Be still my soul is a collection of extracts from sermons, essays and books by contemporary and classic theologians, writing on the problem of pain. Writers include Joni Eareckson Tada, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Corrie ten Boom, John Calvin, J. I. Packer, John Piper, Charles H. Spurgeon, Helen Roseveare, Martin Luther, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Jonathan Edwards, Timothy J. Keller, Sinclair B. Ferguson, Abraham Kuyper, Wilson Benton and Thomas Manton.
The book is divided into three sections: ‘God’s perspective on suffering’, ‘God’s purpose in suffering’ and ‘God’s provision in suffering’. The reader is reminded that God is at the centre of our struggles, and has a plan and purpose in them.
While each chapter provides a slightly different perspective, all chapters consistently open with a small passage of Scripture, thus maintaining a biblical focus throughout. This layout was useful, because it helped me read my Bible alongside each chapter of Be still my soul. I also liked the formatting, as certain key phrases set apart from the main body text made the overall message of each chapter easily memorable.
Be still my soul sensitively challenges readers to accept that our suffering can be painful, but also continually shifts our gaze to Christ. Throughout, we are reminded of Christ’s ultimate suffering, as he was cut off from God and obedient even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). I learnt a lot from this book and will certainly reread it.