Kay Arthur has given us a refreshingly balanced approach to healing from deep hurts. When the Hurt Runs Deep: Healing and Hope for Life’s Desperate Moments with included study guide is designed to gently lead hurting people to see how completely God loves them and how total dependence on a trustworthy and loving God can provide healing from even our deepest pain. The chapter on handling the aftermath of suicide provides sensitive support to the suffering. I was relieved to see chapters on both hurt brought on by the consequences of sin as well as hurt that is not deserved or earned, although Arthur does not discuss the hurt that may result from a combination.
I had some minor issues with her section on forgiveness. She seemed to put the forgiveness burden completely on the one hurt as though they are not forgiven by God until they can forgive the offender. Ephesians 4:32 (which she quotes) clearly says we are to forgive as God has forgiven us – a past event. It is God’s example of forgiveness to us when we didn’t deserve it that gives us the power and freedom to forgive others.
Differences aside, I recommend this book for either the people suffering from deep hurt or for those ministering to the suffering. It would also be helpful for anyone with past hurts. Most readers will get fuller benefit by completing the exercises in the study guide even if they write their answers in a separate notebook or journal rather than in the book. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.