When God Becomes Real

Narrated by: Brian Johnson
Length: 4 hrs and 17 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (722 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Panic snuck up on Brian Johnson while he was out with his son, and it clung to him on his desperate drive home. Feeling almost outside of himself, his family called 911. He was spiraling into darkness. Waiting for the ambulance to arrive, unsure of what was happening, he gathered his family around him and asked them to pray for him. Then he said these pivotal words, “This is when God becomes real.” In his first book, Brian shares how the panic and anxiety of his early life - panic he’d thought he’d beaten - came back to haunt him. After experiencing debilitating anxiety attacks from the age of seven into his early adult years, Brian learned how worship ushered in the presence of God and pushed the panic away. 

Now in his mid-30s and believing himself free, Brian had a vision for worship in the church, built a successful music label with his wife, and wrote award-winning songs and albums. He was at the height of his success, and from all appearances, things were better than ever. But in the midst of that success, the ghost of his childhood anxiety returned, stronger than ever, and it pulled Brian into a downward spiral of chaos and darkness.

In the year that would follow, Brian came to experience the ultimate power of surrendering the panic and chaos to God. Whether or not you’ve struggled with panic and anxiety, you’ve found yourself in pain, asking God for relief. In When God Becomes Real, Brian shares his vulnerable story of overcoming panic and anxiety. Discover how you might find God, even in your darkest hour.

©2019 Bethel Book Publishing (P)2019 Bethel Book Publishing

What listeners say about When God Becomes Real

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Raw and deeply moving

I would recommend this to anyone who has or is struggling with pain, anxiety and/or stress. Also would recommend this to church leaders, worship team members, and parents. When God Becomes Real is raw and deeply moving revealing an intense need for connection and wholeness found in the Creator. This book will empower you to take note of your heart and consider pain. And consider whether you pursue numbness or wholeness.

9 people found this helpful

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Amazing Testimony

A great testimony of perseverance and staying obedient to God’s healing promises. A great look into how Bethel Music was built, the trials and tribulations that made it what it is today. I love that Brian himself recorded the audio, it makes it so much more personal to hear it firsthand.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Anointed Book

I really enjoyed listening to the book, this book touched my life and opened my eyes. This book is so beautiful and authentic and thats whats so fantastic and anointed about it.

4 people found this helpful

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wow! what else can I say!

this was amazing. what a rollercoaster! just wow! I finished this book in one night!

3 people found this helpful

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Deep & touching

My first Audible book and what a treat. The author is very vulnerable and descriptive regarding his life’s experiences and at the end of his book talked about his recovery process from fear , panic and Debilitating anxiety. Also shared how Bethel music was born and boy what a story makes me appreciate him and his wife deeply. I am a Bethel music fan to the core and my biggest desire is to visit Bethel over a weekend to experience all they have to offer there. Thumbs up B. Johnson 👍🏼

3 people found this helpful

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Just wow.

I have never heard a more authentic and vulnerable book from a shortcomings and victories of a pastor. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Highly recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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Bonus of author narration!

This book rocked me. I just finished it and I still feel like I’m processing. It came at the right time in my life. Hearing his personal struggles from the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects and even his coping strategies made me feel normal. I could and probably will listen to it again. I can’t tell you how much more of impact it made that was actually read by Brian himself. It pulls the listener into his struggles way more than it would if it were someone else reading the words. There’s something to be said about someone reading aloud the words of their own struggles and victories. Their own voice puts something out there that would otherwise be lacking. Listen to it. You won’t be disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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Thought provoking and vulnerable

I needed this book in this season of my life where I have so much anxiety and pain and I’m so glad I found it. This book was written perfectly. I felt the vulnerability, the pain, the relief. The narrator/author has a very soothing way of speaking. Above all,while listening to this book, I heard God speaking. There were many instances where I heard a voice from deep within and then the author would go on to say something that corroborated. Like feeling old emotions I had buried and right after hearing him say, “feelings buried alive don’t die.” Or “Time doesn’t heal old wounds. It lets them fester.” I plan to purchase the actual book as well to keep as a staple. It’s a must read.

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A message of HOPE

Thanks for sharing your journey and pointing people to the solution that is so simple, and yet can be so overlooked in the midst of pain: Jesus

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Life changing.

Even if you don't struggle with anxiety, etc..... if you're human...this will change you.

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  • Sarah
  • 02-07-19

Gentle and moving

This book was so raw and moving. Brian tells his struggles in such a gentle way that make it raw and real. Definitely worth a listen to especially if you are battling mental illness

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-07-20

Openness and healing

l loved this book, the stories stayed in my mind. l have been soul searching and asking God to do a work of healing in my own soul. Not only that but l have been reflecting on how l have been dealing with conflict with family and other people. This changes things for me.

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  • deliverydenise
  • 11-14-19

Great to have Brian read this

Good helpful biography for everyone, understanding how pressure effects us and the way to overcome in these difficulties.

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  • Jules
  • 05-03-19

A real blessing

I got a great deal out of this book. Brian’s candour and openness brings a lot of insight into many aspects of walking with God, in particular the journey through pain and suffering and about building a healthy relationship with God and with others in the body of Christ. Thank you to Brian for this faith building, walk strengthening book.

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  • IAmNotACommittee
  • 04-30-19

honest and powerful

For anyone who has suffered from anxiety, whether severe or not, the journey told here or passage to healing, is not a self- help A to Z of conquering, it's better than that: it has on it the call of the Father to intimacy and freedom.

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  • joan whitehead
  • 04-29-19

When God becomes real.

So often we want to experience God on a mountain top experience but this is not how the God of the universe works. He is awesome in power and might and we want Him as it were to wave a magic wand and take away the bad things, whatever they maybe. He does not work like that. Brian, in this book, speaks with honesty, vulnerability and humility. He says it as it is, warts and all. We all want God to become real so when I saw this title and the fact Brian was reading his own story, this came across powerfully and I could feel were he was at. Listening to this book will help many to seek and find that God is real but also when in deep despair there is a way out from all our fears, pain and hurts, that we may know peace in our heart and in our lives. The book has given me a new hunger to want God to be real in my life. I believe He is with us but like Brian, we don’t give ourselves time to experience Him. I have also bought the book to share with others.

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  • Alina&Adrian
  • 03-29-19

Great book!

Thanks for sharing the struggles and stress of your life . I am glad that you never gave up on you and on your life! Sometimes we take God out of the life equation but this book is an example of commitment to stick with God until He becomes real! Be blessed!

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  • Elizabeth Johnson
  • 02-19-19

Awesome book

Loved this book it's not fake it's so real! thanks Brian Johnson! made me laugh cry and rejoices. Great read and great insight to his life! Jen sounds like an amazing wife! goodskills

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  • josiehopes
  • 02-16-19

Pretty sure I'll be listening again very soon

Highly recommend this book to anyone with depression/anxiety or anyone supporting someone with it. Powerful stuff, I'll be listen again soon.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-14-19

Life changer

This book is a game/life changer. It equips us with one of the most powerful weapons we have which is worship. The vulnerability and rawness shows us that not one person is alone and it will give you strength to keep fighting. Honestly speaking (typing) everyone can learn something from this book even if the fight is different, the weapons in victory are the same. You. Need. This. Book. In. Your. Life. buy the book, share the book, use the tools it will give you. Personally it taught me about surrender at a much deeper level. I celebrate with you the knowledge it will provide to help you in your testimony. 👏🏾👏🏾

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-11-20

Vulnerable, Honest, such an engaging read

I love how Brian shares his life with the reader... it normalizes what we all walk through... Thanks Brian

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  • Dean Whitelock
  • 10-24-19

Refreshing

Having experienced a seemingly unexplainable bout of major depressive disorder myself, I found this book a joy to learn from. I am so so thankful for this man and for his journey expressed as a testimony in this book. Further to this, the way this book is written is very excellent, weaving from past to present, connecting dots in a poetic and emotionally enlightening way. I’m better because of this book.

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  • Josh
  • 07-19-19

Very real and authentic

Really great book, couldn't tune it off. Very real and incredible insights in to a life of worship. Loved it. Thanks

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  • Jessiah
  • 02-08-19

incredible

amazing job Brian, you encapsulated many feelings and thoughts i have wanted to understand for years