Suffering
Sometimes life doesn't make sense. When death, illness, unemployment, or a difficult relationship challenges everything we thought we knew, we can feel utterly unprepared to cope. Best-selling author Paul David Tripp weaves together his personal story, years of counseling experience, and biblical insights to help us in the midst of suffering, identifying 6 traps to avoid--including doubt, discouragement, and denial--and 6 comforts to embrace--including God's presence, God's people, and God's grace. Exploring a wide range of common experiences, this raw yet hope-filled book will empower readers to cling to God's promises when trials come and then move forward with the hope of the gospel.

Suffering Details

TitleSuffering
Author
ReleaseSep 30th, 2018
PublisherCrossway Books
ISBN-139781433556777
Rating
GenreChristian, Religion, Faith, Nonfiction, Christian Living

Suffering Review

  • David Steele
    January 1, 1970
    C.S. wrote, “If I knew a way of escape I would crawl through the sewers to escape the pain.” Whether a person agrees with Lewis’s radical conclusion or not is a matter of personal opinion. However, the problem of suffering is a universal dilemma that every person must face. How we respond to suffering reveals the strength of our Christian resolve and character.Paul David Tripp’s recent book, Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense explores a weighty subject and invites readers onto a C.S. wrote, “If I knew a way of escape I would crawl through the sewers to escape the pain.” Whether a person agrees with Lewis’s radical conclusion or not is a matter of personal opinion. However, the problem of suffering is a universal dilemma that every person must face. How we respond to suffering reveals the strength of our Christian resolve and character.Paul David Tripp’s recent book, Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense explores a weighty subject and invites readers onto a personal journey that will encourage deep humility and personal growth. Speaking personally, Dr. Tripp’s book took my breath away. The author’s transparency and humble approach spoke deeply to my heart and lifted my spirit.In the final analysis, this book has less to do with coping with suffering and more to do with how suffering can supernaturally transform the lives of God’s people. Listen to Tripp’s meditations and allow his words to sink in deeply:“Suffering has the power to turn your timidity into courage and your doubt into surety. Hardship can turn envy into contentment and complaint into praise. It has the power to make you tender and approachable, to replace subtle rebellion with joyful surrender. Suffering has the power to form beautiful things in your heart that reform the way you live your life. It has incredible power to be a tool of transforming grace.”Suffering in many ways is like pouring ice-cold water on an unsuspecting victim; a battering ram that brings even the most powerful to a place of humility and surrender. This volume is quick to remind us that all those who suffer are in desperate need of grace. Tripp adds, “This physical travail, in the hands of my Savior, is a tool used to drive me away from self-sufficiency and into a deeper dependency on God and his people.” Therefore, suffering is greatly used by God to propel his people to a place they never would have reached apart from suffering.This fundamental message of transformation stands at the heart of Tripp’s book and has the power in itself to encourage and equip a lot of people in God’s kingdom.I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.
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  • Rosanne Lortz
    January 1, 1970
    This practical and theologically sound book on suffering comes from personal experience. Paul David Tripp was a busy counselor and author, working long hours to accomplish lots of good with his ministry. Out of the blue, he lost over half of his kidney function and now, after several surgeries, still suffers from debilitating pain and inability to accomplish things that were once easy for him. In this book he uses personal examples and Biblical teaching to show practical ways to handle the suffe This practical and theologically sound book on suffering comes from personal experience. Paul David Tripp was a busy counselor and author, working long hours to accomplish lots of good with his ministry. Out of the blue, he lost over half of his kidney function and now, after several surgeries, still suffers from debilitating pain and inability to accomplish things that were once easy for him. In this book he uses personal examples and Biblical teaching to show practical ways to handle the suffering that comes from living in a fallen world.This easy-to-read book emphasizes that having a right theology of God will enable us to handle suffering better when it comes. "Suffering is never just a matter of the body but is always also a matter of the heart. It's never just an assault on our situation, but also an attack on our soul.... Too many of us, while battling the cause of our suffering, forget to battle for our hearts."The book also provides practical ways to stop our "functional theology"--the theology that arises from the way we act, not from our head knowledge--from morphing into a heretical view of God. "What controls your mediation will control your thoughts about God, yourself, others, your situation, and even the nature of life itself. And as you meditate on what you are suffering, your joy wanes, you hope fades, and God seems increasingly distant. In the meantime, God hasn't changed, his truth is still true, and what you're facing hasn't grown bigger, but it all seems bigger, darker, and more impossible...."Besides offering advice on controlling our thought life, Tripp reiterates things that Christians know but can forget when they are in the valley. Recount the good things God has done. Sing his praises. Avoid complaining. The Christian community is there to help in times of suffering.Rather than offering the simple platitude that "God has a purpose for our suffering and that all things will work together for good," Tripp examines what that "good" really refers to. He turns to the Psalms and the book of Job to show that a certain level of doubt is a normal reaction to the heaviness of suffering, but it must not be a doubt that calls into question the goodness of God. The doubt of "wonderment" at what God is doing is the Psalmist's way of crying out to God, but the doubt of "judgment" is the way to create a false picture of who God is and make the suffering even harder to bear.This book was a helpful reminder of the spiritual disciplines that can ease and comfort during times of trial. It did feel needlessly repetitive in some parts, but it was a thoroughly edifying read and will be a great blessing to many when it is released later this month. Recommended.Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    As someone coming out of a season of suffering, this book is a gift. I was grateful to receive a digital Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Tripp helps us remember that suffering is not without purpose. We're reminded how God works through suffering and get a glimpse into the author's experience. I have already suggested this book to others going through a difficult time. I think it would be an excellent read for pastors, counselors and lay ministers as well.
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  • Sarah Poling
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great book. Suffering is something we all face. The author is in the throes of his own suffering beyond his wildest expectations. He shares his story as well as the stories of others whom he has counseled. But most importantly he shares a theology of suffering in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Life with a helper, an advocate who is ever present and in control. It’s written in a way that the average person can grasp the suggestions, thoughts, concepts, and applications. I love the This is a great book. Suffering is something we all face. The author is in the throes of his own suffering beyond his wildest expectations. He shares his story as well as the stories of others whom he has counseled. But most importantly he shares a theology of suffering in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Life with a helper, an advocate who is ever present and in control. It’s written in a way that the average person can grasp the suggestions, thoughts, concepts, and applications. I love the italics questions throughout steps to ponder and heart scripture to consider with the themes of each chapter, as well as the reflection questions for individual or group review. As one in the midst of unique suffering, being pointed back to dependence on a great and worthy God, and having all my wrong thinking and self indulgence systematically approached, it’s a hard, humbling, way to relatable read, but one that will resonate and be revisited over and over. Some quotes:Because I did not have the power or control to make Mr. Hardship leave, I ran to the place where I have always found wisdom, hope, and rest of heart. I ran to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in so doing, into the arms of my Savior. As I dove into the narrative of the gospel,which is the core message of God’s Word, I realized something profoundly important and wonderfully comforting: I wasn’t unprepared after all.But I believe that God is good, and I did everything I could to run toward his goodness and not away from it.Suffering has the power to expose what you have been trusting all along. If you lose your hope when your physical body fails, maybe your hope wasn’t really in your Savior after all. It was humbling to confess that what I thought was faith was actually self-reliance.Suffering is never abstract, theoretical, or impersonal. Suffering is real, tangible, personal, and specific. The Bible never presents suffering as an idea or a concept but puts it before us in the blood-and-guts drama of real human experiences. When it comes to suffering, Scripture is never avoidant or cosmetic in its approach. The Bible never minimizes the harsh experiences of life in this terribly broken world, and in so doing, the Bible forces us out of our denial and toward humble honesty. In fact, the Bible is so honest about suffering that it recounts stories that are so weird and dark that if they were a Netflix video you probably wouldn’t watch it.an example from the end of a chapter- one of the 4-5 questions and a heart reset:When you pray that your hope would be “rooted in the fact that your Lord is in you, he is with you, and he is for you right here, right now” (p. X), how can you look differently at suffering? Heart Reset • Psalm 13:1–6; 27:1–14 • Isaiah 43:1 2Thankful to read a netgalley copy.
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  • Tori Samar
    January 1, 1970
    "Beneath the suffering of physical sickness, loss, betrayal, or whatever other dark thing has entered the door is something way more powerful and dangerous. It is the spiritual war that rages in the heart of every sufferer."If you're familiar at all with Paul Tripp's teaching, then you probably know that he places a lot of emphasis on the heart. Our words, emotions, and actions stem from what is in our heart. People and circumstances don't make us behave a certain way; those things simply draw o "Beneath the suffering of physical sickness, loss, betrayal, or whatever other dark thing has entered the door is something way more powerful and dangerous. It is the spiritual war that rages in the heart of every sufferer."If you're familiar at all with Paul Tripp's teaching, then you probably know that he places a lot of emphasis on the heart. Our words, emotions, and actions stem from what is in our heart. People and circumstances don't make us behave a certain way; those things simply draw out what was already in our heart. This book continues in the same vein, emphasizing how suffering uniquely relates to the heart. Tripp is not particularly concerned with either what Christians suffer (e.g., physical pain, divorce, job loss, etc.) or why Christians suffer; he is concerned with how Christians suffer. We will suffer either in agony or at rest depending on what has control of our heart. Is it the traps of fear, envy, doubt, denial, and discouragement or the comforts of God's grace, presence, sovereignty, purpose, and people? With this book, Tripp invites readers to ponder what suffering reveals about the state of their heart and to let times of suffering reorient their heart toward God: The one thing that will bring peace, joy, rest, and lasting satisfaction to your heart, nothing or no one can take away. In fact this thing is not a thing at all; it's a person, the Lord himself, who enters your life by grace and who will never, ever go away. When you find your hope and satisfaction in him, not in people, possessions, money, success, or physical health, no pain or loss can take that satisfaction away. When you truly place your hope in him, nothing is able to plunder your hope. (pp. 207-208)
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "Suffering" talked about the traps we can fall into (and why they're not helpful) and the hope that we have in God. The author talked about how anyone who suffers may ask "why?", doubt, be afraid, envy others who are doing well, be discouraged, and/or deny the seriousness of what they're facing. However, he shared stories of real people who took these to a degree that left them hopeless. They had a distorted view of God because they let circumstances define their view of God rather than looking "Suffering" talked about the traps we can fall into (and why they're not helpful) and the hope that we have in God. The author talked about how anyone who suffers may ask "why?", doubt, be afraid, envy others who are doing well, be discouraged, and/or deny the seriousness of what they're facing. However, he shared stories of real people who took these to a degree that left them hopeless. They had a distorted view of God because they let circumstances define their view of God rather than looking to what the Bible says about God. The author also told his own story and how he was challenged in some of these ways.He then talked about the hope we have if we look to what Scripture says about God and suffering. He quoted Scripture and explained why this is a comfort. Things like how we have hope because God is with us and will not forsake us. God is good and in control, but he cares more about our character than our comfort. Since the author has gone through and is continuing to suffer, you know he's thought through these things and isn't just giving the "standard answer." I felt that he had good theology and managed to convey it in a easy-to-understand and sympathetic manner. Overall, I'd recommend this insightful book.I received an advanced review copy of this book from the publisher through Amazon Vine.
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  • Chris MacLeavy
    January 1, 1970
    Suffering isn't a question of if but rather a question of when. There isn't a person among us who has not suffered, or who will not one day experience the pain of loss, the sting of betrayal, or the weakness of their physical body failing. Writing out of his own life-altering suffering,Tripp writes, "[t]here could be no more stunning declaration packed with more practical hope than Jesus' words, 'I am with you always.'" Tripp's book is a gritty, street-level reminder that the hope of redemption Suffering isn't a question of if but rather a question of when. There isn't a person among us who has not suffered, or who will not one day experience the pain of loss, the sting of betrayal, or the weakness of their physical body failing. Writing out of his own life-altering suffering,Tripp writes, "[t]here could be no more stunning declaration packed with more practical hope than Jesus' words, 'I am with you always.'" Tripp's book is a gritty, street-level reminder that the hope of redemption is not just reserved for eternity but is a real, living, present hope; rooted in the fact that God is with you, in you, and for you right here, right now. This book packs a powerful dose of gospel courage as Tripp unpacks the traps of temptation that greet every sufferer and the comforts of grace that are available for those who fear God and trust their lives to his sovereign love and grace in the midst of difficulty. Tripp provides comforting truth for everyone who has suffered and solid gospel preparation for those who haven't.
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  • Allison Pickett
    January 1, 1970
    Having read another book by Paul David Tripp in the past, I was excited to read his take on suffering and how the Bible explains our pain. He tells his own story about his physical suffering and gives snippets of other people’s stories as well. Although it contained some good and helpful information, it read a bit like a textbook. Under the right circumstance, I could see myself referring someone to this book.
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