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Why?: Trusting God When You Don't Understand Paperback – May 4, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As the daughter of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, Lotz, now a renowned speaker and author in her own right, has much for which to give thanks, and she knows it. Still, like any other person with a heartbeat, Lotz's life has been riddled with times of desperation and heartrending sorrow. The author of Just Give Me Jesus and My Heart's Cry openly reveals the struggle she's endured in attempting to make sense of death, disease and suffering. Drawing upon John 11, she retells the story of sisters Mary and Martha and the death and eventual resurrection of their brother, Lazarus. Throughout this pithy, passionate book, Lotz eloquently imagines the emotional and spiritual agony Martha in particular endured while waiting for Jesus to intervene. Searching believers will gratefully grab the hope Lotz imparts as she reinforces a foundational scriptural truth: no matter the circumstance, and even when facing certain defeat, one can trust God because of who he is. Skeptics notwithstanding, Lotz treats this topic with the respect it deserves. She does not answer everyone's "why's," nor does she offer pat answers to those who are hurting. Instead, she suggests to Christians that frequently pain is a requirement for our eventual good and God's ultimate glory. Dedicated to "those who have unanswered prayers," Lotz covers the scope of human suffering with prose that is sure to find its place among other classic works of faith.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, is the president and CEO of AnGeL Ministries, a nonprofit organization that undergirds her efforts to draw people into a life-changing relationship with God through his Word. Anne launched her revival ministry in 2000 and has spoken on seven continents, in more than twenty foreign countries, proclaiming the Word of God in arenas, churches, seminaries, and prisons. She is also the award-winning author of ten books, including her most recent, The Magnificent Obsession.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849908450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849908453
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
At a recent Sunday sermon, the minister in our church spoke to us again about why bad things happen, in the context of "Avoiding the Ultimate Disaster" and Luke 13:1-9. As if by coincidence, a few days later I saw this book, and I picked it up. It's one of the most common questions that I hear raised by those people that aren't religious: why does God let bad things happen, why doesn't he do something about (fill in the blank/take your pick of the latest world disaster). It is indeed a perplex question, but one that has an answer.

In a short amount of space (115 pages), Anne Lotz not only explains why, but gives guidance on how to deal with the issues of suffering and pain ("trust in God" being the key factor). Very helpful is that the author writes about these complex issues in very plain-spoken English. Most importantly, this book provides a message of hope, namely that even though this is far from a perfect world (as the result of humanity having received the gift of choice, which inevitably includes the freedom of bad choices by many), there is HOPE, as long as one trusts in God. Excellent book, and highly recommended for everyone, not just Christians.
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Format: Hardcover
I became acquainted with Anne Graham Lotz's book only a few weeks ago when a guest speaker at my church presented a message entitled "Why?" I was truly blessed by it and it came at a time of great distress in my life that has recently taken place (I was forced to leave my job after only being there for three weeks and not really getting to do the job; needless to say, it created a great deal of financial and emotional distress for me and my wife). I happened to see her book in the local library and chose to check it out. To my pleasant surprise, I learned that this was the inspiration behind the message I heard in church.

Anne takes the story of Lazarus in John 11, and gently gleans from the story comforting and encouraging reminders of God's love, care and providence in any difficult situation. Readers of the book will appreciate that she doesn't come across with cliches or the attitude of knowing everythng that there is to know about having faith in the midst of trouble (as evidenced in her book, many of the lessons came as a result of her own personal troubles). Anne's creative way of presenting the material will be evident as the reader reads her book. If there is a friend or loved one who is going through their own Lazarus experience, and like Mary and Martha, are wondering "Why is this happening?" , this book is a excellent resource. When we can't understand why, we can trust God.
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Format: Hardcover
What a great title for a book which seeks to answer the question we all ask!
This book presents, in a user-friendly way, Bible theology on why bad things happen to good people. The author puts her heart and soul into this discussion, and, with John 11 as the focus, never strays from what God would have us learn.
While I enjoyed the format Lotz used for the work--and feel the principles addressed were theologically sound, to me the work was a bit limited. The same genre of discussion on understanding the mind of God--plus numerous other such topics (suffering, integrity, spirituality and gifts, etc.) are much more broadly discussed in earlier works such as "Where is God When It Hurts", and particularly "With Joseph in the University of Adversity" (my favorite--IF you can get your hands on it).
All in all, Lotz is a warm and capable writer who knows her stuff. There is little to fault in this work, and perhaps I was looking for a bit more 'meat and potatoes', while I was served precisely what was advertised. RECOMMENDED.
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Format: Hardcover
"Why?" is a great read for anyone going through a difficult time when things do not make sense and it appears that God has turned His back on you.

The book is around 133 pages long and contains about 13 chapters that are 10 pages each. Each chapter asks a question that starts with the word "Why?" and focuses on a different aspect of trying to make sense of things that do not make sense.

Lotz' main point is that no matter what is happening to you, you can trust in God and His goodness and love for you.

Read for good encouragement. Highly recommended!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book may be okay for someone in the middle of a trial searching for hope. I bought it because I recently lost a baby and why would God give me a baby and then immediately take him away. What "good" purpose could that serve in my life and how could it possibly be spun to explain how dying before having a chance to live could serve a good purpose in my dead baby's life. The Bible story that the author brings up again and again throughout this book has a happy ending. Yes Lazarus dies, and his sisters are sad, for 4 days and then he is brought back to life. That doesn't quite fit as a story to share to comfort those who have lost loved ones that they can never have back. I understand that if one of my children had cancer as her son did it would be scary, but easy to keep faith if the answer to your prayers was him being cured, it is a little harder when your prayers go unanswered and your child dies. I would gladly give up my house, possessions and money in return for the life of my baby, so trees knocked down because of a flood and her husband's office burning down seem like minor inconveniences in comparison. If you are looking for a feel good, everything has a happy ending kind of book, this is for you, but if you are struggling through the grief of the finality of losing a loved one, you won't find any answers here.
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