When God Seems Gone

Finding Hope When Nothing Makes Sense

from 7 reviews

How to hold on to your faith and rediscover joy when God seems silent, slow, unfair, different or wrong.

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Description

What do you do when it feels like God isn’t there—when the state of the world, our own suffering, or the struggles of those we know suggest that God is absent? When you’ve experienced soul-crushing silence from heaven, despite your fervent supplications?

Looking at Habakkuk, Job, David and Jesus, as well as reflecting on his own experience of deep suffering, Adam Mabry examines the art of lament—how to cry out to God in desperation from a place of faith and hope. At the end, there are practical suggestions for what you can do to keep faith even in times of darkness and doubt.

Readers will learn that God is big enough and good enough to handle hard questions and that his sovereign silence is filled with purpose for their lives. They will be encouraged to keep trusting God even when he seems silent, slow, unfair, different or wrong.

This book is a great encouragement if…
• you are going through hard times, or walking alongside those who are.
• you are deconstructing your faith.
• you are involved in counselling/pastoral ministry.
• you want a gift for a brother or sister in Christ who is struggling.

Product details

Contents

  • Introduction
    1. When God Seems Silent
    2. When God Seems Slow
    3. When God Seems Unfair
    4. When God Disappoints
    5. When God Seems Wrong
    6. What Will You Do When God Seems Gone?

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Specification

Contributors Adam Mabry
ISBN 9781784988197
Format Paperback
First published March 2023
Dimensions 128mm x 198mm x 8mm
Weight 0.13 kg
Language English
Pages 112
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

Trevin K. Wax

author of Counterfeit Gospels and Holy Subversion, Gospel Coalition blogger and Managing Editor of The Gospel Project.

Adam Mabry describes well the feeling of God’s absence, but in those deep moments of sorrow, he digs deeper still—into God’s word and God’s promises, with a raw and unshakable faith in the goodness of God. This book will prepare you for the wilderness that may lay in your future or provide a stream of water for your desert experience today.

Vaneetha Rendall Risner

Author, The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering

I love the honesty of this book. Adam is unafraid to voice the questions most of us have but aren’t brave enough to admit to. He doesn’t offer trite answers but rather urges us to name our doubts and bring them to God. If you’ve ever felt God’s absence in your suffering, you’ll find When God Seems Gone an able guide to help you navigate that bewildering experience and fill you with hope in the God who will never leave you.

Rice Broocks

Co-founder, Every Nation Churches & Ministries; author of God's Not Dead

Everyone will eventually face the question of why a loving, all-powerful God allows evil and suffering, and will have to decide whether to turn to God in trust and hope or turn away from him in doubt and despair. In this book, Adam gives us his defense of why he has chosen the route of trust and hope. May it inspire every reader to do the same.”

Customer reviews


Apr 18, 2023

“Encouraging, Comforting, Helpful”

I've struggled with understanding how a good God can give me the silent treatment and seem so absent.
In His Word he says he will never Leave me nor forsake me. He promises he will be with me always and yet time after time I'm left feeling totally abandoned by him.

In When God Seems Gone, Adam helps bring clarity to this. He helps me to see that God is always there and he is very present even when he seems silent.

God says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord." Isaiah 55:8

Adam makes that true statement more obvious in his book. God is totally beyond my feeble understanding and so the best thing to do is to know that even when God seems gone, I need to lean in and trust Him more.

Adam helps me to do that in this book.


Apr 12, 2023

“An Encouragement for a Tough Time”

I've enjoyed Mabry's books before (with my favourite being "The Art of Rest") because I find his writing style really helpful. He tends to write about things which we don't often talk about, and this new book is no exception. I know that I'm not alone in having times of sadness when God feels far away, when my life or things in the world seem just too bad to see God at work in them. Mabry's short book is a real encouragement, using Habakkuk's prophetic words to show us that God doesn't shy away from our tough questions and will still be with us, even when it feels like we're on our own. If you're facing a tough time, or just want to be prepared for when they come, this is well worth a read


Mar 16, 2023

“Christ, Our True Companion”

Have you ever felt let go by God? In When God Seems Gone, Adam Mabry helps you find hope when nothing makes sense.

God is Never Truly Absent

The book begins by stating, theologically, God is never truly absent. But this does not negate the fact that we can sometimes feel as if he is absent. Mabry offers hope and help in this small but mighty book.

Slow, Sovereign Love

I was most moved to see that when God seems unfair, Mabry calls us to look to Christ. He suffered the ultimate unfairness on behalf of our sins. I found this section helpful because it is so easy these days to compare our lives to others. Learning about God’s justice, emoting, being mindful of your friends, rejecting the temptation to define yourself as a victim, and waiting on the Lord are recommended ways to help you keep heart.

Christ, Our True Companion

The book ends with practices to help you in a season of God’s absence, including emotional self-awareness, work and rest rhythms, prayer, confession, and not forsaking your spiritual family. This book will point you to Christ, our true companion.


I received a media copy of When God Seems Gone and this is my honest review.


Mar 9, 2023

“Short, but powerful book!”

This small book may only come in at 103 pages, but it is packed with encouragement for those seasons where it feels like God is MIA in our lives. Adam Mabry doesn’t try to come at the reader from a therapeutic or scholarly perspective—he writes this book as a fellow sufferer who’s gained some perspective through his own pain and it shows.

The book is broken up into six short chapters. Five of these chapters deal with different ways that God can seem gone in our lives:

When God Seems Silent
When God Seems Slow
When God Seems Unfair
When God Disappoints
When God Seems Wrong

I’m each of these chapters, Mabry works through some biblical examples of each scenario and gives practical and actionable steps to work through these difficult feelings. In the final chapter, Mabry points to the one thing we must remember as we endure the pain of season when God seems gone. (Sorry—no spoilers!! 🙃)

This is a book that can be picked up again and again as you face difficult and painful season in life. The chapters can easily be read as standalone chapters when you need encouragement in one specific areas over the others. This is a book that everyone can benefit from—whether you have suffered, are currently suffering, or want to be prepared for the future. Highly recommend!


Mar 9, 2023

“Honest and Helpful”

This brief book isn't a theological treatise or a memoir, but is a fellow sufferer's reflection on important things to remember in the midst of suffering. Adam Mabry writes about the experience of feeling like God is absent, and although he doesn't share many personal details, he is honest about how some of his experiences have led him to doubt God. The chapters address feeling like God is silent, slow, unfair, disappointing, and wrong. Mabry includes examples of biblical characters' experiences with similar things, shares practical encouragement, and helps readers process how they will respond to their struggles.

Mabry writes in a deeply compassionate way, describing experiences and feelings that people can relate to regardless of their individual set of circumstances. He is willing to speak hard truths when necessary, like in his warnings against the morass of self-pity and a victim complex, but he doesn't expect anyone to suddenly feel better based on theological truths or turn things around in their lives from a few words of good advice. He gives space for grief and processing, and he has wonderful wisdom to share about the importance of emotional self-awareness, especially for men, who are more likely to stuff and ignore their emotions in the midst of hardship.

"When God Seems Gone" is a great resource for Christians who are struggling, and it also makes a good gift for a struggling friend, since it doesn't promise answers or offer platitudes. I would have been interested in more details from the author's experience, since some of the parts about his life are somewhat cryptic, but I respect his desire to keep himself out of it and protect his family's privacy. Also, even though the book could have delved deeper into some topics, its brevity and very concise chapters will help readers who don't have the time or mental energy to read something longer.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Feb 26, 2023

“Wise, honest, and practical”

In this book, Mabry addresses some of the most common feelings we can have about God when we suffer. What's wonderful is that it is firmly rooted in scripture, but doesn't pretend that quoting bible verses will suddenly fix everything. This isn't a book about how to make God magically feel present again. It's about what we need to know when he seems gone.

It's heartfelt but it isn't misery porn. The author explains that his insight on suffering and feeling like God is absent is drawn from personal experience, but doesn't tell us his story or dwell on any other stories. As such, his wisdom and advice are widely applicable. It's not just about him.

It's sensitive but blunt when it needs to be. Mabry isn't afraid of stating hard truths. We SHOULD pray and we SHOULDN'T wallow in self-pity, however much we might want to.

It also offers practical insights and spiritual wisdom. I found one line particularly moving. Mabry compares our feelings to Jesus feeling the absence of God on the cross and writes that, when he feels this, 'I am not being treated hatefully by God. In fact, I am being treated as a son'.

This book is a breath of fresh air. It's short enough that it's not going to feel like a burden to people already exhausted, but the writing is full of compassionate wisdom.

I do think some things could bear a little more unpacking, but concision is helpful to the weary, so maybe it's a trade off. I also wished the author would stop telling me all the things he didn't know! He undersells himself.

This isn't a book that will bring that wonderful feeling of God's presence back, or attempts to explain why bad things happen. It goes beyond those questions and meets you in the pit with guidance from someone who's been there.


Feb 21, 2023

“Hope inspiring”

I don't know about you but I have found that in times when God seems gone those seasons can feel like the most unbearable moments in life.
If you are currently going through such a season then I would highly recommend this book to you as I find what Adam shares to be very comforting and hope inspiring. Even if you aren't going through such a season, I would still recommend this book to you because what can be learnt from this book is very helpful to know in such times when God seems gone.
Each chapter takes inspiration either from scripture or a quote from Christians of the past and focuses on these topics:
1. When God Seems Silent
2. When God Seems Slow
3. When God Seems Unfair
4. When God Disappoints
5. When God Seems Wrong
6. What Will You Do When God Seems Gone?
The book is only 103 pages and I found it very readable, I'm a slow reader and I got through this book in a very short amount of time not only because it is easy to follow but also because I greatly enjoyed it and took much from it.
We can still have hope when nothing makes sense.

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When God Seems Gone | Adam Mabry |
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