Stronger: How Hard Times Reveal God's Greatest Power
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Stronger: How Hard Times Reveal God's Greatest Power

Baker Books / 2015 / Paperback

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What if God's perspective of victory is very different from ours? What if the areas we avoid---including pain, weakness, insecurity, and suffering---are precisely the molds the Lord uses to form us into his image? King encourages us to accept the inevitable hurt life brings, allowing it to make us into the people God wants us to be! 208 pages, softcover from Baker.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801016843
ISBN-13: 9780801016844

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Publisher's Description

When we think of success, we think of words like bigger, more, and better. Bigger paycheck, more security, better reputation. But what if God's perspective on success was radically different than our own? What if the things we seek to avoid--pain, suffering, weakness, insecurity--were the very things he used to mold us into his image?

With insights born from his own difficult journey, Clayton King offers readers a truly liberating understanding of weakness and suffering--not as God's punishment, but as his pruning. Revealing the God who is a companion in our most difficult seasons, King shows us that when we are in Christ, our deepest pain becomes the source of our greatest power, and our times of testing become our strongest testimony. Anyone who struggles to make sense of seemingly hopeless situations will find in this book not only hope for a brighter future but purpose in their imperfect present.

Author Bio

Clayton King is founder and president of Clayton King Ministries and Crossroads Missions and Summer Camps, teaching pastor at NewSpring Church, and professor of evangelism at Anderson University. The author of over a dozen books, King regularly speaks to tens of thousands of people all over the globe. He and his wife, Sharie, have two sons and live in South Carolina.

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  1. love2read
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Applicable to Everybody!!
    July 16, 2015
    love2read
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    It's time to get out your highlighters my friends! This book that I received is FULL of things to remember and a highlighter is exactly what I wished I had when I read this book! Stronger, by Clayton King, is a phenomenal book. Clayton King's honesty and transparency allow for him to use his testimony to show how God uses difficult times to bring us closer to Him. Clayton's own life was filled with inexplicably sad events that seemed to come one right after another. Through this season of life, Clayton had a season of much spiritual growth. His book gives us a personal and intimate look into his journey. While he has personal stories that make him easy to relate to, he also expertly uses the Bible to back up his points. The chapter titled "Regret"was so phenomenal that I copied it off and gave it out to my boyfriend to read and re-read. A passage that I loved was as follows "There's no future in the past, but there is grace when we press on toward what lies ahead." I highly recommend this book to anybody, as it is applicable to all. 5/5 stars!
  2. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Great Paradox
    July 13, 2015
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Rich in metaphor, dizzying in apparent contradiction, Scripture describes the Kingdom of God with upside-down truth: life out of death, power in humility, healing from brokenness, suffering as the path to glory. In Stronger, his gripping memoir, Clayton King captures the underlying, big-picture paradox, and while hes at it, he seizes the opportunity to relieve us of some pervasive wrong thinking about strength. He also had believed the lie:

    To me, strength and success were proof that God was using me and that He loved me.

    Active in ministry since the age of fourteen, Clayton now travels internationally to speak in prisons, churches, and schools. Founder and president of a humanitarian non-profit and a teaching pastor, he found that his ministry and his family life began spinning out of control when, in his thirties, he experienced the deaths of nine close family members. Walking with him through the dark days of loss and his intense grief over the illnesses and deaths of both parents, the reader is invited to enter into the truth of Gods words in Psalm 91:

    I will be with him in trouble.

    Clayton helps his readers to see that Gods presence is part of the greater purpose in our trials, because the truth is that our strength comes from God.

    There is no index in Stronger (Its not that kind of book.), but if there were, the word leverage would have by my extremely unscientific tally at least eight entries. The concept figures prominently in Claytons thinking, and heres why: Life on a fallen planet guarantees dark days and long nights; weakness; hard times; hopeless seasons; suffering; loss; regret; abuse and fear. Stronger shares how Gods great power will leverage all of these for His own purpose; for our good and for His glory; for our ultimate transformation into disciples; for the sake of our humility, development, and growth; for the sake of helping others.

    In this paradox, and in one sentence, Clayton King summarizes the problem of pain:

    We live in a world where the kingdom of God has not yet been fully realized on the earth, and in the meantime there are many things we can and must experience that we cannot make sense of with our intellect.

    Instead of intellectual mastery, God offers understanding, and weakness is the doorway to understanding. Understanding is the doorway to compassion and ministry.

    Clayton Kings journey and the telling of it How Hard Times Reveal Gods Greatest Power offers truth like a crowbar to pry our hearts away from the notion that weakness is a destination, when the truth is this:

    The goal is to be stronger. Weakness is Gods way of getting you there.

    This book was provided by BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Insights into how God makes us stronger
    July 6, 2015
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    God has a plan to make you stronger and it is not what you think.

    Just as smooth seas don't create skilled sailors, an easy life has no power to purify us and make us stronger, King writes. Hard times, on the other hand, have the power to transform us in ways that no other force could. (17)

    That might not be exactly what we want to hear. But King learned that truth above through experience. He shares his own story. He was called to preach at age fourteen. He was mentored and his life was blessed. Fast forward twenty years. He was now a husband and dad. His intense learning experience began when he received the telephone call that his mother was at emergency. Then he found out she died. He was traveling out of country and was stuck. He felt his life was out of his control.

    That was the first of a number of deaths in his immediate family in a short amount of time. King shares the lessons he learned from the pain, the crippling depression and the anxiety. He realized that brokenness shows how fragile we are and how much we must depend on God's strength. He learned of his own weakness. He reached the end of his own ability and learned about humility. He also learned the meaning of true strength.

    I am impressed with the teaching in this book. It contains a good balance of stories from King's life and teaching from the Bible. I like his insights as to why we go through painful times. His section on understanding was particularly good. I also really liked his teaching about sharing our stories and why it is important to do so. Sharing our vulnerable times has the ability to inspire and encourage others. I really appreciated his teaching on worship and glory too.

    This is a book that offers hope and promise and encouragement to those of us in hard times. It helps us see the bigger picture and purpose God has in mind. As King reminds us, nobody gets an exemption from hard times. I recommend this book as a great source of understanding and encouragement. It's a good book for pastors and others who help those going through hard times as well.

    Food for thought:

    Weakness is a welcome sign hanging on the door of our lives, inviting God inside. (20)

    Your current trial is your future testimony, so don't hesitate to tell your story. (81)

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  4. Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Weaker, yet Stronger? How so?
    June 26, 2015
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    All right, I'll admit it. I judged this book by it's cover. I figured it was another "Rah, rah, rah" book about staying strong in life, probably filled with sports analogies to hammer the points home. Needless to say, I wasn't too eager to read any of that.

    I'm so glad that I requested this book to review anyway. It's a thoughtful, personal, Christ-focused revelation of Clayton King's own life and loss and love. Only after he bares his heart does he ask us to tip our own chins up and look for God's ways in our individual hard times.

    Each chapter speaks of a different way that God may come to us during those hard times. He speaks of Presence, Testimony, Brokenness, Humility, Regret, Worship, Vulnerability, Understanding, and Glory. As you can see, he doesn't shy away from the difficult things, and he doesn't promise ease or even answers. Instead, he sets the hard things in the context of your life as a whole, a life lived in Christ for Christ and by the strength of Christ.

    And that is why, despite the fact that hard times make us feel so weak and frightened, we can rest assured that God is stronger, and His strength is working mightily in us.

    I'm adding this book to my Short List for Young Christians. It would join "Flesh" by Hugh Halter, "Look and Live" by Matt Papa, "Simply Open" by Greg Paul, "Life with a Capital L" by Matt Heard, and "Home Behind the Sun" by Tim Willard and Jason Locy. I thank Baker Publishing for providing me with a review copy.
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