In his latest book More Precious Than Gold, Sam Storms encourages readers to experience what he and generations of Christians have found to be true: that the whole of the Christian faith is about lifting God higher and magnifying his name—even during difficult times.
Dr. Storms recently answered some of our questions about More Precious Than Gold:
Why did you choose to write this on the book of Psalms?
Something about the Psalms reaches out and takes hold of my heart. It may be the brutal honesty of the psalmists themselves, their unashamed wrestling with the doubts and fears in their heart, or perhaps their exuberant praise and celebration of God. Or again, it may be the exalted portrait of God that I find there. On a more practical and pastoral note, I wrote on the Psalms because they speak so directly and powerfully to the human soul and the many struggles each of us faces in our relationship with God.
What did you learn as you wrote this book?
I think the greatest lesson was the capacity of the Word of God to challenge my heart and change it. As I meditated on these hymns of praise and these songs of sorrow and lament, I simply couldn’t stay the same. Indifference is impossible when one reads the Psalms. Its portrait of God and his power and providence and goodness and mercy and kindness and sovereignty and, well, I could go on endlessly, pierce the heart and elevate the soul and enlighten the mind in a unique and unprecedented way.
What do you hope readers will gain from More Precious Than Gold?
I hope they will gain a new understanding of God and themselves. To put it briefly and bluntly, the Psalms can be summarized in this: “Woe is me! Wow is Thee!”
In what ways do you think this book can relate to and transform the everyday lives and experiences of readers?
No one struggles to find the Psalms relevant. Whether it is in the grief of the psalmist or his doubts about God’s goodness or his satisfaction in God’s glory or his pleas for God’s help or his exalted view of God’s majesty or his dependence on God’s mercy, every syllable of this book speaks to the hurts and fears and joys and problems faced by the believer today.
What are some specific examples of experiences or trials that the writers of the Psalms faced that could relate to readers?
I think the most vivid and common experience is the fear that God is indifferent to the evil in our world and that he is indifferent to the suffering of his people. Often the psalmist will wonder aloud, “Where is God? Why do my enemies appear to be winning? Doesn’t he care?” Of course, the good news is that in each case they remind themselves of God’s faithfulness in the past and his promises for today and the future. Yes, there is doubt in the psalmist’s heart, as so often there is in ours but never despair. When God feels distant, remote, and uninvolved, the psalmist sets an example for us of how to press into his heart and seek his face and pray relentlessly for the manifestation of his goodness.
Who would you say this book is designed for?
Without wanting to sound grandiose, it is designed for everyone! Seriously, it is. Or I could narrow it down a bit and say it is designed for the person who is desperate to experience the nearness of God, the person who has often fallen into doubt, the person who is afraid to vent their frustrations for fear that God will cast them aside, the person who longs to see the grandeur of God in nature and in redemption and in countless other ways. That’s the person I had in mind when I wrote this book.
What specifically inspired the title?
The title was inspired by the many affirmations in the Psalms concerning how precious and prized and sweet and life-changing are the words of God. Just read Psalm 19 and 119 to get a feel for this. As precious and costly as gold may be, God’s words are more to be prized and sought after than any earthly treasure!
SAM STORMS (PhD, University of Texas) is founder of Enjoying God Ministries, which provides biblical and theological resources to the body of Christ. He is also the senior pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City and is a former professor. Storms travels both in the United States and abroad, speaking at churches and conferences. He is the author of fourteen books, including the first two books in this series: The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians and To the One Who Conquers: 50 Daily Mediations on the Seven Letters of Revelation 2-3.