This book was written day by day through the first Covid lockdown. Each page is like a pastoral visit, with a biblical meditation to encourage the reader.
There are some books you are glad to have for the sake of one page that blessed you, even one sentence. This book has multiple pages like that, and some choice sentences and phrases. Have no fear that Covid will dominate: it is scarcely mentioned. The meditations are suited to any time in a Christian’s life.
The book is beautifully biblical. Each daily verse is set in its context, and often, with delightful brevity, you are given a summary of the whole book from which it comes. Like a bee drinking nectar from numerous flowers on the same plant, the meditations linger for a few days, either in one section of Scripture or on a theme: Don’t be afraid (Days 13 & 14), Meditations in 1 Samuel (Days 21–29), Jesus and his names (Days 30–35), Psalm 107 (Days 46–50).
Some pages are full of pastoral wisdom addressing challenges such as guidance, assurance, and encouragement for recovering from backsliding. On this subject, Roberts quotes John Owen: ‘We must come as near as we can to the source of spiritual life and remain there for as long as we are able’ (p.18). Or in the author’s own words of wisdom on another day: ‘At the heart of life there has to be a certain calm, where energy is channelled into a relationship with God… you need quietness… Self-isolate your soul with Christ’ (pp.59–60).
There is much of Christ throughout the book, both of his person and his work, and I highly recommend it.
Hope in Hard Times can be purchased from the author at a price of £4.00 plus postage. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.