Stronger: How Hard Times Revel God's Greatest Power by Clayton King

When we think of success, we think of words like "bigger," "more," and "better." Bigger paycheck, more security, better reputation. But what if God's perspective on success was radically different than our own? What if the things we seek to avoid--pain, suffering, weakness, insecurity--were the very things he used to mold us into his image?

With insights born from his own difficult journey, Clayton King offers readers a truly liberating understanding of weakness and suffering--not as God's punishment, but as his pruning. Revealing the God who is a companion in our most difficult seasons, King shows us that when we are in Christ, our deepest pain becomes the source of our greatest power, and our times of testing become our strongest testimony. Anyone who struggles to make sense of seemingly hopeless situations will find in this book not only hope for a brighter future but purpose in their imperfect present.


The message that I came away from this book is not to be afraid of my scars. All of us have scars because we have all experienced pain and setbacks that have left marks, physically and spiritually. But it's our weaknesses and our scars that make us the strongest. Such a counter-intuitive idea. How can weakness be strength? I've learned that it's our weaknesses that draw us closer to God, because it is only in those moments that we realize that we need something bigger than ourselves.

I heard somewhere that there is purpose in pain, and to be honest, there were many years of my life where saying this very idea to me would have earned you a dirty look. I do not believe God causes us pain. It is against His character. The pain we experience comes from living in a fallen world, and often times from our own mistakes. The idea that there is purpose in pain, or that God uses our pain for a greater purpose is a concept that I have only recently come to understand (not completely) over the last few years.

What I know for sure is that there will be pain in this life, and that we will all end up with our fair share of scars. However, there is no pain too great that God cannot bring you through if you place your faith in Him. And in the end, your scars will help tell your story, empathize with others, and help you reach those far from Jesus. That is the purpose in the pain. To leverage it into strength and use it to reach others. God works all things, including our pain, for our good.

I have had the privilege to see Clayton King preach a few times at my church, LifePoint. I like his style and appreciate his humor. The tone of this book is much more serious than what I have seen from Clayton in the past, not that his sermons are not serious, it was just a new level. The narrative of this book is extremely vulnerable and raw. Clayton doesn't sugarcoat his pain or shy away from it. He is honest about it. He exposes his own scars, and in so doing, his pain serves a higher purpose. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to grow in their walk with Jesus. 

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