When someone writes from the pain of loss and suffering, we should listen. When someone of deep theological insight reflects on the Word of God in their struggle, we should listen. When someone has demonstrated faith in the darkest of times and testifies to their truth on that journey, we should listen. Dr. John Mark Hicks speaks from those three places and we should listen to what he has to say.
Anchors For The Soul: How To Trust God in the Storms of Life is a new book by Dr. John Mark Hicks that is highly impactful for anyone who is wading through a circumstance that collides with their faith. Painful events in life, such as the loss of a family member, death of a close friend, divorce, or disease can lead one to question God’s presence, power, and love. While adrift in the pain of these events we wonder if there are any truths to which we can cling. Can we still believe that God is good when life has taken such a difficult path – and it seems He didn’t save us from suffering?
These are questions that Christians (and even unbelievers) have asked for ages.
Writing from profoundly painful experiences Hicks strives to bring light to a relationship with God that is impacted by the experience of loss. He writes from a personal space but invites readers into his story so that there is a sense of learning alongside him on the journey.
One thing you will not find in Anchors For the Soul is a rehearsal of the platitudes that leave bereaved people frustrated and indignant. Although the book is not a large volume, every page has valuable reflection both on John Mark’s personal losses and on how he came to regard God in relation to those losses. I found this personally helpful, even in some of the chapters that stretched my thinking and challenged me to grow in my understanding of God and His workings in this world.
Overall this is a book about God. A God who is good. Hicks affirms ancient Biblical truths that God is all-powerful, always present, and ever-loving. He hears our prayers of lament and He understands why we feel the way we do. So, it is hard to understand why he allows His children to suffer. All Christians who suffer will wrestle with these themes and their faith, but Hicks gives us helpful guidance as we do.
He hears our prayers of lament and He understands why we feel the way we do. So, it is hard to understand why he allows His children to suffer.
A second section of the book is also a pathway toward healing. When we can take our painful experiences and use them to help others who struggle we can be a blessing and also be blessed. The two chapters on being ‘comforting sufferers‘ are a valuable part of this book.
Anchors for the Soul is appropriate for individual reading. It is also appropriate for a small group or Bible class setting. At the end of each chapter, there are further Scripture readings and discussion questions to help assimilate the principles presented. A video course for groups and individuals as well as other associated materials are available at HIMPUBLICATIONS.COM.
Get Your Copy of Dr. Hicks’ Book HERE.
I have known John Mark Hicks for many years and regard him as a friend, insightful resource when I need help, and a humble servant of immense talent, knowledge, and faith. He didn’t write this book from an ivory tower, though he has the education and experience to do that. He wrote it from the mud of his own pain and loss. And that’s why we should listen.
You can follow John Mark Hicks on Twitter and Facebook. He is a Professor of Theology at Lipscomb University. Dr. Hicks is the author of many books, including a previous version of Anchors For the Soul. This edition is a significant re-write. He writes and shares Biblical studies at his BLOG.