In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and pastor Matthew McCullough. They discuss Matt's book, "Remember Death: The Surprising Path to Living Hope" to learn how cultivating "death-awareness" clarifies the relevance of Jesus's promises in the midst of our everyday problems. During the conversation, Matt offers listeners an overview of the Christian tradition of "memento mori" (latin: remember death) and explains some of the reasons why death-awareness was such a prominent part of daily life in earlier centuries. He also considers why 21st century Western Christians have increasingly shoved the realities of death from their consciousness—and examines the various negative impacts such death-avoidance has had as a result. Finally, Matt carefully unpacks the hope and help of the gospel of Jesus to the problem of death-avoidance, encouraging listeners to remember their identity in Christ as they seek to better understand the enemy of death and its implications for fruitful Christian living.
It was not until I became a follower of Christ that my perspective on death changed, and I came to understand it as something more than an instrument of destruction. In Christ, death is no doomsday — it’s a gateway.
The card references 8 common lies we may find ourselves listening to as we walk through seasons of sorrows, and pits them against eternal biblical truths. By providing a wealth of key Scripture references, Dr. Newheiser reminds the sorrowing to look to their identity in Christ and God's unchanging character as a means of sustaining grace.
There have been a number of guest on the show whose books (or interview topics) have revolved around offering gospel hope and help in depression/grief contexts. If you are someone walking through a season of grief/depression, or have been called to care for someone who is, these podcast episodes are sure to offer helpful biblical insights, gospel-centered comforts, and practical applications for taking next steps by faith.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and bible teacher Nancy Guthrie. They discuss Nancy's book, "What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)" to better understand the raw emotions people face as they experience grief, and to learn how to compassionately and confidently interact with those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Nancy shares about walking through the deaths of her two infant babies, and how grief can become a hurdle in everyday relationships. She offers some cautions about what not to say to someone who is grieving, and also suggests possible conversation starters that demonstrate a proper esteem of the loss. Additionally, Nancy observes the misguided assumptions supporters can sometimes make about grieving people, and shines a light on the pain that is felt when friends and family keep their distance. Lastly, Nancy steers listeners back to the hope of heaven through Jesus Christ, and examines why spiritual sentimentality is too flimsy to offer real hope in the midst of unbearable pain.
As I was writing last week, I stumbled upon John Mark McMillan's record, "The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down" on Spotify. His song, "How He Loves" is one I am quite familiar with, but there's a particular version of the song on this record which was totally new to me—and it stopped me in my tracks.
Psalm 126 is a song of hope for those held captive by present sorrows and dire affliction. It encourages those who walk with weighted steps to wait expectantly for their God. There is a special promise for those who shed tears in desperate places—the sorrow will not endure forever. God will restore us once more, and our joy will be made all the greater for having endured the tribulation by faith. When rock bottom feels like the end of us, we can trust that Christ will hold us fast—for “with him is plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:7).
While this poem is for my dearest nephew, Timothy Sawyer, born 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 inches long, it is also for family members who have walked alongside a grieving parent—who have shed tears for a baby they never cradled in their arms. May the love for that child never be deferred, lost, or forgotten, but cherished and proudly worn as a reminder of the joyous reunion that awaits upon the horizon. May we grieve, may we hope, and may we look forward to the day when sad things come untrue.
Grief can often feel like a bully. It’s not uncommon for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to be overtaken by waves of sorrow when they least expect it. Sometimes it’s a simple sight or smell that brings us to our knees; we’ll find ourselves head-in-hand, weeping as if the loss […]