Friday, November 16, 2018

Book Review: Hope in the Dark by Craig Groeschel

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BOOK review
Started on: 18 October 2018
Finished on: 26 October 2018

Title: Hope in the Dark
Author: Craig Groeschel
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 176 pages / 176 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2018
Price: Rp 296,289 (https://www.bookdepository.com)

Rating: 5/5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Just to be clear: this book is not for everyone. If you're living the dream and you're on a spiritual high, stop and praise God for his goodness. I celebrate with you. But, honestly, this book probably isn't for you, at least not in this season of your life. This book is for those who are hurting. For those with doubts. For those afraid that their faith may be failing. For those whose world has grown dark."
Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Life.Church and has written a lot of books in the past. This time, he specifically wrote this book for people who are struggling to believe that God is good. He wrote this book for those who are in the midst of great suffering and pain. Throughout this book, Craig Groeschel also shares his own challenges and acknowledges the questions we might ask in our deepest pain: "Where was God when I was being abused?" "Why was my child born with a disability?" "Why did the cancer come back?" "Why are all my friends married and I’m alone?". This book invites us to wrestle with such questions as we ask God to honor our faith and heal our unbelief.

"I hope you discover the depths and riches of God's grace that only the valleys of life can reveal.

This is actually my first time ever reading a book written by Craig Groeschel, and I'm really glad I decided to pick it up. At first, it was the title that really caught my attention because I've been reading a lot of Christian-based books related to suffering these days. When I started reading, I did not have any sort of expectations, but turns out this book is just exactly what I needed. The book starts off with a chapter called 'A Letter to the Reader' which explains how Craig Groeschel started writing this book for a close friend who went through a really difficult season in her life. That chapter almost made me bawl my eyes out because it truly touched my heart; and right at that moment, I knew I would end up loving this book.
"Shedding the old skin of doubt and disbelief will not be easy, especially if your situation's outcome doesn't align with your hopes and expectations."
"When you feel like your faith tank is about to run dry, remember this: When God has promised something, it will come to pass. But it will be his timing, not yours."
One of my favorite things about this book is how Craig Groeschel showed his own vulnerability and his own struggle with unbelief as he went through a difficult season in his life. It makes him relatable and shows that if we ever experienced something like that, we are not alone. He also shared some real life stories from people around him that showed how people had to go through different kinds of darkness in their lives. Reading and seeing these people grown mature in their faith through adversities really encouraged me all the more. There's a part in this book that left a deep impression in me, it's called Kyle's Poem. It is such a powerful poem that has successfully made me cry 😭. You'd have to read it for yourself or google it if you're curious πŸ˜‰.
"He loves you. He is for you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will never let you down. He may not do exactly what you want. But he is always faithful, no matter how much your circumstances may seem to indicate otherwise.
No matter what happens in your life, the Lord is in his holy temple."
"If you are struggling, I'm hoping that you are willing to wrestle. So many people seem to be seeking a bumper sticker God with whom life is clean, easy, and problem free and answers are clever, even punchy. But life is never clean. It's far from easy. And it's never problem free. That's why I believe putting God into an easy-to-explain box is not only unwise but dangerous. To really know God, you have to wrestle through pain, struggle with honest doubts, and even live with unanswered questions."
Throughout this book, the writer focused on several biblical stories that relates to the main theme. The first one is from Mark 9:21-24, when a father desperately wishes for his child to be healed. When Jesus said that everything is possible for one who believes, the father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!". This story illustrates the struggle of going through pain and suffering, but the emphasis is actually on the desire of the father to believe. He actually asked God to help him overcome his unbelief. Sometimes it is difficult to reconcile the hope-filled message of the Christian faith with what we're seeing around us. However, the most important thing is to want to believe in that hope.

The second one is the story of Habakkuk, who like many of us, can't figure out why God doesn't do what he thinks God should do. This book seriously changed my perspective on this particular book in the Bible. Craig Groeschel explained that Habakkuk is a man who loves God, but he doesn't shy away from wrestling with his doubts and questions. I learned that we need to trust God even when we can't feel him, believe in him even when he doesn't make sense, and follow him even though we're not sure where he's leading us. Habakkuk does exactly that; he asks honest questions while also trusting God and his Word. God is big enough to handle our doubts and he loves us enough to be patient with us as we learn more about God's true character.
"I have my own hurts, my own losses, my own doubts from time to time, just like you probably do. But I'm still convinced God is with us during our trials, and I want to help restore the faith of people who see their trust in God demolished by that wrecking ball of unbearable circumstances."
"Maybe in some strange way, God allows us to doubt him sometimes. Maybe he knows that's one of the ways for our faith to grow stronger. One of the best ways."
If you feel like you're going through a difficult season in your life or feel like you're currently in a dark place, I highly suggest you to pick this book up. For me personally, this book is truly a hope in the dark. There are so many encouraging truths packed in this fairly short book. I cried numerous times while reading because the stories shared in this book really resonates with me. And I think a deeply rooted faith and hope in Christ is such a beautiful thing to have. I always believe that trials and sufferings are catalysts for the growth of our faith, and that God's plan is always better than ours. I am immensely grateful to Craig Groeschel for writing such an amazing and heartfelt book. It has strengthened me and soothed my weary soul. This is the book that I will want to pick up again and again as I go through life, to remind me that I have a good good God who will never fail me. Not now, not ever. 😊
"So when we're suffering, ranting and raving about all the unfairness of life, we would do well also to remember that there's so much more going on than we can see or understand from our limited perspective. We're seeing only a tiny sliver of a much bigger story, perhaps only one sentence or one paragraph on just a single page."
"Even though I'm upset, angry, confused, frustrated, disappointed, and impatient, I will remember who God is.
The Lord is still in charge. 
And he is good.
He is righteous.
He is true.
He is faithful.
He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever present.
The world may seem upside down, but the Lord is still there.
He is sovereign, and he has a plan—a much bigger plan than I can see right now.
I have to respect that he is God and I am not.
His timing is not my timing.
His ways are higher than I'll ever understand.
He is supreme in all wisdom, and he knows the end from the beginning.
I'm just a person, his creation.
He has everything under control."
 
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

2 comments:

  1. Buku ini bicara soal keimanan yang menurut saya bersifat universal, bahwa ada kekuatan yang lebih besar dari kita. Menarik banget sih.

    cuma bingung bagian "Habakkuk", what the meaning of habakuk? or Who is Habakuk? hmm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Habakkuk is a prophet who wrote a book in the Bible 😊

      Delete

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