The subtitle is a good one. It made me want to jump to the different choices on the front end, but once I started reading I was hooked by Pete’s candor and clarity. Every chapter is filled with quote-worthy statements, scriptural support, and stories. Stories of people who made the changes outlined in this book are inspiring, yet realistic. In other words, it’s not the “I was a crack addict, met Jesus, and never craved it again” miracle story. We love those stories and thank God for them! But sometimes they leave us wondering why God hasn’t done the same kind of miracle in our own lives. The stories in Let Hope In will encourage, challenge, and connect at heart level.
4 Choices that Take Courage to Make
1. Choosing to Transform Instead of Transfer
The question to consider here is whether your past is really the past. If it isn’t left in the past, then it’s your present, and if your past is your present, well not only is that confusing, it could be debilitating. So often we transfer the pain and failures of our past into the present and don’t experience all that God has for us NOW because of what happened THEN. Those things we’re ashamed of, that we regret, that we still feel guilty over—how do we deal with the ongoing effects of them? This chapter will undoubtedly be cause to pause for many readers.
2. Choosing to Be Okay with Not Being Okay
“You can only be loved to the extent that you are known.” How true this is, and we know it from personal experience. When we conceal parts of our part or the struggles we carry at present, how can we feel the full love of those closest to us? The power and freedom of confession in trusted community await thousands, if not millions, of people—inside the church and out. God is a healing God, and part of the healing is making our illnesses and pains known to those around us.
3. Choosing to Trust Rather Than Please
When you hear “God” what do you think of? A cosmic cop waiting for you to mess up? A dad you can’t please no matter how good you are? A genie in a bottle, waiting for you next wish of comfort and convenience? How you answer that question has a lot to say about whether you’re trusting God (and others) or trying to please God. In this chapter Pete is urging people to live from their acceptance by God, not for acceptance by God. Getting this means we’re free to live for the moment and free to express gratitude for all that’s happening in our lives—rather than dwelling on what I could’ve done better or differently or….
4. Choosing to Free People Rather Than Hurt Them
You’ve been betrayed by someone close to you. You were let down by a spouse. Overlooked by an employer. If the feelings that result aren’t dealt with in a healthy and proactive way, bitterness will set in, and it won’t just affect that relationship; it will bleed over into your other relationships. Absorbing someone’s wrong and allowing them to be free from your resentment and retribution is no easy task. But we do it because God has done it for us. He absorbed our betrayals that we might be reconciled to Him.
The reality is that God promises to prune even the healthy branches. Why? Pruning hurts! So that we might bear even more fruit. Reading this book will make clear some pruning that needs to take place in your life.
For others, it will give you that urge to make the tough phone call, have the difficult conversation, or shed the repressed tears. Wherever you are, whatever the situation, this book will speak a needed word into your life.