In When Trouble Comes, Philip Ryken focuses on the topic of troubles in our daily lives and how Christians are to respond when times of suffering and pain arise. The main thesis is that we can find comfort and refuge in Christ when we face the troubles of this life. Although we may be neck-deep in tribulations, we can find assurance and relief in Christ as the One who upholds us without fail. In the book, Ryken draws from the experiences of eight biblical characters including Isaiah, Elijah, Ruth, David, Jeremiah, Mary, Jesus, and Paul and how they responded when troubles arose. In each of these examples, the underlying theme is that we are to bring our tears, fears, and burdens to God who is always ready to forgive, restore, and transform us in and through our tribulations. Furthermore, Christians are to expect troubles to occur as Jesus warned His disciples in John 16. However, in the same passage, Jesus also encourages the disciples to take heart as He has overcome the world. When we are facing the rising tides of financial difficulty, deteriorating health, and work challenges, we can find comfort in Him who has conquered the world and reigns forever. Throughout the book, Ryken writes as a fellow sufferer and is empathetic to readers who are suffering in their own lives. Moreover, the author intricately dissects and analyzes the emotions and feelings of the biblical characters allowing us to see that even the giants of faith had their times of grief and powerlessness. At the end of the book, the publisher includes a study guide which allows for further reflection on the material presented in each chapter.
I would recommend this book to all Christians as Ryken rightly reminds us that troubles will indeed come. Though we do not look forward to times of suffering and grief, reality informs us that we are in a fallen world. Moreover, as followers of Christ, trials and tribulations are promised to occur so we are wise to prepare ourselves accordingly. Ryken reminds readers that the God we trust is gracious, loving, and able to sustain us through life’s sufferings. Thus, when troubling times come, we should not hesitate to take our troubles to Him in prayer and rely on His grace to carry us through.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.