Let Hope In – review

Let Hope InSometimes you read a book because you’ve read the author’s previous writings and you like what he/she offers. I picked up Let Hope In based on the recommendation of someone I know and trust. He spoke highly of the author, Pete Wilson, so I thought I would give his book a read. It was a good recommendation.

In Let Hope In Pete Wilson offers four choices people can make that have the potential to be life changing. In the opening chapter, Wilson makes this statement that provides the foundation for the rest of his book: “I’m learning that everyone needs healing. Everyone has been hurt. Some of us have been hurt worse than others, but no one escapes this life without some emotional bruising along the way. And if we haven’t dealt with the hurt from past, it will continue to impact everything we touch.”

Whatever our past looks like, everyone has some type of pain or regret and Wilson offers some insight and encouragement in how to let God bring hope in and help us move past our past. Wilson uses both scripture and stories from people he has encountered to provide practical ways to allow hope into our past experiences and regrets.

One chapter that stood out to me addressed the topic of shame. I appreciated how Wilson addressed the issue of shame. He expressed it this way: Shame is not like guilt. Guilt says, ‘I did something wrong,’ while shame says ‘I am wrong.’…Shame says you are not normal” I thought how he both defined and then addressed the issue was helpful and gave a new perspective on the shame our past can bring.

Let Hope In is a practical resource for anyone who struggles with a difficult past or who desires to walk alongside others working through past issues. I found myself highlighting phrases along the way that were helpful. All of us have a past. How we deal with that past makes the difference.

(I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

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Conviction vs. Condemnation

I was listening to a podcast yesterday from National Community Church in DC.  Mark Batterson was speaking on Romans 8:1 – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..”

He made an excellent distinction between conviction and condemnation in regards to our sin.  When we sin, one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of our sin, which should lead to confession and then forgiveness. Conviction is a good thing as it brings us to the place of coming to God so He can take away our sin.

Condemnation occurs when we have confessed sin, but still carry the guilt for it.  Satan will remind us of our sin and will attempt to weigh us down with guilt that we shouldn’t carry.  Once we have been convicted of our sin, turned to God to forgive us, He doesn’t condemn us.  That’s the point of Romans 8:1. Once Jesus has forgiven us, we are no longer condemned.

Batterson had a simple equation he used.  Sin – Grace = Guilt.  Sin + Grace = Gratitude.  Thought that was a good reminder.

Enemies of the Heart

Practical.  When I think of Andy Stanley, that is the word that comes to mind – practical.  It seems that whenever he speaks or writes, he is able to cut through to the real issue at hand.  In this particular book, he truly does get to the heart of the matter.

He begins and ends the book with the same thought – our hearts are so important.  Everything we do – love, lead, parent, build relationships, teach, etc. – all come from our heart.  In his practical style, he drives his point home and drills down to the four enemies that we deal with in our hearts – guilt, anger, jealousy and greed.

Not only does he reveal the four enemies we face, he gives ways to combat those enemies.

It is easy as you read this book to see these enemies in someone else’s life.  Stanley addresses that reality and causes the reader to look inward to see if one of the four enemies has taken up residence in his or her own heart.  The questions he presents do help the reader take an inventory of what is happening inside the reader’s own heart.

Another bonus of the book is what he offers parents.  Through his own personal illustrations of talking about these enemies with his kids and the direct recommendations he makes to parents, Stanley equips parents to help their own children monitor their hearts.  Too often, as he points out, we focus on our kids behavior (what is happening on the outside) and neglect their hearts (what is happening on the inside).

This is a great resource for individuals, parents and those in ministry.  The content of this book would make a great teaching series for those who work with adults and students.

Pick up a copy of Enemies of the Heart and let Andy Stanley help you to begin to monitor the condition of your heart.

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)