A sober reality in the life of faith is that “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22b). In these ordeals God’s people are buffeted in two ways: sometimes we suffer for the faith and other times we suffer with faith. Either way, our faith remains a work in progress. In the midst of troubles, our emotions can oscillate between hope and despair, our wills vacillate between submission and rebellion, and our understanding alternates between moments of comprehension and times of total confusion. Right here, “Houston, we have a problem.” Whenever faith is in the grinder, it may seem that God is not living up to his billing or performing as advertised. In times of distress, especially periods of prolonged suffering, his character may not seem to us to measure up to his biblical résumé. So how do we keep the faith, sunny side up, in the face of this maddening mystery side of God? And how can we “recommend” a walk with God when, frankly, he seems to have abandoned us to wallow in our pain, to have shut his ears to our pleas, and to have heartlessly left the scene of the accident? What is an honest saint to do when God appears either indifferent or impotent?
This book confronts these issues head-on and offers believers in despair biblical perspective and practical direction that should reinvigorate the spirit of all who will regularly heed and apply them.