Monday, April 25, 2011

90 Days of God’s Goodness by Randy Alcorn—A Book Review

I was very excited about receiving this book.  Having heard good things about its author, Randy Alcorn, I was most anxious to read his newest release. 

90 Days of God’s Goodness is presented much like what you would expect from a daily devotional in size and comes in a hardcover.  There are 90 short meditations which take only minutes to read. 

One of the best features is the Scripture portions that open each entry.  Most of them are quite lengthy and so the reader is offered the full portion of thought in context.  I LOVED that!  I enjoy the fuller understanding offered with the surrounding verses.

Following the Scripture, the author shares his thoughts.  He presents several personal stories from his own life and testimonies of others who have undergone great suffering—also quoting faithful believers from the past like C. S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, Corrie ten Boom and others.  I found these additions to be the best part of this section.  While at times I found the author to be a bit “preachy”—which no one who is in the midst of suffering really needs or responds too—these other additions were most encouraging and helpful in bringing the point of the Scriptures to light.

Each meditation ends with a prayer.  I found several of these to be very helpful and nice.  I like to do my own talking to Jesus, but I enjoy praying in agreement with others also.  

So . . . what’s my overall take of this book?  Personally, it was more of a chore for me to read through than an encouragement.  I loved the idea of the book—90 days of encouragement for one who is currently struggling with personal suffering or sharing alongside the suffering of another.  I loved that it began with extensive, full-context Scripture.  I loved the heart behind the prayers.  It was the middle section—the main point of the book— that really missed for me.  Apart from the personal stories and quotes, the thoughts just didn’t leave me feeling very . . . well . . . encouraged or enlightened!  I cannot see myself reading through it again or offering it to another as a gift.

I waited to read other reviews on this book until I had finished.  Many loved it and found it to be a great source of help.  To that I say, “Praise God!”  So if the idea of this book interests you at all, please do go and read those other reviews.  I have been asked to give my honest reaction and review to what I read and that I have tried to do.

One comment the author made that I wholeheartedly agree with was at the bottom of page 176.  “We dare not wait for a time of crisis to learn how to worship God.  The Guthries (a family whose story was shared) worshiped God in crisis because they worshiped God before the crisis.  Trusting in God’s sovereignty and goodness now will sustain us when suffering comes later.”

To that I say, “Amen!”

Disclosure: Multnomah Books provided me 90 Days of God's Goodness for free for review purposes with no expectation that I would provide a positive review.  The thoughts and opinions shared are entirely my own. 

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