Book Review of Hope and Help for Chronic Illness by Mark E. Shaw with Allison Griffin

Biblical Counseling Coalition | 7/9/2019 | Ellen Castillo
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In a culture that tells people who are suffering to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and stop their pity party—or to use their suffering to play the victim—this booklet offers a better way. That way is the way of the gospel.

In this insightful and compassionate booklet, the reader will find both theological truths and practical helps for suffering related to chronic illness. The authors offer a definition of chronic illness in chapter 1:

Perspective - Illness - Illness - Months

“First, from the medical perspective, chronic illness is defined as ‘an illness that lasts three months or more’” (p. 6).

The reader is given examples of the types of illness that are considered chronic, and some basic facts about diagnoses, medical treatments, insurance issues, and more. The reader gains insight into the hopelessness that often accompanies chronic illness.

Authors - Approach - People - Saints - Sufferers

The authors take the approach of viewing people as saints, sufferers, and sinners (p. 7). This approach is necessary so that the help offered is aimed at the whole person, not just one aspect of the person.

“In essence, God has provided resources necessary for us to live life well, whether we are temporarily experiencing life as a saint, sufferer, or sinner” (p. 8).

Chapter - Tells - Care - Hope - Hope

The second chapter tells us that it is good to hope, but that as important as medical care is, that is not where ultimate hope is found. Hope, the authors teach us, is found in God moment by moment. For those who are struggling with physical suffering, losing their dreams, feeling misunderstood, and feeling emotionally drained, trusting in the Lord can be difficult.

The authors’ teaching on hope is theological, and it is also practical. For those who feel paralyzed due to their emotions, for example, these practical steps are offered with thorough explanations of each one in the rest of the chapter:


The reader is instructed regarding how to correct...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Biblical Counseling Coalition
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