What unanswered questions do you have about your life? Some of us struggle to find meaning, others wonder about identity, and all of us want to be loved. Your story—the events and relationships that define you—will guide how you answer those questions. But God has a story too. His story is about sending Jesus to this broken world to mend all that is broken. Author Robert Cheong, a pastor and counselor, helps readers connect their story to God’s story which will transform how they live and love.
We all have our own back story—our sometimes unconscious beliefs—that have been shaped by our families, relationships, and life experiences. Our stories shape the personal narratives we live out: “I am not loved.” “No one cares for me.” “I have to be better than everyone around me.” “How I look is the most important thing about me.” Our back story guides us in how we relate to God and others. But are these beliefs true? And how are they affecting our lives today? Cheong helps readers unpack their story and learn to live out of God’s new story. Readers will discover how to retell their story out of who God is, what he’s done, and the call to love him and others.
Learn how the dynamics of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation shape our present struggles, confirm our future hope, and ensure our ability to live in God’s power today. At the intersection of God’s story and your own, you’ll find that his love sustains you in your weariness, guides you in your confusion, and comforts you in your suffering. The story of his love will compel you to live for him.
Restoration Story can also be used alongside Cheong’s Restore: Changing How We Live and Love Study Guide.
Robert K. Cheong, PhD, serves as the Pastor of Care at Sojourn Church Midtown in Louisville, KY. He has a passion for helping the church to be confident in Jesus, and he is the executive director of Gospel Care Ministries, which trains leaders in churches, networks, and mission organizations. He is the author of God Redeeming His Bride: A Handbook for Church Discipline, Restore: Changing How We Live and Love, and Restoration Story: Why Jesus Matters in a Broken World. He enjoys life with his wife, Karen, their grown children, and their adorable grandchildren.
“There is always a need for rich, practical, and transformative gospel resources, and Robert Cheong’s Restoration Story is one of the best I’ve seen. This book takes people on a heart-exposing, faith-igniting, and life-changing journey. This seasoned pastor has invested years helping people see their story through the lens of Scripture’s gospel story. I am so glad that, because this work is now in print, countless more will journey through God’s story and find themselves, find their Savior, and find their way to healing of heart and mind, and with it find a brand-new way of living.”
Paul David Tripp, Pastor; conference speaker; author of New Morning Mercies
“Too often, we can wrestle with how Jesus makes a difference in our everyday lives. Restoration Story not only gives us a glimpse into how our life experiences impact how we live and love but reveals how God’s story reframes and redeems our story. This resource will be invaluable in helping the church to make disciples and bear one another’s burdens as we live and love in this fallen world.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author of Counsel from the Cross
“God’s restoring work is brought back into focus through this masterfully crafted book. By consistently giving clear insight and using the stories of the main characters, Robert Cheong helps us to understand how God promises restoration throughout his story and does so in ways that impact our hearts and lives. I am grateful for Restoration Story, as it is a helpful resource that extends the invitation to a deeper life and love found in Jesus Christ.”
Brian Howard, Executive Director, Acts 29
“Beautifully simple, clear in flow, and practical in application, Robert Cheong has delivered us a small group resource that will help us connect to God and each other. Fine-tuned by years of pastoral wisdom and group expertise, Restoration Story helps us see how grace reframes our story and delivers God’s power for change. If you want to connect deeply with others around rich content for reflection and discussion, you’ve got the right tool in your hand!”
Dave Harvey, President, Great Commission Collective; author of When Sinners Say I Do and I Still Do!
“The best thing about Restoration Story is that it is both biblically faithful and gospel-centered. But that’s not all that excites me; this book is field tested by men and women with a wide range of ages, ethnicities, and Christian experiences. Moreover, Dr. Cheong has created a reproducible model that doesn’t require experts to lead. This work will help pastors and leaders disciple people to care for one another how Jesus and the apostles envisioned. I highly recommend you reading, learning, and reproducing what is taught in this book, as I’ve seen firsthand the profound impact that it has had on our church members.”
Jamaal Williams, Lead Pastor, Sojourn Church Midtown; president, Harbor Network
“Robert Cheong’s Restoration Story is a gospel feast and will prove to be a most helpful aid in discipling believers, equipping leaders, resourcing cohorts, and aiding counselors. Robert invites us to find our place in God’s story as both characters and messengers—doing the heart work of spiritual formation. He understands the narrative nature of growth in Christ, taking us through the four-fold plotline of the Bible: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. So well written, and creatively illustrated, I will look forward to using this resource in my coaching ministry.”
Scotty Smith, Pastor Emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, TN; teacher-in-residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, TN
“Forged in the trenches of pastoral ministry and written from a deep belief in the power of Christ for personal transformation, Restoration Story is a fresh resource for pastors and ministry leaders to use in their local churches as they work with men and women desiring to see God, his Word, and his people transform their lives. I’ve seen the fruit of this firsthand as a pastor at Sojourn Midtown and throughout our network of churches.”
Dave Owens, Executive Director, Harbor Network
“Robert has endeavored to clearly articulate and bring to bear in daily living aspects of the fullness of the gospel that go well beyond the moment of conversion to remind us of the rich halls of grace we find in the writings of Paul (Ephesians 3:14–19). He does so with a detailed and gracious encouragement that points us toward the very narrative thread of the Scriptures as a whole. It is indeed, as Robert has pointed out in his writings and teaching, only the grand metanarrative of the Triune God that can bring much needed meaning and restoration to our own stories of brokenness in our everyday. I have always been sharpened from co-laboring with Robert and find his teaching to be clear and deeply rooted in an abiding love of God, his Word, and the people of God found in the church everywhere. As one who works with the church on a global level, I have seen that Robert’s insights, being from the Word, transcend cultural boundaries and are accessible and revolutionary to people everywhere. I heartily recommend Robert’s book as an invaluable resource for anyone desiring to lead communities of faith into greater love of the Savior.”
Paul Athanasius, Cross-cultural worker and trainer
“As a Christian and a pastor, I’ve been so encouraged by how many people have benefited from Robert’s work. Personally, it has blessed me as I have learned what it means to be cared for by God and his church. As a pastor, it has transformed the way I preach to my church and how I engage in personal counseling. The beauty of it all is that I see people truly experiencing God.”
Moe Hafeez, Family Pastor, Cornerstone Church, Atlanta, GA
“As a writer, I know firsthand how God has used the process of storytelling to challenge, heal, and cultivate my relationship with him. But for some shortsighted reason, I never thought how significant it might be for others. With Restoration Story, pastor Robert Cheong taps the power of storytelling for discipleship, inviting participants to find their personal stories in God’s larger one. So pick up this book and discover a good, gracious Author, who’s writing the story of his people even now.”
Hannah Anderson, Author of Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul
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