Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Book Review: Kiss the Wave

Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials. Dave Furman. 2018. Crossway. 160 pages. [Review copy]

First sentence: How quickly we forget the identity of Jesus!

This book on suffering is titled, Kiss The Wave. The title comes from a Spurgeon quote: "I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages." It wasn't easy for Spurgeon, and it's no easier for us, to kiss the wave. But it is necessary and beneficial that we learn how to embrace the grace in any and every situation. Furman writes, "In the midst of the storm, God has your good and his glory in mind."

The book seeks to do two things. First and foremost, it focuses on Jesus. Chapter after chapter, he asks us to remember who Jesus is and what he is like. The good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed page after page. The gospel should encourage and not discourage us when we're down. The second focus of the book is on stories. Through stories of people who have suffered--past and present--Furman seeks to encourage and reassure us.

I liked this one. I wanted to love, love, love it. But I didn't quite. I thought the theology was good. No complaints there. I liked the focus on the gospel, on Jesus. I liked the practical advice on how to suffer well. But I felt that there were just a few too many stories.

Favorite quotes:
"We hope not in the things of this world, but in God himself." 
"If God is your treasure, your soul will never be empty. If God is your refuge, you will never be deserted. If God is your fortress, you will never be unprotected."
"Christmas is not a stand-alone event in salvation history. It is connected to Good Friday and Easter. Jesus, the Son of God, left heaven in order to redeem us. Christ’s birth was the ultimate rescue mission. For everyone else it would have been mission impossible. But for him and only him it was possible to be both God and man. We must not forget the depth of this rescue mission."
"Barabbas is the one person in history who could say that Jesus literally carried his cross. Jesus took his death, and Barabbas was given the freedom Jesus deserved. Jesus bore the guilt and shame and curse and disgrace and death that Barabbas deserved. Barabbas received the release, the freedom, and the life that Jesus deserved. It was an incredible scene."
"The cross of Christ is what we need to rejoice in today, tomorrow, and every day until we breathe our last breath."
"Not all of us are called to preach the gospel to a church on a Sunday morning, but all of us are called to preach truth to our own hearts each day. Remind yourself that God so loved you that he gave his one and only Son over to the cross for you. In your pain, preach to yourself that it should have been you up there on the cross, but that in the greatest exchange in all of history, he went there instead."
"Every bad day is a day Jesus is aware of. No trial surprises him or escapes his eye. Jesus encourages those who are facing persecution to not fear those who can kill the body but do nothing else. Instead we can trust the God who knows us and is keenly aware of all our circumstances."
"All Christians are a part of the body, even hurting Christians. Regardless of your health or capacity, if you are a believer, then you are a part of the body. If you are healthy, you are a part of the body. But if you are broken, depressed, and hurting, you are a part of that same body of Christ. No disease or disorder casts you outside the body. No sickness keeps you from playing a part."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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