It seems to be a fact of life that we will encounter some sort of suffering along the road through life. We often struggle with the why’s of it though. In Randy Alcorn’s book, If God Is Good, he really spells it out in a comprehensive yet understandable fashion.
I’ll admit that when I got this book in the mail I grumbled at the size of it. My initial thought was “How in the world will I get through this book.” Once I actually opened it up…I couldn’t put it down. Within 4-5 days I had finished the almost 500 pages. And my knowledge of why we suffer became something to grasp.
I had to try and view this book through a different lens. I am a Christian so believe there is a God and that He is a good God. Though I do not claim to have all the answers I don’t doubt His sovereignty or that He has a purpose for all that happens. I also have to consider the free will factor. But how would I explain that to a non-Christian or even a new believer without sounding arrogant or rude? I think Randy Alcorn does it and I will have to work on retaining some of it to utilize when necessary.
Randy’s style, I find, is helpful and fairly easy to read. With the topic being what it is I fully expected to be reading a text book style book. The way he presents the facts, backing them with biblical scripture and real life stories, really drew me in. What kept me glued to each page was the sentences he had in bold. An example of this would be: “Suffering makes hearts tender and gives us greater love for others.” My first thought when I read that line was, “How in the world can you make a positive out of suffering?” Yet, Randy did it. He used a friend as an example. As this man was suffering with cancer it actually taught him to be authentic and honest with others. This man commented, “My only regret is that it took me fifty years to get here, and that it took cancer to open my eyes.”
This book really helped put words to my thoughts on suffering. I have always said I have child-like faith. I believe so easily what is written in the Bible but have trouble relaying it to others. Recently I was discussing faith with a friend. She mentioned that she believes in a god of love yet she worships and holds high the power of the waves and ocean. But, I wondered, how do you reconcile the fact that the waves crash and crush things beneath it. It does not discriminate what or who it drowns. If God is all love how can you compare Him to his creation of the waves and not have Him also be a God of judgment of those that go against Him. This book is a great way to discuss a loving and just God and the connection to Him in the suffering.
*Blogging for Books provided this book to me for an honest review.