Welcome once again to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I’ll feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is When Life Is Hard by James MacDonald, one of the best books I have ever read about tests and trials.
Pastor MacDonald wrote this book in the midst of what he calls “a storm and finally a category 5 hurricane.” What he learned can help each one of us as we go through our own tests, trials and storms.
Jeremiah 29:11 says “He knows the plans He has for you, plans to give you a future and a hope.”
Yes! That’s what I want to hear, you may be thinking. Let’s get on those plans right now—future, hope, blessing. I’m ready! But here’s the thing: God knows something else. He knows that we’re not always ready for the plans that He has for us. So He has some plans to get us ready for His plans. That’s really what this book is about—taking the difficult things that God allows into your life, and getting to the place where the blessing can be received.
The key truth he drives home throughout the book is from Job 23.10:
“He knows the way I take;
When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
God knows what is going on in each of our lives and He has promised to use trials for good in our lives (Rom. 8.28-29).
Pastor MacDonald defines trials this way:
A trial is a painful circumstance allowed by God to change my conduct and my character. My conduct—that’s what I do. And then to a deeper level, my character—that’s who I am.
He goes on to help us first evaluate our hard circumstances. Are they trials or a consequences? This is an important distinction. The author: Continue reading