Friday, November 12, 2010

Stronger by Jim Daly Review

Stronger: Trading Brokenness for Unbreakable Strength
Title:  Stronger: Trading Brokenness for Unbreakable Strength
Author:   Jim Daly

Publisher: David C Cook
Release Date:  September 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6446-1/237
Pages:  237
Price:  $14.99

While serving with Focus on the Family, Daly has come face to face with many people dealing with heartbreaking trials. Yet on a trip to Beijing, China, when he asked a local missionary the question “How do you pray for us?” the answer was eye-opening. “We are praying…for the church in America to get more persecution.” Why would someone viewing the lives of believers living in the U.S. ask such a thing from God? Daly concluded that ours is viewed as a weak faith in need of strengthening.
As Daly began to examine his own life and the lives of those with whom he ministered, he observed that trial and persecution had a markedly different effect upon people, and he discovered that those who chose to surrender their situations to God—painful though they might be—grew stronger in their faith, while those who chose to face their trials alone with resentment and anger often turned their back on God—blaming Him for their circumstances. Daly’s latest book, Stronger: Trading Brokenness for Unbreakable Strength, explores the choices that lie at the crossroad of tragedy and presents a vision of strength that the Church and families can cling to during hard times.

Using life principles and personal stories, Daly reveals the most formidable and powerful strength—the kind that endures and hopes even when all seems hopeless. Daly states a profound truth he has observed in the lives of fellow believers: Christ alone is the one true foundation upon which we must stand and to whom we must cling when the going gets tough. Christ offers this strength to us all—not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. Unless we choose to live in Christ’s unbreakable strength, we will live lives broken by bitterness.

Is God to blame? Is He punishing His people? Drawing upon his own life experiences and of those with whom he has shared his ministry, Daly indicates that the opposite is true. God uses every circumstance in our life, whether He orchestrates it for a purpose, or allows it to occur, to show us His great love and continually invite us into closer relationship with Him. Daly states, “If we believe in a big God, one who is mighty enough to create the universe and every living creature in it, who is still actively making miracles and involved in our lives today, we possess a powerful hope. No matter how traumatic or tragic our circumstances, we know that anything is possible if it’s in His will. We ask for the Lord’s intervention in the great and minute issues of our lives, understanding that His power is unlimited.”

My Take:  The basic premise of this book is that God is not punishing us nor is he causing our pain.  However, He will use our circumstances to mold us and make us stronger if we let him.  Our choices are not in situations, necessarily, but our attitude dictates the growth and closeness we experience to God.  The basic concepts I've been hearing in Sunday School are present.  Jim Daly uses his magnetic personality to draw the reader in.  I am very glad Mr. Daly chose this side of the spiritual war to fight on.  He is a powerful writer.

I read this book as I was home dying with a virus.  With a short attention span, I had a difficult time connecting to the book.  That said, I believe in a different setting the truths would have been more powerful had I been able to focus. I believe it can be a powerful tool for finding meaning in life.

*This book was provided to me by FSB in exchange for an honest review.


Susan said...

Just blogging around this morning and found your blog. I love reading all the different blogs, they are all so different and unique. Thank you for letting me visit.

CountessLaurie said...

What an interesting concept - persecution in the American church. I will be pondering that all day.

Thanks for the review.

Tribute Books Mama said...

Thanks! for sharing.