4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Mike Leake
Publisher: Cruciform Press
Buy Torn to Heal: God’s Good Purpose in Suffering
Reading Level: Easy
Mike Leake wants you to know that God will do whatever it takes to make you complete, to give you lasting joy. He says,
[T]he Lord, in his goodness, will rip us to shreds if that’s what it takes to replace our idols with lasting joy. He will stop at nothing to fully redeem us. He does this by changing our desires. And this is good. (p. 16)
He starts the journey to unpack this truth in Hosea--a book that portrays in some of the most vivid and graphic terms God pursuing his people at all costs.
What Mike wants you to know is that God is sovereign even over our suffering, even when we are being disciplined and all of it is for our good. He carefully separates the fibers of truth found in God’s sovereignty and makes pastoral application. Christ is central in understanding God’s sovereignty (pp. 47-48). If we can understand how God directs suffering in the life of his Son, then we can understand how he will work in our own life.
He also attacks dualism and stoicism in the Christian life. He demonstrates how the biblical view of God’s sovereignty provides hope and comfort hand and fist over these bankrupt world views. “Yet at the end of the day the gospel proclaims (over against the dualist) an absolutely sovereign God and (over against the stoic) a God who incarnates himself and weeps for man’s suffering” (p. 68).
He ends where the story ends in the new heaven and new earth--when we see Jesus. “It is a return to Eden, this time with no room for crafty serpents (see Revelation 21:8). Finally humanity will know the rule of God, rest in God, and relationship with God we were created to enjoy.” (p. 83)
I found the constant reminder that God will restore us in the midst of suffering encouraging. Without that tenor through out, without the hope of final victory of pain and suffering, we would fall prey to despair. He ends with these words, “You and I are being un-dragoned. Take heart, suffering saint, Aslan is on the move. One day the tearing will be over and we will be swimming and splashing in the river of glory!” (p. 91)
As suffering is common to us all, prepare yourself. Mike Leake will lead you to Christ and deepen your trust and hope in him in preparation for suffering.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Torn to Heal: God’s Good Purpose in Suffering free from Cruciform Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”