Practical, Pastoral and Penetrating. This book is a great help to anyone wanting to know how to support someone through trials, or even just how to be a biblical friend.
Writing from personal experience Dave, a pastor on the Arabian Peninsula, has written a book that will both encourage those who are struggling and guide those seeking to help them. It begins with two chapters that encourage a biblical and gospel oriented approach to the struggles of life. The remaining chapters deal with seven practical areas setting out how to be a friend and help to someone in pain.
There were three things I particularly appreciated about this book. First, the size. I know size isn’t everything, but I find it matters especially when it’s a book I would want to give to others. This book is big enough to get to the heart of the real issues, yet at the same time not too big that it would scare anyone.
The second thing I really appreciated was the gospel heart of the book and its author. This isn’t a book offering a quick fix for any situation or a checklist of spiritual friendship. Rather it works from the foundation that Jesus is the answer to all our situations and then seeks to encourage us to be friends that both know Jesus and point others to him.
Then, third, this book is a gold mine of wisdom gleaned from others. Don’t get me wrong, it is so much more than a collection of quotes, but the ones that are there are worth reading and spending time meditating on. I was particularly challenged and encouraged by the passage quoted from Horatius Bonar’s, ‘Words to winners of souls’.
In his pain Job had some ‘friends’, but they did not serve him well. Here is a book that will help us to think through and work out how we can be more helpful to people around us who are suffering. It is sure to both challenge and encourage.