God’s Grace in your Suffering
by David Powlison
A friend gifted this book to me some time ago and I have loved finally getting to read it (and to having friends to process it with!) I have read countless articles by David Powlison and am so grateful for his wisdom and expertise on this topic..
What’s the Book About?
“There are never quick fixes or easy answers when it comes to suffering. But even when we can’t immediately see God’s hand―when the struggle is hard and painful―he is working. Weaving together Scripture, personal stories, and the words of the classic hymn “How Firm a Foundation,” David Powlison brings an experienced counselor’s touch to exploring how God enters into our sufferings, helping us see God working in our own particular struggles―and discover how God’s grace goes deeper than we could ever imagine.”
Who Is The Author?
David Powlison is a teacher, a counselor and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation making him an expert I trust and want to learn from.
Why this Book?
01. THE LENGTH. At just a little over 100 small-ish pages the length of this book feels like a great place to start for us. Amidst grief, brain capacity is limited so I wanted to be mindful of overall book length as well as chapter length and author’s communication style (is he/she easy to understand) when choosing the books we would read together.
02. THE CONTENT. I want (need!) to be reminded that even when I can’t see God working, He is. Grateful for this content that will do that for our hearts and minds.
“A sufferer’s primal need is to hear God talking and to experience him purposefully at work. When you hear, take to heart, and know that he is with you, everything changes, even when nothing has changed in your situation….Left to yourself, you blindly react. Your troubles obsess you, distract you, depress you. You grasp at straws. God seems invisible, silent, far away. Threat and pain and loss cry out long and loud. Faith seems inarticulate. Sorrow and confusion broadcast on all the channels. It’s hard to remember anything else, hard to put into words what is actually happening, hard to feel any of the force of who Jesus Christ is.”
“The wisdom to suffer well is like manna — you must receive nourishment every day. You can’t store it up, though you do become more familiar with how to go out
and find what you need for today.”
“God’s ways with us always respect that we can only take the next step. No leaping tall buildings at a single bound.”
“Honest wrestling is not magic. It’s not “claiming the victory.” It’s not finding a religious truism to short-circuit the process. And it’s not wallowing in heartache and self-pity. God is taking us in his direction. Ask. Seek. Knock. He found you first, and he is willing to be found.”
“Scripture does commend honestly facing weakness and pain — as Jesus and the Psalms did — both for integrity’s sake and in order to love others who also suffer.”
“God is talking. His sheep hear his voice, even in the valley of the shadow of death. Are you listening?”
“We may have a hard time slowing down enough to listen. We might simply not want to listen. We may be busy listening to ten thousand other voices, including our own. Or we may feel so weary and disheartened that we don’t feel up to listening. But whatever the particulars, our essential problem is deafness to God’s voice. We become absorbed in the world of our own experiences, thoughts, feelings, and opinions…. But God willingly keeps talking.”
Watch The Live Discussions
DISCUSSION 01 | CHAPTER 1 & 2
DISCUSSION 01 | CHAPTER 3 & 4
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