“Biblical Encouragement for Difficult Times”
John Meador's message for those facing tough times is that God’s still working in them. He explores this through nine stories from the Bible. Moses, Joseph, Esther, Jonah, Elijah, Abigail, David, Peter, and Hezekiah each have very different stories and, as John Meador unpacks them, we see clearly that God was working in them and through them. And so, when we face hardship, we can trust in God.
It's a beautiful premise which Meador demonstrates well in each story. I was particularly struck by Hezekiah's story, in which the King completely fails to grow through tough times because he's too proud. In the space of just a few verses, he goes from being a wonderful example of humble prayer, to a devastating story of pride destroying a legacy.
Meador interweaves modern stories of people he's met or counselled in his ministry, along with some from his family, to demonstrate that this isn't just a Bible thing. God really does work in and through hard times today.
I had two small issues with this book:
A lot of the chapters feel unfocused. Meador picks a bible story and compares it with a modern story, but often tries to draw so many points from them that I found myself ending chapters unsure of the lesson. None of the points are BAD, but Meador races through enough material for a whole book in every chapter.
The second issue comes with a caveat. I have no doubt, from the stories in this book, that Meador has experienced and witnessed immense suffering, grief, and doubt. But the tone and delivery of this book leads me to think it would be of benefit to people who had experienced BAD times, but not DEVASTATING times, if that makes sense?
Essentially, I'm not sure this book is really long or deep enough to fully explore the worst struggles people can face, and how meaningless scripture, prayer, and faith can feel in those times.
A good book though, and one that I would happily put in the hands of friends who wanted encouragement during difficult seasons.