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8.24.2012

Desperate for Hope ~ Review


Desperate for Hope
Hanging on and Finding God during Life's Hardest Times
by Bruce W. Martin

There are times when we feel we are caught in the perfect storm with everything that can go wrong going wrong at one time. But these times of testing are God allowing us to be perfected rather than protecting us from the storms of life. But when we are in the midst of our storms we ask “Why?”

Sometimes the storms we find our-self caught up in is one of our own making because we made an unwise choice. Jonah is an example of this reasoning. Instead of going to Nineveh Jonah went another direction and found himself in the midst of a storm and then a very large fish. When we make wrong decisions God disciplines us because He loves us! Sin has consequences but God continues to love us.

Sometimes we get caught in the in cross winds of bad decisions and sins made by someone else but we still have to pay the consequences. But this a chance for God to prepare us for something else that is coming into our life. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and accused of a crime he didn't commit. But God used these times to strengthen Joseph and to prepare him for the role he would soon hold in Egypt. But Joseph didn't allow himself to be embittered by his storm, he weathered it and he forgave those who put him in the storm's path.

Life happens and we are not responsible for the trouble that comes our way. Sickness. An accident. Job loss. Sometimes we never can point to an exact cause for our troubles they just develop. Other times there is a spiritual factor to our troubles, Satan is waging war against us and he is stirring up a storm to trouble us and to turn us away from God.

God and Satan use the same situations in our lives to try to achieve different results in our lives. God is perfecting us and Satan is enticing us. Don't allow the unanswered “Whys” in your life to erode your trust in God.

Having a relationship with God does not protect us from the storms of life, but it to strengthen our relationship with Him. Job was greatly tested by Satan and provides us with a look at the spiritual issues we can face. Satan wants to test us, to drive us from God and salvation, but we must cry out to God to strengthen us.

When life doesn't go the way we expected, we draw back from God. When the worst happens we pull into ourselves and try to push God out. We want safety and stability and we are unsure if we can get this from God. We avoid praising or worshiping God for what He has done for us because He let pain or loss into our lives. But this is when we most need God and when our witness can be most powerful as others watch us weather our storms. In the midst of our storms if we can still worship God through our sorrow we know that our soul is on the right path.

Life can always get worse, just look at Job he lost everything except his life. When we hit the rough patches we can do one of two things – continue on or to take the path of least resistance away from God. A pain-free, trouble-free is not normal, throughout the Bible we see examples of suffering and pain and we are told to expect it.

God never promised us that we would be happy, healthy, and wealthy. We feel that God owes us. But God's greatest gifts often come to us through our suffering. And when we can find joy in the midst of our sorrow we have hope.

And our hope rests in Jesus' promise that He will be with us always until the end of our current age. God provides us with what we need when we need it. The perfect life is a matter of the soul and the grace God extends to us.

I was provided a copy of this title by the publisher for the purpose of this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.