Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense

Crossway. Sept. 2018. 224p. index. ISBN 9781433556777. $22.95. REL
"Suffering shouldn't surprise us, but it almost always does," writes Tripp (Sex in a Broken World), a newly health-conscious evangelical speaker and preacher, who, felled by a significant illness, came to believe that all suffering is ultimately spiritual welfare—not simply a battle for health or relationships but a fight "to the borders of our faith." For Tripp, this book—comprising chapters on both the various spiritual traps that arise from hardship and the comforts that come from (primarily evangelical) faith—is intended to help readers identify these traps while also demonstrating concrete ways to seek God's grace. Pain does not define oneself; in the end, it might help individuals realize limitations as well as the need to relinquish control. However, the efficacy of these insights remains to be seen as adversity is not so easily overcome by faith-driven optimism.
VERDICT While suffering as faith builder may not speak to everyone, Tripp presents questions for review and reflection that are likely to benefit both individuals and group discussion.

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