God’s Grace for Joy in Pain

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

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“In a sense, the pain is almost surreal, but God’s grace is so real, and is provided through His tangible Presence! His grace does not take my pain away. His grace does however equip me physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually to endure the pain, and to do so with a heart that is filled with joy and is established in peaceHis peace!

( David J. Hall / from article: “The Chronic Grace of God” )

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#PastorsTip #DTP

Living In A Diminished Capacity?

Are you living with a Chronic Illness or a Diminished Capacity? Were you at one time a fully functioning individual with great muscle tone, great reflexes, a clear and sharp mind? Could you endure significant pain for brief periods of time (during exercise, sports, or even injury), and emotions that were rarely pushed to the brink?

Perhaps those days are behind you, for now. Today maybe your entire being is challenged with whole body chronic pain; fatigue that makes you feel like the weight of a thousand pounds is on your shoulders; your mind is foggy leaving you with the concentration, intellectual processing, and memory recall capacity of a simple light switch; your emotions are bouncing around like a super ball even before you get out of bed in the morning.

Maybe depression [due to a complication in your brain and body chemistry, or due to incredibly difficult circumstances) has darkened your mind and your outlook on every situation in your life. The darkness of depression swallows up any light of hope that might glimmer for just a moment, depression maintaining its occupation of the kingdom of your mind.

I know what it is like, because the above describes my journey. Some days are better than others, but on average these are my battles in this war.

There is something that I have discovered as I have journeyed through this terrain with God’s “ever present help in time of need.” There is one thing that we – the diminished capacity group – can do that is mighty and powerful. It makes the enemy of our souls rage with anger and frustration, and makes the angels of Heaven sing praises unto the Lord for His mighty work in us and through us:

We can be Brave and Determined!

While we are curled up in pain and suffering from the darkness of depression, and our eyes are bloodshot from crying our tear ducts dry, and we are feeling the sting of not having been able to live up to other people’s standards and expectations of daily performance in the most important of life’s responsibilities, there is one thing we CAN do.

If others will look deep into our eyes, past the bloodshot portions, past the colored iris, they will see a raging fire of determination to not only live, not only to survive, but to thrive in Christ! This fire is not of ourselves, it is a holy fire that has been sent from Heaven to burn upon our altar of sacrifice. It is the very altar where we put to death every day, several times each day, the world-inspiring scream of accusation, “Why me, God?!!”

No, the same God Who could instantly and miraculously send to us healing from Heaven has instead – for now – sent a holy fire to burn within us, demonstrating to everyone around us that God is not just a healer, but is also the one Who empowers the weak, encourages the hopeless, gives bravery to the fearful, and infuses supernatural determination into those who will ask.

What is your condition today? Do you struggle with all of the negative aspects that I have listed, but you have not experienced any of the positive things from God? Do you look deep within your soul and not see any fire of determination and bravery? You can, my friend, you can.

God and His fire of determination and bravery is accessed through prayer:

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

~ Hebrews 4:16

“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”

~ 2 Chronicles 7:1

As you reach out to God today, may you too experience the fire of Heaven that will burn strong within you. We as Diminished Capacity-ers have a tremendous opportunity to be used by God during these brief days that we suffer, to be used by Him to demonstrate what real Bravery and Determination look like when God is the source! Our bodies may fail us, our tears may flow, but our determination and bravery wages war in the spirit realm that destroys the enemy’s soul-works in others.

#PastorsTip #Brave #Determined #FireOnTheAltar #DiminishedCapacity #Disability #Depression #Darkness #BrainFog #Memory

Thriving In A Life Of Pain

Are you suffering unjust pain in your body, mind, or emotions? Are you having to endure some kind of physiological suffering? Has your world grown small because of how debilitating the pain has become?

It can be very discouraging to experience the loss of unfulfilled dreams, and even dreams that had come true and that you were living in, but have had that dream disappear.

For those of us who live in chronic pain from some kind of hyper-sensitive physiology (body, mind, or emotions), our Primary Purpose has been clearly defined for us.

“For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God… if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.’”

~ 1 Peter 2:19-22

“Unjust suffering” isn’t just that which is caused by evil people in response to our living for Christ. “Unjust suffering” includes that which we face in life that is not a consequence of our own actions. It afflicts our body, mind, and/or emotions, things like chronic illnesses, diseases, paralysis, depressions (chemical or circumstantial), mental health disorders, bi-polar emotions, etc.

Personally, I have been “unjustly suffering” for over 15 years with a very debilitating case of Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue, and a few other less afflicting things. I too experienced the loss of dreams, including the necessity to resign from a pastorate of a church that had really wonderful people in it. For the last decade my world, from the vantage point of my bed 18-24 hours per day, has become very small.

At first I really mourned and grieved quite hard at my sense of losses. However, I discovered that–for now–my primary purpose in life was for me to be transformed into the example that Jesus gave to us when He suffered. My life (my body, my brain, and my emotions) took on a whole new meaning: to thrive and to become “commendable before God” as I suffered.

Job is another wonderful example of a person who suffered greatly in every area of his life, yet his integrity thrived and he was commendable to God. He suffered the loss of all his grown children, all of his wealth, and all of his health. He was just healthy enough to stay alive, but sick enough to suffer immensely in his whole person, in his body, mind, and emotions.

If you are suffering, if you are debilitated, if you are in constant chronic physiological pain because of the hyper-firing of your nervous system, be of good cheer! (When I say “be of good cheer,” please remember that I am a fellow sufferer in pain and raw emotions). Even while stuck in your bed or in your wheel chair, your primary purpose has been clearly defined: thrive and be commendable to God in every motive that is behind everything you think and say, and that your countenance radiates.

We can do this! We can be this! Let’s thrive in spite of the pain.

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#PastorsTip #1Peter2 #Thrive #Chronic #Pain #Disability #Suffering #Commendable #God #Physiology

Living with Unrelenting Body Pain?

Are you living with unrelenting pain? Do you sometimes wish that God would either heal you or kill you? Job did too:

“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose His hand and cut off my life!

Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.”

~ ‭‭Job‬ ‭6:8-10‬

The biblical story of Job’s suffering is an incredible example for us of perseverance. Job suffered greatly in his entire being: in his mind, heart, and body.

He also experienced seasons of desire to die. Though he did not give serious consideration to suicide, he definitely longed for relief through death by the hand of God. He knew that death by his own hand was an ungodly, futile direction to go in.

Job was faithful to God in all of his life. He spoke of his consolation and joy while in unrelenting pain was his faithfulness to God and to what God had spoken to him.

The Apostle Paul was also an individual who suffered greatly. He too wrestled with alternating desires to live for God, and to die by God’s hand. As a follower of Christ he knew that death (by God’s will) was his doorway into the eternal presence of God in Heaven.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

~ ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:21-24‬

(Suicide is not an option, that is a doorway into a realm of eternal suffering that makes any suffering in this life seem welcoming.)

As followers of Christ who suffer with unrelenting pain, let’s be like Job whose joy in his season of unrelenting pain was his continuing faithfulness to God and His Word. Let’s be like Paul who considered his ongoing presence in this life to be fruitful for the Kingdom of God.

Be of good courage, my friend! God has a powerful reason for having entrusted us with this very painful mission for our lifetime. Let’s find the joy of faithfulness to God in our unrelenting pain.

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#PastorsTip #Job6 #Philippians1 #Pain #Joy #Faithful