Best Christian Book on Suffering – “Torn to Heal” by Mike Leake
Endorsed by Lore Ferguson, Trevin Wax, Timothy Paul Jones, David Murray, and more.
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.” –Hosea 6:1
God is radically dedicated to our redemption. This is both glorious and terrifying. It is terrifying because we are idolaters. This means that when God brings redemption he also brings a death sentence to our fallen desires. In love, God will do whatever it takes—even ripping us to shreds if necessary—to replace our feeble pleasures with lasting desire for himself.
Sadly, in our culture two fatal responses to suffering have crept into the Church: deadly dualism and shallow stoicism, both of which seek to hijack God’s good purpose in suffering. Torn to Heal is an invitation to embrace God’s good purpose in suffering, while urging its readers to reject these deadly enemies.
Mike Leake serves as lead pastor of First Baptist Church of Marionville, MO. He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Nikki, have two young children. Mike’s writing home is mikeleake.net.
“The most concise, readable, and helpful theology of suffering I’ve come across. The content, length, and tone is just perfect.”
—Dr. David Murray
“Torn to Heal is the most concise, readable, and helpful theology of suffering I’ve come across. The content, length, and tone is just perfect for those who are in the furnace of affliction screaming ‘Why?’”
—Dr. David Murray, professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Nobody signs up for a life of suffering, but pain visits all of us. If you’re one of God’s children, suffering can cause you to question His goodness. What are His purposes? My friend Mike Leake delivers a clear, comforting, theologically robust view of pain and suffering. Not only does his theology give us permission to lament our pain, it drives us to the God of comfort who superintends our pain for His glory. This is a book you’ll want to read when you’re visited by suffering and a book you’ll easily pass out to those in your world who are feeling the sting of Adam’s curse.”
—Daniel Darling, Senior Pastor, Gages Lake Bible Church; Author, Real: Owning Your Christian Faith
“Mike Leake has taken the ugliness of suffering, turned it over in his capable hands, and shown God’s goodness and faithfulness in the midst. More than simple encouragement for those suffering, it is a handbook of scriptural truths about Who God is and how He sustains.”
—Lore Ferguson writes for The Gospel Coalition, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Deeper Church, Project TGM, and Sayable.net
“Torn to Heal explores God’s redemptive purposes in human suffering in a concise, biblical and authentic way. Mike shuns cliches and platitudes to help the reader put life’s hardships into divine perspective and to endure in Christ’s strength. It is a must-read for Christians in distress.”
—Dave Miller, Second Vice-President, Southern Baptist Convention; Senior Pastor, Southern Hills Baptist Church, Sioux City, IA; Editor, SBC Voices
“Suffering well is one of the primary ways we demonstrate to the world that our source of satisfaction is Christ alone. In Torn to Heal, Mike Leake provides a powerful reminder of God’s good purposes during painful circumstances. Read this book and prepare to be conformed into the image of the Christ who suffered on our behalf.”
—Trevin Wax, Managing Editor of The Gospel Project, author of Clear Winter Nights, Gospel-Centered Teaching, and Counterfeit Gospels
“While our culture does its best to insulate us from pain and suffering, God wants us to embrace it for his glory. Mike Leake encourages us to face suffering not with stoic disinterest or dualistic defeatism, but with the redemptive purposes of Christ in view. All readers will greatly benefit from Torn to Heal and will be challenged in how they approach one of God’s key means of growing us into greater Christlikeness.”
—Aaron Armstrong, of BloggingTheologically.com, is the author of Awaiting a Savior and Contend
“Mike Leake takes us on a gospel-driven path between dualism that acts as if God has lost control of his world and fatalism/stoicism that tries to bury pain beneath emotionless acceptance of whatever happens. The result is a brief but potent primer for ordinary people on the purpose of suffering.”
—Timothy Paul Jones, Associate Vice President for Online Learning, Professor of Leadership and Church Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary