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Where is God When It H...
Philip Yancey
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Where is God When It Hurts

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,344 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews
If there is a loving God, then why is it that ... ?You've heard that question, perhaps asked it yourself. No matter how you complete it, at its root lies the issue of pain.Does God order our suffering? Does he decree an abusive childhood, orchestrate a jet crash, steer a tornado through a community? Or did he simply wind up the world's mainspring and now is watching from a ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 304 pages
Published May 1st 1988 by Christian Large Print (first published January 1st 1977)
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Jennifer Kaster
When I picked up this book, I was at the lowest point in my life I could possibly be. I was struggling to deal with the loss of my mother and father, dealing with the loss of my innocence that was so violently ripped away from me, I was a single mother who had just gone through a string of bad relationships and I had lost my faith in God. I wondered why God had abandon me, why He took my parents from me and why I had experienced so many horrible things in my life. I thought I was being punished ...more
This book is a gem! Yancey does a great job of using real life examples to show the true purpose and benefit of physical pain and emotional suffering. I think this book could be helpful for anyone going through physical, spiritual or emotional pain or for those that want to support someone in pain. Well researched, well written and well done!
Dec 14, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe this book should be an absolute must-read for anyone who professes the Christian faith.

A sentence like that usually rings hollow to me, but honestly, there is nothing hollow about this book. I wish I could physically take the words from the pages and permanently implant them in my brain because there is so much truth to them.

The main point of the book is about suffering and pain and it attempts to address some of the common questions about the subject - why is there suffering, how do
Jun 06, 2013 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yancey makes some good points: we can't function very well in the world, as creatures, without pain, which warns us of injury or illness when it's physical, and helps bring us together in a caring community when it's emotional. We can't fully understand God's plans for us, and how pain, suffering, and distress are part of soul-making. Sometimes our ideas of healing and what should happen aren't what God has in mind for us. God suffers for us now, suffered for us in the person of Jesus, and walks ...more
Graham Maxwell
Jan 25, 2014 Graham Maxwell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Watching an intelligent man take a disturbing, unappreciated trait (what is pain, how does it work), discuss the benefits it holds (it's a warning system, look at all the ills when it breaks down)...then tie himself in knots trying to fit it into a narrative where the explanations already demonstrated have done their job and try to ascribe an author to it (but what does God MEAN by pain?)

Profoundly sad, particularly as when he weans himself off the dogma, Yancey actually give some decent in
Dec 09, 2012 Bryon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: Where is God When It Hurts

I've been trying to work through an extremely tall stack of books lately In the past six months, I think I've completed one full book. And it was a novel. I've been in a season in my life where there has been little to no routine and I've not been able to focus on completing one book all the way through unless the book has been incredibly compelling. I've started at least twenty books in the past six months. That is probably a low estimate. I've tried theol
Nermine Hosni
Aug 31, 2013 Nermine Hosni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتب دوني التأمل رقم في كتابه عن معني اجراس الكنائس وهي من اجمل الفقرات التي كتبت في الادب الانجليزي ( لا ترسل احداً لكي تعرف لمن تدق الاجراس انها تدق من اجلك انت ) لقد ادرك انه بالرغم من ان الاجراس تدق لموت شخص اخر الا انها تذكرك بما تحاول ان تنساه او تتناساه هو اننا جميعاًسنموت

وفي فترة ثلاثة قرون قبل مجئ سي اس لويس استخدم دوني عبارة مختلفة عن الالم بوق الله ، لكي يعبر عن نفس الفكرة قدرة الالم علي اختراق الدفاعات والروتين اليومي فقال :" يا الهي انني احتاج الي رعدك فموسيقاك لن تخدمك " وبالنسبة
Jun 08, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you like classical music? I do. A couple of years ago, I was blessed enough to be able to attend Jose Carreras’ final concert -- my friend who was related to the concert gave me a ticket. It was a cold and rainy night. Limousines and dressed up people showed up quietly, like attending a serious ceremony. In the concert hall, it felt like right before a worship service at a Presbyterian Church because everyone was very quiet and solemnly expecting the Master’s appearance. When I opened the pro ...more
Steve Miller
Sep 22, 2012 Steve Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was written more than 40 years ago and is still in print. It's nearly impossible for a book to do that, and is an indication of its importance.

I saw somewhere that this is the revised edition. My copy is the original edition, though I expect the core of the book to be much the same as this edition.

The book, while not long, has three sections: 1) Why is there such a thing as pain? 2) How people respond to pain, and 3) How can we cope with pain?

The first section is the most surprising an
Jan 05, 2014 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a while ago, but the one thing that I remember from it is that pain serves as a warning sign to us human beings that something is wrong with this world- of course we all know that. But what exactly is wrong with humanity? That takes us to the core principles of Christianity- God sending His only, beloved Son Jesus to earth to redeem us from our sins, to right all wrongs (including ours) so we can have hope in eternity with Him.

Just like when you have a bruise somewhere on your
If you are in pain and trial, and looking for answer to "why? I do not deserve all of that, " this book can give you answers. Unfortunately, not to your specific question. The answer for that, according to the author, is that God never answered Job when he asked same question, but only lectured him about His wisdom (page 100 and next few pages). However, you will find answers about the benefits of pain (signals of malfunction, personal growth,.. etc)

The author is very verbose. The book could be
Dorothy Bandusky
This book explores the questions many - probably most - suffering people ask either aloud or silently about God, namely "where is He?"

The author starts out by explaining the value physical pain has in protecting our bodies, as well as its moral value. That is, pain reminds us that we live in a fallen world and need a Savior. He then goes on to discuss the issue of whether a specific trial is punishment/judgment from God - probably not. Rather, God uses suffering to bring us and others closer to
Jul 21, 2015 Samira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
يانسي ..
فكرة انى اكتب ريفيو لكتاب .. ده بمثابة رسالة وداع :'D
اخش فى الموضوع :
-الكتاب هدفه فى ابسط تعبير هوه تحويل عنينا و مفهومنا للألم و سؤلنا من ليه الالم؟ ليبقى السؤال ايه الهدف من ورا الالم؟؟!!! الكتاب فى مضمونه بيتكلم عن الالم الجسدى
-يانسي الشخص الوحيد القادر يبهرنى لحد اخر حرف فى الكتاب! و كل ما اقول خلاص هيقول ايه تانى عن الالم الاقيه بيبهرنى بفكره جديده!
-فكرة البُرّص و ازاى ان الالم اللى احنا بنحسه و متزمرين عليه هوه فى حد ذاته نعمه و ان ربنا لما يحب يعاقب حد فى العهد القديم يصيبه بالب
David Sarkies
Jul 09, 2015 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christiand and non-Christians alike
Recommended to David by: Some guy at church
Shelves: christian
A theological exploration of pain
14 January 2014

Disappointment with God seemed to have covered a lot of ground that this book ended up covering and I noted that at the beginning of the other book Yancey had made a comment that he had decided to write Disappointment with God to tackle the issue of, for want of a better word, bad luck in general beyond the issue of physical pain. However as I was reading this book I began to realise that you cannot actually separate the two, and whether it be phy
Alyssia Cooke
Jul 13, 2011 Alyssia Cooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, I appear to have moved back onto theology books but this is a fantastic book of theology. It has won the Gold Medallion award and has been a best-seller for over fifty years, and this edition is the revised edition by the author so he could explore issues that had arisen during this time. Philip Yancey uses this book as an opportunity to discuss pain - physical, emotional and spiritual - in such a way as to help both the reader and himself to understand why we suffer from pain and how we ...more
May 09, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am continually amazed by God’s amazing power and love. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It gave me a new perspective on pain. I highly recommend this book for everyone, especially Christians. It helps explain the reason for pain. Many people view pain as God’s one big mistake or as something to be avoided at all costs. In this book, Yancey points out that pain is a gift from God and that we should be thanking Him for the blessing of pain. He describes in depth the ways in which pain ben ...more
Teena Myers
Jan 22, 2013 Teena Myers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the revised edition of Where is God When it Hurts, Yancey acknowledges he was too young to tackle the problem of pain when he wrote the initial manuscript while in his twenties. In the second edition, he exercises greater caution in addressing the cause and benefits of human suffering and quickly moves from the unexplainable cause to how we should respond to pain. He also made a statement that made a permanent home in my consciousness. “We are not put on earth merely to satisfy our desires, t ...more
Ashley Royse
It was very informative. Since I have a psychology education background, I was especially happy to read about the physical importance and biological basis of pain; and then, also, what it can teach us, and how others have experienced it and let it (or had no choice but to let it) change their lives. This book's examination of the Book of Job was one of the best I've encountered so far, and I felt there were strong theological points made throughout. However, it was not as comforting or instructi ...more
Chris Watkins
A comforting book to a person of faith experiencing grief. And I salute Yancey's honesty - he asks the hard questions, even when he doesn't have answers.

But that's also the problem. He doesn't have answers, other than giving up and choosing to trust God. This book isn't the reason I stopped believing, but it didn't give me strong reasons to keep believing. To be fair, neither did anyone else, and at least Yancey made an effort to look at reality.
Lizzie Williams
Mar 10, 2014 Lizzie Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

Pain is important and has it's own purpose..

I love how Philip Yancey helped the readers to understand the importance of pain in our lives. I also love the introduction part, where pain was explained medically, the leprosy (i dunno the spelling :)) where there's no pain. The stories are remarkable, and encouraging! The conclusion part is where I've felt how God truly works wonderfully, and how God loved us that He is with us in pain and sufferings.

****This book was given to me as a g
Feb 18, 2012 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiration
This is one of the most powerful books I have been impacted by. I read it shortly after experiencing one of the most devastating losses in my life. I recommend this for anybody who has been, or is, hurting for some interesting perspectives on God's role/place in our lives.
Samantha Mcdade
Jan 28, 2008 Samantha Mcdade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I was like, "FINALLY! Someone with real feelings." Some people act like super Christians. It was refreshing to see a person write from the perspective of a questioning and afraid Christian. It really is okay to wonder sometimes.
Travis Johnston
Aug 14, 2014 Travis Johnston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal
Yancey explains the value of pain using illustrations of people with leprosy, a disease which leaves the inflicted without pain. This is perhaps one of my top 5 favourite books. I really learned about how God puts pain in our lives to drive us away from things that are harmful. This is significant not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. When we feel emotional and spiritual pain it is in order to reveal something that is causing us harm. This emotional pain should drive us to s ...more
A contemporary re-visitation of the Problem of Pain. Well done. Yancy feels our pain, even if he doesn't have any particular help for it.

Worth re-reading.
Corinne Berrey
Jul 18, 2015 Corinne Berrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scanned
I picked this book up at the thrift store for $1 only because the overall review on-line was 4 stars (I told myself that day that I would buy anything interesting as long as it had a 4 star review or higher). I was interested in the topic, but the title of the book sounded trite and corny. When I came home and started reading I was drawn into the book immediately. I couldn't put it down. I finished it in just a few days and couldn't stop trying to discuss its points to friends and family. It's a ...more
Central Beat
Oct 27, 2014 Central Beat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I were to use one word to describe this book, it would be "life changing concepts drawn from the Word of God". I never was good at math.

In all seriousness, this book rocked my world. It gave me a whole new perspective to pain and despair. It tackled the questions such as "why am I going through this? Is there a lesson I'm supposed to be learning? Am I being punished? Do I need to correct something? Where is God when it hurts? Does he hear my cry? Did God cause this? Did he allow it? Has he f
To be honest I was a little disappointed with this. I didn't think it answered the actual question of the book and I was left instead with even more questions and no closure.

That being said, I thought the end sub-chapter was quite effective with the way that Yancey recapped pretty much everything he had said previously.

I enjoyed the quite moving anecdotes throughout as well - the leprosy stories in particular.

But I was left feeling a little disappointed by this which is why I'm only rating this
One of the best books I've read on pain and suffering.

Yancey begins by showing the importance and benefit of pain. He describes the discovery of Dr. Brand that leprosy does not cause flesh to be destroyed. Rather because people with leprosy feel no pain, they don't recognize when something is happening so they don't prevent the damage to their bodies. In India, people with leprosy had their fingers and toes chewed off by rats. However, they didn't know what happened--they thought their digits w
Miss Leacock
Is it okay to include quotes from other books that Yancey includes in his book in a review of Yancey's own book? If someone says it better, then...

This is from The Problem of Pain:

We want not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--whose plan for the universe was such that it might be said at the end of each day, "A good time was had by all."
I should very much like to live in a universe which was governed on such lines, but since it is abundantly clear that I don't, and since I ha
Steve Curll
Mar 08, 2014 Steve Curll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pain is a Gift? God cares about pain. He suffered pain and all the feelings of desertion. We are his Body(in Christ). He suffered pain, all parts of body suffer.He suffered for ME. (For the sake of his body, the church)My suffering is for the purpose of building and comforting the body, as was His. I want to Be His disciple and be like Him. Therefore, the appropriate question is not why?, but how will I respond and how will that affect the body? This is especially true with the churches response ...more
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  • Your God is Too Small
  • Just Like Jesus
  • A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
  • Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be With God
  • Ordering Your Private World
  • Handle with Prayer: Unwrap the Source of God's Strength for Living
  • The Furious Longing of God
  • The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People
  • Renovation of the Heart
  • Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts
  • Hope for the Troubled Heart: Finding God in the Midst of Pain
  • Changes That Heal: How to Understand the Past to Ensure a Healthier Future
  • Loving God
  • Fresh Power: Experiencing the Vast Resources of the Spirit of God
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Philip Yancey earned graduate degrees in Communications and English from Wheaton College Graduate School and the University of Chicago. He joined the staff of Campus Life Magazine in 1971, and worked there as Editor and then Publisher. He looks on those years with gratitude, because teenagers are demanding readers, and writing for them taught him a lasting principle: ...more
More about Philip Yancey...

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“God wants us to choose to love him freely, even when that choice involves pain, because we are committed to him, not to our own good feelings and rewards. He wants us to cleave to him, as Job did, even when we have every reason to deny him hotly. That, I believe, is the central message of Job. Satan had taunted God with the accusation that humans are not truly free. Was Job being faithful simply because God had allowed him a prosperous life? Job's fiery trials proved the answer beyond doubt. Job clung to God's justice when he was the best example in history of God's apparent injustice. He did not seek the Giver because of his gifts; when all gifts were removed he still sought the Giver.” 74 likes
“As we rely on God, and trust his Spirit to mold us in his image, true hope takes shape within us, “a hope that does not disappoint.”We can literally become better persons because of suffering. Pain, however meaningless it may seem at the time, can be transformed. Where is God when it hurts? He is in us—not in the things that hurt—helping to transform bad into good.We can safely say that God can bring good out of evil; we cannot say that God brings about the evil in hopes of producing good.” 7 likes
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