Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “God's Grace in Your Suffering” as Want to Read:
God's Grace in Your Suffering
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

God's Grace in Your Suffering

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  332 ratings  ·  73 reviews
It's easy to see God's grace when things are going well. But in the midst of suffering--when we don't sense any positive change in our circumstances on the horizon--we can start to question God's goodness. Exploring the biblical truths found in each stanza of the classic hymn "How Firm a Foundation," experienced biblical counselor David Powlison invites us to hear God's pe ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 28th 2018 by Crossway Books (first published February 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about God's Grace in Your Suffering, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about God's Grace in Your Suffering

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  332 ratings  ·  73 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of God's Grace in Your Suffering
Cindy Rollins
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suffering, 2018
Short but encouraging treatise on suffering for Christians

If you are walking through hard times, as many of us are at any given time, this book is like having a friend hold your hand and walk beside you. It is a little book that will help us affirm,"It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
Sara Fukuda
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my.

I wasn’t prepared for the cool and calming balm this would be to my soul. It’s been sitting on my to-be-read pile for months, and I providentially picked it up on the absolute perfect week for me to read such a book.

This book is for everyone, since we all see suffering in this life. Probably wouldn’t speak to a non-Christian, but if you’re a person of faith, struggling thru genuinely hard and unspeakable things, this book feels like your best friend taking your hand, and gently pointing y
David Monreal
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Balm for the Soul

This is a word of healing, a word of encouragement, and a word of hope to those of us who are suffering in this fallen world (and that is all of us). I can not recommend this book higher and I would run out of superlatives trying to express my admiration for this book. I encourage you to read it. It will minister to your heart and mind.
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is one I will read and share again and again.
Mary Welchans
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“We learn how to have a quiet time. We discover our spiritual gifts. We study good doctrine. We learn how to study the Bible and memorize scripture. These are all good things. But we don’t necessarily learn how to need help... God uses significant suffering to teach us to need him. And when we need him, we find him.”

This paragraph summarizes the book well. It gives practicals on how to go through suffering and how to help others go through suffering.

Powlison gives personal insight and wisdom o
Alex Etheridge
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
One of the best lines of the book comes in the epilogue (why is that not all too infrequent an occurrence?). Here's what Powlison says:

"Finally, you are prepared to pose--and to mean--an almost unimaginable question: 'Why not me? Why not this? Why not now?'...If your suffering shows forth the Savior of the world, why not me? If you have the privilege of filling up the sufferings of Christ?...If your weakness demonstrates the power of God to save us from all that is wrong?...If your life becomes
Ruth Dahl
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Important. Foundational. I want to make everyone read this
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Practical, psalm-hope-drenched. I always want a guided path in flounderingly hard times and this was exactly that, with endless compassion.
Robert McDonald
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This small book (100ish pages) is a real gem. It has much to offer fellow sufferers alongside better known volumes like ones by Tripp and Keller. Highly recommended!
There is probably no one I trust more than David Powlison on the topics of suffering and sanctification. This is one of those (very rare) must-read books. Every Christian will suffer; Powlison will help you, by God’s grace, to suffer well, and with hope. Also read in March 2018.
First sentence: Job, his wife, and his three friends agreed on two things. Our lives are “few of days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1), and God’s hand is intimately mixed up in our troubles. But strife and perplexity set in among them when they tried to explain exactly how God and troubles connect. (12)

Premise/plot: Powlison's new book is about suffering. He walks his readers through the stanzas of the hymn "How Firm A Foundation." Through exploring the hymn AND the scriptures--mainly psalms--he
Nathan White
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
There's a great deal of wisdom and practical advice in this little book, which is based upon the hymn "How Firm a Foundation," and includes space to write out your own thoughts and apply the teaching therein to your specific suffering.

Powlison is very good on this topic - and very easy to read. His personal antidotes are also helpful and do not distract.

One criticism I have is that he repeatedly calls suffering a "means of grace", and he also calls other believers a means of grace, along with
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This relatively short book is framed around the hymn How Firm A Foundation. While it is about suffering, the author points you to Christ the entire way through, which is what suffering is meant to do. Using the hymn and his own experiences of suffering, Powlison continually brings the reader around to the truth that God will never leave you or forsake you. A tremendous book that should be on the bookshelf of every person who has gone through any significant suffering. I can’t say enough about it ...more
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Powerful meditation on God’s purpose in suffering drawn from Scripture and the timeless hymn, “How Firm a Foundation.” Highly recommend.
Tanner Van Beek
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Each chapter was based on a different stanza of the hymn "How Firm a Foundation." Did a great job of shifting my hardships from a "me, me, me" perspective to a "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" perspective. ...more
Keller Hackbusch
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic for the sufferer and the counselor.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The BEST book on suffering I have ever read. Maybe it was growing up in the time I did, but somehow I missed the training on suffering if you are going to walk by faith. Real life happens and so does the search for "what did I do wrong?" answers. I have read plenty of books on trials and the Christian life. So many times I ended up frustrated with the spiritualizing of suffering. I wanted to understand what I call the gap between what is happening right now and what God's word says and promises ...more
Unchong Berkey
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this book 2 years ago and the truths reflected in it are just as profound and necessary today. A few wise and helpful nuggets:

-God himself calls you into the deep waters.
-God sets a limit on your sorrows.
-God is with you, actively bringing good from your troubles.
-In the context of distressing events, God changes you.

“He’s not interested in offering you some cognitive perspective to help you through a rough patch. He is working so you know him, so you trust him, so you love him.”
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for anyone who is going through suffering and wondering where God is. The author has a boots on the ground approach that helps take the subject out of the intellectual debate realm and provide practical comfort for the grieving heart. This is a small book that is packed with truth. I would highly recommend reading and also giving to friends during hard times.
Ashley Baker
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
David Powlison’s God’s Grace in your Suffering focuses on the heart of suffering through the lens of the hymn How Firm a Foundation. Powlison invites the reader to bless the Lord in times of suffering. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 puts words around it: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are co ...more
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
David Powlison is a man who walked the path of trials with great grace and wisdom. There are few people I would want to listen to more about how to navigate difficult seasons than this counselor. God’s Grace in Your Suffering by David Powlison is a must read for any Christian, not just those in the middle of suffering.

Powlison explains, “Here is the central concern of the book before you. When you face trouble, loss, disability, and pain, how does the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ meet
Malditang Librarian
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book description from Crossway: "There are never quick fixes or easy answers when it comes to suffering. But even when we can’t immediately see God’s hand—when the struggle is hard and painful—he is working. Weaving together Scripture, personal stories, and the words of the classic hymn “How Firm a Foundation,” David Powlison brings an experienced counselor’s touch to exploring how God enters into our sufferings, helping us see God working in our own particular struggles—and discover how God’s g ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A shadow reaches toward you. It covers you. Its inner logic whispers or shouts of death. And God says, "I am here with you." Can you honestly say, "I fear no evil"? Can you say that in terms of the specific evils and hardships of your life? it all depends on whether you hear the God who gives you reasons to say it. If the God of life is in fact with you, carrying you as a newborn lamb, you can become fearless in any suffering. In the ups and downs, the painful struggles of a lifetime, this is th ...more
Confex Makhalira
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One wise and godly man once noted that there are always three groups of people in this world. Those who are just coming out of hard times, those who are passing through hard times, and those who are about to enter into hard times. He was very right. We are all acquainted with suffering, pain, sorrow and hardship. None of us is immune to it and God never promises immunity to suffering even for his own children as David Powlison rightly observes at the beginning of his book, God’s Grace in Your Su ...more
Courtney Huskisson
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So very thankful for the perspective of this book. I think one area that Christians can often be the weakest in is our theology of suffering. However, we are promised suffering in this life and we must know what to do with the question of 'where is God?'

What I appreciated most about this book, is that though theologically correct, this is not a book that approaches primarily with cold theology. Powlison outlines suffering, it's various sources, where God is in it, how he experienced it, and the
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super unexpected read. I started this book at 3 am because I was awoken with excruciating pain from dry socket pain. I had my wisdom teeth removed a few days before and my blood clot had popped out. I was sitting at my kitchen table, painting, miserable, and decided to listen to the book because it was only 2 hours long.

Immediately, it brought so much comfort. Even now, it’s hard to remember everything he said because I was dazed and in pain. But, as I was driving down to my dentist at 6 am Dav
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book looked at how God works in the midst of your pain and suffering. The author urges you to examine your specific, personal sufferings by answering questions that he poses throughout the book. In turn, he shares his experiences of fear, betrayal, and pain, and how he grew in his walk with God through those experiences. He doesn't make you feel bad about not liking your suffering but rather he encourages you. He used the stanzas of the hymn "How Firm a Foundation" as a framework for his ch ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
According to the author, our suffering is never without benefit to those who trust our lives to God. While we often experience joys and good gifts from the hand of God, at the same time He has not promised us an easy ride through life. Affliction is certainly never easy, but through it God speaks and acts. "Suffering is both the acid test and the catalyst. It reveals and forms faith. It also exposes and destroys counterfeit faith." (p.14).

Powlison uses an old favorite hymn, "How Firm a Foundatio
Jordan Barr
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
David Powlison's thoughts and perspectives on suffering are powerful. The way he breaks down the truths of the Gospel and how they specifically apply to suffering are clear and practical. My favorite sections of the book are the honesty about how we, as human beings and Christians, are generally terrible at helping people when they are suffering. So often when we're suffering, we simply need a friend to be with us in the midst of it. Ultimately, Jesus is the best friend for that, but He is also ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
David Powlison's book on suffering and the Christian life will be a comforting and insightful book for many. He writes in his signature style of thoughtful literary/Scriptural analysis combined with empathy, bringing in verses from Scripture and his own experience as a counselor. The book is organized around an explication of the well-known hymn, "How Firm a Foundation" which is based on many Scripture passages on God's promises and care for sufferers. Recommended for Christians who are looking ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament
  • Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
  • Untangling Emotions: God's Gift of Emotions
  • The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution
  • Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ
  • Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God's Royal Priests
  • Rejoice and Tremble: The Surprising Good News of the Fear of the Lord
  • Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense
  • Finding the Right Hills to Die on: The Case for Theological Triage
  • Enjoy your prayer life
  • Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional
  • Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest
  • Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners: Loving Others As God Loves Us
  • The Gospel Comes with a House Key
  • How Can I Love Church Members with Different Politics?
  • Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice
  • Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
  • The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best
See similar books…
David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, is Executive Director of CCEF and a counselor with over thirty years of experience. He has written many books and minibooks, including Seeing with New Eyes; Speaking Truth in Love; and The Biblical Counseling Movement, and is the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling.

News & Interviews

The beauty of a paperback novel is multidimensional. Allow me to explain: The format allows you to catch up on some of 2020's biggest books...
48 likes · 2 comments
“Faith’s enduring and alert dependency on the Lord is one of the Spirit’s finest fruits. And you bear that fruit only when you have lived through something hard.” 0 likes
“We can make the right answer sound old hat, but I guarantee this: God will surprise you. He will make you stop. You will struggle. He will bring you up short. You will hurt. He will take his time. You will grow in faith and in love. He will deeply delight you. You will find the process harder than you ever imagined--and better.” 0 likes
More quotes…