Restoration Story: Why Jesus Matters in a Broken World

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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 ofGod 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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0.75 LBS
5.50 (in)
8.50 (in)
0.65 (in)
Robert K. Cheong
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5 Reviews

  • 4
    Finding hope in your broken world

    Published by SHIRLEY ALARIE on 09 28 2021

    We live in a broken world and many times we end up looking at the world and ourselves through our own broken lenses. Our past hurts, betrayals, and failures shape our beliefs, hamper our relationships, and crush our self-worth. But author Robert K. Cheong’s Restoration Story – Why Jesus Makes Sense in a Broken World offers an opportunity to find rest for your soul by learning to obey and trust God through His own story. The restorative lessons use examples from many real-life challenges. Most readers would be able to relate to some of the feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and self-doubt, and hardships such as infertility, adultery, adoption, and rape. In any case, restoration through seeking Christ transcends any possible hardship or emotional obstacles. Readers steps through biblical truths of God’s love with the goal of readjusting the lenses through which they view themselves, others, and their worth. Each chapter ends with a suggested scripture and reflection points. For most people, making sense of their broken identity in Christ will take a great deal of self-reflection, which isn’t really emphasized in this book. However, Cheong wrote a supplemental study guide for those who want to dig deeper into making sustainable changes in their lives. I didn’t read the study guide (Restore: Changing How We Live and Love Study Guide), but think it would be necessary for someone who is truly striving to change their life and/or mindset. Simply reading about the concepts won’t likely prompt a lasting shift. Who would enjoy this book: Many of us are broken in some way and all of us would benefit from a closer relationship with Jesus, so this book is pertinent to a fairly broad audience. But it’s specifically geared toward those who face interpersonal struggles with family or friends, such as those who feel lonely or abandoned or otherwise not belonging. Readers willing to open their hearts to the truths of Jesus and His love for them would find hope of a beautiful future In this book. Anyone willing to do the hard work to truly open their heart and mind should supplement Restoration Story with the Study Guide. How this book affected me: Restoration Story is well-written and provides a solid and well-rounded biblical foundation. I’m in favor of any book that encourages readers to seek a relationship with Christ, as this one does. But because making meaningful change in anyone’s life requires a significant amount of self-awareness and reflection, I would have liked to see a few more key reflection points at the end of each chapter, in addition to the suggested scripture readings. I felt the book, without the Study Guide, should have been able to stand on its own a bit more. Our Christian Book Reviews: The book reviews at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books – adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. Our specialty is books on faith and new Christian book releases. We’re proud to be included in the Top 20 Christian Book Review Bloggers. I chose to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • 5
    Restoration Story should be required reading.

    Published by Jonathan Ransom on 09 25 2021

    Each season we reevaluate the required reading lists used in our leadership development processes. This season, Restoration Story will be added to those lists, especially for our pastoral team and our missional community leaders. Restoration Story is a masterful work. Robert leads his readers to reframe every detail of their stories within the framework of God's redemptive story, intentionally guiding readers to rehearse the gospel, and reorient all of life on Father, Son, and Spirit. This book fuels hope by pointing readers to God's gentle and loving work of restoration. Readers will grow in their capacity to care well for their own souls and for the souls of others, in light of God's restoration story. The subtitle reminds readers that Jesus matters in our broken world. Every word in this book works together, beautifully displaying how Jesus matters, and why he is our hope. Restoration Story should be required reading for all those committed to the care of souls.

  • 5
    Restoration Story

    Published by Joseph Hussung on 09 23 2021

    There is something powerful about a story. All of us have one, and all of us are looking for a better one. Robert Cheong, in his new work Restoration Story: Why Jesus Matters in a Broken World , keys into this universal fact about people offering not just a better story for us, but a larger story that reframes ours. Cheong uses the framework of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consumation to tell God’s story. In this book we also get to meet Steve and Emma, a couple whose struggle with infertility leads to infidelity; Mark, a single and lonely man who struggles with shame and guilt; and Nikki, a workaholic who has sacrificed her life for her job. As anyone’s story there is more bubbling below the surface and as Cheong walks us through God’s story he connects these stories to God’s story and reframes them. Each of these people, as they are confronted with different aspects of God’s story learn and reframe their own story in light of God’s, and we are, all the while encouraged to do the same. The strength of this book is its connection to how stories are operating features of people. When I read this book these truths are where I think this book shines in explaining and helping us see how helpful this is in counseling. 1) Everyone has a story that they don’t know well enough - One of the biggest strengths is that most people we meet will have a story to tell. One they can tell with precision, with all of the facts, but rarely can they make sense of everything in their story. In fact, as counselors, most people we meet will have major parts of their story that still greatly affect them today because they haven’t been able to make sense of it. Cheong brings this truth out as he shares the stories of Steve & Emma, Mark, and Nikki. Particularly, you see the beginning of Mark’s change start through observing themes in his life (34). We all do well to help our counselees walk through their story. 2) Everyone needs the Gospel to organize their story - If we only help people to understand their stories and have some better self-understanding it won’t ultimately help them. Cheong writes, “God is not inviting you to endless introspection, to reexperience your past, or to relive your pain. Instead, God wants you to know and experience his nearness and goodness in the seemingly insignificant parts of your story. He wants to show you his tenderness and power in the significant movements of your story…God wants you to understand the gospel story as a restoration story, where he restores your soul, your relationships, and ultimately, your God-given humanity.” (1) Cheong wants everyone to understand how God sees their story. How he sees their sin. How he sees them in light of the cross. How his promises for the future affect our story today. These are the truths that will reframe our past, present, and future in way that invite change in the hearts of God’s people. I would encourage anyone who feels confused about their lives and how God fits into it (basically everyone struggling with anything) to read this book. Read it and start to reframe your story within God’s greater/bigger/more grand story of the Gospel

  • 5
    How to recover humanity's mission and purpose

    Published by John O'Brien on 09 21 2021

    "I wouldn't give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for simplicity on the far side of complexity." This line, attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, captures why I believe Restoration Story is so important and necessary in our fragmented times today. Language is paramount in society - it shapes and animates cultures and civilizations. This is where Robert's book is most desperately needed right now. By providing a practical framework and language for bringing the church's mission back to life, individual church members are empowered to focus on what matters most: God's loving heart for his broken world and his invitation to experience and transmit his comfort and care in the common struggles, not despite them. God’s love can change anyone’s story and use even our most painful moments and shameful themes to reveal his greatness and be a blessing to others. Here we find compelling contemporary illustrations of gospel-centered discipleship in the gritty details of real-life -- ones that we can identify with ourselves and work through together with others.

  • 5
    Practical Truth with Engaging Stories

    Published by Isabelle S. on 09 02 2021

    I've spent years counseling young women and I know--how you view your story shapes who you are. I've seen girls who feel utterly defeated, because they don't know what God is doing, or how He could love them. I wish I had this book years ago--it's what they need to hear! This book encourages us to understand our story in light of God's--seeing how the Fall clouds our vision, and common struggles can distract us--but also seeing how God has a plan to make us new, and is giving us His Spirit, right now, to experience His love, and all the promises that He has given us. I love how practical Restoration Story is, and I also love how it follows the stories of several different characters. I'll admit, sometimes non-fiction books are hard to get through--but the stories made me want to keep reading, to see how each of the characters would respond! All in all, a great way to learn truth that reframes how you look at the world, and see "examples" of how it can change your story. Highly recommend, for anyone wrestling with their own story, or even just someone who wants to go deeper in understanding God's love for them--and how it helps us to love others!

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