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Where Is God When It Hurts?
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Where Is God When It Hurts?

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  10,820 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
Discusses the pain that is experienced in life and in relationships, and asks the questions, what can we do to help those who hurt, and who can help us when we suffer?.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 16th 2003 by Zondervan Publishing Company (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
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
I wouldn't call myself Christian, but some Christian philosophy books are okay (I accept all sorts of philosophies about the higher power). In other words, even though it's geared for Christians, this book will not pitch to you - it's a book that you can read and still believe in evolution.

Where Is God When It Hurts is primarily directed at people who suffer, but it's also for people who are close to those who suffer (we're mostly talking physical illness here). It challenges some common (and re
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!
Jun 30, 2009 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
Mar 10, 2013 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 13, 2014 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
Nermine Hosni
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتب دوني التأمل رقم ١٧ 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 ٨٩

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 " وبال
Dec 09, 2012 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
Yancey never gives easy answers to tough questions. He never glosses over what you are feeling. This book was a powerful book about the age old question "How can a loving God allow this?"

Yancey gives both practical and biblical answers and advice a style which has bad him on of my parents favorite authors. If you are looking for an honest look at this hard question, pick up this book.
May 04, 2012 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
Abraham Mathew
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it in one sitting. Excellent.
Steve Miller
Sep 22, 2012 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 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
Alyssia Cooke
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, religious
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
David Sarkies
Jan 11, 2014 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
Christina Bivins
This book helped me through a large turning point in my life. I've gifted many copies to others.
Teena Myers
Sep 14, 2012 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
Jun 19, 2015 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
May 09, 2011 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
Chris Waterguy
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.
Samantha Mcdade
Jan 28, 2008 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.
Feb 18, 2012 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.
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.
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My appraisal of this book, Where Is God When It Hurts?, is that it is one of the best books I have ever read. It was scientific and spiritual, painful yet enlightening, easy to read but challenging. Through these elements, I have been awakened to a new perspective on pain: of my own and of others that I have encountered and will encounter in the future.

Mr. Yancey began his book about pain and suffering with a biological perspective on pain and the need for it. As a biologist myself, I had never
Annette Rood
This book was okay. There are some good points: about the purpose of physical pain from a biological perspective; how the church body can reach out to those who are suffering. Yancey talks about the hope of heaven after we leave this broken road, yet he does not clearly present the whole Gospel (of our need for redemption through Jesus and Him being the only means of obtaining eternal life with God in heaven).
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read which affected me a great deal. For example it was made quite clear that because Christ suffered on the cross, we must suffer also. I found it also very disturbing in the fact that I wasn't sure whether or not it was worth praying if God cannot help you.
Crystal (Kris)
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Fantastic read with good insight into pain and suffering. Through the stories of people who have lived through intense pain, Yancey explains how we can live fully in the midst of the hurt.
Louis Fritz v
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having dealt with pain and depression the good part of my Christian life, Yancey's title really stood out to me as something important to both read and use as a tool in my counsel. Yancey's ability to understand the totality of perspectives due to his journalistic background would be a valuable asset in a topic which is dealt with so heavily in our culture especially in the events of crises.

Indeed, Yancey's overall talent for handling his topics is revealed within this text. Rather than simply a
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate that the author looked at how Christians often respond when bad things happen, noticed that it pretty much sucks, and started researching the topic. The section about the nature of physical pain in the human body is intensely interesting (especially what happens when physical pain is removed). I was delighted that he included a quote from Merlin Oleson, who most people know as a football player but who to me will always be Little House's Jonathan Garvey.
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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...
“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.” 81 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.” 9 likes
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