At some point in our lives, we have pondered the question, “Why is there so much suffering in the world?”
Perhaps you are currently going through an extremely painful stage in your life. Are you questioning how you’ll maintain enough strength to get through this challenging time?
New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller has released a new book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, that specifically addresses these difficult questions. He writes, “Nothing is more important than to learn how to maintain a life of purpose in the midst of painful adversity.”
His work is thoroughly researched and very well structured. The metaphor of comparing suffering to a furnace is used consistently throughout the book. Keller, who writes from a Christian perspective, has divided his new release into three sections and keeps the reader engaged from start to finish.
Part One: Theoretical Issues
The first section of the book focuses on theoretical issues. Part one examines world history, religions and different cultures to see how people handle the furnace. The way we view suffering in general is based on a variety of these factors. Keller makes a note to his readers that if they are already in the midst of crisis, it may be more beneficial to skip over this section and go directly to part two and three.
Part Two: Getting Through Times of Crisis
Keller reviews how the Bible teaches us to maneuver through the flames of crisis in the second section of this book. It is human nature to try everything we can to avoid pain and suffering.
Take death for example, some people fear it and many of us grief deeply when a loved one transitions from Earth. However, some cultures rejoice and have a large celebration filled with happiness and laughter.
At some point in our lives, we will have to endure some form of suffering such as: physical or emotional pain, illness, financial hardships, etc. The Bible is an incredible resource for us, and there are countless references about facing adversities head-on and how to overcome them.
Part Three: How to Walk with God
In the third part of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Keller provides incredible insight on how to truly walk with God. This lesson, in particular, is sometimes one of the most difficult aspects for a human to maintain. It is during our darkest hours that we typically feel the most alone and isolated. In Scripture, we are reminded that God is always with us.
Haven’t I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed: for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go. —Joshua 1:9
Keller provides a solid foundation for helping us remember that we are never alone as long as we have God in our hearts. In this section he states, “The only love that won’t disappoint you is one that can’t change, that can’t be lost, that is not based on the ups and downs of life or of how well you live. It is something that not even death can take away from you. God’s love is the only thing like that.”
About the Author
Timothy Keller was raised in Pennsylvania and completed his coursework at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary. He first became a pastor at the West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Virginia. In 1989, he founded the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.
Keller is an accomplished author whose books have sold over a million copies, been translated in several languages and landed him on the New York Times Best Sellers List. He resides in New York City with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons, David, Michael and Jonathan.