Again and again Jesus stated that fear is the enemy of life. “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Luke 8:50). “Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). Fear breeds a deadening caution, a holding back, a stagnant waiting until people no longer can recall what they are waiting for or saving themselves for. When we fear failure more than we love life, when we are dominated by thoughts of what we might have been rather than by thoughts of what we might become, when we are haunted by the disparity between our ideal self and our real self, when we are tormented by guilt, shame, remorse, and self-condemnation, we deny our faith in the God of love. When God calls us to break camp, abandon the comfort and security of the status quo, and embark in perilous freedom on the journey to a new Canaan, and we procrastinate out of fear, this represents not only a decision to remain in Haran, but also a lack of trust.
From the book, The Signature of Jesus by Brennan Manning, page 20
“Everything that happens fits into a pattern for good. Suffering is never for nothing.” ~Elisabeth Elliot
If you wish to more fully understand the author of these challenging and faith-demanding writings, I strongly suggest you read, Through Gates of Splendor. Elisabeth Elliot, who is now with the Lord in heaven, lived a life infused with suffering, forced to draw God’s peace, grace, and mercy from the midst of earth-shattering, life-ending experiences. And just like Job, she began to understand that suffering is never for nothing! After reading this book, I wonder what words I might choose to write a review. And then it strikes me that using her own words would serve the reader best. So the following quotes are taken from “Suffering Is Never For Nothing.”. “There have been some hard things in my life…and I cannot say I know exactly what you’re going through. But I can say that I know the One who knows. And I’ve come to see that it’s through the deepest suffering that God has taught me the deepest lessons.” “My definition of suffering: Suffering is having what you don’t want or wanting what you don’t have.” “If I thank God for this very thing which is killing me, I can begin dimly and faintly to see it as a gift. I can realize that it is through that very thing which is so far from being the thing I would have chosen, that God wants to teach me His way of salvation. I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will say yes, Lord. I will say thank You, Lord.”
I received a free copy of this book from B&H Publishing for an unbiased review.
Years ago, when I proudly declared myself to be a seeker and student of accumulated knowledge, an older and wiser man planted seeds of thought in my mind. He asked, “Are you ardently seeking knowledge at the expense of wisdom?” I think I offhandedly replied, “Knowledge leads to wisdom and I shall have an ample supply of both.” Today I shiver at my arrogance.
Fortunately, I have since learned the difference and humbly seek God’s wisdom found on the pages of the Book of Proverbs. My dear friend above, also said, “If you take a few minutes to read one chapter a day from the Book of Proverbs, God’s wisdom will slowly take root in your heart and change your life. I promise!” I now know he was correct.
And now, thanks to Lifeway Christian Resources, I can take a smallish (4.75 X 6.75 inches) copy of “God’s Book of Proverbs” with me each day. Presented in a cloth covered hardcover, this book is able to withstand harsh treatment while protecting the pages.
God’s Book of Proverbs has a table of contents and an index directing the reader to most categories impacting our daily lives. Do you need help with patience (or lack thereof)? Turn to the index which directs you to page 108 where you’ll find five entries from Proverbs 12, 14, 16, 19, and 25. Pride however, lists 19 entries. I wonder why?
In summary; this booklet will serve as a catalyst, a starting point for each day. I can satisfy myself with reading the brief entries per proverb or focus on one, taking time in my Bible to absorb God’s intent on building my faith and wisdom. As I realize that seeking God’s wisdom in Proverbs pleases our creator, then I understand how thankful I am to Lifeway Christian Resources.
B&H/Lifeway provided me with a complimentary copy for an unbiased review.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. I am under no obligation to give a favorable review.
I’ve read two books by Mark Hitchcock so I was expecting a worthwhile book in this one. I was not disappointed. Mark has his head on straight and is spiritually discerning, aiming at using his writing gift to share God’s Word with all his readers.
I was surprised at how he went about this one, since I had a picture of how he might prepare the reader for the End Times (which are really on the horizon). His approach is quite clever, building a secure biblical foundation on which to establish our secure faith in Christ as the primary building block in preparation for the End Times.
In the final chapter, Mark quotes A. W. Tozer thusly: “Each day our focus should be on the Coming One. Our focus on the Blessed Hope is the most important discipline of our Christian life.”
Ignorance regarding the coming end times will bring uncertainty, fear, and confusion. Mark Hitchcock, through this book, addresses how we should be prepared to confront that final day, walking with Christ in peace and assurance of our final destination. According to Matthew 25:13, “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of [Jesus’] return.”
Hitchcock writes: “The Rapture is possible any day. . .In light of the imminence of Christ’s coming, the key issue that should grab our hearts is being alert and awake. That’s what Jesus repeated over and over.
There are no 5 Easy Steps for anything. However, if you are hazy about the End Times, Mark Hitchcock’s book will give you a sense of security as he leads you along a Scriptural path of preparedness and encouragement.