Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Review 2013... #4 When God Is Silent by Charles R. Swindoll

How this book came to me:  I've had this little book sitting on a shelf for so long I don't even remember.  It is a small book (maybe 7"x7") with fewer than 130 pages and full of beautiful pictures.  This is a gift edition book with a presentation page in the front and lined pages for note-taking in the back, all glossy.

Nutshell Synopsis:  When God Is Silent is written to encourage people who are going through discouraging times using the story of Job as a guide.  Job, a man of great wealth and property, loses everything including all 10 of his grown children by unexpected means that were orchestrated by Satan. He was also given painful boils from head to toe and goes to live by the side of a refuse heap.  He hears from his wife-- "Curse God and die!" and he hears from his friends-- "What did you do to deserve this?"  but he does not hear from God (until much later).  His response?  He worships!

Quotes from the book: 

"When you understand that everything is on loan, you are better prepared to release it when the owner wants it back."

"Understand, our God is full of compassion, but His plan is beyond our comprehension."

"May God enable us to raise our faith to such heights rather than lower our view of Him."

"The single reason we remember Job with such admiration is because he endured."

"As a result of enduring pain, we change from being mere sufferers to wise counselors and valuable comforters."

"Gods silence is not the same thing as God's absence."

"You cannot think God's thoughts more acutely than when you quote God's very words back to life's situations." 

"We take a major step toward maturity when we finally realize it's not about us and our significance.  It's all about God's magnificence.  His holiness.  His greatness.  His glory."

More Info:  When I first began reading When God Is Silent I was afraid it was going to be like so many other things I've heard.  You've heard them, too. The "There's a silver lining for every cloud"  pep talks.  Sorry, I am just not a silver lining kind of gal!  Some trials just don't make sense and sometimes the purpose is hidden from us.  As Mr. Swindoll says, we need to practice saying "I don't know" because we may never have an answer to some things this side of Heaven.  Not only that but perhaps there is a lesson in the "cloud" that we will miss if we are looking too hard for the silver lining.  Just a thought.

Reading Level:  If I had wanted to, I probably could have read this little book in a single day.  But I didn't want to.  I don't want to rush through just for the sake of completing my list by year's end.  Finishing isn't the point.  Giving myself a target is.  Anyway.  It is not a complicated book but there are some concepts that required me to stop and think on for some time.   

Re-readability:  Since adversity and trials are timeless, I will probably read this book again.  It is a book that I would recommend (even loan out) to anyone who is struggling to continue their walk or worship, or trying to figure out "why?" because of an unexpected painful circumstance.

Lasting Impressions: 

"Understanding is responding to life's struggles and challenges as God would have us respond. Not in panic and confusion. Not forfeiting those things that are valuable to us, and not by compromising our integrity. Instead, when we have understanding, we respond to life's challenges as God would have us respond. We trust Him. We believe in Him. We refuse to be afraid. We don't operate our lives according to human impulses or in step with today's politically correct culture. How terribly important it is that we stand firm in wisdom, responding in understanding." 

Job 2:10 "But [Job] said to [his wife], "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips."


  1. Would like to read the book. May I borrow it, or should I get my own copy?

    1. You can borrow my copy. I'll bring it to you this weekend, and return the ones I've borrowed from you. :-)

  2. Joanne- I have really enjoyed your book reviews. Have you ever heard of the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge? The challenge is to read 1 book a week, write a blog post and link it to the 52 weeks challenge site. This is my 3rd year doing this (haven't hit 52 books in 1 year yet) but I try to improve each year. It's really neat to get ideas from others but I think people there would love your reviews. Great job!

  3. Loved your reviews- Have you ever heard of the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge? I've been doing this challenge (haven't reached the goal but improve every year)for 3 years now. You basically read your books and link your reviews back to the blog. It is really neat to get book ideas from others but I think the group would really benefit from your reviews. I've also gotten more visitors to my blog through this. It's a diverse group of people so some of the books don't interest me at all. I am amazed at how many books some of those ladies read each week!

  4. Thank you Jodi! No, I have not heard of the 52 books challenge. Yikes! That sounds daunting!

    1. Something happened there... published my comment before I finished. Hm... anyway... Tell me more about it and I'll check into it.

  5. Thanks for the book review. I'm always collecting books for my To Read Pinterest Board.

    1. Maybe I should start a book board. I already have most of my books picked out for 2014 so maybe I shouldn't get too much further ahead of myself. haha!