The Refiner’s Fire & Reforming Hammer

Is your surrendered-to-God life being heated almost to the melting point, and then being beaten upon seemingly without mercy?

Stay on the anvil of God. Your outcome will be beautiful, powerful, and glorifying to Him! He isn’t punishing you, He is forming you into the greatest person that you can be.

He didn’t say that you would love the sculpting process, but you WILL love the final RESULT of His sculpting process!

#PastorsTip

 

Impassioned through Pain

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

Some passions can only be learned through pain.”

( Max Lucado / from his book: “A Gentle Thunder” )

#PastorsTip #DTP

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

Are You Carrying Your Cross?

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

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“… and anyone who does not take his own cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.”

( Jesus, Matthew 10:38 )

Have you identified your cross and called it YOUR CROSS? What are you doing with it today?

In the above verse, what did Jesus NOT say?
He didn’t say:

🔹“Rebuke your cross!”
🔹“Blame & curse those who gave you that cross!”
🔹“Find your own way with your own cross!”

He DID say, “Take up [YOUR CROSS] and follow ME…”

Its YOUR cross, so pick it up, set it squarely on your shoulders, and follow the footsteps of Jesus that have been pre-printed in the dirt by His Own faithful journey!

( David J. Hall / from article: “Have You Embraced YOUR Cross?” )

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#PastorsTip #DTP

When the Dictators Finally Die

Fidel Castro, communist revolutionary and self-enriching strongman of the small Caribbean nation of Cuba, has passed away at the age of 90. The cruel spirit in which he treated all of the Cuban people and specifically, persecuted the Christian church, resulted in an estimated 100,000 murders.

A lifetime of incarceration and torture were also standard fare for people who spoke against his regime, resisted his orders, or tried to escape the island nation on makeshift rafts. Millions of people have suffered poverty, hunger, illness, and basic human rights during his dictatorial reign as a thug disguised as a revolutionary for freedom.

He leaves behind an estimated net worth of $900 million dollars which [along with his power-base] will most likely be transferred to his 85 year old brother, Raul Castro.

“… when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”

( Proverbs ‭11:10‬ )

The Cuban people need our intercessory prayer, especially during this time of transition.

image-5#PastorsTip #Castro

Suffering

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

“It is natural (and even a sign of a healthy mental state) to take evasive action to avoid suffering. However, our life’s primary purpose is not to avoid ALL suffering at all costs. Our life’s primary purpose is to bring glory to God in ALL situations at any cost, even if it involves seasons of suffering.”

( David J. Hall )

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#PastorsTip #Suffering #Pain #GlorifyGod #Life #PrimeDirective #PrimaryPurpose

When God’s Grace Isn’t Sufficient After All…

The Apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” which was never directly identified for us in scripture, but whatever it was it involved suffering and embarrassment, a humbling of his pride.

“… Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.‘ …for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

~ 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God said His grace would be sufficient for Paul, and no doubt this message was for us too when our trials are not solved right away; God’s grace will be sufficient for us in our trials, but what is happening when we are convinced that His grace really isn’t being enough for us?

In my own life I have had a whole-body pain and fatigue condition that was diagnosed over 15 years ago, and has continued to increase over time. I am currently in bed about 18 hours every day, and some weeks I am unable to leave the house. There is no treatment for symptoms, there are no answers for medicinal or naturopathic healing, and traditional prescription pain medicine doesn’t work at this time (due to my body chemistry, since birth I have always been partially immune to most anesthetics and analgesics).

There are days when the pain is almost worthy of a scream, the fatigue feels like I have a ton on my shoulders, and my world has become very, very small because I am usually unable to socialize. I miss Pastoring a local church, and I miss preaching, counseling, and visiting the sick. I believe in Divine healing through the Name of Jesus Christ, and yet… here I remain.

So what about the grace of God? What about those who are convinced that God’s grace isn’t being sufficient for them? The problem isn’t with God, it’s with our perspective.

“Let God be true, and every human being a liar…”

~ Romans 3:4

It would be easy for me to think that God’s grace has failed me if I consider only certain outcomes to be the only proof of God’s grace being sufficient for me. But, I have learned that God’s grace really is sufficient for me if I allow Him to choose what kind of grace.

For those who are suffering in trials and are convinced that God has left them out in the cold, they need to realize that God’s grace is provided to us for journeying through the trial, not just to end the trial. In my situation, if my measure of God’s grace is only compared with how far my pain goes down, I will be sorely disappointed. God’s grace doesn’t take my pain away (yet), His grace gives to me an internal fortitude and joy for continuing through life’s journey while in pain!

If you are a believer in Christ and in the scriptures, there are specific things we know about God that are certain and factual, and one of those certainties is His faithfulness to His children to bring them through any storm that might come upon them. When we look around at our situation and we doubt God’s presence and participation in our circumstances, the problem is not with God, it is with our own perspective.

God’s grace is sufficient for you in your trials, just allow Him to choose how His grace will benefit you. If His grace for you is miraculous healing, great! If His grace for you is medicinal healing, great! If His grace for you is endurance with an ability to suffer long and hard with a bright countenance of joy and peace… great!! Let God choose the form for His grace, and you choose to accept His brand of grace regardless of what that means.

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#PastorsTip #2Corinthians12 #Romans3 #Suffering #Trials #Pain #Endurance #Perseverance #GodsGrace #Grace #Perspective

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

Healing for Cutters

People who cut themselves, and use other forms of self-harm, are in dire need of God’s healing.

Cutters don’t need disciplinarians, their pain is already 1,000 times greater than the pain of any possible disciplinary action.

Instead, being soul-wounded and lost deep inside a dark wilderness, they need brave and compassionate people who will venture deep into their dark world.

Upon finding where they are at, and with unconditional and persevering love, then lead them step by step into the realm of healing and light.

If you are a cutter, God is going to send someone to you. He desperately wants you to go from being wounded to being healed, and from being lost to being found, and from languishing in a dark realm to living life in the realm of His Light.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up…
Do you not see it? I am making a way in the wilderness…”

~ Isaiah 43:18-19

And if God cares enough to know the name of every distant star, He certainly cares 1,000 times more about you… He knows your name! He knows your pain! He is going to rescue you and heal you!

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.”

~ Psalm 147:3-5

Cutters, you are loved to the max by God and by those who love God. You may not feel their love yet, due to your high level of pain and the depth of your darkness, but be patient with God and people. Your healing may be just around the corner.

In my own way, I am very experienced in the realm of pain. I am also very experienced in God’s love and provision for healing. I know what darkness feels like too. But, I also know what God does when we invite Him to help us, welcoming His invasion of our life!

You will not be disappointed! 🙂

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