X

Dr. Henry Cloud: What the Bible Says About The Secret

CBN.com Dr. Cloud says an even bigger story of the great success of the non-Christian book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is that it shows how many millions of people are hugely interested in spiritual things. He says The Secret is a huge cultural phenomenon and is classic, new-age philosophy. 

Interestingly, Dr. Cloud was approached by the publisher of the book and asked to write a Christian version of it. He instead chose to write a book about what the Bible says about the greatest secrets of life. 

While The Secret is about getting what you want in life, it is also a book that looks beyond a logical plan to reach your goals. It says there are spiritual realities that govern the universe and that those are as real as the physical laws that we all live by, like gravity. Dr. Cloud says we are all searching for something more than ourselves and long to be connected to Someone greater. 

The Secret says we are God,” he says. But Cloud says we as Christians know better.

In writing his book, Dr. Cloud approached answering this subject the way the Apostle Paul did in talking about the Unknown God (Acts 17:23), identifying the Unknown God as the God of the Bible, the Creator, and Sustainer of life. He wants Christians to understand this subject, and also to be able to give this book to non-Christian friends. 

THE GREATEST SECRET

As a psychologist, he is amazed at “the secret things of God” validated by research and clinical practice. 

“In fact, I do not know of any successful clinical process or practice that does not agree with God’s secrets,” he says. 

He is also constantly amazed at how surprised people are to learn the kinds of practical things that are actually in the Bible. Most people don’t know what’s in there (they don’t read it). But the greatest secret of all is found in Jer 29:13: “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. (NIV) 

The main differences in the Judeo-Christian faith and others is that the One we reach out to is a personal God who knows us individually and cares about us. This truth is borne out in the story he tells of a woman who listened to his program and believed what he said. She was going through a challenging time and asked God to show up. She was immediately embraced by the presence of Jesus. This experience so impacted her that she requested a meeting with Dr. Cloud to explain what she went through. What concerned her was that she was Jewish, and Jesus showed up when she prayed to God. Dr. Cloud was able to show her through the Scriptures who the Messiah is. They have remained in contact through today.

And the key to all other secrets is trust: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." (Prov 3:5-6) Dr. Cloud says the act of trust, or faith, is the way we join ourselves to the sources of what we need. Since we are finite and limited, we have to get what we need from outside ourselves. The more we trust and invest in the sources that provide what we need, the more we will receive them. Through trust we learn to rely on God in a way that shows our reliance and surrender to Him.  Learning to depend on God will make your life larger than you could ever imagine and better in every way. 

Other Secrets include: 

Secrets About Happiness – “There is No Such Thing as Disconnected and Happy,” “You are as Happy as You are Free,” etc; 

Secrets About Relationships – “Good Relationships Come from Having the Skills to Produce Them,” “Misplaced Trust Opens the Door to Misery,” etc; 

Secrets About Fulfilling Your Purpose – “You were Created for a Purpose,” “Your Heart Determines the Course of Your Life,” “We are Not All Alike,”;

And Secrets About God – “The God of the Universe Wants a Personal Relationship with You,” “God is For You, Not Against You,” God Requires Something from You,” etc. 

The Secret book affects four main areas: happiness, relationships, success, and spiritual life. Dr. Cloud says most people are looking for reality and relationships. That’s what the Gospel has to offer. The greatest secret is trust, he says, and opening up to the Lord will change everything in one’s life. 

FINDING GOD IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

Henry was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi, but had his first real encounter with God a long way from home. He was a sophomore in Dallas at Southern Methodist University when he began his search for God. Henry was part of a fraternity and was recruited to college to play on the golf team. However, God was about to get his attention.      

During the spring semester of that year, he found himself amidst what seemed like an ocean of shattered aspirations. His once hopeful relationship had failed. What’s more, he’d injured his hand, which brought his golf dreams to a halt. Feeling alone and confused, Henry decided to look to God. Sitting on his dorm room bed, he opened a Bible to a random page. His eyes fell directly onto Matthew 6:33- "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Feeling that God was speaking directly to him, Henry went to the chapel to pray. He fell on his knees and said, “God, I don’t even know if You are there. But if You are, I need Your help. If You help me, I will do anything You tell me to do. Just help me. Find me.”  After praying, Henry returned to his dorm room. When he got there, his phone rang. It was a frat brother calling to invite him to Bible study. God had answered his prayer.

LEAPS OF FAITH

Throughout his college years, Henry grew in the Lord. This was also the time when God began to test his faith. The first test came when God led him to change his major. Henry had been studying accounting, a secure field that guaranteed him a job after graduation. However, He felt God leading him to change his major to psychology, which would require him to go to graduate school. Henry obeyed the leading of the Lord and by graduation time had secured a lucrative job offer and an acceptance letter from Baylor University. What he didn’t know was that God was not through testing him yet. One day while in his dorm, he received a call from a prestigious university in Los Angeles. During the call, Henry sensed God asking him to take another large step- to forsake his secure plans and move to California.

Henry was faithful to follow God’s leading just as he had the first time. His move to California brought him to Biola University, where he earned his Masters degree. He also took classes at Talbot Theological Seminary.  He earned his Ph. D. at Biola University.

When he is not speaking, Dr. Cloud enjoys golfing, boating, deep-sea fishing, and scuba diving. He is passionate about bringing help to the homeless, the inner city, and the developing world. He and his wife Tori live in Los Angeles with their two daughters, Olivia and Lucy.

Donate