Be Still, My Soul: Embracing God's Purpose & Provision in Suffering. Edited by Nancy Guthrie. 2010. February 2010. Crossway Books. 176 pages.
We live in a unique culture. Every other society before ours has been more reconciled to the reality that life is full of sorrow. If you read the journals of people who lived before us, it is obvious they understood this, and that they were never surprised by suffering. We are the first culture to be surprised by suffering.
This is such a great book! I absolutely love it and I definitely recommend it! It is a book of 25 readings (classic and contemporary) about suffering and "the problem of pain."
Who is included in this collection? Tim Keller, Philip Yancey, Joni Eareckson Tada, Os Guinness, R.C. Sproul, John Calvin, Wilson Benton Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Newton, Abraham Kuyper, Helen Roseveare, A.W. Tozer, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, St. Augustine, Charles H. Spurgeon, Jerry Bridges, D.A. Carson, Corrie ten Boom, Sinclair Ferguson, J.I. Packer, Thomas Manton, John Piper, Martin Luther, Jeremiah Burroughs, and Jonathan Edwards. Wow. So many great, great men (and women) included in this one!
What do I love about this one? The readings are short (more often than not) and straightforward. These readings are accessible. They're meant to be read and understood. They're meant to enlighten, yes, but they're meant to be relevant as well. This book can easily be read as a devotional, one or two chapters at a time.
This one had some amazing truths in it.
This one comes from Philip Yancey's "The Gift of Pain."
In seventy years we can develop a host of ideas about how indifferent God appears to be about suffering. But is it reasonable to judge God and his plans for the universe by the swatch of time we spend on earth? Have we missed the perspective of the timelessness of the universe?Who would complain if God allowed one hour of suffering in an entire lifetime of comfort? Yet we bitterly complain about a lifetime that includes suffering when that lifetime is a mere hour of eternity.In the Christian scheme of things, this world and the time spent here are not all there is. (28, 29)
And this one from Joni Eareckson Tada's "God's Plan A."
God is heaven-bent on inviting me to share in his joy, peace, and power. But there's a catch. God only shares his joy on his terms, and those terms call for us, in some measure, to suffer as his beloved Son did while on earth. (33)
And this from Tozer's "Prepared for Usefulness."
Without doubt we of this generation have become too soft to scale great spiritual heights. Salvation has come to mean deliverance from unpleasant things. Our hymns and sermons create for us a religion of consolations and pleasantness. We overlook the place of the thorns, the cross, and the blood. We ignore the function of the hammer and the file. (89)
I really learned something from each of the essays. I thought they were well chosen. This book could prove to be such a blessing to so many people.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible