I am always on the lookout for encouraging gospel-focused books or articles to read on the topic of suffering. I have come to learn just how important it is to be reminding ourselves of Biblical truth when we are encompassed by pain on a daily basis. Now I want to share with you a book that has encouraged/challenged me immensely, in hopes that it will do the same for you!
Book: Hope When it Hurts
Authors: Kristen Wetherell & Sarah Walton
Wow! I have read many books and articles about suffering and the gospel, but none have stood out to me as much as this little book has. Every page shines a spotlight on the gospel, and how it changes the way we walk through suffering. I can say without a moment’s hesitation that this one of the best books (if not the best book) on the topic.
This book is comprised of 30 chapters which cover topics like God’s goodness, eternity, contentment, and how to comfort others. Each chapter begins with a verse from 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, which are the framework for the entire book. All 30 chapters close with a set of questions to ask yourself, a prayer, corresponding Bible verses, and a space for journaling. Another great thing about this book is that the chapters are nice and short, so even if you aren’t a big reader you can enjoy this book.
The reason “Hope When it Hurts” is so powerful is the vulnerable way in which the authors point you to truth in the compassionate tone of somebody who is going through similar trials and pain. Kristen and Sarah are quick to share their own struggles and let us see how God is at work in their lives even on their worst days. This book acknowledges the emotions, doubts, and fears that come with chronic illness and suffering in general, but gently lifts the reader’s head to see how the gospel speaks to their suffering.
Quotes from “Hope When it Hurts”:
“Surely the Son of God has borne your griefs and carried your sorrows. He was crushed so you would never be. Your afflictions are temporary because your sins have been dealt with. Your future is secure because He rose to life. You can say confidently along with Paul, ‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed.'”
“The greatest antidote to anxiety is to consistently remind ourselves of the unshakable promises we have in God’s word.”
“He proclaims that His power is made perfect in our weakness, and that His guidance through the swelling seas is not conditioned by our strength to endure the waves.”
“In Christ’s light, suffering is a ministry, not a millstone. It is a gift, not a glitch in the plan.”
“Faithful suffering spurs others on to praise God and bear the cost of living for Him.”
This book is a must read for every Christian with a chronic illness. From cover to cover, it is filled with the gospel, and encourages us to find hope in what Christ has done and will do for us. It would be great to do with a friend or in a small group setting as well. This is a book I go back to day after day, even though I have already read it in full. It has encouraged me and challenged me to suffer well, and I know it will do the same for you.
You can buy “Hope When it Hurts” on Amazon.
You can also read more from the authors on their blogs.
Kristen’s blog: kristenwetherell.com
Sarah’s Blog: setapart.net