When the Hurt Won't Heal: Living with Chronic Illness

Craig K. Svensson
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Craig K. Svensson helps those living with a chronic illness examine its effect on their spiritual life and find hope amid their suffering.

In a society that emphasizes the importance of good health, those living with constant pain, unending fatigue, depression, or a host of other never-ending physical and mental symptoms struggle to accept the providence of God in their illness and the limitations that illness brings. It's easy to become so consumed with the physical nature of your illness that you fail to see the most important impact is spiritual.

Svensson knows from personal experience how hard it is to navigate the spiritual, emotional, and relational challenges that arise when living with an ongoing ailment. He shares what he's learned about God's comfort and care through his struggles. If you are navigating life with chronic illness, When the Hurt Won't Heal will help you find the path to growing in faith despite the pain, fear, or darkness you may be experiencing.

  • Practical, accessible, spiritual guidance for sufferers and their caregivers to grow trust in God and his daily sustaining grace.
  • Part of the Ask the Christian Counselor series, walking readers through their deepest and most profound questions.
  • Provides readers with five tools to anchor and encourage the heart amid physical suffering.
  • Compact format goes deeper than New Growth Press's popular minibooks without overwhelming the reader.


Craig K. Svensson, PharmD, PhD, is Dean Emeritus of Pharmacy and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University, as well as Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. An elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, he is the author of over 100 scientific publications and several books, including When the Hurt Won't Heal and the minibook Recreational Drug Use: A Biblical Perspective and is a contributor to The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference, 2nd Edition.

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"To the one experiencing unrelenting chronic pain or emotional distress, this book is a comforting first-line prescription for rehearsing biblical truth. Each chapter concludes with practical applications for the sufferer's toolbox. All of us, whether sufferers or comforters living east of Eden, can benefit from these reminders of God's providential care."
Julia Breuninger, RN, Member Care, OC International

"'We have this treasure in jars of clay' (2 Corinthians 4:7). But what happens when our 'jar of clay' becomes irreparably broken . . . when the hurt won't heal? With compassion and wisdom born from his personal struggle with chronic illness, Craig guides the reader to a place of spiritual flourishing in the midst of unrelenting pain. The treasure of our hope in Christ makes all the difference!"
Pamela Gannon, RN, ACBC Certified Biblical Counselor; coauthor of In the Aftermath: Past the pain of Childhood Sexual Abuse

"Sometimes when the darkness of persistent suffering threatens to disorient and overwhelm us, we need a sure guideÑa hand in the dark. In When the Hurt Won't Heal, Craig Svensson offers chronic sufferers a steadying hand to help guide them out of the gloom. His hand has been steadied by careful Christian reflection on his own chronic suffering. Highly recommended."
Mark Talbot, Associate Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Wheaton College; author of the Suffering and the Christian Life series

"In When the Hurt Won't Heal, Craig Svensson shares his journey of physical suffering and loss, describing how God is bringing him through it and how God will carry us through suffering as well. This book will be a great resource for my patients and for counselees who are facing pain and problems that will not go away. I highly recommend it!"
Charles Hodges, MD, Family Physician; fellow, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC); counselor and instructor, Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries; editor of The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference

"Dr. Svensson is in a very unique position to provide comfort and counsel on this important subject. What I especially appreciated was the wonderful balance of rich theology with practical guidelines for everyday life. Readers will benefit greatly from this warm, wise presentation of important biblical truth."
Stephen Viars, Senior Pastor, Faith Church, Lafayette, IN; board member, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC); author of Do You Believe What God Says About You?

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