“Deep faith is scarred faith,” Josh insists. Faith is formed and nourished in the hard experiences of life. Faith is a journey with moments of pain, regret, wounds, suspense, and questioning. (4)
Josh relates his older sister's death at 31 and uses it as a springboard to explore those times when we think God has taken us on a wrong turn in life. We have so many questions about God's promises – when healing does not come. The questions lead us to the Fall and the groaning of all creation. Josh shares his soul laid bare before God.
What do we do when God asks us to follow Jesus into places of suffering? While some suffering is because of bad choices and other suffering is because we choose to enter into brokenness, it is the unintentional suffering outside of our control that rattles us to the core. That suffering is a primary reason Josh wrote this book.
Josh has both experienced and seen that suffering. Josh recently moved his family from the suburbs of Memphis to an “at risk” neighborhood in the city. He shares some of the suffering he has seen there.
Josh assures us that being co-laborers in God's kingdom means we will suffer. He encourages us, before it comes, to decide we are going to suffer well.
Yes, we will have scarred faith. But the scars are meant to be reframed in light of restoration. They are there to remind us of a new way. We can become participants in Jesus' way of restoration.
This is an encouraging book for those in the midst of suffering. It is an honest yet gentle reminder to trust God.
Discussion questions have been added at the end of the book along with a few extra for use by reading groups.
Josh Ross is the lead minister at Sycamore View church in Memphis, Tennessee. He and his wife have two boys.
Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster), 192 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.