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Life does not always make sense. But then, if you’ve walked this earth for a few years, or listened to the news, you already know this. Life happens to us all, on a daily basis, at times bringing the unexplainable and unwanted:

  • health crisis
  • divorce
  • straying children
  • financial problems
  • death
  • disappointment
  • rejection
  • betrayal

The question then which often comes to us is: “Where is God?”

In his most recent book, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Dr. Larry Crabb brings insight for those difficult days which test our faith. God’s thoughts aren’t like ours and do not fit easily into our minds. We would prefer easy, comfortable, and successful. A life filled with blessing and easy.

Dr. Crabb puts before us three options which confront us when we face difficulties:

  1. Resist and Run. From the life of Jonah, we discover we can choose to resist god and run off to find for ourselves a better fit.
  2. Distort and Deny. From the life of Saul (before he became Paul), we discover we can know God’s principles, distort them to make them say what we need them to say, while denying the passages that contradict our distortions.
  3. Tremble and Trust. From Habakkuk, we find a third option. Tremble before a God whose thoughts and ways are far above our own. Then trust that His love is committed to our growth in ways that are incomprehensible to our limited minds.

This book was an encouraging read, bringing these reminders:

  • “The Spirit’s scalpel has twin edges: exposure that convicts and grace that enlivens” (page 68).
  • “Settled, growing trust is required to follow Jesus through every season of life. The needed trust develops only in souls that tremble. We must trust to obey. But we must tremble to trust: (page 80).
  • “We will not understand what it means to tremble in a fashion that births trust until we come to grips with the disturbing truth that the larger story God is telling does not always follow the script we’ve come up with for our smaller story” (page 88).
  • “When God’s ways make no sense, trust in God’s unthwarted sovereignty” (page 136).
  • “For the earnestly and patiently God-seeking Christian, life will bring to us the desirable necessity of absolute surrender” (page 137).

I did struggle with Dr. Crabb’s viewpoint in calling himself a “Christian deist” – seeing God as being uninvolved in our lives in some ways. He believes that God is in control of what He chooses to control. Yet he encourages us to come to the point of believing, “the hands-off God is never more near to us than when He seem most distant to us”. His conflict is presented transparently, as he finds it difficult to think that God is in control all that occurs.

I chose this book mainly because Habakkuk is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It was an easy and encouraging read, reminding me I can trust God always  – even when His ways make no sense to me, He is always doing me good.

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”
(Habakkuk 3:17-18, NLT)


** I was provided a copy of this book by the Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. This post contains an affiliate link.

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