Sustaining Grace

Grief is exhausting.  Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  We may often pray for relief asking for this heavy burden to be taken away.  We are then often disappointed or frustrated when that doesn’t happen. It may feel that our prayers for deliverance from the pain and sorrow go unanswered.  We want a Red Sea moment. Instead, God offers us something else that we can easily miss — the sustaining grace to endure every day. Our prayers for deliverance are answered with something more needful: the gift of sustenance.

If we only look for miraculous deliverance from the trial of life (including grief), we overlook the grace that mercifully keeps drawing us close to our God.  We want to be rid of it. Thankfully, God has something much grander and ultimately better in mind for us. That is the power of a transcendent, eternal perspective.  Our prayers may seem unanswered until we step back and then see them fulfilled in ways that keep us more dependent, needy, and holding fast to the rock of our faith.

The children of Israel wrestled with appreciating the daily gift of sustenance in their long years of wandering the wilderness.  God daily provided manna to meet their physical needs and prevent starvation. (Ex. 16) Yet, even in that gift of sustenance there was the test of faith and trust.  God providentially would not allow them to hoard it so as to keep the Israelites from avoiding that kind of needful, daily dependence on Him.

How many times though did they disdain the gift of daily manna?  (Num. 11) They complained. They wanted something more or something different.  Our hearts are quick to rightly judge their unbelief and spirit of complaining. Yet, we then are prone to do the same especially in our grief.  We want something more than the plain, boring, daily, and monotonous grace just like the Israelites wanted something other than manna. The manna was taken for granted.  It was the standard expectation that God provided day after day, month after month, year after year.

I confess that it is a similar challenge I have faced.  I fail to appreciate and be grateful for God’s continuous presence and help, each and every day.  He sustains me with strength when I am weak. (Isa. 40:31) He gives me eyes of faith to see. (Eph. 1:18)  He gives His Word to lift my soul out of never ending sorrow (Ps. 119:28), and give us life-sustaining power.  (Jn. 6:63)

If you and I were to look back over our lives, we could see those miraculous mountain-top experience of deliverance that God did.  Those memories ought to stir us with gratitude and faith. Sometimes though when we are still in that deep, and dark valley those past moments can feel so far and distant as if they might never happen again.  In that, we can instead turn to the more recent tests of “wait” and “no” to the cries of our heart. Those are the more immediate situations in which when we look closer we can see the deeper work in our souls.  Those answers force us to reckon with the question of “are we really seeking the Giver, or just His gifts?” When we humble ourselves, we acknowledge our need and seek Him better. In that quest, we find joy as our faith is tested and perfected.  (James 1)

Sustaining grace is just as precious a gift as delivering grace, and in grief many times, even more precious.  One of the most frequent prayers I have prayed since Sarah went home, has been the prayer for God not to let me forget the things that I have learned.  And I have found Him faithful to answer most often in that kind of daily dependence that comes in the sorrow and anguish. I see the daily grace and how He is more precious as a result.  

That kind of grace showcases God’s glory in and through us.  Other people see in the midst of our grief what God is doing as He daily bears us up.  We see that glory in how He is transforming our character to be more like Christ. (Rom. 8:26-30)  When we ask for delivering grace, God is answering in the waiting with sustaining grace. So, don’t stop praying for relief and deliverance.  Just then look for the answer to that prayer in the daily sustenance and dependence as well. This grace brings with it the intimate presence of our living God and all the power of transformation that He brings.  That is a far better and more precious answer to prayer than we realize.

This is a draft excerpt from my ongoing booklet project on how to grieve Biblically.

A Year Worth Reflecting On

As today approached as the one year anniversary of Sarah’s homegoing, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on all that has transpired since then.  Somebody once said that funerals should compel us to ponder our own mortality and evaluate not only the days we’ve lived – but also the time we have left.  In that way, my reflection on today continues to be a gift that keeps on giving for its powerful ongoing impact in my life. I prayed then as I continue now that I would not forget the things that I have learned.  

Solomon also wrote about the importance of being reminded of death in Ecclesiastes 7:2 where he says the countercultural concept that it is better to go to a funeral than a party because the wise person will be reminded that “this is the end of all mankind” and will live in light of the brevity of life.  When people hear my story now who didn’t know me or Sarah before, the one comment frequently heard among most of them is “oh, she was so young.” Yet even in that statement is the ultimate undergirding reality that everyone is expected to die, just not yet.

So why is it that most of us, myself included even a few times this year, forget to live in light of the fundamental fact that for each of us here, our time on earth is finite?  A big part is that we are forgetful. We get distracted by the busyness of life and that naturally, and often by necessity, forces our focus to be on the short-term, the present.  Throughout the entire Bible, God is constantly giving commands and instructing His people to remember through intentional actions and tangible reminders. He told us that because we are prone to forget.  I am prone to forget. Even on a day like today laden with meaning, I still have to be intentional to stop and take time to reflect and think.

When I think about Sarah, I rejoice knowing she is experiencing the glorious joy of unity with her Savior, freed from the curse of sin and the pain of this world.  In a good way, that makes me jealous to one day also experience that. That too then reminds me to focus on today and live in light of eternity. To better invest in my walk with God, my relationships with family and friends, and to remember that my days on earth are limited as well.  



Today is also a day of rejoicing for another reason as it is my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary!  Their testimony of faithfulness and enduring love over the years speaks to the grace of God and the hard work they’ve put in to not only stay married this long, but to deepen their love.  I’ve been teasing them a little bit this year that they’re acting a bit like newlyweds as they’re now in the phase of no longer taking of either their children (having all left home now) or their parents (as all my grandparents are now deceased).  For those with a spouse, each day together is a gift to be treasured. Whether that is the five years that Sarah and I shared or the thirty-five that my parents have been blessed with, never take it for granted. Invest in each other with eternity in mind in preparation for the ultimate marriage of Christ to His bride, the Church!


The best part of today though is the steady comfort, encouragement, and loving ear that Anna has been for me both in the days leading up to today, but also in the moments of emotion throughout.  God’s gift to me in bringing Anna in my life staggers my imagination still because she is exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. She is the glue that has filled in all the cracks of my heart making it better and stronger than it was before!  

As I expectantly and excitedly look ahead to our upcoming wedding this November, I realize both the amazing joy and the solemn responsibility it will bring.  Having been married before, this was a step I do not take lightly in full recognition of the depth of wedding vows: “for better or worse, in sickness, until death.”  Those need not be sad things though they are heavy concepts. Indeed, for Christ’s example is as a husband who will never, ever forsake His bride, the Church. In that way it is inspiring and transformative!  

I wrote at length in the story of how God brought Anna and I together this year the beautiful and creative way that He worked, and I see that ever more clearly day by day with her.  On a day like today when I could otherwise be overcome with grief thinking of the future, I instead feel the upwelling of joy that comes from imagining the future life that Anna and I will share together!  God has turned my mourning into joy and given both peace and hope beyond measure! I could never have imagined all that has transpired this past year culminating in the beautiful and thrilling next chapter with Anna, and so in yet another countless way, I see and trust in God’s hand at work!

“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7–12

Ten Promises for Every Pain

1:  Knowing Jesus outweighs everything you could have or lose in this life.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him. — Philippians 3:8–9

2:  Every trial is helping to prove the genuineness of your faith and joy.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. —  1 Peter 1:6–7

3:  All your pain is preparing you to care for others in their pain.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. — 2 Corinthians 1:3–4

4:  Over time, suffering will fuel, not hurt, your hope and joy.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. — Romans 5:3–5

5:  No suffering can steal what Jesus bought for you.

You joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. — Hebrews 10:34b

6:  Jesus never gets weary of caring for the wearied.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28–30

7:  Suffering will give you faith and strength to endure to the end.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. — James 1:2–4

8:  God will pour out His infinite riches to meet your daily needs.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:19

9:  Not one ounce of your pain is meaningless but is producing eternal glory for you.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:16–18

10:  All of your suffering will end one day, down to the very last year.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” — Revelation 21:4


While this list is not original to me, I wanted to share the compilation from some things I have been reading over the past few months in hope it will also be a blessing to you.

Quiet Pain of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a beautiful time of celebrating incredible mothers and their innumerable sacrifices on behalf of their families and I’m so thankful for my mother’s indescribable impact on my life!  Yet, it is also a day of quiet pain and heartfelt longing for all those women who desire to be mothers yet due to the struggles of infertility, losses through miscarriage, or unwanted singleness, their prayers and desires have not been answered.  God in His infinite goodness and love sovereignly charts a different path for these women as His Word makes it explicitly clear in many passages how He is in absolute control of each womb. (Gen. 18:14, 29:31, 1 Sam. 1, etc)  As I’ve written before, these are the challenges that are a goad for us to recognize our finiteness (Eccl. 3:13-14) and turn in humble dependence to our God who loves us more than we can ever truly understand.  Though His ways are often inscrutable, His character is not! (Eph. 1)

Sarah never got to meet our 3 children this side of eternity and so in that way, this day was fraught with a mixture of emotions in our marriage – confident hope to see them one day in heaven yet tinged with the sorrow of our loss.  While I can barely imagine what Sarah’s entrance into heaven was like, I take great joy in thinking about the moment she got to meet our children!

To the women who long with expectant hope on this Mother’s Day, while I do not know your exact pain, I do know what deep pain, sorrow, and loss are like.  But even more than that, I know the God who has met me in that agony with all the grace and peace I would ever need. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)  Cry out to the Lord with the inexpressible groanings, prayers, and tears (Rom. 8:26) of your heart, and then seek to make Him the supreme treasure of your heart.  In your trial and struggle, you can now go forth to minister to and comfort others (2 Cor. 1:4) with the comfort God gives you and in so doing to help bear one another burdens and show the love of Christ!

Resurrection Sunday Reflections

It’s amazing even how my perspective on Christ’s death and resurrection is so much more real to me this year than ever before! How I long for the day when we too will conquer death – because HE LIVES! I have known deep pain, yet even all that cannot compare with the crushing affliction my Savior bore for me. His love is stronger than any pain as the God of all comfort, but also comes from the heart of the Man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief.

Flashback to some of what I said in Sarah’s Celebration of Live service. It’s even more true to me today. This is the full impact of what we celebrate today – the resurrection changes everything!

Trials often shake people’s’ belief that God is all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing, and all-sufficient. Yet, I know each of those to more real today than ever before. Paul said in 1 Cor. 15 that if Christ is not risen then our faith is in vain and we as Christians ought to be pitied. However, Christ has risen again so we have absolute assurance of His promises of our eternal home and our own resurrection one day. As Christians we can view death very differently. 2 Cor. 5:8 reminds us that when our soul departs our body it is present with the Lord. Because God saved Sarah from her sins, she faced death confidently knowing that her citizenship was in heaven where she now is with her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil 3:20) 1 Peter 1:4 also describes it as “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for [her].”

“All this, because of the finished work of Christ we celebrate today. We have joy that transcends circumstances! Jesus does not promise only joy though. As we celebrate the resurrection, we also look to the gift we now have of the Holy Spirit. “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Take heart indeed! How can we not! Not only has He overcome the world — and hell and the devil and death — but He remains with us and in us like a mighty warrior against all our foes. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

So, yes, there will be tribulation. Sorrows of so many kinds in this fallen world we can’t count them. But the world that makes us so sorrowful will not have the last word. Therefore, the watchword of the Christian in this world is “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). Through every grief, we are being kept by the power of the Helper. Therefore, “you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:6).

You may be tempted to cry out, “Oh, that I could go back and see him as he was in the flesh!” But remember, you see more of him now by his Spirit in his word than the disciples did during his earthly life. And you will see him again. But not the way he was. His face will be “like the sun shining in full strength” (Revelation 1:16). Take heart from Peter’s words: “Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and glorified” (1 Peter 1:8–9). This is the joy that cannot be taken from you.” – John Piper

Preaching Truth to Ourselves in the Midst of Trials

Sometimes I feel a little selfish in that I’m primarily the one that gets to read and benefit from Sarah’s past journals and old Facebook posts – so I feel compelled to share from time to time! It was shortly after our move out west more than two years ago that Sarah’s health trials deepened and I became her full time caregiver assuming all of the household responsibilities as Sarah no longer physically could. She turned some of her attention then to journaling which I now get to read and consider how to use going forward.

I love what Sarah wrote in this post two years ago because behind these brave words was a woman who struggled greatly at times to believe and live them out. I had a front row seat to intimately watch as her body slowly faded away, yet by God’s grace her mind and spirit remained unbowed though greatly wearied. Hindsight can have a tendency to whitewash our past memories of the most painful elements and those on the outside can overlook or miss those realities in favor of a focus on the noble struggle. Sarah and I were both human replete with all the failures of us fallen image-bearers of God. I could tell you of the countless tears of anguish, crushing physical, emotional, and mental weariness, endless quest for answers that never fully came, the nights of depression where the darkness did not lift in the morning, the slow but steady loss of independence as Sarah became mostly homebound, and the shadowy fade of hopes and dreams for the future. So consider that context when Sarah wrote what she did.

Sarah’s life verse was Galatians 2:20 which she quoted here. She preached truth to herself asking God to give her the faith to live it out. Sarah looked ahead in faith to the day she had no idea was coming as soon as it did when her faith would become sight: “I’m thankful that someday, He will take me to Heaven and I will spend eternity face to face with my risen Savior, praising Him, with a perfect body, and there will be no more suffering or sorrow – that is ultimately where I place my hope and longing.”

If I sound endlessly repetitive on this one point about preaching truth to ourselves, it’s because that is what made all the difference. Our volatile feelings, frail emotions, and finite understanding ought not be the basis on which we live our lives. However, the cacophony of those voices threatens to overwhelm us along with the world all around us. Each of those is preaching a worldview to us, and the vast majority are diametrically opposed to the truth of God’s Word. If you aren’t daily reading, meditating, and memorizing Scripture, how can you hope to hold back the tide of wrong thinking? May I also encourage you to journal and write down your own thoughts on what you’re learning and going through. We are very forgetful people! I promise it will be a help to you when you go and look back, and just might be able to be a help to others too even after you are gone!

For those that keep telling me to write more, I hear you and am humbled to know that what I share is a blessing to others. I’m working on a few series to be published right now as I dip my toe into broader writing projects and am considering a book/booklet project over my sabbatical this summer.

“We’ve shared this with some of our family already, but thought I would share with our extended family and friends…

I have been really struggling physically the last few months, but we thought it was mainly the stress of moving. However, I have continued to decline health-wise. Last month, we found out my body was no longer processing my thyroid medication effectively — so not just a simple dosage increase needed, but my body is having difficulty actually utilizing/processing the hormones correctly – which means I have profound symptoms of hypothyroidism, really too many to list…but the worst would be extreme fatigue, constantly freezing-cold, very poor sleep, and getting sick constantly, among other significant issues.

Unfortunately, the healthcare provider I was seeing was not able to determine a solution. The Lord led me to a new doctor this week and he is very gifted with diagnosing and treating more complex hormonal-imbalance issues, which is what I am experiencing. Not only am I dealing with basically zero thyroid function/severe hypothyroidism, but I have several other hormone levels that are practically non-existent. He needs to do more extensive testing which will take a few weeks to get back, and then he will hopefully be able to start correcting what is going on.

While we are very thankful to our Heavenly Father for providing a competent doctor who feels confident he can help me – although it will take at least a couple of months before I might start feeling better since we have to wait for test results, then start treatment, and then wait for it to take effect.

Physically I am very weak and discouraged – so having to wait one more day, let alone multiple weeks, to start working towards feeling better, feels like forever. Please pray for myself and Daniel, that the Lord will continue to encourage our hearts, and strengthen me spiritually and physically, as we wait on Him to provide healing. Daniel has taken care of me in every way, and I am so thankful for his selfless, Christ-like love for me.

Our Heavenly Father has carried us through this all, and so much more in the past, and we know He is sanctifying us through this trial. We know His love and timing is perfect, and that we can trust Him completely with all of these circumstances, even when in our human frailty we don’t understand it all, we can still praise Him for His faithfulness, sovereignty, and wisdom.

We live in a fallen world, and physical suffering is a part of that. As Christians, God uses trials to draw us closer to Him, to purify us, and conform us to the image of His precious Son. I’m thankful that some day, He will take me to Heaven and I will spend eternity face to face with my risen Savior, praising Him, with a perfect body, and there will be no more suffering or sorrow – that is ultimately where I place my hope and longing. All because of what Christ did on the cross for me. If you do not have that assurance, or do not understand what Jesus accomplished on the cross, I would be happy to share with you what He has done in my life, and the hope that can be found in God’s word alone. Sorry this was so long! If you made it to the end – thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your prayers.”

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. -Galations 2:20

Pain and Affliction Are Merciful Gifts

Sarah candid

My daily prayer since Sarah passed away last year is that God would not let me forget the life-changing sanctifying things I have learned. He has been faithful in answering that through countless ways. Sometimes it has been when the walls of grief surrounded me threatening to blot out every ray of hope so I had only Him to turn to. Other times it is in the innumerable small joys of everyday life that I instinctively want to turn and share with her. Each moment like those is a gift because of how each one points me to eternal truths.

John Piper writes in “This Momentary Marriage” that “Being married in the moment of death is both a bitter and sweet providence. Sweet because at the precipice of eternity the air is crystal-clear, and you see more plainly than ever the precious things that really matter about your imperfect lover. But being married at death is also bitter, because the suffering is doubled as one watches the other die …. The shadow of covenant-keeping between husband and wife gives way to the reality of covenant-keeping between Christ and His glorified Church. Nothing is lost. The music of every pleasure is transposed into an infinitely higher key.”

Pain and affliction are merciful gifts from God though because of how they help refine me (James 1:2-4), remind me of transcendent eternal truths (Romans 8:18), and restore my wandering focus (Psalm 119:71). Every time I feel the pang of longing for marriage, I can rejoice even through my sorrow of loss! That emotion is calling my attention to the truth that this world isn’t my home. It’s reminding my heart of the greater promise hidden in marriage of the relationship between Christ and the church! Each sigh of desire is but a shimmery foretaste and fleeting glimpse of what we will all experience in eternity as the glorious Bride of Christ. In that longing I have for what Sarah and I shared in marriage is a far greater truth about the longing for Christians as a bride of Christ. In that search for oneness and intimacy between a husband and wife that includes such close friendship yet also transcends it, I have had just a small foretaste of the relationship with Christ I will one day experience perfectly.

Faith Grows Step by Step

Daniel and Sarah (1)

I am so thankful for how God used the progressive nature of last year’s trial to grow Sarah’s and my faith step by step. I’m grateful for those days when we had to fight for our faith in desperation and pain. That time illuminated then just as it continues to do now for me the stark contrast between the temporal and eternal. Each experience drove us in dependence to our knees, molded our characters, and made plain the reality of the firm knowledge this world isn’t our home. Gratitude for pain in the moment is hard and we struggled with that last year. As I look back though, I rejoice in what God wrought in both of our lives through Sarah’s trials.

Friends, you don’t have to face quite the same circumstances to reap the benefits of the Holy Spirit’s conviction though! Perhaps visualize yourself in similar circumstances as us last year and ask God to show you what ought to be changed. And when trials do come, be thankful for these gifts, what one of my favorite authors Vaneetha Rendall Risner called “gifts wrapped in black but gifts nonetheless,” because of how they can refine your faith and bring glory to God (James 1).

Sarah wrote the following in her journal one year ago today and these words now preach truth to all the rest of us still walking through our earthly journey.

“This weekend I found myself facing many life – impacting obsessions and concerns that I had refused to acknowledge – and/or I was just wilfullly ignoring that these sin-issues were a significant hindrance to my walk with my Heavenly Father….I have been continually consumed with my own needs/wants/selfish desires – much more than being consumed with what is most important to my Heavenly Father: simply trusting in, and obeying Him alone! In Christ alone my hope is found.

Even though we most often think we want to know what the future is going to hold … truly, it is trials like these that remind me how wise our Heavenly Father is, in *not* revealing what’s to come. Because I could never have been able to take in the knowledge of what these last few weeks would hold, all at once. He is so wise, gracious, loving, and perfect – He knows exactly how to care for each one of His children, and to lead us along the path He has prepared for us.” – Sarah Kopp

Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Daniel and Sarah - Hospital

One year ago today Sarah and I were sitting in the ER trying to process the news that she was in serious danger from a crisis health situation we had no idea was brewing. I can still hear the surgeon’s words “you both need to understand how serious this is.” My ears heard what he said and my brain thought it comprehended it, but I had no idea just how deep and long the valley of the shadow of death would end up being. Yet, the Lord was and is my faithful Shepherd.

As I continue to reflect back on everything that happened last year I recognize ever more clearly God’s mercy and grace. Had we known everything that was yet to happen we would not have been able to face it. Thankfully for us, God’s grace is sufficient for one day at a time and as James 4:13-15 reminds us of our limited perspective of time anyways. How much better it is to rest in new mercies each morning! At the same time too, each successive challenge and trial prepared us for one yet to come. I’ve written before about that especially in regard to our three miscarriages. Sarah wrote last year “God is the author of life” and I know that Sarah is now more alive in heaven than she ever was on earth. Going through trials can tempt us to have an egocentric perspective where it becomes all about us and “why me.” We should strive instead to have a theocentric perspective and recognize that our sovereign, all-loving God is at work for His glory and our good. Our trouble comes so often when we only think of what is “good” from our perspective, not from the eternal and omniscient perspective of God.

As finite humans we often struggle to understand an infinite God and His workings. Add in our feeble emotions and we can quickly lose perspective of what is right and true. This is where we have to consciously preach truth to ourselves from God’s Word.

Our heart says God must not love us to let us go through trials. God’s Word says in Eph. 2:4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,”. Our heart says God must not be in control. Jesus said in John 9:3 about the man born blind “that the works of God might be displayed in Him” explicitly meaning every sickness and disability is under His control. Our heart says God doesn’t really care about me and my circumstances. Jesus says in Matthews 10 that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without His knowledge and “you are of more value than many sparrows.” Our heart says God doesn’t understand my pain. Romans 8:32 says “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

Our heart says “why?” God’s Word replies to “what ultimate end” in James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

I could go on and on, but this is how I remind myself what is true when my heart and emotions struggle to remember. Whether we realize it or not we are always meditating on something. Much of the time it’s what might be called “self-talk” and much of the self-help world today tries to just tell you how to think positively to impact this. Christians don’t have to conjure up anything on our own because we have the “living and active Word of God.” This is how Ephesians 5 talks about the “washing of water of the Word” when our minds are so saturated with truth that there is little ability for lies and error to take root.

It’s been said before that either you’re in a trial or you’re getting ready to go into one. I encourage you to likewise consciously preach truth unto yourself. Only the words of God have the power to transform you and your circumstances.

“Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” – Psalm 119:49-50

The Miscarriage of Grief

Daniel and Sarah are having a Baby

I have known the agonizing sorrow of loss from the death of my wife and before that the loss of 3 children through miscarriage and accompanying grief that built with each successive loss. I know deep pain, yet even all that cannot compare with the crushing affliction my savior bore for me. His love is stronger than any pain as the God of all comfort, but also comes from the heart of the Man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief!

“When the mourning of loss is matched by faith in Jesus, there are fresh mercies with every dawn, all because we know what it means to look on the one who was pierced for us. In this, we have hope and promised help for our battle against sin and for the times when those we love are gone. In Christ, grief will not have the last word.” – Jason DeRouchie

Looking to Christ in the Loss of a Child