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Faith in the Furnace: Understanding God’s purposes in the trials of life

By Ian Rees
July 2007 | Review by Paul Brown
  • Publisher: Day One Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1846250446
  • Pages: 205
  • Price: £16.57
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Book Review

The subtitle of this very helpful book is ‘Understanding God’s purpose in the trials of life’. It is encouraging, realistic, full of insight, readable, and based thoroughly on Scripture. Each chapter has a Bible passage to read before you start, drawn from fourteen different Bible books including Job, 2 Chronicles and Zechariah.
The author has a clear and easy style; there are many illustrations – some very telling – and valuable quotations from a range of other writers. In the central section of the book each chapter is followed by ‘My story’, some actual event illustrating the chapter’s message.
There are three sections to the book. The first part covers basic principles; the second deals with various testing experiences; and the final part with the help that is at hand.
Each chapter concludes with a ‘summary’, ‘key verses’, ‘something to think about’, and ‘thinking more deeply’. Many will find this helpful, though some may feel that a summary narrows down their own insights and applications stimulated by reading the chapter.
Books of this sort are very much needed and this one is suitable for nearly all Christians. Older and more experienced believers will still find it valuable – lessons already learnt will come across with freshness. Those younger in the faith will be prepared for the inevitable trials and tests and helped to understand things that puzzle them.
I would have liked a little more emphasis on the support that should come from the local church – some of our trials are complicated because our lives intersect with those of unbelievers, often within the family. Perhaps these aspects could be covered in any second edition.
This book is highly recommended and will do much good.

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