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A revolutionary approach to dealing with life's challenges that guides readers in how to face them and to recognize them as gifts from God.
At one time or another everyone finds themselves questioning, "Does God still love me? Is there a ...
A revolutionary approach to dealing with life's challenges that guides readers in how to face them and to recognize them as gifts from God.
At one time or another everyone finds themselves questioning, "Does God still love me? Is there a purpose for all this pain?" Drs. Meier and Henderson teach readers how to face painful struggles head-on in a way that allows them to grow and mature emotionally and spiritually. In this timely book they explore the seven most common life challenges:
In addition they offer the three reasons we often miss the gifts these challenges can be. This unique approach to an age-old problem will encourage and challenge readers to grow through their struggles instead of wasting energy trying to avoid them altogether.
Posted May 21, 2011
Do you struggle with finding hope? Having difficulty coming to grips that bad things happen to good people? Maybe you question why bad things happen to innocent people. If so, "Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain" is a good place to start in looking for those answers.
This is not just a book on how to deal with life's struggles - it also leads the reader to a place of growth through the problems encountered in life. As a seminary student I would have found this book helpful as it doesn't just focus on one specific issue. Paul Meier covers multiple issues: injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, and failure to name a few.
Whether you are going through a painful experience or you are one who is in a position to help others through painful situations, Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain is a good resource to find the hope and answers you may be looking for. It's a good encouragement as well to those who have been through difficult issues to let them know God has a plan to use their stories in the lives of others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.combook 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted December 1, 2010
In our lives we all experience pain; this pain comes in all different forms. Some of the forms covered in this book include loneliness, loss, discipline and failure. Many times as we go through each experience there is that nagging question as to WHY we have to experience so much pain in our lives. Is there really a purpose behind it all? The authors say there is purpose. As they discuss each form of pain, the authors strive to show their readers the possible purposes. Knowing the purpose beyond our experiences can bring us through these things; sometimes knowing can make the difference to making it or not!
I chose this book hoping to find some solace, some answers, some hope. I have worked through some painful experiences in my life; I think the biggest or most important of them all would be the death of our son in 2004. What was the purpose of that death? Was there one? I'm sure every parent in such a situation would ask the same questions and many more, just like Jason and I did. So did the authors succeed in answering my questions? Did I find that hope? Did I get the answers? I would say that the authors were successful in their attempt to give the world a little more direction and hope.
More than just dealing with the big issue, I found myself dealing with little issues. Sometimes we tend to overlook (or pretend to overlook) little hurts, snide remarks, that tinge of loneliness. I learned that those little things matter too! That if these things are left unprocessed that this pain simply builds and builds and becomes HUGE in our minds. Through reading this book, I have discovered a few of these little issues that I need to spend some time working through. It's going to take some time and I'm glad to have a good resource to help me do so.
I have recommended this book to others, even while I was still reading it. Each section deals with a specific issue. You don't have to read the book from cover to cover. You can pick the issue that you are currently dealing with and just read that section. I love that about this book. When my grief wells up and I don't know what the next step might be, I can turn to the section on death or on loss and read for encouragement and help. Or if I'm feeling lonely or shunned I can turn to that chapter.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Posted April 8, 2010
The title of this book pretty much sums up it's theme: finding purpose beyond our pain. It is impossible to live a life completely free of pain. Rather than trying to avoid pain, we need to realise that pain is not the enemy and can actually be our ally. Drs Meier and Henderson explore seven universal struggles:
I found the inclusion of discipline in this list quite odd; I wouldn't classify discipline as a "struggle". Apart from that, I think the list is fairly complete and will be relevant to most readers. They identify 3 main things that prevent us from seeing beyond our current difficulties: focusing on our circumstances rather than on God; fear, and; forgetting what God has done in the past.
With plenty of biblical and contemporary examples to illustrate how we can grow through our pain to achieve the purpose behind it, this book is well written and easy to read. I would recommend this to any one who is strug gling to under stand why God allows dark times in our lives.
Posted April 7, 2010
I've found that most of the problems that I've dealt with over the past 9 months have been resolved much faster than before. That's because I've learned how to rely on God's power and the Lord's atoning sacrifice. In Drs. Meir and Henderson's book, I've found new ways to help me find the best and easiest way to fix the problems I've faced, both real and percieved.
This is one of the few books with such a religious undertones that I have actually recommended to people. It has helped me incredibly over the past few months, and I highly suggest that each and every one of you to go and pick it up.
Posted March 22, 2010
The authors don't give answers to why we must feel pain. Instead they direct the reader to the fact that emotional pain, like physical pain, lets us know that healing is required. When we are in physical pain we seek physical healing, emotional pain works the same way. The purpose of emotional pain is to bring us closer to Christ. The purpose of the book is to show the reader how to endure pain, but also how to embrace them as the gifts God meant them to be in order to perfect us for a great purpose.
I wish I had read this book years ago.
Like I said, the authors don't give answers. But they do give a lot of questions you can ask yourself. I think a lot of things boils don't to our attitude and sense of entitlement. Anyway, this is a good one to read.
Posted March 14, 2010
I've put off writing this review long enough. What a good book, end of story.
'Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain," helped me see how closer God is to me during pain, instead of being far off like so many are tempted to believe when experiencing pain. In 'Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain,' I learned the opposite, and it couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I suspect the Lord was already aware of that, that's why He opened the doors for this book and I to cross paths. This book has been a friend and counselor to me in ways I would never have imagined. Next to the Bible, it's one of my most cherished books. I keep it on my night-stand right along side my other most valued book. I really would like to take this opportunity and thank Thomas Nelson for publishing great literature, and I especially am indebted to them for the opportunity they give bloggers to review their books. Had it not been for their unique ministry, now known as Book Sneeze, the meeting of Dr. Paul Meier and Dr. David Henderson would have never taken place with me.
Dr. Meier and Dr. Henderson both do excellent jobs at explaining why pain isn't the enemy. If you're someone who is hurting emotionally, if you know someone who is hurting, or if you have past wounds that you don't think are effecting you, yet you know that "something" is bothering you...I suggest you pick up a copy of this book. Alternatively, if you happen to be in the field of counseling, this book would be an excellent resource to add to your collection.
Using the knowledge of Meier's and Henderson, along with coinciding their message with Scripture I was given exactly the knowledge and wherewithal I needed to work on myself to begin my healing process. The weird thing for me, in regard to the answering of the many questions is: I didn't know I had questions. Yeah, I had the occasional "Why me," about certain things that have occurred in my life, but I always let the questions fall by the wayside. That is, until I came across this remarkable book.
I love this book and I have recommended it to friends and used the methods in helping those that I counsel. I can't wait to hear from these two men again.
Posted February 17, 2010
When you are in pain, it is hard to see any purpose. But God's Word promises that "all things work together to good for them that love God." Not all things are good. Boy, what a hard lesson and reality. Finding Purpose Beyond the Pain is a wonderful guide for those who are hurting, who can't get past the hurt, or those who will be hurting soon (doesn't that include us all?).
The book covers life's common struggles with pain: injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, disciple (when life corrects us), failure, and death.
Meier and Henderson pull not punches. Sometimes pain is not fair. But this book works to get you to the Light. In the pain we often have misplaced focus and fear. We feel abandoned and lonely. But with guided observations and passages from God's Word this book guides the reader along the wonderful road of recovery.
Past the rejection, past the injustice, past the loss, the road is not easy. Although not a theme in this book, I am reminded of Joseph and his journey from favored son to falsely accused slave. Over years he had to have pain and we know in the end he found purpose. He even stated as much (paraphrased), you meant evil but God used it for good.
"Sometimes we fail to see how relevant the stories of men and women from Scripture are to our own modern-day struggles," so the book states. But it doesn't leave us there. In a very easy to read and process style the writers bring stories to life and promises to our problems. This book is not just a "positive thinking" solution. It is real and it requires you to be real also. If you are hurting and looking for healing, this book will help you find hope even in life's most common struggles.
Posted December 22, 2009
Nobody likes pain, but everyone experiences it. So how do we handle it? Do we let it paralyze and discourage us? Do we question why God allowed it to happen?
I just finished reading Finding Purpose beyond Our Pain by Drs. Paul Meier and David Henderson. They contend that pain's purpose is to lead us "toward the healing power of Christ." For seven specific struggles - injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure, and death - they provide biblical perspective and practical applications for finding purpose in the pain. They contend that "the power to cope with the pain is in focusing on its purpose" (p. 275).
I agreed with much of the information in the book. And I think that it could be helpful for someone dealing with pain, if given at the right time. I do recommend it.
But I was left cold. When I have been in pain before, it didn't help to have well-meaning people spout the Christian clichés that "God is in control" and "It will all work out for good" - it made me feel worse, even if they are true. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just be there, be quiet, and let people grieve.
Posted December 17, 2009
The two writers approach, with a perspective based in Scripture, the seven most common struggles. The discussions include: Injustice; Rejection; Loneliness; Loss; Discipline; Failure; and Death.
The chapters, for the most part, are laid out with an explanation of what will be covered, how one typically approaches the battles, and how we are to both view and overcome these trials. Embedded in each section is real-life personal stories from family, friends and a handful of their patients. These stories and chapters support the overarching truth for the pains that we will face: First, Christ can, and with your obedience, will, get you through whatever you are facing. Second, rest on the promise of heaven.
The book is great because of how applicable it is. Initially, I thought that I was not really facing situations of rejection or death, so how challenging could this book really be? I was wrong. Meier and Henderson used scripture and dug deep into the nooks and crannies of my heart and mind. It was also helpful that they offered chapter reviews and questions for personal reflection at the end of each chapter.
We have all gone, and will go through, the situations outlined in this book. It is healthy to start the discussion of these matters now, to prepare for these battles. It is in the preparation and victory of these circumstances that we find everlasting rewards.
Posted December 15, 2009
This book is about dealing effectively with "seven universal struggles": injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure, and death.
Each section of the book explores the problems caused by each struggle and then provides steps and practical encouragement toward overcoming each struggle. For example, in addressing loneliness, the experience is described as both physical and emotional, with obstacles of modern comforts, limited scope, objectification, pride, segregation, and time. The reader is pointed to Jesus' example, encouraged to relate to God, know oneself, and improve one's relationships by avoiding complacency, removing the plank from one's own eye, changing the face of one's prayers, turning conflict into opportunity, look to future reward, be encouraged by what is learned, and be teachable. Each chapter is this thorough and deep, with much food for thought.
This book was very interesting and challenging, causing me to examine myself. It is written in a very readable fashion and is cohesive and appealing. Biblical truth is effectively conveyed and is an integral part of the writing.
I recommend this book.
Posted December 13, 2009
Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain: Uncover the Hidden Potential In Life's Most Common Struggles, Paul Meier and David L. Henderson bring a psychological perspective to theodicy. Any attempt by one discipline to bring sense to the complex issues that the book addresses will have both strengths and faults. The book deals with injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure, and death.
Overall, the book did not veer far from other self-help books in both Christian and non-Christian sectors. The basic premise: we have misplaced our focus and have misguided fear. The answer? Jesus. As a theologically minded person I often have trouble with a psychological perspective for a number of reasons. Psychology tends to be an individualistic study where we work as individuals. Such a model does not work well for a community of Christians working together towards kingdom living.
Of all the sections, I felt that the weakest section was the injustice section. They did a good job of dealing with "perceived" injustice, but they did not really deal with the Job texts (which forms almost all biblical thoughts on injustice). The book seems to be focused more on moving "past" injustice rather than learning how to live in an unjust world.
The strongest section was the section on loss and death because psychology has some of the best resources on death and loss. They have thought about these issues more than other disciplines. What they have to say in this section is important for many Christians to read, especially those who have recently lost someone.
Posted December 7, 2009
Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain
By Paul Meier, MD and David Henderson, MD
Published by: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Do you ever wonder how some people simply can move through the difficulties that come our way while others struggle barely able to keep their head above the turbulent water that seeks to devour and swallow them up? Do you ever wonder what is God's purpose is throughout the things we, as people, must all experience at some point in our lives? How do we get from beginning in the midst of that challenge and arrive safely to the other side?
In his book, Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain, Paul Meier takes you through seven different kinds of struggles we are all likely to face in our lives. These are:
In each chapter, Dr. Meier and Dr. Henderson provide you with some great ways to see how this struggles can benefit you, how to deal with them and how to move through them to seek the joy and blessings that await us all on the other side. They offer ways for us to let go of the things we can not change and accept the lessons in life we are suppose to take away from them all. This book is designed not only to help us get through the physical pain of each of these situations but through the emotional pain as well. The book also teaches you that instead of chasing after a pain-free existence, we see adversity as an ally, a temporary companion that leads us away from danger and towards healing, a trainer that pushes us through to the next level of growth.
This review is my humble opinion and I received this copy free from Thomas Nelson Publishers with no compensation. All they asked what that I share my opinion once I read the book. Please visit ThomasNelson.com if you are interested or would like to read any other reviews.
Posted December 1, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Do you ever Wonder why Life Hurts so much, why we have to go through so much pain, how to deal with any of the following?
* Injustice * Rejection
* Loneliness * Loss
* Discipline * Failure
This is a wonderful text on getting beyond the pain and self pity that always seems to threaten swallow us whole. It is meant to help you people understand that pain and suffering is not always what it can be perceived as. I found this book a bit too clinical at times, but overall the message is what everyone needs to know to "grow up". The Book covered a handful of answers to life's ultimate question of WHY ME ?
I would definitely recommend this book to others because it truly deals with issues I see core to both emotional and spiritual maturity.
Posted November 28, 2009
Pain is gain! Sound like a Physical fitness regime? Sure it does, but this author is talking about your emotional fitness regime. Two medical Doctors take you on a tour of the seven "inevitables" that will touch everyone's life at some point:Injustice, Rejection, Loneliness, Loss,Discipline, Failure, and Death and then offer a biblical alternative to what is the "norm" in today's counseling circles.
Written in an easy-to-read format, each chapter can stand alone as an individual study so that you can quickly and easily access the parts that deal with your particular questions of the moment, then go back later to read the book in it's entirety if you like.
Dr.'s Meir and Henderson have brought together years of experience in psychiatry, medicine, biblical counseling, and teaching to pen a book that weaves God's solutions into your everyday problems and difficulties- giving you an understanding to the age-old question: "Why is this happening to me, and what do I do about it?" The answers they lead you to just may surprise you.
I recommend this book to you if you are seriously looking for help and comfort in your time of trials, or if you are trying to help another through theirs. To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.
Posted November 26, 2009
"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." - The Princess Bride.
Perhaps it was the word "pain" boldly printed in red on the cover of the book that drew me to Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain, the latest book by Dr. Paul Meier (co-authored with Dr. David L. Henderson). The book's title seemed to speak of fleeting moments of hurt, and to be perfectly honest, I was concerned its contents would be nothing more than another shallow, inspirational self-help tome. However, Meier and Henderson deliver solid instruction and challenging insights as they deal with seven key areas: injustice, rejection, loss, death, discipline, loneliness, and failure. Finding Purpose Beyond our Pain isn't a book about moments in time - it's a book about living this life with an eternal point of view. It's not a "feel-good" book; rather, it moves the reader to invest time in quality self-reflection and candid conversation with God.
Business and career coach Debbie Adams joined me in the review of this book, and found the great balance of stories, scripture, and behavioral science to be inspiring. The summaries and thought-provoking questions are useful not only to the reader, but to those who may be offering guidance. Debbie shares, "There is a great opportunity here to create an accompanying workbook or journal."
Posted November 23, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, we humans have had to endure pain of various types and intensities over the course of our lifetimes. Of course none of us look forward to pain or enjoy dealing with it when we have it, but we can take comfort in the knowledge that God never inflicts it upon us on a whim. Everything our loving Creator does has a purpose in keeping with His master plan for our lives, and if we can learn to appreciate it in the proper context, pain can be a powerful force for good.
In Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain, Drs. Paul Meier and David L. Henderson teach us how to accept the pain that comes our way and use it to seek out the meaning and fulfillment that God has in store for us. In this book, Drs. Meier and Henderson use their training and skills as Christian psychiatrists to help us deal with the pain and heartbreak that accompany seven of life's most common and profound challenges: Injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure and death. Each of these challenges has the power to weaken our Christian resolve and make our lives quite miserable, but if we can learn to appreciate how they fit into God's master plan for us just the opposite will happen. That's where this book and the powerful message it conveys come in.
If you sometimes find yourself struggling with pain and heartbreak (and as a human being you surely do), then you need to read Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain because it will provide you with the tools you'll need when dealing with life's inevitable setbacks.
Posted November 20, 2009
This book helps people understand and act on the potential for growth through seven common sources of pain in life. Biblically based but with practical approaches to dealing with injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure, and death, the authors challenge us to discover the lessons a loving God is teaching. Readers can grow in appreciation of how God works in their lives, drawing closer to Him through the unpleasant and sometimes devastating circumstances we all suffer because of our fallen nature.
Smoothly written and logically composed, it offers the flexibility of going directly to sections of interest, losing nothing when bypassing previous sections. Moreover, the "Finding Purpose Beyond." suggestions and challenges at the end of each section help to focus on moving toward real happiness through the suffering we cannot escape. I found the content of this feature very thought-provoking and helpful.
Engaging stories of individuals the authors have treated in their practices illustrate their points and enliven the writing along with appropriate Biblical quotes. I highly recommend this book to people looking for answers to circumstances troubling them, wondering where God is in all of it, and how life can be better.
I am a member of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program: http://brb.thomasnelson.com/.
Posted November 20, 2009
This book is written by two Christian psychiatrists who are also on faculty at Dallas Theological Seminary, and throughout the book they draw on their experiences in biblical counseling and psychiatry to discuss the pain we all experience throughout life, digging for deeper meaning by looking for God's purpose in it. They divide the book into seven sections about seven general types of pain, each with four chapters followed by discussion and application points. The sections are as follows: Injustice, Rejection, Loneliness, Loss, Discipline, Failure, and Death.
It is rare to find psychiatrists who are Christians, so to have this book from two of them is indeed something to appreciate. Their writing is clear and the examples they include drawn from their life as well as the people in scripture are compelling. I enjoyed their use of allegory in explaining some of the spiritual and emotional principles. For example, in the section on rejection they discuss people who tend to become too transparent early in relationship as being well-diggers, and people who remain guarded and superficial in relationship as building walls. They then applied biblical truth to these issues. I would recommend this book to people who are having a hard time understanding God's purpose in the hardships they face, as well as anyone in a "ministry" position such as a bible study leader, pastor, missionary, as well as Christian doctors.really anyone who counsels people biblically and struggles with wanting to do it well.
Posted November 12, 2009
As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ , I had the opportunity to review this spiritually motivating book, Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain.
Consider the two verses, Psalm 34:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me", and James 2:2&3, "Count it all joy, my breathren when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." Imagine life if you actually had to face various trials and evils such as injustice, death, loneliness, failure, rejection, depression and terminal illness. For many of us, this is an unbearable thought as we are far removed from facing such hardships and trials. Maybe we have been lucky enough not to have to face extreme hardships. But for the rest of us, these torments and pains are all too real. The trials of life are often crippling, beyond what we can bear using our own means and resources.
Finally embodied in a book, there is spiritual aid and support that does not dismiss the pains of life, nor does it deny the existence of pain nor does it make excuses. This book acknowledges the extreme pains and trials we may face and it offers spiritually satisfying ways of facing life's difficult issues. Hope and happiness does not need to end in the face of calamity, injustice and pain. God can use our pain for a greater good or purpose. God is not simply an abstract, unreachable power, but is depicted as a source of real and concrete strength that is more powerful than even the worst of our pain.
The anecdotes in this book are not simply superficial tales of misfortune. The stories and hardships such as terminal illness, death, forclosure, and unemployment faced by some of the case studies are timely as well as very real. In the face of such hardship and trials, to see examples of the good which results, are very motivating. It offers true hope that can shine as a light in the darkness of despair. Written with empathy and sensitivity, I recommend this book as an effective resource for those who are enduring the most difficult trials of life.
Posted November 7, 2009
If you are dealing with any kind of pain in life and struggling to find answers to "Why me?" then this book would be a great place to start.
The writer's, Drs. Paul Meier and David Henderson, do an excellent job of explaining how there is often a purpose or lesson behind every kind of pain (Injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure, and death) that one might deal with in life. No only do they try to help us see what that purpose or lesson is, they also give us simple steps to follow in order to help us work through those problems.
This is a very good book that's easy to understand. They don't use a lot of psychology mumbo jumbo to explain things. They use simple bible-based logic. The thing I like about it most is, you don't have to start at the begininng. It is divided into individual sections, so if you are wanting to only read about a particular problem, you can just skip ahead to those chapters, and you won't be missing anything. This is definitely a book to keep on the shelf and refer to from time to time.
Member of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program http://brb.thomasnelson.com/