I jumped at the opportunity to read Transformed by Tough Times and join in with the book tour through Christian Speakers Services. Steve Reed has a message of encouragement that seeks to close the gap between suffering and the Christian experience in a way that has the power to transform lives, attitudes and beliefs for those experiencing difficult times.
Initially Mr. Reed had released this book under a title aimed primarily at ministry leaders. After much feedback was received and considered, Steve realized that what was good for the leaders was also good for all Believers. The bottom line is we all will face adversity in our Christian walks. As Steve puts it it's not optional, and he spends a good portion of this book addressing the reality of what he calls "The Suffering Clause". It's like the fine print in your Christian contract...the one we want to avoid, but ultimately cannot. Learning to live in it, and through it and ultimately with the same attitude as Paul when he penned these words: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" is the prayer and goal.
This book is one encouraging chapter after another. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of ways the subject was addressed. When one looks at a diamond, there are many facets, angles and layers to be seen and appreciated. I think Steve does this with the topics of suffering and adversity. He guides us into looking at the aspects from a variety of ways so that we may see more clearly how much we need what we want least of all. Through biblical and historical accounts, his own journey, and through the lessons of fellow "strugglers", the point is driven home that God does not waste our pain. "The greater the depths of your pain, the greater your potential for encouraging others-even if you are not delivered or healed or fixed yet." Wow. Isn't that the message we all need to hear?
In one of my favorite Chapters (Chapter 17: Sheep Among Wolves), Steve reminds the church of it's primary purpose. But I don't think many want to hear it! I so loved the analogy of believers being "wolf bait". But you will have to read it for yourself as I don't want to spoil it. Worth the read for sure. Steve does not mince words. He speaks accurately into some of the challenges facing the Body of Christ today.
The book is broken up into two sections. Book 1 is called the Suffering Clause and has four parts, including Steve's story, Jesus and the Suffering Clause, Further Implications of the Suffering Clause and Heroes of the Suffering Clause. Book 2 is called Transformed by Tough Times and delivers a tool chest of helps for walking through adversity well. This section of the book is very practical, applicable and encouraging.
I would recommend this book to those walking through difficult circumstances and anyone in ministry or leadership. Pretty much if you are a walking, breathing, being you will be uplifted by the straightforward approach. Steve coaches well and has honed this down to a timely message for God's own people right now.
I'll leave you with one more quote, as I loved so much of what was communicated throughout the reading.
"In God's eyes, there is one thing that distinguishes a man or woman for His Hall of Fame. What is it? It's faith. It's not intelligence or beauty or social status or talents or abilities in certain areas. It is faith."
(Chapter 19: The Suffering Clause Hall Of Fame).
Steve Reed has some specials going on during the book tour on his website at http://www.
Christian Speakers Services and Steve Reed have provided me with a signed copy of this book to give away. Leave a comment to be included in this giveaway!
If you need encouragement and hope to be transformed by tough times yourself, you will want to enter to win or go ahead and purchase this book.
* I received a copy of this book through Christian Speaker Services in return for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Join me for an Interview with Steve Reed!