Feeling hopeless can be devastating. Life can throw you into situations where you find yourself emotionally and physically drained. You are knocked down and sometimes it just takes someone to come along side of you and to help lift you up. That's what the book Hopelifter: Creative Ways To Spread Hope When Life Hurts is all about. Author Kathe Wunnenberg offers practical ways that we can help to bring hope back to our friends, family, co-workers, and those we come in contact with.
The book is divided into three sections: Discovering Hope, Embracing Hope, and Giving Hope. Before you can share hope, you must discover the true source of hope, Jesus Christ. As you understand and experience that hope yourself, then you will be able to share the hope you have found with others. She does caution her readers that there will still be times when you, yourself, may need to be lifted! As you embrace that hope, she encourages her readers to have a plan of action so you will be able to spread hope. Because each of us have different personality types and different resources, the way we express hope may differ. The final section gives personal testimonies of how others have expressed hope in specific situations. These "life events" are listed alphabetically, so if you want to see an example of how hope was extended to someone suffering from cancer, or depression, you can easily find it by the topic. These may be a catalyst to spur ideas of how you could minister in a specific situation.
At the end of the book, there are other helpful appendices which include Discussion Questions if you'd like to use this book in a small group setting, Verses of Hope to share and be encouraged by, and a list of Helpful, Hopeful Websites, where you can find additional resources to help others.
Overall, I found this book to be a down to earth resource to help you begin to discover how you can be the hands and feet of Jesus as you purposefully look around you and see the needs. Sometimes you will find an encouraging word is all someone needs. Other times it will require a longer commitment on your part as you walk through a tragedy with others. Either way, we can be a Hopelifter -- someone who sees those around them who are hurting and brings the hope Jesus promises to them.
The only slight problem I had with the book was the quality of the cover. It seemed to immediately begin to curl. That doesn't diminish the content of the book, but it did bother me a little!
I received a complementary copy of this book from the blogger program, BookSneeze, in exchange for my personal review.