When Trouble Comes
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When Trouble Comes

Crossway / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

It's not a question of if, but when--at some point, everyone faces grief, pain, broken relationships, sin, or persecution. What hope do we have?

Sharing honestly from his own life and looking at stories of men and women in the Bible who experienced many kinds of trouble, Phil Ryken offers hope from Scripture aimed at reminding us that we're never alone in our pain. Though hardships and trials will come, God is our very present help in times of trouble.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.25 (inches)
ISBN: 1433549735
ISBN-13: 9781433549731

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Publisher's Description

Exploring the universal nature of suffering, this book uses personal anecdotes and biblical examples to illustrate the strength that God offers to those with trouble of any kind—reminding sufferers that they are never alone.

Author Bio

Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. Formerly, he served as senior minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited more than 40 books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and preached at universities and seminaries worldwide.

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  1. contemplativereflections
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: When Trouble Comes
    July 26, 2016
    contemplativereflections
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    In "When Trouble Comes," Philip Ryken focuses on the topic of troubles in our daily lives and how Christians are to respond when times of suffering and pain arise. The main thesis is that we can find comfort and refuge in Christ when we face the troubles of this life. Although we may be neck-deep in tribulations, we can find assurance and relief in Christ as the One who upholds us without fail. In the book, Ryken draws from the experiences of eight biblical characters including Isaiah, Elijah, Ruth, David, Jeremiah, Mary, Jesus, and Paul and how they responded when troubles arose. In each of these examples, the underlying theme is that we are to bring our tears, fears, and burdens to God who is always ready to forgive, restore, and transform us in and through our tribulations. Furthermore, Christians are to expect troubles to occur as Jesus warned His disciples in John 16. However, in the same passage, Jesus also encourages the disciples to take heart as He has overcome the world. When we are facing the rising tides of financial difficulty, deteriorating health, and work challenges, we can find comfort in Him who has conquered the world and reigns forever. Throughout the book, Ryken writes as a fellow sufferer and is empathetic to readers who are suffering in their own lives. Moreover, the author intricately dissects and analyzes the emotions and feelings of the biblical characters allowing us to see that even the giants of faith had their times of grief and powerlessness. At the end of the book, the publisher includes a study guide which allows for further reflection on the material presented in each chapter.

    I would recommend this book to all Christians as Ryken rightly reminds us that troubles will indeed come. Though we do not look forward to times of suffering and grief, reality informs us that we are in a fallen world. Moreover, as followers of Christ, trials and tribulations are promised to occur so we are wise to prepare ourselves accordingly. Ryken reminds readers that the God we trust is gracious, loving, and able to sustain us through life's sufferings. Thus, when troubling times come, we should not hesitate to take our troubles to Him in prayer and rely on His grace to carry us through.

    In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.
  2. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Much encouragement but lacking practical suggestions
    July 8, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Jesus told his disciples they would have trouble (John 16:33). That's true for us too. Trouble will come. Ryken looks at the lives of several people in the Bible and clarifies what they did when trouble came. He gleans lessons for us today from their examples.

    From Isaiah we learn our part of confessing our sins and God's part of atoning for that sin. From Elijah we learn about spiritual depression, its causes and cures. From Ruth we see that some blame God for their troubles while others, like Ruth, continue to go with God. From David we learn about sexual sin and from Jeremiah, about the dark night of the soul. Mary is an example of being devoted to God. Ryken reminds us that Jesus understands our troubles. Jesus did not try to get out of his troubles but embraced his calling. He gives us our highest motivation, a commitment to God's glory. Lastly, Paul yields encouragement for being persecuted because of faith.

    Ryken's final words are based on those of Jesus too. Take heart. If Christ has overcome the world, then we can overcome the world, resist temptation, persevere through persecution, live and die for Christ and his kingdom.

    There is a great deal of encouragement in this book. So do not take the easy way out, make the hard choice instead. When the situation is desperate and even God seems to be going against you, do not give up, but trust his good plan. And, Don't give up and don't give in. Keep offering your life for the plans and purposes of God.

    What the book lacks is practical suggestions for doing what Ryken encourages. I thought perhaps the Discussion Guide would have some. Unfortunately, it does not. One of the questions is, What activities or disciplines might renew your spirit and help you experience God's grace in times of trouble? Apparently readers must come up with their own ideas as to not giving up, persevering, etc.

    The best part of the book, I thought, was Ryken sharing what helped him when he was experiencing trouble. Knowing that his trouble was a normal part of life, trying to live the ordinary routines of life, friends, and God's Word were what sustained him.

    From the way the book is written and structured, I suggest it be read and discussed within a group of trusted friends. People can share with others what worked for them when trouble came. This is a short book so it would not be intimidating for new Christians.

    Food for thought: Jesus did not get out of trouble, but went through it, and everything he went through brought glory to God.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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