a scripture, Exodus 14:14, that says The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.Ã¢ÂÂ I clung to that promise as though it were the only one there was, and it was the only Bible I spent any time with over the course of the last 6 weeks, because I got to the point where I couldnÃ¢ÂÂt read the Bible (or anything else), pray, or worship. I was just. Worn. Out.
Finally, last week, I was able to get back to As Silver Refined. Oh, how I wish I had kept reading it! I HAD forgotten the face of my Father Ã¢ÂÂ but He had never forgotten mine. The whole of my circumstances NEVER were the whole of who I am, but they felt that way. I was overwhelmed, discouraged. I did what I had to, but I had no joy. I wept as I read KayÃ¢ÂÂs words Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂIf it pleases You, it pleases me,Ã¢ÂÂ a reminder that I could absolutely be joyous in the face of ugly, hard, junk. It is not meant to harm me, but rather to transform me into the perfect representation of GodÃ¢ÂÂs righteousness. It is the privilege of grace to be given the opportunity to struggle, because only then is the full extent of GodÃ¢ÂÂs mercy visible.
So, thank you, Kay Arthur for the ministry you do. My circumstances continue to be uncertain. I have no idea where my families support will come from next year, when my husband will finally be well and home, or anything else. But Ã¢ÂÂ I know Whose I am. And if it pleases Him, it pleases me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255
October 1, 2012
"As Silver Refined" is a Christian Living book about how God uses even the bad things in your life to further His purpose of making you more like Christ (if you'll let Him). I've read several books on this subject, like "Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow" by Nancy Guthrie, which I felt explained many of the same truths in fewer, more powerful words. However, different writing styles can sometimes speak to different people, so I'm always happy to see a book that points people to the Scriptures for truth and healing.
She made some good points and told some touching stories to underline her points. Overall, I'd recommend this book, though maybe not as much as some of the other books on this same topic that I've reviewed.
July 26, 2012