Review: 'Christ and Your Problems' by Jay Adams

One word sums this text: hope. Basing his teaching on 1 Corinthians 10:13, Jay Adams delivers a divine word of encouragement to those currently caught in life’s trials. His tone is pastoral and his words are simple as he uses the few pages of this booklet to minister to his readers.

This is in contrast to some of his other works you might be familiar with, such as A Theology of Christian Counseling and The Christian Counselor’s Manual. He applies theology with a soft hand, teaching the reader while going to great lengths to remain sensitive.

The first chapter, “Excuse Me, Please,” demonstrates a desire to do more than lend a kind ear in counseling, for education is part of the discipleship process. Yet, as he moves through the book into more personal areas, his tone becomes progressively softer until the end, when he seems to take the reader by the hand and whispers, “Depressed, discouraged Christian, let me urge you to take God at His word” (29).

Furthermore, this lesson in discipleship shows another, external focus. Of course, Adams shifts the readers’ attention to Christ, but he also spends a great deal of time expressing the hope that today’s tribulation may come with lessons to pass on tomorrow. The reader should have concern for helping one another, pulling others they find out of the slough of despond.

Adams writes “God says He never puts us into a box to leave us there for good” (28) after reciting the key Bible text for this pamphlet. How plain and direct—words a counselee with problems needs to hear. They need to hear that there can be singing in prison (cf. 30), and they also need to hear that a deliverance is coming.

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