What do you do when suffering comes your way? Rather than run from it, Tullian would have us learn from it. Suffering is going to happen. He wants us to be able to respond rightly to God in the midst of suffering.
Tullian preached a series of sermons on Job following a painful time in his life (the divorce of his parents after 41 years of marriage). Those sermons became the most listened to sermons he'd preached and this book is loosely based on them.
Suffering will happen. It forces us to confront the deeper questions of life and points to a deeper reality. Tullian desires that we would begin to comprehend the height, depth, and length of the love of Jesus in the midst of suffering.
He asks us to be honest about our suffering, not moralize or minimize it, hide it, or expect other to do so.
“The appropriate response to life in this world is grief and pain,” Tullian writes. “In fact, nowhere in the Bible do we find God sanctioning a 'suck it up and deal with it' posture toward pain.” (88) Suffering liberates us. “Only when we come to the end of ourselves do we come to the beginning of God.” (153)
Will we ever understand why? He quotes Larry Crabb's comment to him: “If you don't go to your grave confused, you don't go to your grave trusting.” (157) It is not the why but the Who that is important, Tullian says.
Tullian reminds us that the good news of the gospel is that God is there suffering with us, hanging on to us.
Watch a video about the book here.
Tullian Tchividjian is senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. You can find out more at www.liberatenet.org, www.crpc.org, or @PastorTullian.
David C. Cook, 208 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.