One summer we were camping and took our kids on a hike through the sand dunes at the provincial park. Of course, the day happened to be scorching, and traipsing through sand, in full view of the bright sun wasn’t going well.
We got to an oasis, had a snack and drank more water. The onslaught of complaints continued.
The only comment that helped them stand up and keep going was the hope we were almost to the end. Grabbing hold of this they mustered the resolve to follow the trail again and trudge through the seemingly endless dunes of sand.
In the weariness of our day to day, the failures, the complications, the endless needs, we collapse, uncertain of whether we have what it takes to press on.
In Hopeward: Gospel Grace for Weary Souls by Dai Hankey we find encouragement in oasis, to put our feet on the ground, follow the path, and hold onto hope again.
Hopeward: Gospel Grace for Weary Souls | Book Review
Purpose of the Book
When we find ourselves worn down and weary, whether we’re troubled by our circumstances or the struggle toward maturity in the Christian life, the author writes from a place of knowing to guide us hopeward in the renewal and restoration we can only find in Christ.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 Come to Jesus (He Welcomes the Weary) CHAPTER 2 Receive from Jesus (He Gives Grace to the Needy) CHAPTER 3 Abide in Jesus (He Enables us to Rest) CHAPTER 4 Feast on Jesus (He Feeds the Hungry)
CHAPTER 5 Grow in Jesus (Be Strengthened by His Spirit, with His People, in His Love) CHAPTER 6 Walk with Jesus (He is With Us and For Us) CHAPTER 7 Run to Jesus (Run the Race with Endurance)
A few lines of poetry begin each chapter to set the stage for each topic. (These culminate at the end to create a beautiful poem titled, Hopeward, as a free download). He invites us to the feet of Jesus with our burdens to find rest and discover grace. You’ll find 3 questions to end each chapter to help you reflect on the truths presented.
The Grace I’m in Need of
When I read this book, I was a few months past my most weary point. I resembled my favourite pair of jeans, the one that started with the stylish hole, which slowly began to fray, then got my toe stuck causing a small rip, then one of the kids somehow pulled it and the rip became larger - eventually it needs a patch.
The journey to rest and recover came over the summer break in time away from routine and near to the Lord.
The author asks, what’s the grace you’re desperately in need of right now? I found it was a rather lengthy response on my part.
I found myself praying for the grace to discern through ministry and opportunities. The grace to forgive. The grace of contentment. The grace to persevere. The grace to steward my life and my family well. The grace for words to serve others. The grace to know the Lord better.
I guess, the grace for, you know, all the things.
When we’re weary it feels like everything is falling apart. Our strength is lost. Weakness prevails. Doubt lingers.
But this is why the author points us toward our hope in Christ. We’ve been trying to be all the things on our own strength and we finally reach the point of realizing we can’t and we’re a little stunned.
Hope turns our self-reliance to dependance.
Hope keeps our knees on the ground and our eyes lifted upward.
Hope envisions the finish line, not the hurdle in front us.
Christ patches us up. He was sent to “bind up the brokenhearted” (Is 61:1) like a nurse caring for a wound, cleansing and covering it, for healing to take place. Our hearts are in need of tending, may Christ be the one we sit before to receive care.
Stepping Forward with Courage
After you’ve recovered from a weary season, it’s hard to move forward again.
I think of a season we experienced compounding traumas, one after the other, we just felt beat down. You’d reach the surface for a breath of air only to find the next wave already crashing down.
With time and support, recovery and healing came, but fear easily nudged its way in.
I didn’t know if I could put myself out there again, to serve others when my pain still seemed so fresh. I didn’t trust myself to commit to anything, fearing another event would occur to derail me.
Sometimes it’s hurt in relationships and we’re afraid to trust.
Our health took a dive and we’re bound to the memories of suffering.
Chaos came over our life, sending us in a spiral and we find it difficult to discern amidst all the noise.
Like Peter before the resurrected Christ was asked, “do you love me?” After his denial and the crucifixion, Peter likely felt a bit weary also, unsure of himself, yet he answered yes, yes, yes and the Lord Jesus instructed him to feed his sheep.
There was restoration, but there was also a mission.
The author reminds us, “Jesus’ strength is greater than our weakness. He is faithful even when we are faithless. He will catch us when we fall.” We can take courage, even after a season of discouragement, that God is our strength and he remains ever faithful.
If you’re weary, let this resource take you hopeward.
The voice of a fellow sojourner, who’s been downtrodden before, understands what we’re feeling and shares with us how to find hope again.
Definitely check out his printable poem here, it’s really beautiful.
# of Pages: 128
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
A Word From the Author
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Scriptures About Hope
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Rom 15:13)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Pet 1:3)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Rom 12:12)
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. (Ps 119:114)
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Rom 8:24-25)
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*A big thanks to The Good Book Company for the complimentary copy of this book and for the opportunity to post an honest review.