When Mountains Won’t Move: How to Survive a Struggling Faith by Jacob Hawk
These days we hear a lot about people losing their faith, finding their faith, or being lost and eventually shoring up their faith near the end of life, but rarely do we hear about surviving a struggling faith. Pastor Jacob Hawk in his new book, When Mountains Won’t Move, seeks to address the issue of struggling faith with a sincerity and biblical faithfulness that is both wonderful and unique. The beauty of this book is that Jacob doesn’t wave to us from the side of the road as we read but opens up his own struggles with faith, giving us a sense that we are on the same road as he.
Jacob lays the table at the beginning of his book by addressing some similar experiences humans face; the hard work of an employee hoping for a promotion but being passed over, and the death of a family member. These events catapult us into the front row of a theatre that is playing the movie Struggling and Not Sure How to Move on. We cringe at the thought that life is not supposed to be this way. Yet, Jacob offers us some sane medicine that soothes even the deepest pain. In the chapter 2, Jacob writes that the first principles is to Embrace Weakness, “to confess that we don’t have it all together, to admit…that even we-Jesus following, Bible-believing people – need to return to the basic matters of faith (19).” There is a healing that occurs when the church exudes a beautiful solidarity for others as we all confess with Jacob, “We’re broken too. Let’s heal together (26).”
In this little book there is simple yet profound message here about struggling faith and the church. After Jacob’s youth group in sixth grade went to Arlington, Texas to help paint the house of a Mr. Pheres, a retired painter, the strength of the gospel showed up on their return trip. Mr. Pheres, though not sure about the kid’s painting quality, embraced this act as a moment of grace. He writes about his own struggle with faith, “I’ve heard a lot of sermons in my day. For 80 years, people and preachers have visited my house, begging me to come to church. I’ve read books. I’ve been to seminars. I’ve even been to the potlucks. But I never believed it, and I never understood why, until I met you kids. When you painted my house, on your own time, with your own money, I finally saw the love of Jesus (53).”
Yet, Jacob challenges those who see the church as irrelevant, boring, or full of hypocrites by pointing out that the church is real, a gift, heavenly, it cares and its stable. Even more, he asks a pointed question, “Do you really think that if you turn to your job, your money, or anything else, you will always find what you need (78)?” If the church has damaged your faith, an apology is on offer. Although the church can’t bring healing to every scar we experience on this earth, she does offer grace, healing, and hope without reservation.
I was really encouraged by this book and the way Jacob really offered healing to those with struggling faith, including myself.
Thanks to Start2Finish and BookCrash for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.