When You Suffer is the second book from Jeff Cavins in his recent "Biblical Keys" series. The first book was entitled Praise God and Thank Him and focused on a joyful life. This latest book focuses on hope and understanding for moments of suffering. With that theme and the purple book cover, this book screams LENT! So I figured, that would be a good time to read through it and share it with you. The book begins with a chapter on the notion of an "ideal life." That concept is hard to grasp, so he narrows it down to an ideal day. After thinking about your ideal day, which involves doing things you enjoy doing, he broadens us back to an ideal life, which involves a predictable life, comfort, and one that reflects your gifts. Unfortunately, real life is never like the ideal life. Real life is uncomfortable and full of suffering.
This leads to the next chapter, which discusses the meaning of suffering. He doesn't dive into the weighty Scripture on making your suffering mean something, but instead gives us two concrete examples of people (one being Pope John Paul II) who took their suffering and made it matter. Chapter Three takes us all the way back to Adam and Eve to show how and why they suffered. He then provides us with a few brief pages with examples of suffering all throughout salvation history. Chapter Four provides different purposes for suffering, i.e., punitive, probative, and disciplinary. Chapters Five and Six detail the concepts of supernatural suffering and Jesus' suffering and our participation in it. The final chapters are the most practical/beneficial as they focus on practical things you can do when you suffer, such as prayer, confession, and, trusting that God will never put you through more than you can handle.
We are all fallen human beings in a state of sin. This sin leads to suffering, and this suffering is something that will never leave us until we reach Heaven. Fortunately for us, suffering isn't the end result, but merely a spiritual tool we can use to grow closer to God. So let Jeff Cavins easy to understand writing style and his vast Scriptural wisdom be your guide to this difficult concept. You might also want to get a second copy, because with a topic like this, it's sure to be a well-borrowed book.
This book was provided to me for free by Servant Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!