Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials by Dave Furman

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BOOK review
Started on: 1 March 2018
Finished on: 7 March 2018

Title : Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials
Author : Dave Furman
Publisher : Crossway
Pages : 160 pages / 190 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication : 2018
Price : Rp 188,982 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 5/5
*This e-book is received as a review copy from Crossway
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"Don't read this book to merely gain knowledge or a quick fix, but to truly understand and live out the psalmist's cry, 'It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.'"
We usually use the term 'wave' to identify the struggles we go through in life. That's why I was instantly intrigued when I read the title of this book, Kiss the Wave. Right from the start, it's stated that if you're looking for a quick solution for your current suffering, this book is not for you. Instead of giving tips and tricks on how to diminish the afflictions we're facing, this book will give us guidance on how to embrace God—in and through our trials.

"I don't think Spurgeon gives us trite advice, pretending as if suffering is not difficult. I also don't think he is telling us to act as if our situations are easy: Just try harder and kiss those waves. No, Spurgeon tells us that God is doing more in our suffering than we can see with our eyes. None of us enjoys adversity. We want out, and yet God in his grace uses suffering for our benefit."
Dave Furman is someone who can give his own personal testimony as he goes through life having to deal with his physical disability. Throughout the book, he also included several other examples of people who are able to embrace God despite their suffering. There are also a lot of encouragement given through Bible verses about adversities; to assure us that even our suffering is under God's control, and everything works together for good according to His purposes.
"Hardship, sorrow, disability, persecution, and death are not good in themselves. But God in his grace uses them for our good and his glory. The nearness of God awakens us to him in our trials and draws us toward his grace."
image source: here. edited by me.
"The truth is, none of us is immune from suffering."
Compared to Dave Furman and several other people mentioned in this book, I'd have to say that my life is far from what you'd call 'suffering'. Even so, I believe that every single person in this world has their own portion of adversities in life, no one has it easy. That's why I find this book extremely relevant and helpful; not just for people who are in the midst of suffering, but for those who are preparing for it as well. It definitely strengthens my faith and secures my foundation in Christ with biblical truths; so that when I'm faced with greater difficulties in the future, I will not be easily shaken.

I learned a lot from this book and took a lot of notes as I was reading it. One of the things that struck me the most was when the author mentioned how some people usually try to comfort those who are suffering. People will say things like 'I know exactly how you feel' or 'Your grief reminds me of a time when I went through something', and it's almost never helpful. I've actually said similar things in the past to people who shared their struggles with me. However, this book reminded me that we can never truly understand how other people felt amidst their misery. But Jesus can, and he understands perfectly what each of us are going through. He's the all-knowing God who became flesh and experienced all sorts of hardships that we could ever think of. I also kept reminding myself that whatever I'm going through, Jesus will always understand our struggles even when nobody else can.

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"Fellow Christian, God is with you. Literally. When you feel alone, he is with you. When you grieve, he grieves. When you are hurting, he is there to comfort you. When you don't know what to do, the Spirit of God will give you direction. When you don't know what to pray, he will help you with groanings too deep for words."
"We don't 'feel better' by trying harder or distracting ourselves. We don't lift ourselves out of the pit through positive thinking. Instead I can think of no better way forward than to point you to the greatness of our God and all that he has done for us in Christ Jesus."
For the most part, this book encouraged the readers to deepen their understanding of God. Yes, God is more than able to eliminate all our problems and hardships in an instant; but he's much more concerned about our understanding of who he truly is. We might not get to know the entirety of God's characters if we are not faced with adversities in life. As mentioned multiple times in this book, sufferings are not good on its own; but as God promised, he is able to work all things (including our trials) for good—according to his purposes. God wants us to be focused on his never-changing character, instead of being fixated on our challenging situation. Finding joy during a difficult season is something that's easier said than done. That's why it is important to constantly preach ourselves with the good news of the gospel.
"Reading this book is not a magic formula to give you joy. But God can use these truths to lift the floodgates of your heart so his joy can fill you to overflowing."
Sufferings are inevitable—they're a part of this life. As Christians, we are not immune to these afflictions, but we do have the privilege of knowing Christ as our savior. I would definitely hold on to this book for myself and for other people in times of difficulties when hope and reassurance will be needed. Instead of wasting time by resenting God, I'm learning to embrace Him in all circumstances—believing that God knows what's best for us and his plans are always good. I also love how this book always refers back to Bible verses that builds up our faith in God's Word. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who's going through a difficult time or situation. It has successfully given me a new perspective on the term 'suffering', and I will always remember the phrase 'Kiss the Wave'. An incredibly inspiring and encouraging book! Would love to read more of Dave Furman's books in the future. 😊😊
"True joy is a joy that is not subject to ever-changing circumstances. It is a joy that is grounded in truth.
As we suffer, we can work hard to try to numb our painful circumstances or to try to deny that they exist. But what we need instead of denial or distraction is a truth that will overwhelm the trouble."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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