A Brief Book Summary from Books at a Glance
By Michael Nelson
Table of Contents
- Can You Trust God?
- Is God in Control?
- The Sovereignty of God
- God’s Sovereignty over People
- God’s Rule over the Nations
- God’s Power over Nature
- God’s Sovereignty and Our Responsibility
- The Wisdom of God
- Knowing God’s Love
- Experiencing God’s Love
- Trusting God for Who You Are
- Growing Through Adversity
- Choosing to Trust God
- Giving Thanks Always
This book is a personal look into the Biblical concept of trusting God. Jerry Bridges writes out of his own study through difficult experiences as he gives his readers an in-depth look into a journey involving his own faith. His conclusions resulted in a theological look at a practical level of the shaping God uses in our lives to cause us to look more like Christ. Specifically, Bridges focuses on three character truths about God: sovereignty, wisdom, and love. These character truths comprise the majority of this book with the remaining four chapters being the application and conclusion of his study.
Chapter 1: Can You Trust God?
Every single person experiences adversity. World events can cause anxiety and fear also. Regardless of the hurt, the common phrase, “Life is difficult” is true. Christians are not immune to adversity either. In fact, at times it may seem as if their pain is more deeply felt than an unbeliever. The natural question that arises then is, “Where is God?”
It is not easy to trust God in adversity. The apostle Paul pleaded with God to take away his “thorn in his flesh.” Joseph asked Pharaoh’s cupbearer to “get me out of this prison” (Gen. 40:14). And the writer of Hebrews says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful” (Heb. 12:11). It is during these times of adversity that we must remember that God is in control of our situations. And even if we don’t understand, we must learn to trust Him. In order to trust Him, there are three important truths that we must believe. First, we must believe that God is completely sovereign. Second, we must believe that God is infinite in wisdom. Third, we must believe that God is perfect in love.
Chapter 2: Is God in Control?
The common view in society when it comes to God and His relationship to suffering is that God is good but not all powerful or that he is powerful and not all good. The view of the Bible is that God is sovereign (all powerful) and good. This is where Bridges discusses the providence of God, which Bridges defines as “his constant care for and his absolute rule over all creation for his own glory and the good of his people.”
The Bible teaches that God created the universe and that he upholds it and sustains it every second of every day. There is nothing in all of creation that is independent of God’s power or God’s will. As Psalm 147:8-9 says, “He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills, he provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.” This sustaining power also extends to people as well, for as Acts 17:28 says, “In him we live and move and have our being.” To trust God, we must believe that he is always at work in every aspect and in every moment of our lives and this world.
Not only does the Bible teach that God sustains everything, but God also governs the universe in all areas and in all things as well. First Chronicles 29:12 calls Him, “ruler of all things,” and as Daniel says, “he does as he pleases…no one can hold back his hand” (Dan. 4:35). There is nothing that can occur in this world apart from the will. . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts