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18 Responses

  1. Pam Kulwiec says:

    Studied this very thing yesterday. This puts an exclamation point to what I read. Thank you!

  2. ( |o )====::: says:

    Being in the moment, with God, is the simplest and best we can experience.
    From that proceeds all gratitude and fresh perspective

  3. EricL says:

    When you are suffering and yet God still works through you, it is much more obvious to those around you. “That was God.”

    Sanctified suffering. It is good to know that God can get glory from it, but it still hurts. And yet, it isn’t all about my happiness, is it? Certainly not here, in this sin-filled world. This is a hard lesson, Michael, but a needed one. Dependence on Him…

  4. Em says:

    this one was for me, too, this morning – it isn’t just you men who have to suck it up and get the job done – coping with the fires and now the snow up here in the mountains, i am just about coped out 🙂 so? so now i’ll look forward to seeing how God brings His child thru fire and ice … thank you, Michael – good ponder for me

    i think – dunno – that God already sees this world on fire – not in the revivalist’s sense of the word … that doesn’t negate His grace and kindness, no one outdoes God in kindness…

    maybe, for now, the devil likes the heat, it keeps the serpent warm? – dunno

  5. Jean says:

    The Lord had to teach Paul (and by extension, each of us) the reverse progression of the Christian life. From self-reliance to life as a beggar.

    The historic liturgy of the catholic (small “c”) church includes the Kyrie, by which the congregation confesses spiritual poverty: Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

  6. j2theperson says:

    I’m sorry, but God’s grace does not fill the baby-shaped void in my life. Only a baby could fill that. God’s grace supposedly filling it only reminds me that there isn’t a baby and that I’m a terrible christian for preferring a baby over God.

  7. Michael says:

    J2,

    There was a day when you believed He wouldn’t give you a husband either…
    I have been denied most of the things I wanted most in this life.
    Now, it’s too late in life for many of them to be given.
    Still, it’s been a full life and I cannot deny that He has been with me for the whole run.

    i hope that he gives you the desires of your heart…more than that, I hope you get to my age and know that He was faithful.

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    amen

  9. Em says:

    time is an interesting phenomena… is it a friend or a hindrance? why is it sometimes slooow and other times almost seems to move at “warp” speed?

    speaking of babies, it is a true thing that the pain of delivering one is forgotten, when a beautiful miracle of new life is placed in your arms… unlike so many other pains that do not dissolve in joy…
    we’ve got to trust God’s plan, to know that what is experienced/endured is going to dissolve in joy. that IS God’s design… as the song says, it leads to a joyful end – praying that the mystery of joy anticipated and affirmed in Christ reaches one and all

  10. Erunner says:

    Michael, I have been on a grace journey for the last few months. In reality it’s been my whole life but now things are becoming a bit clearer.

    I read a book about grace by Spurgeon maybe a month ago. It hit home with me.

    The first service we attended at our new church the pastor passed out Bible promise cards for us to keep for the coming year. It contained the verse from 2 Corinthians you shared at the top of the article.

    I wrote a personal article on my blog recently that this ties into personally in a huge way. It has to do with my anxiety and how through the years I tried to reason my way through it. I created a god that didn’t exist and exposed an uncomfortable truth about myself.

    I loathed myself and came to the conclusion that God’s promises were not for me in the areas I needed them most.

    I sense I am being asked to accept the deal God offered to Paul. I have believed I have been through what I thought was all I could handle as I suffered panic episodes that made me think I was being dangled over the pit of hell by my ankles.

    We can nod our heads yes to the verse above but in our gut can’t accept it for ourselves. I believe it is true yet I cry out “Lord, help my unbelief.”

    This is the article I wrote as I tried to explain a portion of my life I suspect others contend with as well. God has deeply touched me through your honestly in the last few months Michael.

    https://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/my-story-from-the-beginning-reason-isnt-always-a-good-thing-part-2/

  11. Michael says:

    Well done, Erunner.

    The only way we will make it through these things is to be honest about them.
    You have helped many in the past and there are more still who need to hear you.

    Well done, my friend.

  12. Paul A. Lytton says:

    In my opinion, people only feel weak when they cannot control something that is most important to them and it hurts them in any way. There is nothing wrong about that except that they are doomed to feel weak at some time or another. Why should they even care if they feel weak? Feeling weak makes you no more weak than feeling strong makes you strong.

    There is nothing wrong with feeling bad about bad things happening. In fact, to feel good about bad things happening is stupid.

    Again in my opinion, feeling weak is a sign of being self centered, because you are obviously concerned about yourself.

    My self opinionated answer?

    NEVER forget you ARE nothing and God IS everything, you KNOW nothing and God KNOWS everything, you ARE empty of power and God IS full of power.

    Feeling weak makes no more sense than feeling bad because you cannot fly. It is not in the nature of mankind to fly; and it is not in the nature of mankind to always be strong.

    Either be proud of being weak or give it no thought at all.

  13. Em says:

    perhaps ‘weak’ needs defining? when you feel physically weak you are probably weak…
    in another sense, money IS power, so when you are broke, you probably are powerless
    without knowledge you are powerless
    maybe, the word ‘weak,’ when it applies to one’s life would be better translated powerless?

    like the word ‘impotent,’ the word ‘weak’ can be defined in more than one way, can it not?

    over my lifetime, i have seen that, when a person is hurting and, particularly, hurting without remedy, the natural inclination IS to be self-centered… sometimes, “get over it” is good advice, sometimes “trust God” is good advice and other times – nope all the time – grow in Christ (which = increase in faith) is a very viable remedy even if it’s just gaining confidence in the palliative, trust and wait – the hope thing?

  14. Michael says:

    I very much recommend Dr. Packers book “Weakness is the Way” for those who are struggling with these issues…

  15. Erunner says:

    Thank you Michael.

    Paul, I appreciate your comments. I have been aware I became very self centered as my anxiety spiraled out of control. When your mind betrays you and you find yourself in a difficult place as was the case with myself I became very self centered as on one hand I was trying to work and survive and on the other trying to reason my way through it all.

    “Feeling weak makes no more sense than feeling bad because you cannot fly. It is not in the nature of mankind to fly; and it is not in the nature of mankind to always be strong.”

    That’s really an unfair comparison you draw. The possibility of me jumping off a rooftop and flying will never happen outside of dreaming.

    Feeling weak is human as is the fact we serve a God who is all powerful. As individuals begin to slip into hopelessness for their circumstances we have the body of Christ to help us regain hope.

    Reaching a point where one feels they are beyond God’s reach for any number of reasons is quite common especially for those walking through a mental illness.

    In my life even at the age of 61 I am still learning to trust God with my deepest fears. On one hand I can beat myself up or come to the place where I can hand those fears over to God. I can also learn to accept that the promises of God are indeed for me and take steps of faith to prove Him faithful.

    Michael is out front sharing his struggles with us and he is a pastor. That alone can encourage those who are fighting desperately in the shadows.

    “grow in Christ (which = increase in faith) is a very viable remedy even if it’s just gaining confidence in the palliative, trust and wait – the hope thing?”

    Those are good words Em. That’s where I desire to be.

  16. Em says:

    on this subject, E, i bow to your superior wisdom and knowledge – your honest words encourage many to keep on keeping on

  17. Erunner says:

    Em, I never for a second believe my knowledge in this are is anything special. For eight years I’ve been trying to offer hope and encouragement to those who are hurting. In the midst of that I have been through dark times as I found myself being a very imperfect man seeking to help others. My heart goes out to them so I continue. Thanks again.

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