About the Episode
In this episode of the Hope + Help Podcast, host Christine Chappell interviews Robert Cheong about the topic of hard stories and his book, Restoration Story: Why Jesus Matters in a Broken World. Some of the questions addressed in this interview are:
• Why is it important for us to see how our hard stories are embedded in God’s story of redemption?
• What are the four major “movements” of God’s story and what difference do they make to how we interpret the hard story we’re living in?
• How can we fit the reality of God’s love into the reality of our hard life story?
• How does God’s story help us to understand and respond to urges to escape or distract ourselves from the painful realities of our hard stories?
• Why is it important for Jesus to become the “reference point” of every aspect of our hard story? What
happens when he’s not?
• “If Jesus holds everything together, why does our world sometimes fall apart? Where is Jesus when dreams shatter, marriages fail, and diseased or aging bodies break down?”
• What are some practical ways the local church support and care for those who find themselves in the thick
of a hard story?
About the Guest
Robert Cheong, PhD, serves as the Pastor of Care at Sojourn Church Midtown in Louisville, KY. He has a passion for helping the church to be confident in Jesus, and he is the executive director of Gospel Care Ministries, which trains leaders in churches, networks, and mission organizations. He is the author of God Redeeming His Bride: A Handbook for Church Discipline,Restore: Changing How We Live and Love, and Restoration Story: Why Jesus Matters in a Broken World. He enjoys life with his wife, Karen, their grown children, and their adorable grandchildren.
What unanswered questions do you have about your life? Some of us struggle to find meaning, others wonder about identity, and all of us want to be loved. Your story―the events and relationships that define you―will guide how you answer those questions. But God has a story too. His story is about sending Jesus to this broken world to mend all that is broken. Author Robert Cheong, a pastor and counselor, helps readers connect their story to God’s story which will transform how they live and love.
We all have our own back story―our sometimes unconscious beliefs―that have been shaped by our families, relationships, and life experiences. Our stories shape the personal narratives we live out: “I am not loved.” “No one cares for me.” “I have to be better than everyone around me.” “How I look is the most important thing about me.” Our back story guides us in how we relate to God and others. But are these beliefs true? And how are they affecting our lives today? Cheong helps readers unpack their story and learn to live out of God’s new story. Readers will discover how to retell their story out of who God is, what he’s done, and the call to love him and others.
Learn how the dynamics of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation shape our present struggles, confirm our future hope, and ensure our ability to live in God’s power today. At the intersection of God’s story and your own, you’ll find that his love sustains you in your weariness, guides you in your confusion, and comforts you in your suffering. The story of his love will compel you to live for him.
Related Resources from IBCD
- Hear the Addict’s Story, Retell the Addict’s Story (Ed Welch)
- Hope + Help for a Painful Past (Lauren Whitman)
- A Life of Trust: Choosing to Accept God’s Plan (Ernie Baker)
- Helping People Handle Trials (Heath Lambert)