Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp is a superb introduction to biblical counseling. However, Tripp’s book should not be confined to a mere counseling resource. Rather, his work is about the simplicity of personal ministry. It is call to live a life that is rooted in the reality of God’s Word. Additionally, the book is “rooted in the belief that God has called and positioned all of his children to live as ambassadors.”
The core truths of an ambassador summarize the primary tenets of the book:
1. We need God and his truth to live as we were meant to live.
2. Each of us has been called by God to be his instruments of change in the lives of others.
3. Our behavior is rooted in the thoughts and motives of our hearts.
4. Christ has called us to be his ambassadors, following his message, methods, and character.
5. Being an instrument of change involves incarnating the love of Christ by sharing in people’s struggles.
6. Being an instrument of change means seeking to know people by guarding against false assumptions, asking good questions, and interpreting information in a distinctly biblical way.
7. Being an instrument of change means speaking the truth in love.
8. Being an instrument of change means helping people do what God call them to do by clarifying responsibility, offering loving accountability, and reminding them of their identity in Christ.
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands is an important resource. First and most importantly, Tripp’s work is biblical. This book is drowning in a sea of biblical truth! The book is practical and offers many practical tools to enable ministers to help and encourage hurting people. And the book is intensely personal. Indeed, the emphasis on personal ministry (ministry that can be done by any Christ-follower) is one of the greatest strengths of the book: “In personal ministry we call people to exercise faith in new and deeper ways – to forsake things they have done for years and do things they have never done before. We call them to new motives, purposes, and goals … We call them to give up things that have been precious, and to do all these things not just once, but with long-term commitment and perseverance.”