Pain May Be A Good Thing

Yesterday I posted the following on Facebook, which generated quite a few positive responses—

“God may not recall the soldier from the battle, but if He gives him a greater stomach for the fight, and increased strength for its toils, it may be better still for him” (Spurgeon). Think about it: If God has left you in the battle, He will give you the strength to be victorious. Either way, you come out stronger AND God is glorified!

Since several commented on Facebook or emailed or texted me with words like, “That’s just what I needed to hear right now,” I thought I would add a couple additional thoughts for you.

“Let’s be honest, 90% of our prayers revolve around personal comfort, not God’s glory. Too often we try to pray away every problem. But what if that is the very thing that God wants to leverage for His glory? Let’s not be too quick to pray away the pain, the suffering, the situation, the problem. Let’s not just pray ‘get me out’ prayers. We sometimes need to pray ‘get me through’ prayers.

“We need a paradigm-shift in our prayer lives. It’s not about us. It’s all about God. And when you begin to pray for God’s glory above and beyond everything else it’s a game changer! You no longer pray away every problem. You pray through the problem. You know that God might do a miracle, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is God’s glory. And if suffering with grace yields more glory to God then so be it.” —Mark Batterson, in The Circle Maker

And finally, this prayer thought—

“Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle; but you shall be a miracle.” —Phillips Brooks

If you need someone to stand with you as you “pray through” your battle, let me know. I would be honored to join my prayers with yours.

Love, Sex, And Happily Ever After (book review)

There is something about the way Craig Groeschel writes that just connects with me (maybe it’s the Craigness that we share!). So when I heard about Love, Sex, And Happily Ever After, I knew it was going to be an excellent read. And I was not disappointed!

With divorce rates so high in our country, far too many couples enter into marriage with the thought in the back of their minds that “this might not work out.” Using sound biblical principles and examples, Craig shows that it’s not only possible for a marriage to go the distance, but that our marriages can get better and better and better as they go along.

In his very creative style, Craig covers principles like:

  • Falling in love with The One
  • Finding your Two
  • The first, second, third, fourth and fifth gears of dating relationships
  • The dangers of living together (“playing house”) before marriage
  • How to know if you should breakup with someone you’re dating
  • Heart habits that will help your marriage go the distance

When I was sharing with a friend some of the thoughts I was reading, he said, “That sounds like good old fashioned common sense.” And that’s exactly what this book is, because it is so firmly based on The Book.

If you would like to add something to your marriage, there is a lot to discover in here. But I think this book is especially appropriate for dating and engaged couples. In fact, since my role as a pastor means I get to do quite a bit of pre-marriage counseling, I’m going to make this book required reading for all of the couples I counsel.

I am a Multnomah book reviewer.

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