JIM BERG
BJU Press, 96 Pages, Hardcover, $10.95

Jim Berg adds an excellent book to the library of Christian books dealing with the topic of suffering.

Some books on suffering seek to answer the question, “Why do we suffer?”—a needed topic. Still others seek to answer the question, “How do I respond to suffering?”—a vital topic. Berg’s book fits into the latter category. When Trouble Comes distinguishes itself by providing a Biblically rich answer to the question, “How do I respond to a crisis?” The practical depth of the book, along with its compact size, make it a much-needed tool in helping people who would find a more lengthy volume too much of a challenge to read in the midst of a difficulty.

When Trouble Comes includes seven short chapters covering these emphases:

1. The greatest danger is always the flesh.
2. The gospel is always the answer.
3. The glory of God is always the goal.
4. God Himself is always enough.

Several quotes provide examples of the riches found in this volume.

Once you are a child of God, your greatest crisis is over. You may lose the whole world, but you will not lose your soul. Now consider this: If God knows how to rescue you from your greatest crisis, He certainly knows how to deliver you from any other crisis of life (p. 26).

Any comfort we receive or strategies we attempt must point us to Jesus Christ, who alone is our Savior. God’s provision isn’t a program or even a set of principles; it is a Person. Since the flesh is the greatest danger, the gospel—which puts Jesus Christ in the spotlight—is the only answer (p. 32).

It is important for us to understand that God is not glorified merely by miraculous recoveries and heart-warming times of repentance. He is glorified any time His people have responses that show He is first in their lives (p. 45).

We must increase in our knowledge of God Himself—the one who is controlling all the factors of our life in His sovereignty. We may not be able to see exactly what He is doing or how He will make something turn out, but if we know Him well, our heart can rest (p. 64).

A study guide for the book is also available. The study guide provides a wonderful tool to help believers apply the book’s message to their individual situations. The structure of the study guide assists readers in giving focused attention over the course of four weeks to the topic of responding to crises Biblically. This study guide, when used with the book, could be the basis for a targeted men’s or women’s Bible study, as well as an excellent counseling tool for use with believers in the midst of difficulty.

The Christian worker will find When Trouble Comes and its study guide to be of personal help in facing suffering and of practical help in ministering to the suffering.

Professor Jeff Newman, Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary, Ankeny, Iowa