I love Isaiah 43 with its promise of love, grace and protection from a God who declares :
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
The sing-song poetic promises of this Biblical chapter entice me daily. They uplift me. It is not surprising that this verse is one that author Fred Sievert uses it as a foundation for his book : Grace Revealed : Finding God’s Strength in Any Crisis.
About the Book:
Sievert writes to trust in the unmerited gift of God’s grace.
You can’t escape the inevitable crises that will face you throughout your lifetime. Whether it’s health problems, emotional issues, career challenges, gut-wrenching losses, or other failures, these experiences can destroy your morale and lead you into despair. Some crises may be a result of your own choices, while others may be completely out of your control. Whatever the source, there is a lasting solution that comes to you free of charge from above: God’s amazing grace.
In Grace Revealed, you will:
—Experience real-life stories of others who discover they are not alone and that relief is within their grasp.
—See how devastating afflictions can be overcome through faith in Jesus and His love, mercy, and grace.
—Learn how God’s grace transforms lives and leads you into enduring and rewarding Christian service.
—Be inspired to encourage others who are suffering but cannot seek help on their own.
In this book, you find these undeniable, modern-day examples of God’s loving grace and its transformative power, and discover that God is always present in your time of need.
The true and profound stories in this book touched me in countless ways. Especially the one of Christian author and blogger Mary DeMuth, She reveals her life in pain as a victim of sexual abuse that began at the age of five. I marvel at her strength after living a terrible childhood filled with tragedy.
She writes that she “thanks God for the fear, pain, and shame of her childhood. Because all of those things helped me see my extreme need for Jesus to set me free.”
Other deep, moving stories populate the pages of Grace Revealed: stories of abuse, rape, drug addiction, and unbelievable pain from emotional and physical illness.
In each of the stories, a common thread unravels of grace’s salvation and of the ability to apply grace to all areas of a wounded soul. These applications involve finding Christ’s wonderful healing powers through His personal suffering on the Cross and then experiencing the full restoration and ability to forgive the those who hurt and wounded each person’s soul.
The author unveils this process of grace restoration in each story shared from the perspective of the person’s true life story. Each story written in first-person narratives takes you a grace journey that will warm your heart and fill your soul with hope. The underlying theme involves the freedom found when they are able to forgive those who inflict the greatest harm on our lives or forgive themselves for the bad choices that they have made in life.
Sievert moves away from the wounded to the trapped in his book when he turns to the stories of those who find themselves lost in the mire of drug abuse. I will admit this is the one area in which I have problems extending grace to others. I argue a lot with God. How can I feel empathy for someone who knew better and took up drugs anyway? One person in the book, Coss Marte serves as a prime example for why I lack empathy.
He became a drug dealer, pedaling mind-altering substances that ruined lives. He encouraged and profited from the enslavement of addiction. He also reveals his selfish attitude of self pity in his story when he sentenced justly put to prison, so and then into solitary confinement.
Out of his story, however, grace still shines. Coss turns his life around by reading a Bible his sister gifted him and taking up her challenge of reading Psalm 91. Through reading the chapter and reflection, Coss realized that he had hurt so many families with his business of selling drugs. He asked for forgiveness and then found God’s grace to turn His life around. In the small cell, he began exercising and was able to improve his health. He used his exercise program to help others in the same prison improve their health and outlook on life. After prison, Coss was able to use his exercise program to change the lives of countless former criminals.
Sievert writes: “God’s grace enabled Coss to redirect his God-given gifts and talents away from doing evil toward good.”
The book moves on and reveals even more uplifting stories of addicts who find grace to recover and restore their lives through Christ
In the next section of the book, Sievert also shares stories of those impacted by emotional and physical pain and how grace can help them face challenges in their lives.
Each story he shares is so different from people dealing with the shame of physical abuse to those recovering from drug addiction and then to others who face illness and cancers. This book is wide reaching in its scope of telling the story of grace’s impact on the lives of countless people.
With each story shared, Sievert demonstrates the deep love that God has for all people despite any challenges they face in life whether these challenges were caused through no fault of their own or whether they were caused by sin and addiction. Sievert illustrates that in every situation God really does work all things to the good for those that love Jesus and diligently seek His healing grace, forgiveness, and redemption.
Fred Sievert is a speaker, author, and former president of New York Life Insurance Company. Following his early retirement at age fifty-nine, Sievert attended Yale Divinity School and received a master’s degree. Sievert remains actively engaged in his greatest passions, which include speaking and writing about his faith, mentoring young executives, and serving as a lay leader of his church and on the boards of several organizations with missions well-aligned with his beliefs and values. Fred and his wife have five grown children, three grandchildren, and reside in East Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Find out more about Fred at https://www.storiesofgodsgrace.com.