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Blessed Endurance

Moving Beyond Despair to Hope

John R Wimmer • January 2018

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Where is God when we are hurting or in despair? How can we respond faithfully to situations that cause us pain? Where can we find hope even when we feel hopeless? Pain, despair, and struggle are part of life, and they test our character as God’s people. John Wimmer approaches these challenges to our faith realistically and thoughtfully. Although we can't always understand or control many things that happen to us, we can choose how we will respond to them. Wimmer encourages us to view difficulties as opportunities for spiritual and personal growth. Rather than diminishing faith, pain and despair can lead to greater trust in God. To endure through such times is a blessing. This inspiring book offers practical help for moving from pain and despair to the blessing of hope. Wimmer reminds readers that with hope we also have faith—not the false belief that our lives will be pain-free, but true faith that God will lead us through our struggles to deeper levels of spiritual growth and wisdom.


John R. Wimmer is a United Methodist minister who served as a local church pastor for 18 years and founded the Center for Congregations, now a network whose model of working with churches has been adopted by many organizations nationwide. Since 2002 he has been program director at Lilly Endowment, where he has sought to enhance pastoral leadership and congregational vitality through more than $700 million in grants to denominations, seminaries, and a wide variety of other church agencies.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-1777-6

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8358-1778-3

EPub ISBN: 978-0-8358-1779-0

Imprint: Upper Room

Pub Date: 20180101

Trim Size: 5 in (w) x 7 in (h) x 0.234 in (d)

Page Count: 112

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Living / Personal Growth

BISAC1: REL012070

BISAC2: REL012040

BISAC3: REL012000

When I read a book subtitled Moving Beyond Despair to Hope, I want to know that the words between the covers are not mere words, but words “become flesh,” words that reflect the author’s lived experience. I’ve known John Wimmer for twenty years, and I can testify that he has lived every word in this moving, important, and well-crafted book about suffering, endurance, and faith. “The peace that passes all understanding” is not an empty promise. Those who read this book will find pathways to that peace, walked and mapped with care for us by a man who knows the way. —Parker J. Palmer Author of Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, and Healing the Heart of Democracy Stewarding our pain is a countercultural concept for many. But John Wimmer teaches us how in this read-in-a-day, live-for-a-lifetime book with gospel power and resurrection hope. Blessed Endurance challenges readers to redeem the despair found in life’s inevitable valleys by embracing God’s gifts of disciplined hope and joy. —Harold Smith President and CEO, Christianity Today Writing with the maturity that only comes from personal experience with suffering, Wimmer does something better than play with the problem of pain; he offers a creative response for living with it. —Peter W. Marty Publisher, The Christian Century