As I look back on my first real book, I shudder that I had the audacity to tackle one of the most daunting theological questions, the problem of pain, in my late twenties.

Yet suffering was one of the impediments to my faith, and it poses questions that confront all of us at some point.  This was a book I could not not write.  Thirteen years after its initial publication, I went back and revised it in view of all I had learned since.

I have heard from hundreds of readers since then and it astonishes me that even now sincere Christians spread guilt and confusion instead of comfort when tragedy strikes.  I hope this book sounds a different note, presenting “a God of all comfort,” in Paul’s phrase.

(Zondervan, 1977, 1990)

  • Platinum Book Award, ECPA, US, 2002
  • Gold Book Award, ECPA, US, 1992
  • Christian Book Award Winner, ECPA, US, 1978

“I started to read it thinking I was going to read a pleasant little easy-to-read book on the subject of pain.  I finished feeling as if I had read a classic.  It probes aspects of pain that C. S. Lewis never touches and draws upon the lives of suffering saints from John Donne to Joni Eareckson.” —William J. Peterson, former Editor, Eternity Magazine

“I’ve read everything I can get my hands on about the problems of pain and evil, and this book is the clearest, most practical thing I’ve read.”—Keith Miller, author of A Taste of New Wine

“If I expected to find inside a shallow theoretical treatise unworthy of such a profound question, that’s not what I found…by the time you get to the end of these chapters your heart is crying out, ‘Thank you, God, for pain!’”—Paul Harvey, radio commentator

“One of the most helpful treatments of the problem of evil that I’ve ever read…on a level that really speaks to people.  If I were looking around for something to give to individuals who are going through travail or difficulty, that’s the book I’d recommend.”—Vernon Grounds, theologian and seminary president