I'll admit it. Reading through stories of abuse and trauma are never something that I enjoy. In fact, I cringe just a little bit more each time. But today, I can find 1 out of 4 people who would cringe with me because they, too, share a similar story. They, too, have memories that haunt them. They, too, are longing for relief, restoration and redemption.
Regardless of your history, this generation is still backed into the corner with their morals failing them. We are all surrounded with a sexually immersed, drug intaking, deceit believing culture trying to coerce us to join the party. But for the remnant of us who are desperately trying to walk with Jesus, we need hope. A hope that ensures us that we can actually live it out. Shelley agrees as she says, "I am convinced that this generation needs more faith for personal holiness than for the miraculous demonstration of God's power." (page 104)
Is that not the truth? Is this not the greatest need of our generation? Shelley Hundley uses her book, A Cry for Justice, to speak a hope-filled message from the Lord to this generation. One that we desperately need. And one that proclaims both the healing of our past and the grace to walk with Jesus in our future. Her book gives us new lens which to see Jesus through. New perspective that invokes new and necessary Truth.
Thankfully, "the Holy Spirit is being released as a mighty champion within us, winning us for Jesus." (page108) It is here, in the glorious work of the Holy Spirit, that our victory is secured and our future spoken over with a delightful Truth.
"What is my family history? Love. What is my background? Love. What is my destination? Love. The enemy's version of my existence was that I was abused, depressed, and headed nowhere." (page 78) Oh the beauty of a past redeemed when the Truth is revealed!
Meeting God in the Midst of our Pain
It's nothing new to say that pain is all around us. It's obvious that we are drowning in it at times. So that it is why it is so necessary for us to learn the hard lesson of encountering God in the midst of our pain. This is vital for both our personal experience and for our ability to comfort those around us who have tasted the sting of pain as well.
"As followers of Jesus, we have the capacity to offer hope to a world in pain all around us -- if we would only allow ourselves to meet God in our own private place of pain." (page 49) This is how we learn to deal with our pain and with the pain of others.
But if pain must have its way, then we must fight for pain to do a full work in us. We must demand that something good must emerge from this ugly part of life that we are facing. Hundley shares, "commit your cause to Him and demand that every bit of pain bear fruit." (page 127) And fruit is what we must long to see!
So it must be asked of us. Will we involve God in the midst of our pain? Will we hope for redemption for the brokenness that we both experience and see in others? Because if we give in to the difficulty that surrender can be, we are cutting short Truth as Hundley points out. "When we refuse to allow room in our theology for the transformation God can work in the heart of the sufferer, we are underselling the redemptive power of the Cross." (page 135)
We must make room for hope in redemption, friends -- we must make room!
The Remedy to Pain & Sin
Years ago, the Holy Spirit shared a piece of Truth with me that has become more precious than gold. One night He shared tenderly that the key to my personal restoration and restoration for the Church at large is restoring a right view of God. We need a restored view of His character, Beloved! And reading this book has confirmed that revelation over and over again.
"The persecution and suffering we face has a way of capturing our full attention, leaving our hearts prone to discouragement and causing us to forget who Jesus really is and what He is like. While we are experiencing pain, the evil one is always present, accusing God in our hearts. Therefore the message of comfort must lift the eyes of the sufferer and cause us to 'behold our God'." (page 121)
Shelley introduces us to different aspects of His character that will speak tenderly to us in our darkness. Revelations of Him as our Bridegroom, who is undone with love, and our Judge, who has vengeance in His heart, gives us hope. It takes the accusations we once had against Him and it now fills our hearts with peace.
So we find there to be a remedy for our pain. But what about our sin? Is there a remedy for that as well? While pain once pushed us away from Him, we are still left with sin that has always left us distant. It still keeps us from Him and we earnestly desire nearness. Can we still find a love-filled Bridegroom and a jealousy-driven Judge in the fight against our sin? But we truly can, "the reality is that if we hate the sins we are still in bondage to, then the Judge is our greatest friend." (page 105) We find that "Jesus's fierce actions come from the heart of a Bridegroom who intends to remove all that hinders love or tries to make a prostitute out of His bride." (page 95)
Theology of Hope
So whether you are familiar with traumatic pain or you know the sting of searing sin, this is a grace-filled read for you. Within its pages are solid Truths that are necessary for hope to be restored. A redemptive story connected to a necessary theology is something that I would recommend for anyone because we are all bound to taste pain at some point.
Read it. Share it. And continue to let Him restore the way that you see Him. It's worth it!
A Cry for Justice: Overcoming anger, reject bitterness, and trust in Jesus who will fight for you
by Shelley Hundley
Published by Charisma House
Shelley Hundley's ministry website