Recently, I mentioned my new book I was writing, Light Arises in the Darkness: How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy.
So here is my book--in progress--starting with the a cover layout I made on Photoshop. It may change as I get closer to publication, but this will work for now.
And here is the chapter outline, followed by the introduction. Keep in mind the book will be edited before publication, but you will get to see it here on Steemit in the rough, first. I really appreciate your comments, as that will be an encouragement and will also help me in the direction I take the book.
Please pray for me that I would write it well--that it would be according to the truth in God's word, the Bible, that it would encourage others in the midst of their struggles, and that it would help people to see how awesome God is, in the midst of the difficulties of life. Thank you!
Light Arises in the Darkness
How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy
Copyright 2017 by Matt Philleo. All rights reserved.
Why is there Suffering?
Acknowledging Your Suffering
Suffering Caused by Financial Problems
Suffering Caused by Health Problems
Suffering Caused by Loss Problems
Suffering Caused by Relationship Problems
Suffering Caused by Internal Problems
Seeking the Lord in Your Suffering
Responding to His Presence and Encouragement
Becoming an Encourager
"Our sorrows are all, like ourselves, mortal. There are no immortal sorrows for immortal souls. They come, but blessed be God, they also go. Like birds of the air, they fly over our heads. But they cannot make their abode in our souls. We suffer today, but we shall rejoice tomorrow." - Charles Spurgeon
This book is not meant for those who have it all together.
I wrote this book partially as way of recording my own struggles, and piecing together in life how God has lifted me up out of the muck and mire, leading me from darkness into light, and is still lifting me up today. He can and will do the same for you, if you let Him. It is my hope that you will find great encouragement through reading this book.
But, on the flip side, the best this book, or any book like this can do is serve as a signpost, pointing you to the Book of books, that is the Bible. I believe God wants to jump off its pages, in the middle of your discouragement and despair, give you a warm, life-infusing hug, tell you it will be alright, encourage you by giving you a plan of what He wants to do in your life, and even how you will respond to that by following Him closely.
What I write I am going to share from a biblical perspective, a Christian worldview. If you are not a Christian, it is not my goal to alienate you, but I must be true to who I am. My God has encouraged me through many trials in life. I believe He will do the same for you, because I'm nobody special. (But I am loved by Him, and so are you!)
Even if you don't believe in God just yet, He still longs to give you peace in the midst of the storm.
But in the process, He may tell you things you don't want to hear. Now, would you rather have a friend who cared about you enough to tell you that you had a smudge on your face, or someone who was too afraid to tell you the truth and let you walk around all day like that?
Yes, God actually speaks today, and it is either through the Bible or words that agree with the Bible. I will be sharing many things from its life-giving pages, as well as my own personal testimonies and those of others who have gone through suffering. As I share the stories of others, I have changed a few of the names to keep things anonymous.
I ask that you pray before and while you read this book. Everything that I present to you that is not directly from the Bible, I sincerely hope can be of help to you, but is subject to error. So please pray as you read this that God would allow that which is true to be remembered, and anything that is not would be forgotten and not retained. You can tell what is true by whether or not it agrees with the words contained in your Bible. May the Lord forgive me if I wrote anything that would diminish His glory and lead you astray in any way. I have almost turned away from writing this book for that reason. But I’ve continued to pray and believe this is what He wants me to do: that somehow, amazingly, God can use these meager words and images to bring encouragement to at least a few people and glory to Himself.
One thing you may be thinking is, “Who are you to write a book like this?”
Where are your credentials?
Well, I'm neither a professor nor a pastor. I’m not a psychologist, though I’ve given advice to many! I'm not even what you would consider a “super-Christian.”
I'm not a theologian. At least not a professional one.
I'm a layman. I'm a Christian, a husband, father, active member of a local church, and an artist. I love to do paintings and drawings that bring comfort, encouragement and inspiration to the brokenhearted.
So why write a book about encouragement?
A couple years ago, I started writing about the ideas in my art when I posted it to my blog. Extant above all was the theme of encouragement. My art is inspired by the times when I have experienced suffering of many kinds: financial, relationship, loss, and internal struggles. Can you relate? I found God to be the only stable source of encouragement in these times of darkness and despair. In fact, I have even experienced incredible joy in the middle of the worst circumstances!
"I found God to be the only stable source of encouragement in these times of darkness and despair."
I thought it would be great to create an e-book to share with readers of my blog, but soon the idea got wings and expanded to a full-size book, especially as I asked others to weigh in and share their stories of finding light in the darkness as well. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes a few words can create a thousand pictures in our minds. With that, I decided to put pen to paper, (or fingers to a keyboard) as well as a brush to canvas to express the concepts of comfort, encouragement, and inspiration.
It is this goal of finding joy in the middle of suffering that I want to share with you. Feel free to disagree with anything I've written, but come with an open mind. I'll be including images of my artwork to illustrate and correlate with the concepts and ideas presented here.
May you come to see how great, loving, perfect, and valuable God is as you find encouragement through this book!
And that's it for now. In the next post, we'll move right into Chapter 1: Why is There Suffering?
Be blessed, and I'll be in touch,
If you like this post, please upvote, follow and resteem. I post regularly on art, tips on painting and drawing, and encouraging thoughts.
To receive email updates on this book and see more of my art, visit: MattPhilleo.com