When God Seems Gone: Finding Hope When Nothing Makes Sense – Adam Mabry

When God Seems Gone: Finding Hope When Nothing Makes Sense by Adam Mabry
Also by this author: When God Seems Gone: Finding Hope When Nothing Makes Sense
Published by Good Book Company on March 1, 2023
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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How to hold on to faith, keep trusting, and rediscover joy when God seems silent, slow, unfair, different, or wrong.

What do you do when it feels like God isn’t there―when the state of the world, our own suffering, or the struggles of those we know suggest that God is absent? When you’ve experienced soul-crushing silence from heaven, despite your fervent supplications?

Looking at Habakkuk, Job, David, and Jesus, as well as reflecting on his own experience of deep suffering, Adam Mabry examines the art of lament―how to cry out to God in desperation from a place of faith and hope. At the end, there are practical suggestions for what you can do to keep faith even in times of darkness and doubt.

Readers will learn that God is big enough and good enough to handle hard questions and that his sovereign silence is filled with purpose for their lives. They will be encouraged to keep trusting God even when he seems silent, slow, unfair, different, or wrong.

This book is a great encouragement if…

• you are going through hard times, or walking alongside those who are.

• you are deconstructing your faith.

• you are involved in counselling/pastoral ministry.

• you want a gift for a brother or sister in Christ who is struggling.

This brief book isn’t a theological treatise or a memoir, but is a fellow sufferer’s reflection on important things to remember in the midst of suffering. Adam Mabry writes about the experience of feeling like God is absent, and although he doesn’t share many personal details, he is honest about how some of his experiences have led him to doubt God. The chapters address feeling like God is silent, slow, unfair, disappointing, and wrong. Mabry includes examples of biblical characters’ experiences with similar things, shares practical encouragement, and helps readers process how they will respond to their struggles.

Mabry writes in a deeply compassionate way, describing experiences and feelings that people can relate to regardless of their individual set of circumstances. He is willing to speak hard truths when necessary, like in his warnings against the morass of self-pity and a victim complex, but he doesn’t expect anyone to suddenly feel better based on theological truths or turn things around in their lives from a few words of good advice. He gives space for grief and processing, and he has wonderful wisdom to share about the importance of emotional self-awareness, especially for men, who are more likely to stuff and ignore their emotions in the midst of hardship.

When God Seems Gone: Finding Hope When Nothing Makes Sense is a great resource for Christians who are struggling, and it also makes a good gift for a struggling friend, since it doesn’t promise answers or offer platitudes. I would have been interested in more details from the author’s experience, since some of the parts about his life are somewhat cryptic, but I respect his desire to keep himself out of it and protect his family’s privacy. Also, even though the book could have delved deeper into some topics, its brevity and very concise chapters will help readers who don’t have the time or mental energy to read something longer.