When I first heard about Let Hope In by pastor/author Pete Wilson, I thought it sounded like a solid, Gospel-centered, and timely message for this generation – any generation, really – about hope, a message of truth that I wanted to be a part of sharing, but I didn’t think it was necessarily for me because I just couldn’t identify a particular hurt from my past that was stopping me from living fully in the present.
But I was wrong. My perspective was too narrow.
My past is no where near perfect. It has its own set of hurts and regrets. But beyond that, over and over again as I read, I saw just how relevant this message is for my present circumstances and how necessary this message is to continue walking with Christ in the unknown of my tomorrows.
We’ve all either experienced some sort of pain in our past or we’re going through something in our present or we’ll come across a new hurt in our future.
But the one constant, the one thing that remains central in every such hurt (and just for the record, every joy, too), is the same: The cross of Christ.
“God has come in the person of Jesus to set you free. There is no story in the world like the story of redemption, and it can be your story.” (p. 53)
So, this message of hope and freedom as only found in the person of Jesus Christ? It’s for everyone.
My life seems to be a mess more often than I’d like these days. But what I think I’m realizing (yet again) is that the mess is just part of my flesh and every time it’s in conflict with the Spirit (which is often), it’s going to get messy. But it’s in that very place where God’s strength is made perfect and where His grace abounds … in the weakness, in the uncertainty, in the sometimes getting it wrong, in the mess.
And there’s such a gift in this realization, even in the mess, because it reveals just how desperate and in need we really are. We have to understand the reality of our mess – our hurts and sins – to see the radical beauty of God’s continual presence with us made possible only through the cross.
“He is not like us. He is faithful even when we’re faithless. We can trust Him. Especially in our brokenness.” (p. 72)
I’m dealing with perfectionism-driven insecurity affecting at least a couple of different aspects of my life right now, and this book has not only helped expose some of that, but also directed me towards the freedom and courage to move beyond it. To walk in victory over the try-harder, perform better, pretend more mentality. Before its grip is any stronger or its roots are any deeper.
I’m not saying it’s an instant fix and I’m not saying there won’t still be some struggle, but it’s a step towards leaning further into Christ and trusting Him more and finding my identity in Him, and that’s stepping in the direction I want to go.
“He [Jesus] clearly says, “In me.” When you immerse your current reality into my reality, that is where peace is found.” (p. 74)
And reaching that? Walking in healing and wholeness from that? It’s only in and because of the person of Jesus Christ. Our hope is in Him alone.
In the book, Pete takes us through four choices:
Choice One: Choosing to Transform Instead of Transfer
Choice Two: Choosing to Be Okay with Not Being Okay
Choice Three: Choosing to Trust Rather than Please
Choice Four: Choosing to Free People Rather than Hurt Them
And through these four choices, we see that this message…
It’s about letting go of the pain and regret from the past and letting go of the worry for the unknown future.
It’s about the freedom of walking in our identity as found in Christ alone.
It’s about walking in victory over sin. Yes, as believers we still make mistakes and sin, but it no longer rules us. Its power is gone. And that doesn’t mean we don’t repent of the sins we commit. We most certainly do, but then we walk in the freedom of what’s already been done on the cross, knowing that we’re forgiven, we’re covered, we’re redeemed.
It’s about walking with Christ and trusting Him more and experiencing the beauty and fullness of His presence.
And it’s about fully receiving this freedom and grace, so that we can love others well.
“You can’t breathe out what you haven’t breathed in. Breathing grace totally hinges on your moment-to-moment dependency on God.” (p. 154)
This message of hope and grace – it blows me away!!
But isn’t that just God? Isn’t that just grace?
It’s shocking and surprising and stunning.
And for some reason, maybe because of this recent battle with insecurity, it hit me with a such a freshness and newness and I am undone and overwhelmed.
I come away from this book grateful and humbled and amazed. Knowing more deeply that I am loved. I am forgiven. I am free.
“The goal here is to fully trust God in this moment. To trust in his grace. To trust that you are forgiven. To trust that this very moment, as imperfect as it might be, is actually a gift.” (p. 130)
So why do I think you should read this book, too?
Because read prayerfully with a heart seeking Christ, this book is a burden lifted.
It’s one more step on this road of walking with Jesus Christ in grace, in freedom, in fullness by choosing Him and trusting Him and hoping in Him.
So much truth. So much freedom. So much Jesus.
“All of Scripture points to one man, one God, not because he gives us everything we’re hoping for but because he is the One we put our hope in.” (p. 196)
So yes, this message is solid, Gospel-centered, and timely.
And this message is for you.
But this message is also for me.
Because this message is for everyone.
Let Hope In.
*for the record: I was a part of the launch team for Let Hope In, which means I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. this post reflects my honest thoughts on how the book impacted me and why I believe this message is important and worth sharing.*