Read an Excerpt
For everything that was written in the past
was written to teach us, so that through
endurance and the encouragement
of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Maybe you know someone who always has a positive outlook. No matter what misfortunes occur, this person is always looking on the bright side. When you go through a time of suffering, this person is always ready with a cheery word.
Maybe you secretly want to strangle that person.
This is not a book of happy denial for difficult situations. It’s not about turning pessimism to optimism or finding the silver lining in every mist. Life is tough. And if you’ve been watching the news lately, you know it may be getting tougher. If we’re going to get through these problems, we have to get through them. We can’t tap-dance around them. Maybe Little Orphan Annie can get away with that as she convinces President Roosevelt that “the sun’ll come up tomorrow,” but this ain’t Broadway. We’re knee-deep in real life.
One great thing about the Bible is that it confronts real life. It stands up to real issues. The Old Testament character Job faces every catastrophe you can think of, but as he pleads his case with God, he still sings, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (19:25). The apostle Paul lists all the beatings, arrests, and shipwrecks he has endured, he tells about his unanswered prayer, and he still hears God saying, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
God’s promises come out of gritty situations, so they can speak to your gritty situations. He doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear, but he always seems to change the camera angle. If you’re locked on today’s problems, he’ll show you tomorrow. If you’re worried
about tomorrow, he’ll show you eternity.
Your tough times may be personal or relational, financial or health-related. Maybe you have suffered a loss or you fear you soon will. Whatever your difficulty is, God promises to meet you there.
From the Trade Paperback edition.