Trusting God Through the Storm: A Review of Pete Wilson’s Plan B


Plan B by Pete Wilson

What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought he would?

Whether it’s job loss, miscarriage, divorce, cancer, or any number of unfulfilled dreams, we all have situations in which we want to challenge God and say, “This isn’t what I had planned.”

Pete Wilson addresses these situations and the questions that arise from them in his new book Plan B.

When I started reading the book, I was expecting a layman’s spin on conventional suffering theology, but for the most part, Wilson doesn’t even go there. Instead, Plan B is more of a Bible-based manual for coping with unexpected situations than it is a complicated theology for understanding them.

When it comes to the coping component of the book, Wilson offers the following advice for times of crisis (and I summarize):

  • Lean toward God. Don’t run from your situation.
  • Give God room to work. Don’t pretend you have total control.
  • Be ready and waiting for God’s signal. Don’t hesitate when God provides opportunities.
  • Trust and fear the Lord. Don’t be paralyzed by earthly concerns.
  • Base your faith on God’s identity. Don’t base it on His activity.
  • Align your desires to God’s. Don’t be selfish.
  • Find light in the darkness. Don’t forget that God can turn evil for good.
  • Stay in close community. Don’t allow yourself to become isolated.

These points dominate most of the book, and Wilson backs each with examples from the Bible and his pastoral experiences. But he doesn’t completely end it there. He goes on to emphasize that even with our best efforts to navigate these situations effectively, many times we will never find the answers we want.

Ouch.

In other words, no matter how well we adjust to life’s unexpected turns, we might not ever understand why our loved ones passed away “before their time.” We might not understand why we were never promoted the way we thought we should’ve been. We might not understand why that spiritual mentor or family member sexually molested us.

And here’s where Wilson hits at the core of what this book is about.

“Instead of an answer,” Wilson says, “God offers us something better. He offers us a solution. He offers us the cross.”

Wilson concludes the book by talking about the cross as an anchor — as a “stabilizing force” in our lives. It is not just the “starting line” that modern-day Christianity has portrayed it to be, but it is the fundamental foundation we are to rest on. As Wilson says, “It’s the place where the pain of ‘you will have trouble’ meets the triumph of ‘I have defeated the world.’”

This is the closest Wilson gets to dabbling in a fundamental theology, and the theology is certainly there. It’s just much simpler than we’re used to.

The fact that Wilson doesn’t provide The Answer to our most pressing questions may frustrate some who are looking for something to hang their hat on. But I think he’s right that life with Christ is part certainty and part mystery. God didn’t promise us a world of sunshine and daffodils — but He did give us hope for such a life through the cross.

Sure. We can talk about how God uses difficult situations to transform us. We can talk about the best ways to cope and retain faith under trial.  We can talk about God’s ability to overcome our earthly troubles. We can talk about how we just need to wait for God’s timing. All of this is constructive and necessary.

But in the end, what it comes down to is that we must simply trust in God, even when it doesn’t make sense to us. For it is only when we trust in God and anchor our lives in the cross that we will find the love that can and will sustain us through troubled times.

No matter how many times we may feel out of control, this is one choice we will always have.

Buy it: Click here to buy Pete Wilson’s Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Annie

    Wow! Thanks for sharing about a message so needed “for such a time as this”. The King James translation says that right now we are just looking through a glass, darkly. I like how the Message translation puts it: “We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (I Cor 13:12-13) When nothing else makes sense, we can still choose to walk in the Love of God, who IS Love. And His “Love never fails”. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Annie

    Wow! Thanks for sharing about a message so needed “for such a time as this”. The King James translation says that right now we are just looking through a glass, darkly. I like how the Message translation puts it: “We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (I Cor 13:12-13) When nothing else makes sense, we can still choose to walk in the Love of God, who IS Love. And His “Love never fails”. Thanks for the reminder.

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