Some of life's greatest challenges are addressed head-on in The Blessing of Adversity: Finding Your God-Given Purpose in Life's Troubles by Barry C. Black. “He has made everything beautiful in his time,” Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,” Paul wrote in Romans 8. Yes, we know these things, but often we forget them. As we pass through the tunnels of hardship, we focus on the darkness around us instead of the light at the tunnel's end. Barry C. Black writes to help us retrain our focus on the light, not the darkness.
Garnering anecdotes from his childhood, his years of formal education, his 27 years of service in the U.S. Navy, and his experiences as chaplain of the U.S. Senate, Black shares true stories of good resulting from difficult times. Using countless anecdotes – from history, the Bible, personal experience, and the lives of others – he gives his readers specific advice to help them look at their problems with optimism and faith. “Sweet are God's uses of adversity,” Black writes, and he shows his readers how through his own experiences and the experiences of others God used bad for good outcomes.
In a number of instances, Black's writing is repetitive and certain biblical examples are used multiple times. However, for the purpose of the book, this repetition is not so much annoying as it is necessary to drive home the point that God uses adversity to bless us.
Every chapter of The Blessing of Adversity is packed with meaning. As I read through Black's examples of and insights on God's purpose in the tough times, I had to slow down to soak it up. The more I soaked up, the easier it was to focus on the light ahead instead of the darkness now surrounding me. – Meredith Sell, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Most people see trouble as something negative and seek to avoid it whenever possible. But what if it’s those troubles that actually lead to greater blessing and purpose? In The Blessing of Adversity, a retired U.S. Navy admiral and the 62nd chaplain of the U.S. Senate distills the wisdom gained from thirty years as a counselor, theologian, and psychologist. Barry Black offers a blueprint for removing the sting of life’s trials, showing us how to let God use our pain for his glory by blessing others—and how that can actually help heal our own pain. Drawing on Scripture and his own experiences as a counselor and chaplain to some of the most powerful people in the world, Black teaches us how to deal with seasons of God’s apparent silence, offers techniques for staying encouraged in the middle of life’s storms, and shows how to find advantages in adversity.