In an effort to deliver a clear analysis of this book for potential readers, and because it is very similar to “Words of Comfort for Women” by the same author, my review here will include the same information as my review for the latter, with some details changed to reflect the different focus between the two devotionals.
Within the wide variety of Christian devotionals, there is an offering for just about every need. As with Bible reading plans, selecting one depends upon specific needs and focuses. Whereas reading the Bible in a year or straight through from Genesis to Revelation may suit one person, another’s heart may be craving the particular message in a certain book of the Bible or spending more time digging deeper. The same can be said of devotional materials. What a blessing to have such a diverse yet Bible-based selection available!
Carolyn Larsen’s “Words of Hope for Women” ministers to the heart of the woman who is disheartened and discouraged. Each of the 90 readings is brief yet gratifyingly concise and delineated by numbers rather than by days or dates. As such, it is appropriate as a daily devotional or as a reference to pick up on difficult days for comfort and encouragement. Its compact size also makes it easy to fit into a purse or handbag. For the purpose of this review, I read it in large sections, and that works as well, truly giving a godly confidence boost! Beginning with a Scripture verse, each reading has a title, which is quite handy for locating whatever may be on your heart at the time. Every Scripture also clearly connects to the reading, and most are well-known, comfortably-familiar verses that remind us of God’s truth. I did appreciate that there are some verses taken from the Old Testament, because while the New Testament may be more noticeably hopeful, the Old Testament also contains great hope as it points toward and leads up to Jesus, the greatest hope of all.
While I recommended “Words of Comfort” foremost to women whose walk with the Lord has had time to grow and mature, I feel that “Words of Hope” is fit for both established and new Christians. “Words of Hope” is more firmly tied to Biblical accounts rather than more broad, inherently understood truths, which lends to it being more easily grasped because readers can refer to specific stories in the Bible itself. Also, there is a greater emphasis on the foundational theme of hope, both in the titles of the readings themselves and as a continuing concept throughout. This begins with the title of the first reading, “Hope of Heaven”, which is so fitting because that is what we long for and that is what Jesus died to give us. Our hope begins and finds its fulfillment in Jesus and His sacrifice. All we have to do is accept it, and Larsen provides a great summation of this: “Without trust there is no hope. Without relationship there is no trust…Keep your hope level high as you trust the One who promises to help you.” “Words of Hope” will encourage you and inspire you to “Depend on God. Talk to him. Tell him what you need and go forward with courage knowing that he is protecting you!”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.