Title: Hope When it Hurts
Authors: Kristen Wetherell & Sarah Walton
Publication Date: 2017
Number of Pages: 250
Suffering is real. We all feel it in some way or another. But how do we find meaning and hold on to hope in the midst of that suffering? How is it possible to say with the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”?
Authors Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton do an incredible job of walking through 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 and showing us the answers to these questions. They point us to the God of Hope, and show us how the Gospel transforms our suffering.
They do not write from lives free from pain, nor do they write in retrospect after walking through suffering. They write from the trenches of their own deep pain, and do not hesitate to open their hearts and share their stories with us. They write with the gentleness and compassion that comes from being there, yet they do not hesitate to boldly share needed gospel truths.
We all need to be reminded of the truth and to speak it to ourselves daily, but especially those of us who are suffering. We can easily become confused and despairing, especially during seasons of prolonged trial. It can be easy to be caught up in our pain and focused there, and difficult to see our circumstances from God’s perspective. This book meets us where we’re at, but helps us to lift our eyes away from our troubles towards the One who is working all things for good in our lives. It is not a shallow mediocre book. It is deep and biblical and grounded in truth. It helps to give us a gospel perspective on our suffering. It is real about suffering, but also offers real gospel hope.
One of my favourite things about the book was the constant reminders of the joys that are coming for believers because of Christ and His gospel. The hope of Christ’s return, Heaven, our resurrected bodies, and a final end to sin and suffering are emphasized throughout the book, and, through reading it, have been brought home to my heart in deeper ways.
The book is beautifully bound with a cloth cover and has the feel of a devotional. The chapters are short, and so are manageable for those of us who can’t read for long. Each one includes reflection questions, a prayer, and space for journaling.
It was a needed encouragement and blessing to me to read this book. I know that it’s one that I will keep by me and continue to come back to! I already do. 🙂
Quotes from “Hope When it Hurts” –
“… there’s more to our suffering than meets the eye. This book is about the God who offers hope, even joy in suffering…God wants to give us hope not just beyond our hurts but in our hurts…he wants us to see how he is able to work in and through suffering and ultimately give us himself.” pg 15
“Death may be at work in you through pain and hardship, but life is at work in others as you exalt Christ in your body. In leaving you in suffering, God is choosing for you a necessary ministry, and an impactful life, before he takes you home to be with him.” pg 121
“Remember that your trials are not without purpose; your emotions and confusion are never without purpose. All are sent by the One who uses everything to draw his children closer to him and keep them walking toward the promised land of his presence.” pg 196
“We may never fully understand the pain we experience while on this earth, but we must run to the truth that he has proven his goodness in the greatest way possible through Christ’s death and resurrection. We can choose to trust in that same goodness even when we can’t make sense of the circumstances we face.” pg 238
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“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Cor 4:16-18