What You'll Discover in this Episode:

Self-Counsel During Trials

Have you gone through a trial and thought you have no way of getting out of it? The struggle, inaccuracy, and pain are common, “Do not think it is strange.” People face trial because they are in a fallen world. God says it is not strange and your trials have a purpose.

But as a biblical counselor, we are asked to go back to the Scriptures as in 1 Peter 4:12. Before you can counsel somebody else about their trials, you must have good theology and the ability to self-counsel. Walk-in God’s counsel for your own edification, maturity, and growth. If you are not walking in victory during your trials, how are you going to help others?

We are being grieved by various trials even though we do not like it, we need it. The grief, challenge, and difficulty are all worth it because of the spiritual dividends that it produces. 1 Peter 1:6-7

Our trials are not arbitrary. They have a purpose. They are there to approve and to test us. All through our life, we can be proving that our faith is genuine because when difficulties arise, we have an opportunity to trust and to depend on God.  

Listen to the full episode of the Biblical Counseling Podcast as Pastor Jeff Christianson talk more about the importance of self-counsel during trials. 


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  • “Through trials our flesh is cut away.” That really stood out to me. I used to struggle with wanting to atone for my sins, and in poetical terms, I have used the sense of cutting off my flesh to get rid of it; what Jeff said opened up that poetical vision that God Himself will cut off the flesh that kills when He sends me trials. I might have to make a song about it.
    I think it is good for me to hear about trials, it challenges my Biblical world-view. What do I expect from this world and from God because I am His child? I do not expect discipline, and it is good for me to be reminded that I will be disciplined and I will be given trials and I will be burned. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not abandoned. God will continue to keep His hands upon me, whether they are heavy hands or gentle hands, I will not be abandoned by my God.

    Lord, I pray for Jeff as he is expecting something exciting from You. I pray that Your hands would be upon Him, that Your Spirit of Truth would guide Jeff into all Your plans, as You have called us friends, You make your plans known to us. Please give Jeff peace and patience as he waits for You. Thank You Jesus; amen.

    • It’s amazing how “God Himself will cut off the flesh that kills when He sends me trials.” What a vision. That truth often falls to the wayside when I’m walking through the trials.

      I walked into church a week ago Sunday and “Run To The Father” was being sung. “My heart needs a surgeon, my soul needs a friend, so I’ll run to the Father again and again and again and again.” I didn’t realize it until Friday afternoon that He was speaking into the cries of my aching heart. I had been mourning and weeping all week. He reminded me He is cutting away the flesh. He knows how much it hurts but I was reminded I need to continually run to Him. I agree, “I will not be abandoned by my God.”

      Please share your song!

      Kneeling with you in prayer for Pastor Jeff.

      • God often speaks to me through songs as well; I have been broken in church, crying during worship because some words strike so deep to the soul, it overwhelms me with how much God pours out His love on me. I am so glad He spoke to you, too. He is our friend, our most faithful companion, even when we mourn. Psalm 103:2-4 “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” Psalm 107 is another one that speaks of distress and being rescued by God and His great love. May God continue to remind you of His complete love and open arms towards you.

    • I like your comment Kayla. Hebrews says that He chastens those that He loves. Looking back I am so thankful that He did not just let me have my own way. He often put a roadblock in my way in the form of a trial, and though I didn’t like it at the time I can see that He slowed me up just long enough for me to better learn His will. We all need His daily guidance and sometimes it comes through unpleasant roadblocks.

      • Agreed! If God had left me where I was, I would be in a continuously dark place. It was the most painful thing I had ever done to get out of my darkness and into His light, but all that pain was worth it to be with Jesus and to be free from my enslavement to sin and death. His daily guidance is a must; thank you for reminding me to seek Him every day!

    • Kayla, I love the scripture reference you used out of 2 Corinthians 4:8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
      Nope we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Jesus never left a work unfinished so He will finish the work He has started in you and me.

  • I loved how Pastor Jeff said we are either in a trial, at the end of one or one is lurking around the corner. Such truth! I am also loving how the homework is in sync with the podcasts.

    It is hard to be joyful in trials. The most comforting thing for me in trials is looking back at the ones I never thought I would get through and holding on to that hope. I have been in a season of waiting, a very long season of waiting, and I am weary. In the waiting He has been faithfully speaking to my heart. My flesh on the other hand has been speaking the usual lies. It has been a battle. I want to stand strong and wait expectantly & joyfully. I do not want to let the weariness steal my joy and cause me to doubt. I go to inner healing and deliverance counseling every week, share my deep feelings with a few trusted friends and family members who speak life into me, encourage me and pray for me and call and seek prayer when the weariness creeps back up. It is a constant battle. I do know that every trial I have ever been in has used by Him to help someone else going through something similar. He is faithful. I have to take care of me so I can help others. This truth motivates me to take the steps forward I need to take during the trial so I don’t fall backwards into isolation, depression, discouragement or hopelessness.

    • Hi Christina, I feel for you because I’m feeling the same way. I’ve been waiting through what seems the longest season of my life. Staying joyful and not full of anxiety is hard but the gift of knowing God works all out for the good of those who love Him helps me remain calm in the midst of silence. I look back on my past trials and this one doesn’t even compare. But It reminds me of where I went wrong trusting myself. The Lord keeps telling me to wait and the more I wait the more I pray and trust He has a plan for me. I try not to be discouraged or hopeless too. Whenever I start thinking I can take control of the situation and fix it, I fail miserably. Recently, we were having a family meltdown and everyone was under attack even our Husky dog Sasha. I tried for weeks to fix the issues and nothing I did worked. So I fasted and prayed (first time) for 2 days. In a couple of days the house got lighter, Sasha stopped acting crazy and my mom and I were at peace. Nothing said. All glory to God. I do love this class it’s really about counseling me so I can counsel others. I’ll be praying for you sister.

      • Thank you sister. I will be keeping you in prayer too. God knew we would encourage and pray for each other before we were ever a thought. Great is Thy faithfulness. I am reminded to fast and pray. May the Lord sing His songs of love over you and flood your heart with His all surpassing peace as you wait in the secret place.

    • Good words Christina A. I am getting to the age where those trials lurking around the corner as just the next event on the calendar. It is not a surprise to God, and I want it not to take me by surprise either. Just this week I had someone on our Men’s Ministry Team do something that was really out of line. Now he needs to step down hopefully for a time of restoration. This is not joyful, but it is a necessary part of ministering in a fallen, sin cursed world.

    • Christina, I agree with you it is hard to be joyful going through trials and difficulties of life. I have been thinking about that statement. In my life I don’t know if I am joyful in the trial but I do have peace going through the trial. Because I know Jesus is there leading me, or carrying me through the trial.

      Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the [b]midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

      So very true Christian we can look back and see the Lord was there every moment of every day while we were going through the trail. God is faithful to the end.

      Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. We are in a race a marathon and I believe we are just about to enter the Olympic Stadium for the final lap. Jesus is coming soon, continue to run the race.


    • Hi Christina, Joy in the midst of trials? How can that be? Christians are just humans after all . These are some of the questions and a statement that can come into our brains that keep us up at night. I agree it can be hard and it is not easy for myself either, but I choose to be joyful knowing that there is a purpose for us going into eternity. Jesus had joy, not in the midst of going to the cross but he had the thought of what He would gain on the other side which helped him in the humanness he experienced. Hebrews 12:2 NKJV – looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Your words at the end are encouraging that you take time to care for yourself. Jesus went alone often to pray, I find that going for about 1/2 hour walk, jog helps me. I use the time to pray or focus on scripture by listening to it or a sermon.
      Thanks for sharing

    • Waiting seasons can be very difficult. I know they are because I feel like I am in a revolving door of them. When I got saved I prayed and waited for my husband to be saved so he can not only know Jesus but serve and allow me to serve. God, being amazing and faithful allowed me to see this about 2 years ago and today we serve together at our church. But for 2 years now I have been waiting for my prodigal son to come back home to His Father’s house. And as I am praying and waiting on that I just had my daughter “ask for her inheritance and leave too” (figuratively speaking). I wouldn’t change what I have learned through these processes, but I’ll be honest, they are painful and I don’t like them. But I know my God is faithful and just and that all things will work out for the good because I love Him, and I know I have been called according to His purpose.

      Hang in here Sis, God is preparing you because the best is yet to come.

      • Thanks for sharing your heart sister and for your encouragement. May God wrap you and your husband in the comfort of His love as you faithfully wait. I will be keeping your children in prayer.

  • Praying for you Pastor Jeff. May the Lord bless your exciting adventure. This is a great podcast. It reminds us of some bedrock truths about trials. In forty five years of being a believer I have seen my share of trails. Some brought on by my own dumb and fleshly decisions, and some brought on by the decisions of others. Some are brought on but no one but God, who is taking me through something to bring me another step closer to maturity. One thing He has taught me is trust in Him. When I was young I always thought that I could do anything if I just put my mind to it. God has taught me that I can do nothing, of any lasting value, without Him. I would often just pull a solution out of my bag of fleshly tricks that would usually end in disaster. Now when I enter into a trial, I want to wait on the Lord. I want Him to show me what it is that he wants me to learn, and how best to manifest His character through the trial. I want to develop faith and trust in Him who has all of the answers even when it doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Hi Harry, Your statement is so true ” I Can do nothing of lasting value, without Him” This life is so short, threescore and ten and anything beyond that is by reason os strength (Psalm 90:10). That seems long but in the light of eternity, it is nothing. When I was a child I had some really strong Christians who planted seeds in me. I did not get saved till later but those seeds were meant for a lifetime of learning going into eternity with Jesus.
      Thanks for Sharing

    • Amen! “solutions out of my bag of fleshly tricks”, I like that, I know it all to well. It’s crazy how wise we used to think of ourselves. As I learn the true wisdom of Christ I am baffled on just how much I don’t know, how wrong I am about what I thought I knew, and so hungry to learn more. I sense you are hungry to learn more of the knowledge and wisdom of God. That is amazing, truly the best desire to have. Blessings.

    • YES! Fully agree that when we boil down all of our obstacles, turmoil, dilemmas etc. a fundamental truth we can always count on is our FAITH in the FATHER! It took me way to long to learn my lesson to lean into HIM when things get rough and that counting on myself or others wasn’t going to cut it. I appreciate your addition urging one to not just turn to God but to learn to “wait on the Lord” and allow Him to show us what he wants us to learn. This is excellent advise which I am taking to heart and putting to use. Thank yoU!

  • BUSTED Again!!!!! by Pastor Jeff: I do the same thing as Pastor Jeff, instead of seeking the Lord and His direction I automatically text or email folks for prayer in a situation that I am going through. Instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus like Mary I am going around in a circle like Martha. I have to realize to take everything to Jesus in prayer.

    Christians experience trials for several reasons. First, we encounter difficulties in assessing our relationship with the Lord. And the other is to comfort others as the God of all comfort comforted us in our tribulations; 2 Corinthians1:2 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. Our faithfulness and reliance must remain focused on the author and finisher of my faith Jesus Christ. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. If the Lord allowed Christians to simply peek into the realm in the spiritual warfare that is taking place behind the scenes, it would be absolutely shocking beyond all belief. It would probably make me fall on my knees and ask the Lord for forgiveness for being such a wimp.

    I liked what Pastor Jeff said no matter what we go through in the end it is a fact that we all must return to the word of God. For God’s word is a plumbline of our life. God’s word is absolute truth. We do go through trials, tribulations and difficulties of life in order that we mature as believers. Our consul is much more valid and effective in the counselee, if we are describing how the Lord Almighty worked in our life in a similar trail. Trials do have a purpose; they remove the dross out of our lives and make us shine for Jesus. They also mature us has Christians.

    In me I know no good thing dwells in me the only good thing in me is what Jesus has cultivated in me over the years of my life. It has been said before that a preacher or pastor before he teaches a message to the sheep, he himself must live that message. I do agree with Pastor Jeff, my rib, (my wife) is my greatest counselor beside Jesus. My reliance must be on Jesus, He will nor as He ever failed me.

    Praying for you my Brother, Luke 10:1After these things the Lord appointed [a]seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.

    • I am right there with you, busted! How gracious He is to remind us to run to Him first. I pray that as we grow, running to Him first will be as natural as breathing. We will do it without thinking about it.

      Such truth in your statement, “In me I know no good thing dwells in me the only good thing in me is what Jesus has cultivated in me over the years of my life…my reliance must be on Jesus, He will nor as He ever failed me.” May He continue to keep us close to His heart as His scalpel cuts away the flesh until all that’s left is a heart like His.

    • I liked what you mentioned here: “Our consul is much more valid and effective in the counselee, if we are describing how the Lord Almighty worked in our life” I have marked a couple places in my Bible that mentions “they believed because of his/her testimony” (more specifically John 4:39-42). Our testimonies are powerful when they speak of Jesus and His power over and in our lives. I like to hold on to that truth, knowing that (As someone once said) “My greatest shame can become my greatest testimony.” Without my huge debt being forgiven, I would have no hope and no reason to Love God with all my heart. The freedom I have in Christ can be a powerful message to someone else who needs the freedom of Christ.

  • There is something eternal about going through a trial that we need to focus on(1 Peter 1:6,7). It not only can be changing us but it can also be a witness to someone else as to the genuineness of our faith in Christ Jesus. Two verses have been running through our house this week Luke 22:32 NKJV – “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to [Me], strengthen your brethren.” week and they are Luke17:5- And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Peter had trials now what they all were I am not sure but in the gospels, it seemed as if he were in competition with John, he had a wife, a mother-in-law, cut off a Roman soldier’s ear, and denied being a follower of Jesus Christ. We can see by his writings that he must have learned a lot through them. Recently I have experienced a trial. Keeping an eternal perspective is hard when we are selfish. There can be many lessons that we can learn through our trials if we have eyes to see and ears to hear( spiritual eyes and ears) that are focused on our Savior and God Jesus Christ. My prayer from the verses in Luke above has become, Lord increase my faith in You so that when trials come I will not fail and that in these times of testing I may come out on the other side to help someone else with your word. Another good scripture is from 2 Corinthians 1:4 about God using us to help comfort others with the same comfort we received from God.
    Thank you for all your hard work in these podcasts, Pastor Christianson.
    Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that when we pray according to Your will that you hear us and if you hear us we have the petitions we ask. Pastor Christianson has asked us to pray for him. Please fill him with your guidance and wisdom as he embarks on a new project. Lead him by your holy spirit and raise up other like-minded Christians that can help him and encourage him to not lose heart. Lord remind me to pray often and specifically the scriptures as I read, for him and all within this chat room. In Jesus Mighty name Amen.

    • Shelia, well said, you are correct it is hard to keep the eternal perspective in order. Jesus is continually with us going through the trails of life. He brought has through the first trial He will continue to bring us through this life. Sometimes its a lot easier to say than to walk it out but Jesus will never leave nor forsake you once He has started a good work He will complete it. We just have to run the race looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith
      We go through the refiners fire to have to dross removed out of our lives in order to reflect the love, mercy, grace and peace to folks around us.

    • Sheila – I like your addition of “There can be many lessons that we can learn through our trials if we have eyes to see and ears to hear( spiritual eyes and ears) that are focused on our Savior and God Jesus Christ.” SO TRUE! Sometimes the very best form of self-counsel is just to ask ourselves WWJD! Just the very question in itself forces a holy consideration and urges us into prayer and the Spirit’s counsel. 🙂

    • Hi Sheila…I like this thought… “It not only can be changing us but it can also be a witness to someone else as to the genuineness of our faith in Christ Jesus.”

      There is always someone watching us as Christians. Whether it be a fellow believer or even an unbeliever, it seems that at times of testing and growth all eyes are upon us. Most believers will pray for us during these times and others (unfortunately, for whatever reason) would like to see us stumble a bit. But it is the unbelievers who will pay special attention to our walk, and if during the trial (like you say) they see our faith ring true and genuine, this could truly make a difference in their thoughts towards God. It is true…we never truly know the impact that our faith may have on someone who is one breath away from opening their heart to Jesus Christ. May we all be a genuine witness…for Him.

  • This statement by Pastor Jeff ministered to me… “We realize that we don’t have what it takes, and people that want to help are inadequate, so we turn and depend on the Lord and what He alone can supply…and it is here that our faith is exercised.”
    This is so true, personal trials should cause us to turn to the Lord. As new born babes in Christ we do the best that we can, but we often find ourselves turning to others (believers/pastors) for counsel. These people should be taking us to the Word, to Jesus Christ and to God Himself to help and encourage us (He is the Wonderful Counselor). As we mature in Christ we still reach out for counsel from those that God has places in our life, but we should be well on our way to self-counsel.
    The depth of the trial is a factor as well. This somewhat reminds me of Job and the trial that he endured. Several of his friends ran to his side to give him counsel (from the outside looking in we see that most of their counsel was inadequate and way off base). Eventually Job ended up before the Lord, receiving counsel directly from Him…as it should be. Whether we are receiving counsel from others, or are self-counseling, all counsel should be coming from the Wonderful Counselor.
    Thank you Pastor Jeff, we love and appreciate you in the Lord,
    you are on our prayer list…:).

    • I agree James, when we do go to get counsel from others, they should be directing us straight to Jesus. That is how my good friend counseled me and brought me out of my hardship, by speaking the Word of God and telling me “I need Jesus” in a much more in depth and personalized way. I was able to get healed by Him because of that counsel, because it brought me to His feet almost instantly.
      I think it is easier said than done, when it comes to “self-counsel” that is from the Lord. I think that is why it is so important to have time with God in His word each day, so that His words become fresh in our hearts and minds every time we read them.

    • Hi James. I liked your point about the difference between new Christians and more mature Christians. I think baby Christians need more outside counsel because they haven’t learned yet how to hear God speak (how to study His word). But as more mature Christians were should know how to listen to God. It reminds me of young Samuel and how Eli had to tell him, “Say ‘Lord speak for your servant is listening.'” I forget that often. I want to hear counsel from others. Part of that is because I know I can get wrapped up in my own thinking, but I should know the voice of God by now. Thank you got that reminder.

  • In times of trouble I always seem to want to fall back on old habits and run to someone for counsel. Usually that person is my mom, which is a godly wise woman so that’s not entirely bad. However, since starting my courses, the Spirit promptly reminds me that He is my wonderful counselor. I am currently facing a repeated trial that I can’t seem to counsel my self through, even through scriptures, it seems that I can’t get my heart to budge though I know what God is telling me. That root of bitterness is a stubborn thing I tell you, so please pray for me. I remember life before I knew that everything I would ever need in life was written in His word. I would go around seeking counsel from multiple people, self help books, and anything I could think of. All brought either, no comfort or solution, more confusion, or temporary solutions. I honestly walked around life defeated and hopeless. It also felt like the trials were non stop. Today, that I know where to go, I don’t necessarily think there are fewer trials, I just think the way I perceive them is a lot different.

    Thank you for sharing your own self counsel with us Pastor Jeff, please know that I will add you to my prayer list and may the Lord guide you, and give you ears to hear and eyes to see everything He lays out before you, marking a clear path of His will for you to follow. In Jesus, name. Amen

    • Heavenly Father, I thank You for my sister. You know the depths of her heart Father and the roadblock that is keeping her a false captive. Reveal those obstacles so she can surrender them to You. Give her courage, wisdom, strength, knowledge, understanding, guidance & direction to reach outside of herself to dig deeper. She is surrounded by Biblical Counselors for such a time as this. Bind the spirits of fear, doubt, anxiety, depression, anger and any other spirit that is coming against her. Loose healing, wholeness, truth, clarity, power, love, a sound mind, hope, joy & peace by the power of the Holy Spirit living in her. Pour Your Spirit out upon her LORD. We love You, praise You and thank You Father. Have Your way, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

    • Bitterness is an awful thing, and for me especially, I don’t know I have until something comes up and out of my mouth I speak harsh against something or someone. I then realize I have to humble myself and ask for forgiveness. The hard part is asking God to help cut out that bitterness from inside me, because I know it doesn’t please Him. James 3 is a very sobering and convicting passage for me, verses 13-17 are especially hard to take in. But also remember that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).

    • I was the same way in times of trouble. I would run to my friend aka pastor’s wife, Lori. Every trial I would seek her counsel first. I’ve stopped doing that since I’ve started this class. I’ve learned to fall at the feet of Jesus and ask for His counsel. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you! I don’t know why but that song came upon my heart. I’m in a huge life change right now. After my grandma passed a few days ago all has changed. I’ll be moving to Florida from California now. That’s where the Lord is leading us to. I have to leave this life behind but knowing that Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, or dismayed, for the Lord, thy God is with you where ever you go.
      I was feeling defeated and hopeless too but this verse helped me and I pray it helps encourage you in your time of difficulty. Prayers and blessings dear sister.

  • I remember a Pastor saying, “Instead of asking God why me, ask why not me?” when going through a trail. This statement has stayed with me for many years and when Im struggling through a trail, this statement has challenged me. I love knowing that I can have joy, and endurances for the testing of my faith, receiving completion lacking nothing, and gain wisdom (James 1:2-5) as I go through my trails. Yes, Trails rub against my flesh and I do not look forward to having them, and I often struggle wanting to find the “why” answer. But, just knowing I can go into the book of James and receive wise and Godly understanding that I will bring blessings when I don’t weaver in my faith. This helps me be thankful and grateful for the “why not me”. Thank you Pastor Jeff for your wisdom and for being vulnerable. Will be lifting you up in my prayers. Blessings!

    • Hi Michelle… I really enjoyed your comment here in reference to going through a trial…”Instead of asking God why me, ask why not me?” Talking about a little dose of reverse psychology…this is it. I can see how you could see this statement as challenging, it can sure change one’s perspective towards a trial. If we truly believe that “all things work together for the good” then we can truly embrace each and every trial as part of God’s perfect plan for our lives. Unfortunately, at times, this is much easier said than it is done…I know that as for myself, some trials can seem a bit overwhelming. Instead of embracing them, I tend to try and shy away from them. Still growing…Still Maturing, and Still in need of much Grace.

      Peace be Still…:).

      • Hi James,
        Yes, you are correct! This is not an easy thing to do. It has challenged and pushed me more than I would like to be. But, It has help me to appreciate what the Lord is trying and calling me to do to grow and mature in Him. Somedays I fail but some days I succeed. Thank God for His grace and mercy! Thank you for your comment. Blessings!

  • I am a fairly private person therefore when going through times of trial my inclination is to turn within rather than to involve others. As I have grown spiritually I have learned not to turn to inwardly to myself, but to turn within and invite the Holy Spirit to lend counsel and direction to my issue. Trials often invite spiritual warfare of the mind and cause second guessing, worry & fear to creep in. Some tricks that work for me when I feel a need to strengthen my resolve and connection to God’s voice are; asking myself “If I was listening to a friend describe this trial in their life, how would I respond to them?”. I also like to download my feelings, offenses, trials in writing and then shelf them. I pray, meditate, pray, meditate and then revisit what I wrote to see if there is a fresh perspective. I also take time to explore other points of view is there are other people involved. Often exploring other’s point of view on issues allows my perspective to shift slightly and can offer alternate vantage points to consider and/or weigh in.

    • HI Jessica,
      thank you for sharing your “tricks” 🙂 They are very insightful. I especially appreciate the downloading process. And you’re correct that when we put our trails or feeling on the shelf and let them sit it allows us to see things in a different light. Blessings!

      • Hi Michelle. I’m the same way. If I have a problem I usually don’t share it except for with my husband. I’m learning that vulnerability is a necessary part of growth in Jesus. We don’t need to be vulnerable with everyone because that’s not wise, but we do need some. But your right, we also have to make sure that out primary source of counseling and comfort come from God.

        I liked your point about writing things down and subsequently praying over it. I like that because sometimes the physical act of writing it down and giving it over helps our brains to compute “this is something that needs to be given to God. ” Have you seen a lot of cool victories there? I mean I’m sure you probably don’t want to share details here, but I smile at the thought of tangible testimonies.

  • Hi all,
    I have complete writer’s block simply because, my grandma passed away yesterday. She made it through 102 years never waivering off the path. She was graceful and steadfast. She served the Lord in every way. She was the seed that planted roots and grew beautiful fruit. During the past week, I struggled to pray and I couldn’t figure out my heart and my mind and I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me because I was out of prayers. I asked how would Jesus pray and I prayed the Lord’s Prayer. And through all of this, I also had a realization that God knew all of us before we were born and she loved the Lord with all her heart. And now she has great-grandchildren who love the Lord. It gave me comfort reading Romans 8:28,29 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Today that verse makes me think of God’s children and how He sustains us in all we do. Whatever the trial or blessing in life He is working all things out.

    Praying for you Pastor Jeff. I’m excited about your adventure hope to hear about it.

    • Not knowing what to pray, I relate to that. My heart and soul often get conflicted and confused and weary as I go through things. My Grandfather also passed away just a couple months ago. My flesh wanted to be sad and mourn and be miserable at his passing, but the Lord had given me two promises the week before my Grandfather had died: Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” linked to 1 John 5:5 “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” and the last promise was this: Proverbs 14:32 “When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.” That gave me great comfort, to know that God was my grandfather’s refuge in his death, and that Jesus has given him the right to eat of the fruit of life in God’s paradise. Through God’s promises, I was able to be strong and praise the lord for my Grandfather’s passing, though it is a sober reminder that we all will pass away one day; my refuge remains Jesus Christ.

    • My heart goes out to you, Shauna 🙁
      It is very difficult losing someone that has brought joy, wisdom, and grace into our lives. But, I have to say, what a blessing to have such a godly pillar in your family. I encourage you to pick up the Mattel and continue the legacy she left. Will be lifting you and your family is prayer as you go through this sad and difficult time. Blessings!

    • Hello Shauna, What a wonderful testimony of your grandmother. That is what our lives in the Lord should look like planting seeds that grow strong roots and bring forth beautiful fruit. The departure of our loved ones is so hard but there is beauty in the way she has sewn the scriptures and a love for Jesus in your life. I pray that the Holy Spirit will comfort you and use you through this to help encourage and comfort others. Look up sister I don’t think it will be long before we all join her around our saviors’ throne. Sent with love, from a sister in Christ Jesus.

  • Hi pastor Jeff, so excited to hear about your step of faith. It encourages and stirs me to take steps of faith as well. I’m praying for your new adventure.

    This podcast was really good. It reminded me of 1 Samuel 30:6 when David strengthened himself in the Lord. Sometimes you got to take responsibility for your own encouragement and strengthening.

    I’ve been praying about what to say in response. Sometimes I think a message is so good I think “what could I possibly add.” When you asked, Pastor Jeff, what we think the purpose of suffering is in a believers life, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a dear friend before she got married. We had both recently gone through heavy losses. She lost her mother to cancer and I had lost my second pregnancy after having lost my first. I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing, but she was sad that while she was taking care of her mom and slowly losing her to the cancer, her fiance was in training as a marine. She was sad that he couldn’t walk through that with her. He would never know, experientially, what she had gone through. It was sad to her because she felt it was kind of a lack of intimacy. I kind of knew what she meant. When I lost both of my previous pregnancies it was dark and although my husband was right there by my side and did everything he could for me, we both knew he could never understand what I was going through. I shared with her what I thought. I think sometimes there are sufferings in our lives that no one can fully understand but God. Only God can walk with us in those sad lonely places because He knows exactly what that pain feels like. He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. That’s not to say we should cut people off. My point is that sometimes suffering is used by God to deepen intimacy with Him above others. It’s probably in the same vein as trusting Him above all others, including self. I think of Philippians 3:10 where Paul writes “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Paul loved God so much he was willing to go through it all to be near Him. Sometimes too, we can’t know certain attributes of God, experientially that is, until we need Him that way. Suffering is one course in knowing God.

    • I love the passage you brought up, where Paul talks about knowing Christ and being conformed to His death. That is really unique and powerful. I go through ups and downs every now and then, too, and my husband may never understand me fully, he shows me the love of God by holding me and caring for me in the best ways he can. God knows even my deepest and most confusing parts of my heart and soul, and I think that is important to remember when we go through trials, sufferings, and mourning. He is the God of all comfort for a reason, and I never really thought about that until your post. Thank you. 🙂

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