Brad Hambrick is pastor of counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and adjunct professor of biblical counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He provides many resources on counseling at www.bradhambrick.com. He is the author of 5 booklets in our The Gospel for Real Life series. The Gospel for Real Life booklet series by the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) applies the timeless hope of Christ to the unique struggles of modern believers.
Summary — A proper understanding of God is vital. However, many times what we observe from our own experiences (especially when they are difficult and painful) can affect the shape of that understanding. How do we know whether we have a true, balanced view of God?This study looks at sixteen attributes of God, grouped under the headings of his love, essence, wisdom, and power, to help challenge your understanding. It goes on to challenge how well you rest in each attribute (have faith and comfort in it) and emulate it in the struggles and experiences of your own life. So learn, through your struggles, about the One who gives those struggles meaning.
Summary — We do not like to be vulnerable. It makes us feel defenseless and opens the door to being hurt. But, as difficult as it may be, vulnerability is necessary for us to be loved by others and is a healthy character trait when it leads us to take risks for God’s glory. So how can we grow in the kind of vulnerability God wants us to have?
Brad Hambrick offers a study of vulnerability from an unexpected source: the Beatitudes. He takes us through an examination of each one, highlighting what it says about vulnerability and helping us come to terms with our struggles with it. He also brings encouragement, giving us ways to reflect on and begin implementing these teachings on vulnerability in our own lives.
Learn from the Beatitudes how blessed it is to be vulnerable and how to pursue vulnerability in your life.
Summary — Burnout occurs when the things that once gave us life and energy become discouraging and draining instead, sacrificing our pleasures and accomplishments to the continual onslaught of “next.” While a common danger for Christians who dedicate their efforts to God’s kingdom, burnout eventually makes us choose cynical numbness over the “caring exhaustion” of Christian service. How do we avoid this pitfall?
Brad Hambrick argues that burnout is actually a consequence of our life management, and he shows us how to create a time budget to avoid living beyond our means with the time God has provided. He helps us remember to rest in God’s fairness rather than try to gain his acceptance.
Summary — Few spouses have desires that are evil—but even the good desires of two well-meaning people do not always match up. Fulfilling one person’s desires often means we must neglect another’s, which can lead to conflict and bitterness. So how do we enjoy the blessings of marriage without being consumed by our desire for the blessings we prefer?
Brad Hambrick shows us that Jesus addressed this very issue in his foundational call to be a disciple. In this plan for dealing biblically with marital conflict, he walks us through Jesus’ words and their implications, outlines a typical marital conflict, gives us strategies for how to “interrupt” our conflicts with grace and love, and gives us further tips on how to reignite romance going forward.
Summary — Anyone who is married is already a self-centered spouse . . . but when this all-too-common sin becomes severe and chronic, it results in a marital environment of abuse or neglect—leaving the victimized spouse feeling trapped and hopeless. But how might this hopelessness change if we knew that Jesus addressed just such chronically broken relationships?
Brad Hambrick examines Jesus’ teachings about relationships to show us how we can turn the other cheek while keeping away from unhealthy and destructive paths. He identifies different types of self-centered spouses to show us what we are dealing with, shares strategies for interacting with them, and points to evidences of genuine change to bring hope to anyone living with a chronically self-centered spouse.