For a number of reasons, I’m excited to share this book with you! I always like a book that tackles well the topic of suffering, and this one fits the bill. The actual meat of Finding God in the Hard Times consists of less than 70 pages (five chapters). But not to worry—Matt and Beth Redman, writers of the popular contemporary worship song “Blessed Be Your Name,” make efficient use of the space.
The book is organized into four main sections, once you get past the forewords and introduction: five chapters of material, complete with reflection questions; a small group discussion guide; an appendix that lists Scriptures quoted throughout the book; and a final appendix of recommended books on suffering.
I found the chapters to be full of gospel truth that point the reader to Christ at every turn. The Redmans are straightforward; sometimes, what they have to say is a hard, but necessary, truth. The brevity of the book doesn’t allow time to touch on the theology of why suffering occurs, but that’s okay. That’s really not the purpose, in my opinion. This would be a great book to read before you’re in the throes of suffering. (I recommend a different book for when one is in the valley.) It’s a quick read (though packed with truth)—one that is very accessible. I read it in about an hour, but I can see the value in reading it with a discipleship partner or with a small group. The discussion questions in the back of the book serve to bring the reader deeper into an investigation of the concepts covered in the chapters. I think they would do just that; they definitely sparked more contemplation as I pondered them.
All in all, I would recommend this book to just about anyone who might encounter suffering (which is everyone). Priced for Kindle and paperback at under $7 (at the time of this post), you have nothing to lose!
Soli Deo Gloria,
*In exchange for my honest opinion, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.