To Those Who Suffer: Understanding God's purpose and pathway through pain
This book is a great book for those that are walking in a valley of suffering, be it physical or emotional. By drawing heavily on the example of Job Nolan explores the blessings of suffering. Although God may not remove our suffering Nolan points out that God still has a plan for us and that in the end our blessings will be great. Paul suffered a thorn in his flesh that he asked to be removed, yet it was not. In the end he tells believers to count it joy and to be content in all things. Job is said to have been blessed more in the end than in the beginning. As Sean Nolan has also been in intense suffering and pain and has questioned God, he leads readers through the scripture God showed him to help him better endure the circumstances of his life. I especially enjoy the teaching that suffering can cause a person to lean more heavily on Christ, developing a more intimate knowledge of the power of Christ and of a life lived in Christ. This is an excellent book for this first time author. Very well written.Thank you B&B Communications for this review copy.
July 18, 2010
Sean Nolan's book, "To Those Who Suffer: Understanding God's Purpose and Pathway Through Pain," opened my eyes to look for God's purpose in our suffering, be it physical, mental, financial, or spiritual suffering, etc.--whether it comes from in the form of innocent suffering (caused by others), self-imposed suffering, and suffering spiritually (which to me is suffering for the sake of the Gospel).In no way does Sean disclose the great 'fix-it plan' to solve all suffering, but he guides us into contemplating God's work behind the scenes of our lives. Sometimes we see His plan, other times we don't. Throughout the book it's clear that God's love and mercy for us are always there, He cares about us, and He has not forsaken us at any time.I do believe that God heals and restores people today out of their suffering like in Biblical times, but not always. Sean is clear that God's foremost goal for sending His Son was to reconcile us back to God, giving us a relationship with Him, and to conform us into Christ's image. His message is that God uses suffering to make that change in us. After all, who changes when things are going great?I also found that about the time I wanted to argue Sean's point, he came up with Scriptural insights I hadn't thought of. He did this chapter after chapter, surprising me and broadening my knowledge of God's ways.Sean's book is one of those books you need to read more than once or twice to get the meat of the book and apply it to your life. I highly recommend this one for spiritual growth in your life despite life's circumstances. And since he suffers from chronic pain himself, it makes this book that much more real and personal. Will you let your suffering make you bitter or better? It's your choice. **Special thanks to Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***
July 10, 2010
To Those Who Suffer by Sean Nolan is a must read for anyone looking for some light after a interminable dark night. Nolan who has faced an unnamed illness understands what it is to suffer without relief from painful illness, but he also reaches out to those facing spiritual or emotional suffering as well. He helps readers to discover a purpose in the pain. God never allows us to suffer without a reason, and while we often can't see it, we need to understand that He does. Nolan breaks suffering into three different categories: suffering we've brought on ourselves, innocent suffering, and suffering caused by spiritual attack. While the three may be different, all are used by God to strengthen and deepen our faith, and that's a lesson often taught, but Nolan doesn't leave the reader there. He offers a true hand of encouragement and hope. As a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis for almost six years, I look for books like this that will help me understand and accept my illness. I've read others in the genre, and this book felt much deeper than those. Nolan never dismisses the depth of pain readers may be suffering. He is genuine and heartfelt in his desire to help readers, and that makes this book a true stand out.
July 1, 2010