A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing

Paul Tautges
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Grief may threaten to overtake us or destroy our joy. In this powerful devotional book, men and women will see Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, who is well-acquainted with grief and sadness.

Author and pastor Paul Tautges offers our comforting High Priest, sharing how the Holy Spirit ministers to our hurting heart through the healing balm of God's Word graciously applied to life's wounds.

By biblically and transparently addressing the heart and faith struggles in the midst of this grief, A Small Book for the Hurting Heart delves deeply, but gently, into the issues of the heart—presenting encouragement and comfort in the character of God revealed in his Word.

This small but transformative devotional cultivates anchors of hope, redirecting men and women to the trustworthiness of God who is always for us in Christ. Because all of God's promises are Yes in Christ, Tautges walks with readers through their grief to see the one who nourishes our faith and heals our soul.

In fifty brief readings, your hurting heart will find spiritual help, encouragement, and healing as you experience the comfort of God.


Paul Tautges, DMin, is pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. He has authored many books on topics related to pastoral ministry, counseling, and parenting. Paul has been married to Karen for thirty-two years. Together they cherish their ten children and growing tribe of grandchildren. He Blogs at www.counselingoneanother.com

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"When we hurt and ask God 'why?,' we often are not looking for answers. Rather, our hearts are looking for comfort, encouragement, and Fatherly assurance that our world is not spinning out of control. In his new work, A Small Book for the Hurting Heart, my friend Paul Tautges points the reader to helpful insights from the best Answer of all, the Lord Jesus. Every page is filled with bite-sized wisdom from the Word of God, providing healing hope for every heart that hurts. I heartily endorse this small but power-packed book!"
Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

"Grief is sometimes too burdensome to search for direction and comfort in Scripture. We want the encouragement of Scripture but don't have the energy to find just the right passages. In this little book, Paul has found those right passages and brought us into them so they can be brought into us."
Edward T. Welch, Author of A Small Book for the Anxious Heart; faculty, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

"How often I have wished for this kind of resource to share with a friend in the throes of grief. A wise, seasoned pastor and counselor, Paul Tautges comes alongside the person in pain with short, encouraging, grace-filled reflections from God's Word. These meditations will lift up weary hearts and tear-stained faces and help them find compassion and hope in the face of Christ."
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Author; founder and host of Revive Our Hearts

"A small book but massive comfort! I'm so thankful for the rivers of spiritual healing that will flow through this beautiful daily devotional into many wounded hearts."
David Murray, Professor of Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author of Christians Get Depressed Too and Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture

"Some people say that time heals all wounds. But it isn't true. It is the Word of God, taken in day by day over time that brings healing to the deepest hurts of life and brings insight to the most perplexing questions of life. A Small Book for the Hurting Heart invites people to feed on truths from God's Word, bringing comfort, hope, and healing."
Nancy Guthrie, Author of Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow

"When our lives are touched by the ravages of the fall, and sorrow overwhelms like a flood, where do we turn? Paul Tautges takes us to Scripture to remind us that God is good when we walk in the sunlight without a care in the world, and He is good when we crawl in the darkness burdened with terrible pain and loss. Here is seasoned pastoral experience coupled with keen biblical insight, and here indeed is spiritual balm for the troubled soul."
Stephen Yuille, Vice President of Academics, Heritage College and Seminary, Cambridge, Ontario; associate professor of biblical spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

"As the author says, 'People who genuinely sympathize with you are hard to find.' Paul Tautges speaks to our losses with genuine sympathy and wisdom from the compassionate standpoint of a pastor who has himself experienced loss. He weeps with those who weep (Romans 12:15). This book is saturated with Scripture, and the reader enjoys the cream of many hours of faithful study. James says that when we are tired we should ask God for the wisdom which we so desperately need. This book offers biblical wisdom to answer such a prayer. As I was reading, I was thinking of friends and counselees who would greatly benefit from the biblical wisdom contained in this volume."
Jim Newheiser, Director of the Christian Counseling Program and associate professor of Pastoral Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte; executive director, The Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship

"Grief and loss is a normal part of living in a fallen world. And yet two of the greatest challenges in grief is finding God in it and knowing where to truly find comfort in our sorrow. The book you hold in your hands reveals both. A Small Book for the Hurting Heart provides the answers so many Christians ask in deep grief, and guides the hurting heart to find the comfort God uniquely brings through his Word. This little book brilliantly demonstrates the skill of this author and faithful pastor to be sensitive to the deep pain of grief, and yet gently guides the reader with truth and empathy to find comfort time and time again in the arms of our Savior. As a pastor, I will be keeping a stack of this book on my desk to give out to any hurting heart seeking refuge in the one who truly brings comfort to our souls. I commend this little book and its faithful author!"
Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church; founder, Practical Shepherding; senior fellow, Church Revitalization Center, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Reading A Small Book for the Hurting Heart by Pastor Paul Tautges is like sitting down with a godly comforter for some much-needed, refreshing, and caring consolation. Day after day (for fifty days) you journey through loss—with permission to grieve. And you journey toward healing hope—in Christ alone. This 'letter of spiritual consolation' will help you take your earthly hurts to your caring and comforting heavenly Father."
Bob Kellemen, Author of God's Healing for Life's Losses and Grief: Walking withJesus

"Although loss and limitations are two of God's gracious contributions toward our sanctification, lament is how we express our grief to God as He leads us to hope. In A Small Book for the Hurting Heart, my friend Paul reminds us that God is nearer to us than our grief."
Ronnie Martin, Lead Pastor, Substance Church, Ashland, OH; author of The Best Gift Ever Given; cohost of The Happy Rant podcast

"Loss, grief, and sadness are common human experiences, and no less common in the Christian life. In seeking comfort, it can be extremely hard to find. That's why I'm thankful for Paul Tautges's new book, A Small Book for the Hurting Heart. In the course of fifty devotions, Paul brings the hurting believer by the hand right into the pages of Scripture, and shows them where true comfort is to be found. He skillfully applies carefully selected verses to counsel the reader and ease their burden. I would encourage you to prayerfully give this book to those who are hurting, but keep a copy for yourself for when sorrows come."
Nate Pickowicz, Author; pastor, Harvest Bible Church, Gilmanton Iron Works, NH

"We all experience trial, troubles, and tribulation. This 'small' book encourages the heart that is experiencing trouble and brings the light of God's Word to the forefront. The Lord is always and forever our Anchor, and Dr. Tautges brings this truth to the heart. The truths in this 'small' but powerful book will be in my mind and heart preparing me for the next time I experience heartache. The heart of a pastor, counselor, and shepherd is evident throughout this insightful work."
Bill Shannon, Associate Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA; pastor, Anchored Fellowship; fellow, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

"Aching hearts long for robust answers. You'll find them here. Because the answers are rooted in the gospel, you'll also find comfort, tender loving care, and unshakable hope. This book draws from biblical wisdom to apply the balm of God's healing truth to the places you are broken. Drink deeply of the Living Water you find here, and find life."
Betty-Anne Van Rees, Council Member, Biblical Counseling Coalition; board member, Canadian Biblical Counseling Coalition

"A Small Book for the Hurting Heart brings encouragement for the soul, hope for the heart, and an affirmation that the same God who created you remains with you through every challenge, hardship, pain, and disappointment. This daily dose of scriptural insight reminds us of God's passionate love and plan for us in all of life circumstances. He is the God who redeems, and no tear goes unnoticed. Grab a cup of coffee, bring a highlighter or pen, and allow God to embrace you like a warm blanket."
Steven W. Bundy, Senior Vice President and ministry chaplain, Joni and Friends

"This little book is a wonderfully steadying resource for the sufferer. From the pen of an experienced pastor skilled in comforting the downcast, these gospel-saturated and worship-inducing devotionals are packed with truth. They are rich enough for reflection throughout the day but also bring the benefit of brevity for the weary pilgrim. Sensitive without resorting to sentimentalism, these fifty meditations will lead you to soul-quieting delight in the character of Jesus, the Chief Sufferer, who has conquered all suffering and has compassion on the brokenhearted."
Mike Riccardi, Pastor of Local Outreach Ministries, Grace Community Church

"This gentle little book lifts a fragile embattled soul with gospel-rich reflections on the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, the compassionate sovereignty of the Father, and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Savor these truths. Let them soak in and untangle your doubt, your anger, your bewilderment, your heartache, your loneliness, your fear. Believe and worship in the most powerful of all places: your pain."
Sue Nicewander Delaney, Founder, Biblical Counseling Ministries

"Though Christians face the same painful hurts and hardship as unbelievers, believers don't face life's challenges alone. Paul Tautges points us to the Savior who has suffered for us on the cross and now walks with us in our distresses. These daily meditations will lead you in your sorrows to the God of all comfort and will show you the path to stability and fruitfulness even in your pain."
Jim Berg, Professor of Biblical Counseling, Bob Jones University Seminary; executive director, Freedom That Lasts®; author of Changed into His Image and Quieting a Noisy Soul

"Each daily reading of A Small Book for the Hurting Heart is anchored in gospel-centered hope. Tautges beckons the reader to gaze in wonder at Jesus: his steadfast love, his saving work on our behalf, and his power to redeem our deepest hurts for his glory and our good."
Sara Wallace, Author of Created to Care: God's Truth for Anxious Moms

"Life in God's good world is one of joy intermixed with grief. Losses and crosses, trials and temptations call us closer to the Triune God who is sovereign, wise, and good. We need help! Paul Tautges's A Small Book for the Hurting Heart delivers the help and hope of Christ. Through brief daily meditations, the warm voice of a wise friend will walk you through your season of grief and pain, and toward true healing and joy."
Rush Witt, Pastor; counselor; author

"We are not likely to hear someone say, 'please stop encouraging me.' Everyone needs encouragement in their Christian life and for the trouble of each day. But those who are hurting especially need to be uplifted by the kind truth about God and his promises. Paul has written a wonderful devotional of daily encouragement for the troubled believer. You will want to purchase several copies to keep on hand to help others (as well as yourself) 'count it all joy' when going through difficult times."
Stuart W. Scott, Professor of Biblical Counseling at The Master's University

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6 Reviews

  • 5
    Full of Grace and Truth

    Posted by Lauren DuPrez on 06 22 2021

    A Small Book for the Hurting Heartis the most recent volume in the “small book” series from New Growth Press. In this book, author and Pastor Paul Tautges gently and graciously walks readers through meditations on loss, grief, and healing over the course of 50 devotionals. I had my copy of A Small Book for the Hurting Heart for a while and picked it up after my recent miscarriage and I’m so glad I did. The devotionals for each day are short yet full of truth and comfort. I appreciated that the devotionals acknowledge the hardship that accompanies living in a sin-stained world while providing readers with hope. It often appears that works about suffering tend to do one or the other and the approach Paul takes is full of grace and truth. I love that each devotional places Scripture before the devotional content. It was sweet to come across many verses that I had already been meditating on in my Bible reading time. I really enjoyed coming across the reminder on Day 7 that, “In Jesus, life comes from death. Jesus willingly suffered in your place, since he knew that the only way to give birth to new life—was by dying. ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’ (John 12:24).” Reading this reminded me of something similar I had shared in my miscarriage story and made me feel especially hopeful that God can use our grief for our good. As I’ve continued to read, I’ve felt like I’ve had a counselor present encouraging me and helping me keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. I’ve really enjoyed A Small Book for the Hurting Heart and highly recommend it to anyone who is experiencing hurt and needs to be reminded of the hope of the gospel daily. I received A Small Book for the Hurting Heart compliments of New Growth Press in exchange for my honest review.

  • 5
    Very Comforting Book

    Posted by Matt Cover on 04 23 2020

    New Growth Press has published a new book called A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing, written by pastor Paul Tautges. In this (actually small in size) book, Tautges provides fifty devotionals that are filled with help, hope, and encouragement. The book is intended to be read on a daily basis for 50 days. If one chooses to approach the book in that manner, then the daily reading is only 3 pages long (which would probably be about one page long in a book that is bigger in size). I absolutely loved this book! Let me begin with the format. I love these devotional books that are becoming more and more popular. Many people will not read a book in order to deal with a hurting heart (or any issue). Perhaps the size of books can be intimidating. A book like this, however, is very easy to work through. Most people feel like they can read one page a day for 50 days. It’s not much to read at all. Each chapter is a day, and the day is referenced at the top of the page (Day X). Underneath the day is a title, such as “God Speaks Life” and underneath that is a verse of God’s Word. Tautges then provides a short devotional based upon that verse. Please understand this: though each day’s reading is very short, it is incredibly powerful! Tautges proves to be a wise counselor/pastor in this book. Each page is saturated with counsel that is centered upon God and His Word! Every single page has a Scripture reference on it, and every day Tautges is sure to provide hope by pointing to the Lord. In addition to that, Tautges also understands the nature of loss, grief, and healing. He enters into the suffering with you. He is honest and real. He is never talking down at the reader, but he is always crawling into the pit with the reader. He is a true comforter and friend. He will indeed challenge and push at times, but this is always done gently and for your good. Here are some of the topics that Tautges touches on in this book: -God is near -Blessed are those who mourn -Grieve and worship -How long does grieving take? -The Power of Counting it all joy -Throne of grace -God’s love will never let you go -God has not forgotten -Joy is coming -Together forever -Comfort others These readings are meant to be mediations, which means that it is ok (in fact, a good thing) to only read one day at time. Allow the verse(s) to sink deep into your mind and your heart. This book will bring you comfort, hope, and encouragement! You will find healing for your soul as Tautges points you to the Lord and the Word of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes everything, including how we handle loss. Not to mention that it changes us in the process of handling loss. Tautges has done the church a great service by writing this little, impactful book! I hope that this book makes its way onto the bookshelves of every Christian. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Tolle lege, take up and read! My thanks to New Growth Press for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  • 5
    A book of comfort, encouragement, and compassion.

    Posted by Annette Kristynik on 04 08 2020

    My Thoughts: I consider it a blessing when a book I'm reading for review is meeting me just where I need it. Another words, A Small Book for the Hurting Heart is applicable for my life today. Consider page 13, "We are in a strange place." I am living in a strange place in time because of the COVID-19. The generation closest to mine that has lived through a pandemic is my grandparents, who were all children during the Spanish Flu of 1918. I am living in a strange and surreal situation. I am so thankful to be in my own home, with food to eat, and with family I love. The book is primarily written to readers who are going through a season of grieving and suffering. For example, the death of a loved one. However, I pulled several thoughts out of the book that spoke to me. For example, "Don't let fear turn you away from God." Page 13. This teaching is taught in the book several times. Don't turn away from God and towards the fear and suffering. It is so easy to focus on the fear or hardship. Tautges reminds me to focus on God. Another big teaching that's helped. "My friend, I don't want you to merely survive your season of suffering. I want you to thrive." Page 111. How do I thrive during this ordeal of stress? I write in a gratitude journal. I'm on number 100. I write down simple things. These are things that are often taken for granted. For example, the smell of banana bread when it's baking or the sound of birds singing. Additional reasons why I love this little book: •It's small but packed with valuable help. •It's a book of comfort, encouragement, and compassion. •It's divided in to 50 daily reads. Most are 3 pages long. •I loved the Bible verses directing me to read from God's Word about Tautges's teaching. •Tautges gives applicable ideas for me. For example: "Are you looking to your eternal inheritance with eyes of faith? Read about your eternal inheritance in Ephesians 1:11-18, and then take a few moments to thank God for His watchful care." •The book is perfect for a new Christian or a person who has been a Christian a long time.

  • 4
    A fifty-day devotional deeply rooted in Scripture.

    Posted by SHIRLEY ALARIE on 03 29 2020

    Author Paul Tautges presents a powerhouse of Scriptures related to loss, grief, and healing. A Small Book for the Hurting Heart presents topics to comfort a reader in the midst of suffering. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, By His Words We are Healed, Jesus Wept and Got Angry, and Joy is Coming walk the reader from consolation to hope. Each few-page devotional opens with a Scripture then expounds on the idea with more supporting Scripture. Most chapters close with a call-to-action or suggestion of additional Scripture to reference. The chapters are best savored one per day This book differs from a ‘typical’ devotional in the sense that it has an almost-academic slant and is not simply the author’s narrative. At times it felt like a Bible study and tackled some difficult theological concepts. How this book affected me: I personally found some of the scripture-hopping to be a little confusing or difficult to follow. Admittedly, I’m far from a biblical expert and I need a lot of help translating it. But I can see that someone who is used to being in the Word would find it easier to follow. Who would enjoy this book: A Small Book for the Hurting Heart is written for the hurting and grieving. With the heavy biblical focus, readers who are familiar with and comfortable reading and understanding the Bible would be the best fit. Our Christian Book Reviews: The book reviews at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books - adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. We're proud to be included in the Top 50 Christian Book Review Bloggers. I chose to read an ARC from New Growth Press. This review is my honest opinion.

  • 4
    Nice for those with hurting hearts -- which is anyone

    Posted by Midwest Mom on 03 25 2020

    I like small books. I have a couple of “little” devotional books I’m enjoying currently. I do enjoy bigger books too, but there’s just something … manageable about a small book. That’s part of the appeal, I think, of A Small Book for the Hurting Heart. Has your heart ever hurt? Silly question, really, because all of us who have reached the age of consciousness have no doubt had our hearts hurt. This little book offers 50 devotional thoughts on that theme. I have been reading them during our country’s current coronavirus crisis, which seems like appropriate timing. Each gives a particular theme, and then two or three “little” pages of thoughts and scriptures that are related. I have found the book to be helpful and comforting, and would recommend it to anyone you know who may have a hurting heart — which is to say, any of us.

  • 5
    This book is for anyone who is experiencing the grief that accompanies any kind of loss.

    Posted by Patsy Burnette on 03 24 2020

    ​I recently read A Small Book for the Hurting Heart by Paul Tautges. This little book applies the healing balm of God’s Word to the wounds of our lives. This is where we find hope in the midst of grief. The book begins with “God is Near” and ends with “Comfort Others” and isn't that exactly what we need to know and do? In the midst of our grief and pain, we need to know that God IS near. Then, we should use that grief and pain to comfort others when they too go through deep waters. Between “God is Near” and “Comfort Others,” you'll find 48 other encouraging meditations. Each will challenge you to reflect on God’s goodness, grace, and mercy. You will be encouraged to keep praying and to know that God has not forgotten you. Through this book and Scripture, you will see God with renewed eyes. You’ll find that God is enough, and you will learn how to grieve with hope. You may find it helpful to keep a journal, as I did. A Small Book for the Hurting Heart is for anyone who is experiencing the grief that accompanies any kind of loss. You're most likely thinking of someone who would benefit from this little book right now. Buy a copy for them, but keep a copy for yourself also for when sorrow and grief come to visit. Read my full review here: https://www.instaencouragements.com/blog/a-small-book-for-the-hurting-heart

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