Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Yesterday I wrote about the upcoming Book Club produced by Open Hearts and made available over on AGTV. While looking for a link to it, I realized that I hadn’t written a book review for this book yet! Since I have such an extensive list of recent reads that need to be reviewed, I decided to start with this one. If you haven’t followed the women’s conference we’ve been putting on for the past two years, you might not realize that I’m the Technical Director for Open Hearts. This is important to note, as Brooke Bartz is a cherished sister-in-Christ, the author of today’s book, and the founder of Open Hearts in a Closed World. I mention this simply to indicate that it’s possible to make a case that I’ve several biases regarding Chronic Love, or at least it would be, if not for one crucial point. I adored this book long before Brooke, and I became so close or began working together! If you missed it, you can go back and watch the first interview we did with Brooke here.
With that small caveat in place, I’ll get to the actual purpose of today’s article, the book review! Chronic Love is not a book about suffering chronically; it’s a book about God’s sovereign purpose in suffering chronically. It was published back in September 2019 by Ambassador International, written, as aforementioned, by author, speaker, and podcaster Brooke Bartz. While it holds only ten chapters, its 320 pages are so packed full of Scripture that the publishers used two different Bible translations to avoid copyright impingement. Alongside these verses, which do a theologically sound job of explaining God’s sovereignty, there are historical quotes (my favorite thing to find in Christian books) and personal aspects of others’ experience, as well as Brookes, with chronic illness. At the end of each chapter, save the first; there are helpful study questions to further develop each Biblical point in your mind.
Many of us either suffer from something chronic or care for someone who does. I would recommend this book to both those categories, but to expand on that, I likewise suggest this book for anyone in leadership roles, especially those in ministry. The physical and mental toll suffering, or being a caregiver, takes on a person isn’t always prominent. We have to be prepared to have a doctrinally accurate response to folks we come across in these types of situations. This book not only explains the do’s, but it also explains the don’ts while constantly pointing back to the glory of God. I’ve never read anything like this; most books on suffering are either the typical health and wealth or the fluffy encouragement you’d expect to find in a Ted Talk. There is nothing within the pages of this book that would limit readers’ age, so I can recommend it for all ages, as it would undoubtedly be a valuable read for families dealing with chronic illness. You can find this book in Kindle, Audible, Paperback, and Hardcover here. If you’re subscribed to AGTV, you’ll be able to join Brooke as she begins our newest Open Hearts show, Book Club, by reading portions of Chronic Love while discussing the questions and topics therein. You’ll also be able to dig even deeper into the doctrine of God’s sovereignty on The Aftershow, hosted by yours truly, coming soon to AGTV. As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.