What You'll Discover in this Episode:

Self-Counsel In Your Suffering

In this episode, we continue our conversation about self-counsel as we fall into trials. The Lord wants to develop steadiness and depth in our faith walk so that we are equipped to help others.

What questions do we need to ask ourselves to help with our anxiety and fear? How can you find strength, healing, and hope in the midst of your suffering so that you become equipped to better counsel and help others?

"...our lives are few of days and full of trouble." God's favor or disfavor is how a person responds to affliction. You have the power that God promises to make your faith more genuine as you pass through the fire. We are invited to bring our need, our troubles, our afflictions, our loneliness into the heart of God's grace for deliverance, for answers, for help in our time of need.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What is the most significant suffering you have experienced in the past?
  2. What is the hardest thing you are facing right now?
  3. What are you afraid that you might go through someday?

We all have troubles. It is obvious from the Scripture that God acts and speaks through affliction. C.S. Lewis said this, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us to our conscience but shouts in our pain.” True faith deepens, brightens, and grows wise as we know God through suffering. It is important to know that we are all going to have trials and difficulties.

Join us as Pastor and Teacher Jeff Christian discusses the topic of self-counsel and join the discussion!


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  • I definitely feel conflicted after hearing this. “What is the most significant suffering you have experienced in the past?” My sexual immorality and bringing it into the light to my Mom. There was a lot of pain, but I know that God was faithful through that and He was the one who redeemed me from my situation. I never want to go back there again; my greatest fear is having an affair, now that I am married and blessed by God with my husband.
    The thing I am struggling to understand right now, is other believers. Since I am in a new place, I don’t have my “church family” from back home. I’m struggling to understand their perception about all things political and “medical” as I have my own views.
    The past two weeks have been a lot of talk about suffering and trials; I am a little worried something is going to happen, I have a feeling God is trying to get me going on getting prepared. Anyone else have that feeling? I guess I need prayers for diligence and obedience to God and His word.

    • I can imagine how bittersweet it was to share that with your mom, frightening and freeing. That took a lot of courage Kayla. This verse came to mind when I read your greatest fear, “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” Isaiah 48:17

      May He continue to bless you richly as you grow in wisdom, knowledge and love, following Him boldly all the days of your life.

    • Kayla, the Lord has forgiven you of your past. It was taken care of, paid in full on the cross of Jesus Christ, by the shedding of His blood. Don’t allow the enemy to control your future by bringing up the past. The past is buried; you can only live in the present. In Psalm 103:12, As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Then the beginning verses of Psalm 103; Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

      2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. We all struggle with our past’s worldly lives in one way or another. Condemnation comes for the enemy, and conviction comes for the Lord. The enemy wants to freeze and paralyze to render you ineffective to be utilized by the Lord. My sins and your sins did not take the Lord by surprise. However, He still loved us and died for us when we were still sinners, Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That is Agape Love!

      He loves you so very much. God has a path that only you can walkthrough. Look at King David, when He sinned with Bathsheba, and the following sins he tried to conceal the original sin. Then in Acts in Acts 13:22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ After all that, God described King David as a man after His own heart. When Jesus was tempted, He used the power of the word of God against the enemy. Kayla, continue to hide God’s word in your heart that you might not sin against Him.

      You are moving forward in Christ, drawing closer to Him by going to school. No wonder why the enemy wants to sidetrack you by your past. Kayla, who holds your future? Nothing that occurs in your life is by chance. Everything must first be filtered through the throne room of God. Pastor Jeff, I believe, said; Christians are either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or going to go into a trial. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
      If God allowed you to move into a new area, He will provide all that you need for life and godliness. He will never leave you nor forsake you, ever! John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

      Kayla, be encouraged in the Lord; God has been faithful to you in the past, He will be faithful in the present and future. 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.

      Kayla, only you can run your race; you are God’s poem, His workmanship, Ephesians 2: 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. So forget those things which are in the past, and press on to the high calling which is found in Christ Jesus.

      • Thank you so much Kevin for this grand encouragement. This really reminds me where my new foundation is, an unshakable Rock, the Lord. Thank you for encouraging me press forward in the Lord, and to set aside weights and sins that entangle. You have reinforced my heart to know that my God is not the god of past, but the God of my future, who predestined me to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, Who is perfect.
        Thank you Kevin so much for your counsel, I most certainly needed it this morning! May God bless you!

      • Kevin, Praise God that in Jesus we have peace. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” I am glad you wrote that because the devil wants to bring up our past which will bring us unrest. But as we draw close to Jesus like James 4:7 says to submit to God resist the devil and he will flee from you.
        Thanks for sharing with words of encouragement

    • Kayla, many of us have come from similar experiences. Just relish in God’s forgiveness. Remember the woman taken in adultery. Jesus didn’t condemn her. He just forgave her and said “go your way and sin no more”. Remember that Paul told us to walk in the Spirit and you will not do the works of the flesh. As for what is coming around the corner, plan on it. there is always something out there to deal with. Just keep on walking worthy of your calling and you will be prepared to handle it.

      • Thanks Harry; that reminder of how Jesus loved that woman is powerful. Thank you for reminding me to walk in the Spirit, that is where I need to plant my tree and grow, in the Spirit and in His word. I am scared for the future, but I am totally going to face it head on with my Lord and Savior in front of me. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

    • Hi Kayla,
      I know what you mean about being more on the lookout for hardships after all this talk about sufferings. I have thought about that too, wondering which direction it’s coming from. We can’t always stop hardships from coming but we can find Shelter in the Almighty. One verse that always encourages me is Jude 24 “now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy.” I’m encouraged that He keeps me. It reminds me of those suspended obstacles courses where you have to walk across these precarious placed boards. In those activities they always have you hooked up to a harness so if you slip you won’t fall far. I think it’s kind of like that when we walk into suffering. We’re hooked up to Christ. We may still wobble in fear but we have assurance. Another verse that encourages me is Psalm 23:4 . David writes “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” It’s the same idea. We’re not getting far. He’ll pull us back in. Some other verses that come to mind are 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 and Psalm 91. I’m sure as you look to Jesus He’ll bring so many more truths to mind that will fortify you to move forward through the suffering and not just get you through but make you more like Him, prepared for your Godly and royal home.

  • WOW, what a Podcast to finish the course on. Nothing like making you ponder on these questions on your way out the door. The Podcast once again is a powerful tool to bring us closer to the Lord so that we might be able to share Jesus’s Love, Peace, Mercy, Compassion, and Grace to others in need. When I heard the statement by Pastor Jeff,” The Lord wants to develop steadiness and depth in our faith and walk to help others,” I immediately thought of 2 Corinthians 1:3 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. We will have suffering, trials, and tribulations in this life; however, God’s love, comfort, grace, peace, and mercy will carry us through it. His characteristics are in full display towards us when we are suffering through a trial.

    A person’s spirituality is not dependent upon trials in their life or the lack of trials. We should not judge folks on whether they are going through trials or not. All will have trials, tribulation, and difficulties in this world, I believe it what Pastor Jeff who said Christians are either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or going into a trial. John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will* have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

    Look at Matthew 19:17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he, had great possessions. Here we see a person who seemingly has it all together he reaping the blessing of the Lord but walking away from Him because of worldly possession.

    On the other hand we see the woman who had the issue of blood in Luke 8:43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. 45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. Here we have a person who, for years, was going through a trial. This trial did not deter her faith in Jesus, it did not push her away from Jesus, but her faith drew her closer to Jesus over the years.

    I do like the three introspective questions Pastor Jeff brought forth in this Podcast. It is necessary for us to see how the Lord has been faithful in our lives to share our experience honestly with others. The Lord has never failed me, nor has He ever forsaken me through my trials and my fears. Every day, I need to look to the Lord for His help, wisdom, courage, mercy, strength, and protection as I move forward in this tedious journey of life.

    • Such an excellent point and reminder Kevin that “a person’s spirituality is not dependent upon trials in their life or the lack of trials. We should not judge folks on whether they are going through trials or not.” I love the referenced verses from 2 Corinthians 1. There is no greater comfort than the comfort the LORD Himself gives us. He can sympathize with us in our suffering. In Jesus’ name may you continue to look to the Lord for His help, wisdom, courage, mercy, strength and protection as you move forward with Him, hand in hand.

    • Thank you for sharing and bringing up the stories; I enjoyed seeing the connection of the Bleeding Woman’s trial drawing her closer to Jesus for help. That is something that really stood out to me in your comment. It is a good reminder for me to be aware of my trials and sufferings and make sure I go to the King with faith for mercy and comfort and even healing or direction. Jesus remained faithful to God and through His suffering was able to pass on salvation to all of us; that’s a beautiful Truth I don’t want to take lightly.

  • The most significant suffering I have experienced in the past was battling Chronic Lyme Disease and everything that came with it. It became most debilitating at age 21. I would go to bed one way and wake up with another physical attack of some sort that would last for years. I had to get to know myself all over again, continually. I lived many years afraid, depressed, defeated and hopeless. In my suffering is where I found God. He was right there with me faithfully every moment, even when I was faithless. I ran from Him yet He was right there waiting for me. I had to come to the end of myself to reach for Him. He pulled me out of a horrible pit of despair. I would not be here on this earth had I not taken His hand. The trajectory of my life has been forever changed, and so has the trajectory of the lives of my immediate family. The hardest part I have had in my relationship with Him has been receiving the love and acceptance He so freely gives. There was a point when I was very bitter. That was when I was running from Him and wallowing in self-pity. My suffering has shaped me into the woman I am today. I am able to relate personally to chronic illness and all it entails and am therefore able to help others. I am doing what He has called me to do. He makes beauty from ashes. What the enemy meant for harm He is using for good. I am living proof. I wouldn’t trade what I went through and what I go through for anything.

    Thank you for these podcasts Pastor Jeff. I will continue to listen to your wisdom beyond this course. If I can ever be of service, I am willing to be used. May the LORD continue to bless you richly.

    • A powerful testimony Christina. My oldest daughter has struggled with Lymes Disease for about thirty five years. It has been very tough. She currently is a pastor’s wife in Virginia. Like you she has allowed that suffering to shape her, and today she has a great heart for suffering people while she still suffers. Remember, no tears in heaven. Looking forward to that.

    • Christina; you make excellent points in your post. Christina truer words have not been spoken; ‘I had to come to the end of myself to reach for Him. He pulled me out of a horrible pit of despair. I would not be here on this earth had I not taken His hand.” I believe the overwhelming majority of Christians experienced what you went through in reaching out to Jesus in those three sentences.

      One of my favorite songs is by Richie Furay and the Maranatha Singers, I have posted the link off of youtube for your listening pleasure, (LOL), I waited on the Lord on High.

      The point you make concerning accepting the unconditional Love of the Father and Jesus, I know has affective me and others as well. Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. At times I question why God Loves me since in me dwells no good thing. But that’s God.

      We all suffer with things of the world, whether it be from sickness, finically or in relationships, however God’s love, comfort, grace, peace and mercy are in full display when we go through difficult times. Yes, you went through the refiner’s fire, through your trials you came out reflecting the face of Jesus. You allowed the potter to shape the clay. Now God the Father has given you a beautiful testimony to love, encourage, show compassion and mercy to others.

    • My best friend has Lyme Disease, too. And as her best friend, I may never fully understand her personal struggle through it, but I was ready and available to be a servant for her, and I pray that I showed Jesus’ servanthood through that.
      I can relate to having a hard time accepting God’s absolute love for me, too. I grew up not really understanding love at all because of my corrupted life, and I was angry because of it. But His love is indeed stronger and more powerful and more beautiful than anything I have ever taken a chance on. Thank you for sharing, I pray your life touches someone along the way that draws them closer to Jesus.

  • Well, this is the biggest train wreck we have ever been through. Twenty four years ago my oldest daughter married a guy against our will. He wanted to be a pastor, and she wanted to be a pastors wife. But the choices they were making were not conducive to stepping into that roll. We thought we had a pretty good plan to help her to make this happen, but she through it all out the window, dropped out of school, and married him. It devastated our family. The relationship was very strained for a long time. But we kept the lines of communication open. Little by little we built trust. After a few failed attempts at ministry he began to serve as a youth pastor. I told my wife that I was beginning to see maturity developing in their talk. There were two things happening in both of our lives about the same time. My wife and I found Calvary Chapel Greer, Sc. Our walk was revolutionized. At the same time my Son in Law had begun to listen regularly to Jon Courson on the radio. He told me that it just revolutionized is life and ministry. We were able to have some good talks and experienced true reconciliation. Today he pastors a small church in Virginia, and when we go to visit for the weekend, he will ask me, before the morning service, to come into his study with his staff, to pray for the service.
    After seeing what God did in that relationship I just don’t fear the future very much at all.
    God is good all the time.

    • Thank you for sharing. It stood out to me, to see your end result that the Lord caused growth and restoration for your family, there is a good God who has a plan and though the valley is very, very long, the darkness will lift eventually if God has His hands on me. I love how you have learned to not fear the future, that’s a message I need right now.

    • Thank you for being being open, transparent, and vulnerable by sharing your struggle with us. You have given me hope and encouragement. I have a daughter who chooses to Iive life apart from God. She is married to an unbeliever, doesn’t attend church or read her bible regularly. But, I believe with all my heart that she will come back and find her own personal relationship with her Savior and stop believing the lies of the enemy. Your testimony is beautiful. Blessing to you and your family.

    • Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty Harry. I am in a valley right now and full of faith but the waiting period is always the most difficult season to endure. I have found inspiration and strength to endure from reading your post. I also admire your grace and forgiveness. Bless you & your family.

    • You have no idea how comforting your testimony is to me. My husband and I are currently facing a very similar situation. In my heart I know God has something amazing planned for my daughter. I’m just scared of what it’s going to take to bring her to her knees to get there. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sometimes when people ask “What suffering have you gone through” I want to say “well, pull up a chair and let me tell you.” It may sound like I’m boasting in my sufferings but when I look back every hardship was a time God did an amazing work. Not that He can only work in hard times. We just give Him lots of opportunity in that area. Through looking at those times and this podcast I’m reminded that God does not leave us without help. When pastor Jeff asked “what are you struggling to make sense of” it reminded me of a dark but ultimately key moment in my life. When I was younger I struggled greatly with a sin I felt I couldn’t break free from. I thought “I can’t overcome this. I’m not supposed to be sinning like this (habitually, that is).” I thought God would get fed up with me and draw a line in the sand. I didn’t understand that none of my sins were overcome by my will power. I needed Him to do the work. I also couldn’t understand how He could keep forgiving me. I couldn’t understand and therefore in my mind it couldn’t be the case that His grace was sufficient. I began to be hardened. One day when I was sure He was done with me I prayed “God I don’t understand how you can keep forgiving me. I can’t understand so I can’t accept it.” I was pretty dumb, but God was merciful. God, in the gentlest voice I have ever heard asked me “do you really want to leave all of this behind?” A flood of memories entered my mind of all the things God had done for me. His help and comfort through my parents divorce, rescuing me from terrible abuse, keeping me through dark depression and the list goes on. I didn’t fully understand it but He was showing me that He was faithful to help. After I broke down realizing I couldn’t live without God, He promised me He would help me out of this habitual sin. It took awhile, but we did overcome. All of this reminds me that God is faithful to help and His testimonies remind us of that truth. I think of Revelation 12:11 where it says we overcome the enemy “by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” His testimonies remind us of the Power graciously working on our behalf.

    • Barbara, I love that statement of yours, it fits me to a “T.” “I was pretty dumb, but God was merciful.” I know I struggle with the endless Agape love of God. I believe all Christians at one point in their lives have gone through the same cycle. But I always come back to Jesus died for me while I was yet a sinner. He knows my past, present and future. And the greatest thing is, He still loves me unconditionally. We just need to continually press onward, Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

      • Thanks Kevin. I have to admit I’m still not too bright at times, but He’s still abundantly gracious. I have not and could not run through His stores of grace. Thank you for the encouragement to press on. I think that’s something the Lord has been training me in; pressing in and pressing on. Thank you.

        • I totally understand everything you went through and are going through. We are constantly being refined in the fire as we confess our sins and seek to be like Christ. He is cleansing all of us of our sins and clothes us in righteousness. I really feel like Jesus is coming back very soon, are you feeling it? All our sins are being washed away and preparing us for that great wedding day when Jesus returns to his bride. That’s you and me and all of God’s children. Keep your eyes on the Lord and our glorious destination in heaven.

    • Barbara Su, Revelation 12:11 where it says we overcome the enemy “by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. I love this Christ Jesus has given us the victory over sin and what He has accomplished by the work of the cross to cleanse us from all sin. I struggle too with sins that I had committed over and over. After I got saved I still struggled with my mind, there is a psalm I love that you can sing to the Lord that has helped me over the years(30) . Psalm 7:9 O Righteous God who searches minds and hearts bring to an end the violence of my foes, and make the righteous more secure O righteous God. I am glad to know that He who began a good work in you( us) will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ Philippians 1:6.
      Your testimony of Christ Jesus in your life brings Glory to His name others will hear and believe.
      Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Barbara…Your post ministered to me…thank you for sharing your heart.
      Your testimony rings true that, “God is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us… (Ephesians 3:20a).

      Each time that God does a work in our lives we realize just how inadequate we are in our own selves, and that our adequacy comes entirely from Him and His wonderful, mighty power working within us.

      This idea of a flood of memories that came before you is so surreal… “A flood of memories entered my mind of all the things God had done for me. His help and comfort through my parents divorce, rescuing me from terrible abuse, keeping me through dark depression and the list goes on. I didn’t fully understand it but He was showing me that He was faithful to help.”

      This is so true for each one of us. We should all have spiritual milestones in our life where God proves Himself faithful over and over again. It is here that we have stopped and built an altar unto the Lord and worshipped Him in a special way.
      It is here that He has won over more and more of our hardened hearts, and it is here that we sweetly surrender more of our selfish selves to him…It truly is during these times of suffering that we are laid bare before the Lord and are refined by the lover of our soul. It is here that we learn to love Him, simply because He first loved us.

      “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (Jude 24).

      thankyou for your transparency.

    • I currently struggle with the same feelings you are describing. As if I feel like God is going to run out of grace for me. Every part of me wants to please God in all I do but find myself doing just the opposite. I question if God could even use me if I am so flawed. How can I help anyone work through their problems if I can’t even work through my own. Then the Lord reminds me that His mercies are new for me every morning and that He is a merciful and forgiving God. That I have to stop trying to discipline myself and allow His strength be the source of my discipline. Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Erika. Thank you for sharing that. It’s a hard place to be in I know, but it’s not the end. There are a couple verses that encouraged me in that moment. The first is Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It’s like when Jesus spoke to the woman caught in adultery. “Woman, where are your accusers.” She responded that there were none. That is because Jesus had put them to shame and they had to drop the charges against her. Jesus did the same in the spiritual realm putting to shame our demonic enemies (Colossians 2:15). So on both the human and spiritual fronts God put a stop to anyone who can put us down and try to rob us of our salvation and sanctification. I found that the person who was condemning me was not other people but myself. This verse helps me at times too: “For whenever our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, He knows everything.” When you are sure that God cannot forgive you, know that God is greater than you and your thoughts. That does not mean He is against you. It means that when you are weak He is strong. II Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful- for He cannot deny Himself.” God in that moment promised me that I would overcome that sin. I believe that promise is for you too. Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” I also take courage with this verse “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.” One day Jesus will present you blameless before His Father. You will be His pride and joy. I look forward to seeing you there, sis. I am praying you see your victory soon. He will get you there and that is all you need to know. He will do it.

        • With tears of gratitude, I thank you for the words of encouragement and especially for the scriptures! You have no idea how helpful and encouraging these are. Thank you, God bless you.

  • I should have listened to my dad. As I walked down the isle he said “you don’t have to do this. The car is running outside”. As I looked at all the family and friends sitting in the pews I thought to myself, I can’t let everyone down. Everything will work out, if not I’ll just divorce him. I was 19 years old. By the time he finally divorced me It was almost 30 years later. By that time he had demoralized, dehumanized, sexually assaulted and watched as I tried to take my own life. I believe that that was his last task for me. Since I unknowingly was being attacked by a demonic cult. That man I married joined the Illuminati in 1997. I don’t know if any one here is aware of this cult but it’s real and it’s members are very secretive. The sickest part of achieving the next level of fame or fortune is granted to the Satanist by dehumanizing either your spouse, child or loved one. The pain and mental torture got to be so horrific I actually told the demons “do whatever you want to me I’m not denying God”. Now understand this…..I didn’t know he was in a cult. I was trying everything I could to bring the Word of God into his heart & into our home. There was a short period of time that passed when I actually thought he accepted the Lord. I was totally deceived. Another demonic manipulation to try and destroy me. The most surreal and scariest thing I ever witnessed was seeing the demon. It was hovering over my husband when he was sleeping. It happened really fast but it made eye contact with me and the look of fear was in its eyes. It took off. I’ll never forget that face. I will say this, it was scared……of me of the Holy Spirit that dwells in me! I am a child of God and nothing will ever separate me from the love of Christ. I tried to kill myself and I was admitted to the hospital. I didn’t realize it then, but that drunken attempt to take my life was actually the day the Lord saved my life. While I was in the hospital he filed for divorce and here I am today four and a half years later thriving and rejoicing in the Spirit of the Lord. I’m clinging to Jesus, He is my bridegroom. As I think about this I know that God will use these extreme circumstances and afflictions for His good purpose. The Lord called me here for His purpose to witness to others who have been afflicted. I should be dead according to the reports my Blood alcohol level was 4.7 and I had lost over 4 pints of blood. I was in ICU for 6 days. As I laid there mostly dead I prayed Lord why did you save me? Why didn’t you let me die? I remembered the words spoken to me You are mine! I haven’t left you! I rejoice over you with singing. You are my child. I adore you. I will work through your life. I have not abandoned you. Trust my words to you . I delight in you….rest, rest , rest. Rejoice in what I will do in your life.
    I never in a million years thought I’d be here at Calvary Chapel University. WOW
    God is Amazing!
    That was hard to write about.

    • Thank you Shauna for stepping out in courage and faith to write that. The enemy is afraid of the great and mighty God in us. Your story really shows off 1 John 4:4 “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.” I think your story is also a needed reminder that we are in battle. Sometimes we have to recognize in either self counseling or counseling others that what’s going on is spiritual warfare. I think this requires a great level of discernment not just in knowing that demonic oppression is going on but discerning what God would have us do in response, how do we be aware of ourselves so as to not fall into temptation (galatians 6:1) and possibly why it’s happening in a believers life. It takes a lot of maturity, like our memory verse says for this week.

      Anyways, thank you, Shauna. I am praying for your progress of healing. God has faithfully brought you so far.

      • Thank you, Barbara, It was definitely a spiritual battle and God wins every one of our battles when we put our trust and hope in Him. I thank God every day that He showed mercy on me. I came upon this verse in the book Leaving Yesterday Behind, Job 13:15 Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. The Lord healed my heart and gave me the strength to forgive and the courage to fight the enemy. My daughter was also afflicted and suffered from schizophrenia. I prayed and prayed against the enemy. My daughter’s battle with the voices in her mind ended last October when she accepted the Lord and she herself prayed against the enemy. She is a miracle and a worthy child of God whose life was also redeemed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Were are finally at peace and at the mercy of our Father. This was really a great testimony to the Psychiatrist when she was healed not by science but the Lord. Our all in all our miraculous healer.

    • WOW! Praise God!! You are a true example of a mighty God who never leaves or forsakes us. Even the demonic quiver in his presence. I praise God for His enduring love for you and allowed you to live to share your testimony with us. Thank you for being courageous and faithful. Many blessings to you!

      “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

    • Shauna you are magnificent, strong and powerful. Thank you for sharing your story. I am extremely private and admire your level of honesty. GOD IS SO GOOD!
      “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” AMEN.

  • Thank You Pastor Christianson for this quote “Sometimes you can’t just listen to a good teaching we gotta put pen to paper” This is very true. Writing our troubles out on paper can be a very good exercise. Looking at the life of Jesus we can see He encountered many people going through a trial. I had to sit and think for the trial I am going through now seems to make the past trials in my life fade away.
    When I was homeschooling I thought I had found a safe bubble from the world for our children. What I failed to realize is that the world and its influences still existed. I did not want our children to experience life outside good Christian influence. After all I had not come to Christ until I was 28. Our marriage experienced many things which should have wrecked us But God saved us, redeemed us and is continuing to change us.I wonder how many books God has. The very last scripture in John 21 is verse 25 and it says, Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. For me that is very personal for the books are in my opinion still being written because our lives experience miracles of salvation every day through our Savior. Both of our daughters had their own trials that tried both of her parents(us). Both are married and we have two grands from our oldest. She did not marry a Christian and that can be trying but we keep praying and we see God doing things to get his attention. Our youngest married a man that has a walk with Jesus, and she has reached out to her sister they are doing a bible study together.
    I think I had expected to be further along in my walk, but when trials come big or small they have become a platform for teaching me more about Jesus. I wrote in an earlier post that we had a death in our family in April. The person who passed was very close to our family. I prayed a lot for him he was like a dad to me and I called him Pop. He was a very smart man but proud too. He went to the hospital back in January and was very sick since that time he never really got well bouncing twice between the rehab and the hospital. March was when we finally brought him to our house where he passed into heaven. He left a few lose ends for me to handle which has become a small trial to handle, but God is good.

    The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:1a For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus. Notice that he did not say he was a prisoner of his present situation but of Christ Jesus. What does that look like usually as a prisoner you are there with no freedom no joy. He was serving time for Jesus. Things that I have learned about trials are that we need to keep an eternal perspective God is always teaching us to learn that He wants to reign in our lives and be first. Quit complaining but rejoice when you fall into various trials for the testing of your faith produces patience. Patience is a fruit of the spirit that will last for ever.
    Whom shall I fear? If God is for me who can be against me. Yet I must admit I do fear but my trust cannot be in my flesh for the future but in God alone who saves.

  • Suffering: the state of undergoing pain, distress or hardship.

    When I think of suffering, I think of sin. Sin causes suffering. There appears to be much sin and much suffering throughout the world today. Most of the suffering in my own life was/is a result of sin. Sin not only causes self- suffering, but it can also cause others to suffer. Children suffer because of their parents sin, and parents suffer because of the children’s sin. A wife may suffer due to her husbands sin and vice versa. Sin is a devastating, destructive force causing much pain. distress and/or hardship.

    When I think of suffering I think of the life, the ministry, and the death of Jesus Christ. Christ endured much pain, much distress, and much hardship. Even to the point of sweating drops of blood. The betrayal, the beatings, the lashings, the crown of thorns, the feelings of abandonment, and finally the giving up of the ghost. Christ suffered not because of his own sin, but rather because of our sin, the sin of our ancestors, the sin of Adam, and the sin of the world. Yes… Christ suffered for us… and what sufferings can compare to the sufferings of Jesus Christ?

    “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings”
    (Hebrews 2:10).

    “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (romans 8:18).

    “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

    May He grant us all a willing spirit to sustain us, and may we all…suffer well!

  • I listened to pastor Jeff’s podcast a couple of times as it spoke to my heart. As Jeff mentions C.S. Lewis has said “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience but shouts to us in our pain. It’s His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” I have been in various forms of therapy & counseling in the past and none of it really lasted very long – or provided any lasting cure for me. I was raised a Christian, and while I didn’t come to God until later in life, this upbringing gave me valuable tools that I could always rely on when I had trouble in my life. The most important of these tools is PRAYER. PRAYER has always worked for me and God has always shown up for me when I have needed Him the most. He has been a light to my path, offered wisdom and discernment and has navigated me through most of the trials and sufferings of my life. As I listened to the podcast and thought about the assignment for the comment I began to compile a mental list of personal sufferings. As I went through my list and thought about what I wanted to share in this forum, Moses & his dealings with the Israelites came to mind. The Israelites were enslaved and treated horribly. Yet when they were finally rescued from those dire circumstances and brought into freedom they were discontent – there was still HEAT. They could not rest in thankfulness to God for their rescue and instead found issues with the provision God made for them. Their ungratefulness has always really bothered me , yet through this class I have realized my own behavior and reactions towards God have been similar. As Pastor Jeff mentioned it is said in Job 14:1 “Man is few of days and full of trouble.” We all have trouble and affliction of varying degree. Is there a place, outside of Heaven, where turmoil, strife, trouble and affliction do not reside? No, the world is full of HEAT, we cannot avoid it. Rather than share personal suffering I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS how grateful I am to be alive. I HAVE SURVIVED and I have the promise that He is working to complete the great work in me that he has begun. He won’t give up on me and I can hold this promise close when I am in the middle of great suffering.
    I am grateful for TODAY and the grace, love and forgiveness that God has given to me. Thinking of my sufferings really brought me down, yet made me realize just how far I have come with God’s guidance.

    • Hi Jessica… thank you for sharing… the quote from C.S. Lewis stood out to me as well. It is always in the depths of our sufferings that God seems to get our attention. Often times we want to run to someone’s rescue (especially wayward family members) in the midst of their trial not realizing that God is completing a work in them that only He can complete by allowing them to suffer.

      A student of C.S. Lewis once asked him, “why does God allow Christians to suffer?” Mr. Lewis did not answer the student at that moment, but after pondering on the question for a bit, he responded with, “Because Christians are the only ones who can handle it.” …:) …:).

      It is as you say my dear sister in Christ, “…the world is full of HEAT, we cannot avoid it. Rather than share personal suffering I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS how grateful I am to be alive. I HAVE SURVIVED and I have the promise that He is working to complete the great work in me that he has begun. He won’t give up on me and I can hold this promise close when I am in the middle of great suffering.”

      Because He lives…We can face Tomorrow!

      May the Lord continue to bless you!

  • I have a confession. I listened to this podcast about three times. The first two times I did in effort to rush and get my assignment done so I can simply move on because I was insanely busy at work. But each time I tried the Lord stopped me and said listen again. This morning I listened again, more intently this time taking time to think into every question.

    Definitely the biggest hurts I have had are the deaths of loved ones. My fiancé when I was only 16 years old and pregnant. And the biggest that still hurts my heart to this day15 years later is my grandmother. Each one did something in me that would take pages to explain. What I can say is I can now see God’s hand on my life through every situation.

    My biggest fear is still losing those I love, though death is part of life their is just some people that you can not imagine being with out.

    My current biggest hurt is also linked to another biggest fear. My children’s life choices hurt me because they offend God and I fear the consequences of their actions. God is good Father and good Father disciplines His children.

    In counseling myself through this situation I found that I was starting to grow bitterness in my heart towards my prodigal kids. I hear the Lord speak to me in various forms, through this podcast as well. Thank the Lord that He is the wonderful counselor and that I don’t have to do this on my own.

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