As president of Walk Thru the Bible, teaching pastor and author Chip Ingram has set his heart on making disciples of fellow believers. With his easy-to-digest style of straight biblical truth paired with compassionate counsel, Ingram understands the simple fact that in order to get people to change, their hearts must be engaged. Ingram's newest title focuses on finding God wherever and whenever you need Him most.
Ingram opens his text with a heartrending account that occurred in the early years of his journey as a Christian. Under the chapter title "When You Get a Raw Deal," he revisits the emotional pain he experienced when he broke off an engagement with the young woman of his dreams. While both were believers, Ingram realized that their vision of the future was markedly different. Believing God was in this decision to sever the relationship, Ingram tells of the spiritual fallout that occurred when his feelings, so raw and powerful, suddenly took over and he challenged God on his faithfulness and trustworthiness.
Ingram proceeds to tell how God met his needs for help, hope and strength. This aid came by way of Psalm 73. Verse by verse, Ingram shares that it was like reading his own biography, and as he studied this scripture passage, God took away his bitterness and anger. Over 25 years later, Ingram still recounts this spiritual event as one of the most significant in his life.
Following this powerful account, Ingram offers readers numerous life lessons for practical application on working through the "raw deal" syndrome.
• Pour out your heart to God
• Consider your choices carefully
• See the big picture
• Reaffirm your relationship with God
While Ingram is transparent with his personal experiences, he strengthens the text with other generous stories from believers of all walks of life. In doing so, he offers added substance and heart to his delivery. Ingram also provides introspective commentary on finding God while going through times of crisis, when you feel like you're going nowhere, during periods of troubling emotional distress and depression, when you're paralyzed by immobilizing fear, after you've made significant mistakes, and during times of confusion and perplexity. Each chapter is replete with biblical precepts and practical suggestions for engaging both the principles with real-life choices. Ingram also includes discussion questions for further reflection that are appropriate for either individual or group study.
In the final chapter, Ingram closes out this work with a detailed primer on Jesus's character and how he reaches forth to meet the believer's every need. Jesus is the sovereign lord, the good shepherd, your creator, your deliverer, your refuge, savior, and friend. Grasping the power of these truths, Ingram instructs Christians to get to know this Jesus better through the spiritual disciplines of studying God's Word, daily prayer, finding a church fellowship, and service. Ingram's fine text is further evidence that he has found his own calling as a promoter of Finding God in both the crises of life and in everyday situations.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on November 13, 2011