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Book Review: Sure Mercies: Hope for the Suffering

Sure Mercies

40 stories. 40 witnesses for the work of God through Christ. Sure Mercies: Hope for the Suffering highlights figures from the pages of history as well as present-day martyrs. Why is this an important book? When you’re hurting, it is a lonely place to be. Suffering feels isolated. The testimonies of others who suffered help us to see we’re not alone. They were victorious through God’s strength and we can be, too.

I started in the back with the Study Guide, and immediately liked Megan Vance’s style of writing. Her voice is easy on the ear, yet polished and carries depth of character. She describes Sure Mercies from the viewpoint of a hurting girl who connected with the cries of a hurting boy in the book of Psalms. She says David didn’t just memorize the Scriptures as a religious exercise, “he believed what they told him about Jehovah.”

And so this work continues to unfold accounts of those who believed God at His word, and stood for Him in unthinkable circumstances. William Borden gave up his family wealth to pursue missions among the Muslims of China. He died of meningitis. Corrie ten Boom came from Dutch descent and suffered in the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Richard Wurmbrand spent years in solitary confinement in Communist prisons. Nate Saint and his friends were murdered deep in the jungle of Ecuador by Auca Indians. Yet, in all of these lives, and more, they resolved to follow Christ knowing a life spared would not be worth a witness sacrificed.

Sure Mercies is a compilation of short stories that are tall on inspiration. They tell the back story of those who are part of “God’s chain of grace” extended across time. And they bring hope! Ever wonder if you would be resolute under trial? Megan prays, “Lord, we need not fear our own inadequacy, but only behold Your Son and His finished work. Thank You that He works as we merely yield our lives to Him.”

The Meditation Prayers lead us to remember our future is not our own. The faithful testimony of those within these pages will encourage us to remain steadfast in difficult times. And, as she remarks about Gracie Parker Rosenberger, “Watching Gracie, it’s easier to believe impossibilities can create abundant possibilities.”

Bravo to Megan Vance on a thoroughly researched, well recorded progression of God’s Message over the ages. It is a timely dose of encouragement for us all!


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Review: Seven Women and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

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What is the hallmark of a great life? Eric Metaxas contends there are specific qualities that set apart certain people, people who have conquered great odds to accomplish the unthinkable. He sets out to highlight the lives of seven extraordinary women, all who saw themselves as average, everyday people…

Joan of Arc: pure, brave and singular in her faith and obedience to God.

Susanna Wesley had a theological knowledge that fueled a disciplined life.

Hannah More’s culture was influenced by art and she sought to use her gifts in God’s service.

Saint Maria modeled the Christian life outside the four walls of the church.

Corrie ten Boom had a foundation of faith that began way before Nazi occupation turned her home inside out.

Rosa Parks was persistent in seeking rights for blacks in an age of terrible discrimination.

Mother Teresa saw the poor as God’s wonderful people.

I loved the narrative of this book. The author wove a story of faith, hardship, ingenuity and humility. It was a joy to read the chronicles of these who struggled with faith and its application to daily lives. It painted them in a light that showed they were real people with real difficulties. They were not sugar-coated, but weaknesses were laid bare. Why is that important? Because it helped me to relate to their lives, and to understand the power of faith in God to change the course of history.

Eric Metaxas also wrote Seven Men and the Secret to Their Greatness and states both sexes suffer when the uniqueness of each is denied. 7 Women challenged me to be fully me, and to stop the comparison game that robs my sphere of the gifts given by God to impact change in the world.

A great Christmas gift for both male and female readers on your list!


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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