The Blessing of Adversity: Finding Your God-given Purpose in Life's Troubles
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Tyndale House / 2011 / Paperback

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The Blessing of Adversity: Finding Your God-given Purpose in Life's Troubles

Tyndale House / 2011 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW326801

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Product Description

An encouraging look at the God-given purpose of suffering! Drawing on Scripture and his experience as U.S. Senate chaplain, Black shows how using our pain to help others can remove the sting of our own trials. Discover how to deal with God's silence, discern advantages in misfortune, stay hopeful in hard times, and more. 256 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1414326807
ISBN-13: 9781414326801

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Publisher's Description

Most people see trouble as something negative and seek to avoid it whenever possible. But what if it’s those troubles that actually lead to greater blessing and purpose? In The Blessing of Adversity, a retired U.S. Navy admiral and the 62nd chaplain of the U.S. Senate distills the wisdom gained from thirty years as a counselor, theologian, and psychologist. Barry Black offers a blueprint for removing the sting of life’s trials, showing us how to let God use our pain for his glory by blessing others—and how that can actually help heal our own pain. Drawing on Scripture and his own experiences as a counselor and chaplain to some of the most powerful people in the world, Black teaches us how to deal with seasons of God’s apparent silence, offers techniques for staying encouraged in the middle of life’s storms, and shows how to find advantages in adversity.

Some of life's greatest challenges are addressed head-on in The Blessing of Adversity: Finding Your God-Given Purpose in Life's Troubles by Barry C. Black. "He has made everything beautiful in his time," Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God," Paul wrote in Romans 8. Yes, we know these things, but often we forget them. As we pass through the tunnels of hardship, we focus on the darkness around us instead of the light at the tunnel's end. Barry C. Black writes to help us retrain our focus on the light, not the darkness.

Garnering anecdotes from his childhood, his years of formal education, his 27 years of service in the U.S. Navy, and his experiences as chaplain of the U.S. Senate, Black shares true stories of good resulting from difficult times. Using countless anecdotes – from history, the Bible, personal experience, and the lives of others – he gives his readers specific advice to help them look at their problems with optimism and faith. "Sweet are God's uses of adversity," Black writes, and he shows his readers how through his own experiences and the experiences of others God used bad for good outcomes.

In a number of instances, Black's writing is repetitive and certain biblical examples are used multiple times. However, for the purpose of the book, this repetition is not so much annoying as it is necessary to drive home the point that God uses adversity to bless us.

Every chapter of The Blessing of Adversity is packed with meaning. As I read through Black's examples of and insights on God's purpose in the tough times, I had to slow down to soak it up. The more I soaked up, the easier it was to focus on the light ahead instead of the darkness now surrounding me. – Meredith Sell,

Publisher's Weekly

A motivational tone pervades this guide to preparing for life's challenges by embracing the possibility that good work may be accomplished through faithful navigation of life's storms. Black (From the Hood to the Hill: A Story of Overcoming), a retired U.S. Navy admiral and current chaplain of the U.S. Senate, speaks with the authority of one who has endured and overcome setbacks and humiliations. He refers several times to painful childhood memories of evictions when he came home to find family furniture on the street, and then notes his gratitude when years later he purchased a house for his hardworking mother, whom he credits for raising him in faith. Three sections, "Mastering the Basics," "Avoiding the Sources of Trouble," and "Turning Your Adversity into Advantage," each divide into chapters with subdivisions, resulting in action plans. For example, the chapter "Win by Waiting," includes sections like "Wait for God," "Trust God's Providence," and "Refuse to Murmur and Complain." Drawing lessons from biblical witnesses (Joseph, David, Mary, Paul), religious figures like Martin Luther King Jr., and his rich pastoral experience, Black offers a resource that many readers may find inspiring guidance. (Apr.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
4.2 out of 5
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
Page 1 of 1
  1. Glory
    Salem, Oregon
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great help and faith builder
    January 14, 2012
    Salem, Oregon
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is one of the best helps I have read. I particularly like the action summary at the end of each chapter. I will refer back to this many times in the future and have already recommended it to others
  2. Ginger
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An easy read for both new and seasoned believers.
    April 11, 2011
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The following is my personal review of the book The Blessing of Adversity by Barry C. Black.

    The purpose in this book is to provide a blueprint for finding peace in tough times (Intro. p. x). The book is divided into three main sections, and each chapter is broken down into specific areas with subheadings to help you address each topic called an action plan. See outline to follow . . .

    Part I: Mastering the Basics

    Chapter 1: Celebrate Your Troubles (pp. 4-9)

    Guard your tongue.

    Stay positive.

    Be constant.

    Grow up.

    Use your map (God's wisdom).

    Control your doubts.

    "A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life"--Eleanor Roosevelt (p. 7).

    Chapter 2: Trust God's Plan (pp. 11-18)

    Surrender to God's providence.

    Believe in God's kindness.

    Accept God's chastisement.

    Live with Hope.

    Believe God's revelation over human speculation.

    Seek God with intensity.

    Stay productive.

    Pray for your enemies prosperity.

    Chapter 3: Meet the Challenges of Dark Days (pp. 19-24)

    Develop the right perspective.

    Relinquish control.

    Discover the nature of true prayer.

    Allow God to transform your dark yesterdays.

    Make loving God your top priority.

    "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne--yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own"-- John Russell Lowell (p. 23).

    Chapter 4: Restore Broken Walls (pp. 25-33)

    Be passionate about change.

    Ask God for favor.

    Be prepared for doors of opportunity to open.

    Expect opposition.

    "Don't envy me. Favor isn't fair" (p. 29).

    Chapter 5: Benefit from Brokenness (pp. 35-43)

    Allow affliction to humble you.

    Allow affliction to deepen your knowledge of God.

    Allow affliction to strengthen your prayer life.

    Allow affliction to expose you to God's grace.

    Allow affliction to reveal God's faithfulness.

    Allow affliction to lead you to God's Word.

    Allow affliction to deepen your trust in God's providence.

    Allow affliction to bring you back to God.

    Chapter 6: Refuse to Waste Suffering (pp. 45-51)

    Expect suffering.

    See suffering as a test.

    Discover a deeper fellowship with Jesus Christ.

    Chapter 7: Expect the Inevitability of Trouble (pp. 53-71)

    Avoid resignation.

    Tame your temper.

    Find joy.

    Reap the fruit of perseverance.

    Harness the power of prayer.

    Ask God for wisdom.

    Remember the past.

    Help the helpless.

    Endure hardship.

    Testify to God's goodness.

    Live with gratitude.

    Embrace humility.

    Learn from failure.

    "All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as that One Solitary Life"--James Allen Francis of Jesus Christ, "One Solitary Life" (pp. 59-50).

    (See Lk. 18:1-8, KJV)

    *Visit Here's My Cup for more.
  3. Cindy Navarro
    Cullman, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    2 Corinthians 12:10 in action!
    April 4, 2011
    Cindy Navarro
    Cullman, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "The Blessing Of Adversity" may seem like an oxymoron to many, but this excellent book by Barry C. Black proves that it is the trials we endure that makes us stronger when we trust in God. Speaking from many familiar stories we know from the Bible, coupled with his own background of rising from poverty to a position of power and prestige, this is certainly not a superficial tale of one who does not understand feelings of hopelessness and despair. Many examples are highlighted of the ways God has used hardships in life to strengthen His people. These are people who underwent suffering and emerged triumphant not in spite of their struggles, but because of these trials. This book was written by a man that has gained both wisdom and compassion and gives advice that provides hope, encouragement, and practical advice. Instead of just wallowing in misery, he tells the reader to use these experiences to grow stronger and to find the advantages of your situation.

    Barry C. Black (From The Hood To The Hill: A Story Of Overcoming) went from poverty and public housing to a distinguished career as a chaplain of the US Senate and retiring from the US Navy with the rank of two-star admiral. He is certainly a man who knows what he is speaking about and has penned a book that brings hope to others who are suffering. I often find myself rolling my eyes while reading books by people who have observed hardship, but are actually clueless on how it feels to go through trials and tribulations. Not only does Rear Admiral Black know how it feels to live without the little luxuries some take for granted, but also has experienced doing without the necessities. My favorite part of each chapter is his "action plan" that reinforces what he has said with a practical application of faith. My thoughts went to 2 Corinthians 5:7 ~ "We walk by faith, not sight." and the knowledge that faith is not only passive, but also requires action. That verse can literally mean putting feet to your faith and stepping out to use the trials God is allowing you to undergo as He leads you in your journey Home.

    In compliance with new regulations by the Federal Trade Commission: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. However, it was not required that I write a favorable review.
  4. pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    not quite what i expected
    March 21, 2011
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Book review: The Blessing of Adversity.

    This is not a book that I would have bought, and if there had been other choices, I might not have even gotten this one. And frankly it just about met my expectations.

    I could relate to some of the things that Admiral Black wrote about. I was that kid that got picked last, I've not always done my homework and someone else had to point some things out to me. I've had bosses that didn't like me. And I survived. Maybe not to the point that Admiral Black did, but_

    We learn that the family was poor, that the author lost his mother and in the process got angry at God. And he got over that anger - lots of people do.

    I think that if this book were to be reformatted, edited and sold as a daily devotional it might do well, but in its current format, it seems to be in an in between zone: almost devotional/meditation book -almost memoir - almost textbook, but it doesn't quite measure up to any of them.

    There are some poignant moments, and as a hospice chaplain and pastor, I certainly understand some of the points that Admiral Black was making, and some of the lessons learned, but while I was reading it, it seemed like I was hearing a series of sermons from a first semester seminary student. Make a point then find several scripture references to back it up; another point and several more scriptures.

    By pushing, I can rate it a 3 out of 5.

    I received this book free from Tyndale House in exchange for the review.
  5. samwife
    Springfield, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A great postive book.
    March 7, 2011
    Springfield, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    What if we saw adversity as a positive thing? What if we could learn from it instead of wallowing in it? These are the ideas of Black in his book The Blessing of Adversity.

    What I liked about this book was how he shares his stories and how he learned from them. One story that he shares is being picked last and instead of feeling sorry for himself he decides to better himself. I also liked that at the end of every chapter he leaves "An Action Plan" with points to remind you of what the whole chapter talked about and how to apply it. Another great thing about this book was how Black backs up his ideas with the Bible.

    This book comes at a great time when so many are losing their jobs. It can be easy to think what is wrong with me and feel sorry for our situation. However if we can do what Black suggest in this book and better ourselves we will only come out stronger.

    Overall this was a great book for encouragement. It has many aspects that we could all learn. I would recommend this to anyone looking for some encouragement when they feel worn down. I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

    I received this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers. This review is my honest opinion.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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