I will be the first to admit that I have been less than diligent about reading this particular book. I received this particular book well over a year ago, and have just now gotten around to finishing the book. I could give you a litany of excuses, but that is all that they would be ... excuses. I would pick it up, read a few chapters, and put it down. When I picked it up again, I would read a few more chapters, then put it down.
There is no good reason for why I did this. The book stands as a good reference, and the stories that it tells can rip your heart. I can imagine that sitting down for a conversation with either or both of the authors of this well written book would be extremely interesting. The main reason that I had such a difficult time getting through the book in one or two sittings (as is my norm) is that I believe the words were penetrating far deeper than I cared to explore.
Why read this book? Sometimes, we are going to hurt. I do not mean hurt in the physical sense, but sometimes mental pain gives as much or more anguish than does physical pain. We do not have to let the pain define us. Dr. Meier and Dr. Henderson delve into why our pain affects us the way it does, and how working past it can make us stronger. The authors explore seven areas (challenges) they list as life's most common: injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure, and death. Instead of medical jargon, we are given biblical references, and I rather liked the departure. When you pick up a book written by nearly anyone with the letters M.D. behind their name, especially one that could be categorized as a "self-help" book, you expect to find clinical information. In this book, not so much. Referring instead to the Bible, Drs. Meier and Henderson guide us through the benefits of working through our pain.
While it did take me quite some time to read, I would recommend this book.
It took me a little bit to get into this book, but overall I very much enjoyed it. The book starts with the premise of pain not being an enemy, but a help in our growth. I appreciated the specific "pains" divided into the chapters of injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure and death. My favorite chapter/part of the book was a personal training plan, chapter 20. I am a runner (though not very fast) and I appreciated how our faith can become like a training run. I liked the crowd of witnesses idea and carrying only the bare essentials.
The second half of the book I enjoyed more than the first, although the last couple of chapters were a bit too much on the "Jesus saves" blast for me. I do agree that in our lives pain can be a champion for our growth if we allow it to be. I also agree that when we turn our lives over to Christ, then we can overcome any challenges and receive help for our challenges. I especially enjoyed the specific stories and experiences the authors included in the book. These experiences made the "meat" of the book more real for me to believe.
Overall, I thought this was a good book and would recommend it to others.
FINDING PURPOSE BEYOND OUR PAINWhen the darkness closes in, where can we find the strength and courage to hold on? When the pain is unbearable, how does one even begin to wake up and reach beyond?When INJUSTICE, REJECTION, LONELINESS, LOSS, DISCIPLINE, FAILURE and/or DEATH ensue, is there really a way to gain understanding or more importantly to grow as we uncover the hidden potential and/or purposes? Dr. Paul Meier and Dr. David Henderson address these 7 universal struggles in their book, FINDING PURPOSE BEYOND OUR PAIN.Through real life stories, biblical truths and practical application, let this book be the beginning of the journey that moves you beyond your pains to victory, restoration and wholeness. It surely will equip you to allow your fears and failures to give way to the light of God's purposes so that you can once again walk in comfort, peace and yes, "a joyful knowing"---even in spite of the pain.
Pain is no stranger to any person. Everyone faces situations that seem to have ramifications that follow throughout the course of our lives. This is why I chose to read and review Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain by Drs. Paul Meier and David L. Henderson for Thomas Nelson Publishing. This was a wonderful book. These authors dive into every pain imaginable: Injustice, Rejection, Loneliness, Loss, Discipline, Failure, and Death. What I liked best about this book is that each subject did not just get one chapter devoted to it, but several. Meier and Henderson go into great depth with each painful experience. They use real life situations teach real life lessons using Scripture as a foundation for healing. Each chapter is very easy to read and understand without a lot of big words and jargon that only psychologists would understand. At the end of each chapter, the authors give discussion questions so that you could use it as a daily devotion or Bible study group setting. I took time to read this book. I did not just speed through. It was worth the slow reading as it gave me a chance to think about each situation and apply the principles to my own life. I would suggest this book to any one.
God uses everything, even pain, to bring about good things in our lives. We will never have a pain free life this side of heaven. Rather than avoiding pain, we can see it as our ally, pointing us to Christ.The authors look at seven areas in our lives that cause pain: injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure and death. The writing on each section stands alone so one could read the particular areas of most interest and not miss important truths. At the end of each chapter is a list of the principles offered in the chapter as well as questions for personal reflection.We miss seeing the purpose of the pain because we focus on the pain rather than God and His faithfulness to us. The authors remind the readers that true healing of pain will be found in one's relationship to Christ. Christ is the key to victory as only He has the power to heal our pain.This is a great book for people facing "everyday" psychological pain. For serious pain I would suggest a Christian counselor.This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.