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When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances [Paperback]

By Ed Underwood (Author) & Joni Eareckson Tada (Foreword by)
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Item description for When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances by Ed Underwood & Joni Eareckson Tada...

The God who could do anything was not helping him. Yet, a revelation from God's word changed his heart and life forever. This is a poignant journey from tragedy to hope. Ed takes a fresh look at the story of Lazarus; a story that explores suffering through the eyes of our Lord and His people. Readers will find comfort during difficulty, be inspired to ask for the impossible, and discover a God whose heart breaks with theirs.

Publishers Description
"Why is God letting this happen to me?"

If you have never asked this question, you someday will.

There is perhaps no greater challenge to our faith than personal suffering. For pastor Ed Underwood this challenge came in the form of chronic leukemia. Though he prayed for and believed in God's healing, as the days slipped by and his pain became unbearable, Ed's heart was broken by a simple realization: The God who could do anything was not helping him. Yet a revelation from God's Word changed his heart and life forever.

In this poignant journey from tragedy to hope, Ed takes a fresh look at the story of Lazarus and his sisters--a story that explores suffering through the eyes of our Lord and His people. You'll find comfort during difficulty, be inspired to ask for the impossible, and discover a God whose heart breaks with yours.

Citations And Professional Reviews
When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances by Ed Underwood & Joni Eareckson Tada has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Retailing - 09/08/2008 page 18

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Item Specifications...

Studio: David C. Cook
Pages   219
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 5.02" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2008
Publisher   David C. Cook
ISBN  1434767515  
ISBN13  9781434767516  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ed Underwood & Joni Eareckson Tada

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ed Underwood is the pastor of Church of the Open Door, a ministry dedicated to helping people fulfill their purpose in life. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served as an officer in the United States Army and a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. Ed and his family reside in southern California.

Ed Underwood currently resides in Jonesboro.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Death & Grief
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth > General
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about When God Breaks Your Heart?

When God Breaks Your Heart  Jul 13, 2009
Absolutely wonderfully written. Anyone who is having sickness should read this book. Actually, everyone should read this book. It gives you courage and strength and renews your Faith. God bless Ed Underwood for sharing his experiences and trials, and Faith in God with us.
Excellent book for anyone undergoing trials!  Apr 27, 2009
This is an excellent book for anyone undergoing trials that make them question or doubt God. Trials can make us doubt God's goodness, strength or love. This book is a must have for those shaken by the waves of life.
When God Breaks Your Heart--Read This Book!  Mar 11, 2009
What's the point of prayer?

There are times when the question's hard to answer. It's easy to believe in God when life is going well, when you're well-fed and well-rested and full of love; it can be much harder for the sick and suffering--the prisoner facing a death sentence for a mistake that cannot be undone, the families of children taken before their time, the individual wracked with a debilitating illness who prays for help but still suffers.

Pastor Ed Underwood (the father of a close personal friend of mine) found himself in the latter category when he was stricken with chronic leukemia. A man of faith who had comforted many others going through life-shattering circumstances, he found himself beyond consolation. He asked a question common in such circumstances: What kind of parent would allow this to happen to a child?

But despite all the difficulties, he was able to find the strength to get through his trials--not because he had the strength, but because he was willing to ask God for it in spite of all of the suffering that had apparently been inflicted on him.

His insights on this process are remarkable. For one, he mentions that we often make the mistake of reporting to God--as if God were somehow unaware of our suffering and in need of a reminder!--rather than really praying and asking God for help. (For me, this insight alone was worth the price of the book.) An all-knowing God does not need to be reminded of our pain--but an all-loving God needs us to ask for help, because, like any loving parent, God will not force His way into our business, and will let us handle things ourselves if we say that's what we want.

Elsewhere, Pastor Underwood shares the lessons he gleaned from the biblical story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Martha and Mary had been upset after Lazarus had died, because they felt that Jesus had known of their brother's illness and chosen not to act. Like any suffering and grieving people--like Pastor Underwood in the throes of his illness--they were hurt and confused and bewildered. Their thinking was similar to the philosopher who famously posited that God was not worth believing in, because either God was not all-powerful or God was not all good--for how could an all-powerful, all-good God allow bad things to happen to good people?

But as St. Paul reminds us, the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. The suffering of Martha and Mary, and the death of their brother, was an opportunity to bring forth greater happiness and greater joy all around, through the wonderful miracle that Jesus worked--just as Jesus' suffering was a pathway to greater things, in that it gave us an opportunity to see that God so loved us that he was willing to send Jesus to see what it was like "down here" and prove that God can understand our suffering. Pastor Underwood went through his own crisis where he lost sight of that message--as we all do, at times--but fortunately he had the support and the faith to look for the blessing in his suffering, and to share his story with the rest of us.
Christians will be well-served to read Underwood's account, slowly and prayerfully  Mar 4, 2009
Ed Underwood served others for many years as a pastor to hurting people, helping them through their darkest hours. Little did this man of God realize how harshly his own faith would be tested.

As a man of faith, Underwood shares his story of suffering and how he gave up on God one night after fighting the effects of chronic leukemia. With his loving wife by his side, who told him he needed to be quiet in his pleadings that particular evening because of the presence of their young grandchildren in the house, Underwood told her flatly not to worry. He wasn't praying any longer, for surely God in all His mighty sovereignty (if He indeed loved him) could stop this infernal pain. So why didn't God do so?

So begins Underwood's spiritual journey of despair, which jump-started at one intolerable point of physical suffering. Even though he continues to fight against this deadly, debilitating and frequently disfiguring disease, Underwood has passed from doubt to trust again. His story, written from the real trenches of the likes of Job's suffering, will challenge, encourage and light the way for countless other Christians who ask their own set of "whys" amidst tragedy.

Using the biblical account of Mary and Martha awaiting the return of Jesus when their brother Lazarus was dying, Underwood closely examines the emotional components of this intimate relationship and how Jesus used His friend's death to glorify God and draw Mary and Martha closer to Him. He rightly expounds upon how these sisters sent a report to Jesus of Lazarus's deteriorating condition when they should have offered direct, faith-driven, bold requests.

So should we. Underwood offers readers a definitive challenge to come boldly to Christ in prayer, making requests and with expectation that He will answer. Lest believers misunderstand, Underwood tells fellow Christ followers never to presume to know God's will; the Bible explicitly tells believers to make their requests known to God. The result is always in God's hands, but Underwood believes it was the fervent prayer of one man who spared his own life as it hung in the balance.

While Underwood's story is compelling, it is his second section, titled "The Dark Road to Glory," that readers will likely find even more satisfying as he takes specific issues of suffering and addresses them chapter by chapter. Evangelicals will better relate to those individuals along their own path who suffer deeply and will be given tools to equip them to speak sensitively and with loving grace rather than spouting unhelpful Christianese that often wounds. Candidly, Underwood shares his own hard-earned wisdom on dealing with pain, misery, God's silence, suicidal thoughts and the heart's spiritual panting for God's comforting presence. Christians will be well-served to read Underwood's account, slowly and prayerfully, and then be prepared to meet their own seasons of suffering with abiding trust in God.

--- Reviewed by Michele Howe

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