Writing Through The Pain

Keep It Simple

When I’m going through an emotional period or a personal crisis, I’m often advised by well-meaning people (many of them writers themselves) to “write through it.” It’s a common enough expression; you might have heard it yourself from someone or from your own lips. For me, this advice has been less than helpful.

I’m an extremely personal person who tends to internalize any trauma I experience. On paper, it would seem that I’m the type of person the saying “write through it” was designed for. Too often I keep my hurt bottled up inside until it becomes corrosive and I engage in self-destructive behavior. Writing can be a way of releasing the pain before it becomes too damaging.

Writing through my hurt causes a secondary result; this is the part that I have a problem with and the reason why “write through it” is terrible advice for me. Writing the pain takes the hurt and turns it into art. You may ask, “How is that a bad thing?” Let me speak from my experience.

There are emotions that are too intense that they need to be felt. They do not need to be categorized–which is what words do–or morphed into metaphors. They need to be experienced, reconciled and dropped. Feel it. Acknowledge it. Let it go.

They do not need to be transformed into a permanent reminder through art. That’s not to say that pain needs to be forgotten or buried–that’s also damaging. But to hold onto the hurt in a blog or a book or an (unpublished) journal entry is not always conducive to healing. Sometimes the hurt is too intense that it needs to be felt and released–not immortalized in art. Artwork (including writing) created through pain can be a jagged blade; cutting open old wounds whenever read or performed. How can scars heal when one is repeatedly slicing oneself open?

I don’t always write through my pain. I don’t give that suggestion as blanket advice. When I’m filled with emotions that can turn sour, I allow myself to feel them, fully, come to terms with them and then release them. They no longer serve me, and holding on to the pain and keeping memorials of hurt does not benefit me either.

When I do write about intense emotional experiences, I often rip to shreds or burn the piece afterward. This symbolic destruction of trauma is my cleansing and healing ritual.

A Broken Heart

Love is the most powerful force on earth. It can move mountains and makes the world around you sparkle with joy. The magic touch love adds to your life is both intoxicating and awe-inspiring. However, when a magical relationship is slowly coming to an end or when your love is one-sided and unreturned, it can be excruciatingly painful. Not only does it feel as if the other person stabbed you in the heart but it also seems as if the emotional wounds simply do not heal. Being hurt so deeply by someone who you’ve opened up your heart and soul is painful beyond measurement. To help you in slowly healing your heartbreak, we’ve collected some very special broken heart quotes. These heartbreak quotes will empower you to let go and move on with your life. Be sure to also have a look at our fine selection of uplifting breakup quotes.

Not many things in life can be as emotionally painful as a breakup or love that is not reciprocated. You may have always envisioned yourself at the side of your significant other but things somehow came unexpectedly different. Realizing that what was once a healthy and loving relationship is now a pile of shards is devastatingly painful.

“I wish I were a little girl again because skinned knees are easier to fix than a broken heart.”
Julia Roberts

When someone has broken your heart, you all of a sudden notice how vulnerable and powerless you have become. You may also be frustrated because you’ve slowly begun realizing that things will never be as they once were.

Enjoy our collection of broken heart quotes. May they lift you up in times of great pain and sorrow!

During the extremely difficult stages of a breakup, it can be quite helpful to have a couple of supporting broken heart quotes at hand to lift you up. Such quotes will help you to let go of the denial, anger, and depression that come with heartbreak.

“Let’s hope that for every time that we get hurt or break our heart, there is something somewhere being written to make up for it, to make the happiness due even bigger and laughters even merrier, for after all good things must happen to good people.“
Mansi Soni

“To be rejected by someone doesn’t mean you should also reject yourself or that you should think of yourself as a lesser person. It doesn’t mean that nobody will ever love you anymore. Remember that only one person has rejected you at the moment, and it only hurt so much because to you, that person’s opinion symbolized the opinion of the whole world, of God.“
Jocelyn Soriano

“Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it but also the father who wipes away the tears.“
Criss Jami

A Bad News, Kinda Day

Walked outside today, and boy is it cold outside. I do enjoy cooler temperatures, and this time of year, however, this year, yeah, not so much. The currently circumstance is one that is breaking my heart. A very very bad day!

Where do I go from here?

Move from Fear to Hope…

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. ~ John Lennon

Just like Franklin D. Roosevelt said it, The only thing we should fear in life is in fear itself because fear prevents us from living a full life. Fear can paralyze you in your tracks and prevent you from living out your dreams. We as humans can fear many things and not even realize it. We fear failure, love, loneliness, change, and the unknown. These fears can be unhealthy depending on how you respond to them. Stress is just another word for fear and we as humans allow stress to rule our lives today and this is very unhealthy because too much stress and fear can make us physically ill.

6 STEPS TOWARDS LIVING A LIFE FREE OF FEAR AND FULL OF HOPE

1. Evaluate your fears. 

The first step in eliminating unnecessary fear is to evaluate your fears. Ask yourself what you are afraid of and why? Once you analyze your fears it is much easier to keep them in check and keep them from holding you back in life. This way you decide what fears are necessary and which ones are unreasonable and acting only an obstacle in our lives.

“Love is the great miracle cure, loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” ~ Louise Hay

2. Love for your own person. 

We must love ourselves first before we can love anyone else. I feel that loving ourselves is very important because loving yourself leads to positive self-esteem and self-confidence which assists us in overcoming our fears and will give us the courage to step outside of our comfort zone. By fully loving yourself you can obtain the courage necessary to face your fears head on and overcome them.

3. Learn to embrace and love life.

Next, learn to embrace and love life. If you love your life you are much more willing to take the chances necessary to live the life of your dreams. Remember that loving life opens doors for us.

“Don’t shrink your dreams. Super-size your courage and abilities.” ~ Karen Salmansohn

You must believe in yourself and make it happen. You have to keep trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone a little bit every day in order to work on your courage and self-confidence. Remember that practice does make perfect. You can achieve anything in life if you just believe it!

4. Trust yourself.

Another important step is learning to trust yourself. You must be able to trust yourself before you can trust the flow of life or others. If you do not trust then you will continue to allow fear to rule your life. Trusting yourself will empower you and bring about the positive things that you want in your life.

5. Let go of the past. 

The next important step is to let go of the past and not allow it to define you. Just because you failed in the past at something it does not mean that you will fail every time. Remember that every failure is one step closer to success. Forget about yesterday and focus on today. Every seed you plant today counts toward your future harvest!

“If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” ~ Jillian Michaels

6. Stop worrying and start living. 

We need to quit worry about perfection and accept that we are human and we learn through trial and error. Just like when we were learning to walk it was not about how many times we fell but it was about how many times we got back up and tried again. As adults we have come to worry more about the bumps and bruises than our journey. We need to let go and not obsess about every little imperfection. I have learned to strive to focus on just doing my very best and learning from my mistakes. All that matters in life is that you give it your very best and live life to the fullest. The only fear should be fear itself. It is better to live with mistakes than to live a life filled with regret.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to dance in the rain. ~ Author Unknown

Life Songs: for Alex

A list of songs that really mean alot to my heart and soul at this moment in time. Thought I would share the lyrics with you.

I Will Rise – Chris Tomlin

“I Will Rise”

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
[x2]

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Even If

MercyMe

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’tIt’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right nowI know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You aloneThey say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through…

Here Again

Elevation Worship

Can’t go back to the beginning
Can’t control what tomorrow will bring
But I know here in the middle
Is the place where You promise to beI’m not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
‘Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here againAs I walk now through the valley
Let Your love rise above every fear
Like the sun shaping the shadow
In my weakness Your glory appearsI’m not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
‘Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here again
I’m not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
‘Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here againNot for a minute
Was I forsaken
The Lord is in this place
The Lord is in this place
Come Holy Spirit
Dry bones awaken
The Lord…

Beauty for Ashes. Isaiah 61:3

When my Bride and I were scheduled to get married, we were at church, and we had gone up to the front for prayer, and we were both feeling a bit excited and anxious as well. The lady who was praying for us, she prayed this prayer from Isaiah 61:3, God, give them the beauty the need for the ashes that have been on their life. Help them to rise up together, as the set out on a new adventure together. For us, it was confirmation for the both of us, at the time, and now, it is very real to us again, but for different reasons, and now, Our Creator is about to do something new and great in our lives together and in our marriage.

Isaiah 61:3 says, “to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Isn’t it beautiful that God says He can give you beauty for ashes? We love that. I think we concentrate on the beauty, but unless you give Him your ashes, you don’t get the beauty. There is a substitution plan here. There is a plan where you give Him your ashes. Then He, in return, gives you His beauty. We hold onto our ashes and wonder, Why doesn’t my life change? Where is His beauty? Well, where are your ashes? You held on to them and He couldn’t give you His beauty.

What are ashes? Ashes, I believe, are the wounded parts of our lives. Everybody has wounds; everybody has ashes–and all kinds of them. Sometimes they happen with a family member. There can just be every kind of a thing–a mate, your children, your job, your church. Ashes happen every place. Everybody gets wounded.

I think the hardest wounds to turn to the Lord are the ones you wounded yourself with when you have done stupid things.

When something is burnt by fire, what you have left is ashes; a soft, greyish-black powdery substance. Imagine how a person who has ashes rubbed all over his face would look.

In the spiritual realm, the devil rubs spiritual ashes on people. He can rub spiritual ashes on a person’s face, marriage, business, job application, or visa application. A single lady for instance who has spiritual ashes rubbed on her, would appear so unattractive to potential suitors.

Spiritual ashes signify or symbolize 4 things:

  1. A mark of disfavour
  2. Loss
  3. Spiritual dryness, emptiness, or death
  4. Mourning, grief, or sorrow

God promises us in Isaiah 61:3 that He will give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes. In the place of prayer, we are going to address everything in our lives that represents spiritual ashes.

PRAYER POINTS:

  • Father, please forgive me for every sin I have been indulging in that has robbed me of your beauty and glory.

Sin is a type of spiritual ashes that covers a person with filth and dirt.

  • Father, by the blood of Jesus, remove any ashes in my life that came as a result of besetting sins in my life. Let the cleansing power in the blood of Jesus avail for me today.
  • Wind of God, blow off every spiritual dust covering my life.
  • Father, remove spiritual ashes from every area of my life and replace it with your divine beauty and glory.  As you cover me with your glory, let uncommon favour be my portion (Esther 2, 12 -13, 15-17).
  • Lord, restore every good thing I have lost by evil fires the enemy sent into my life. Restore virtues, opportunities, promotions, breakthroughs and blessings I lost through evil spiritual fires.
  • Father, in a mighty dimension, release the fire of the Holy Spirit on my life. Set my spiritual life; my prayer life, bible study, faith and ministry on fire that there will be no room for spiritual ashes in my life. Make me a flame of fire for you not someone who is spiritually dry and weak. Let my spiritual life be alive with your fire not dead with ashes (Hebrews 1:7).
  • Father, baptize me afresh with the Holy Spirit. Fill me with the fire of the Holy Spirit so I am untouchable to any evil fire, dart or arrow (Daniel 3:26-27, Psalm 105:15).
  • I stand against every evil conspiracy and oath that has been taken to cut short my life or the lives of my family members (Acts 23:12). 
  • I declare that I shall live and not die. My family members will not mourn over me this year, I will not mourn over any family member.
  • O Lord, give me beauty for ashes. Turn my mourning to dancing. I refuse to wear garments of mourning, sadness and sorrow (Psalm 30:11).
  • Father, this year and beyond, let my life be full of celebrations, thanksgiving and rejoicing (Jeremiah 30:19). 

Rebuilding Trust with your Spouse…

Trust in an intimate relationship is rooted in feeling safe with another person. Infidelity, lies, or broken promises can severely damage the trust between a husband and wife. That, however, does not necessarily mean that a marriage can’t be salvaged. Although rebuilding trust can be challenging when there is a significant breach, it is, in fact, possible if both partners are committed to the process.

Picking Up the Pieces

It takes much time and effort to re-establish the sense of safety you need for a marriage to thrive and continue to grow. Recovery from the trauma caused by a break in trust is where many couples who want to get back on track can get stuck.

Research has shown that couples must address the following five sticking points in order to effectively move past a breach of trust:1

  • Knowing the details
  • Releasing the anger
  • Showing commitment
  • Rebuilding trust
  • Rebuilding the relationship

Whether you were the offending partner or the betrayed, to rebuild the trust in your marriage, both of you must renew your commitment to your marriage and to one another.

Know the Details

Even in seemingly clear-cut cases of betrayal, there are always two sides. The offending partner should be upfront and honest with information, in addition to giving clear answers to any and all questions from their partner. This will give the betrayed party a broader understanding of the situation. What happened, when, and where? What feelings or problems may have contributed to this situation? What were the mitigating circumstances?

Release the Anger 

Even minor breaches of trust can lead to mental, emotional, and physical health problems. Partners may have trouble sleeping or diminished appetite. They may become irritable over small things or be quick to trigger.

While it may be tempting to stuff all of the anger and emotions down, it is imperative that betrayed partners tune in and reflect on all the feelings that they have. Consider the impact of your partner’s betrayal on you and others. Reflect on how life has been disrupted and all the questions and doubts that are now emerging. Make your partner aware of all these feelings.

Even the offending partner is encouraged to express any feelings of resentment and anger they may have been harboring since before the incident.

Show Commitment

Both parties, especially the betrayed, may be questioning their commitment to the relationship and wondering if the relationship is still right for them or even salvageable.

Acts of empathy—sharing pain, frustration, and anger; showing remorse and regret; and allowing space for the acknowledgement and validation of hurt feelings—can be healing to both parties.

Building off of this, defining what both sides require from the relationship can help give partners the understanding that proceeding the relationship comes with clear expectations that each person, in moving ahead, has agreed to fulfilling.

Both parties must work to define what is required to stay committed to making the relationship work. In communicating this, avoid using words that can trigger conflict (e.g., always, must, never, should) in describing what you see, expect, or want from your spouse. Instead, choose words that facilitate open conversation and use non-blaming “I” statements.

For example, favor “I need to feel like a priority in your life” over “You never put me first.”

Rebuilding Trust

Together, you must set specific goals and realistic timelines for getting your marriage back on track. Recognize that rebuilding trust takes time and requires the following:

  • Decide to forgive or to be forgiven. 
  • Make a conscious decision to love by trying to let go of the past. While achieving this goal fully may take some time, committing to it is what’s key.
  • Be open to self-growth and improvement. 
  • You can’t repair broken trust with just promises and statements of forgiveness. The underlying causes for the betrayal need to be identified, examined, and worked on by both spouses for the issues to stay dormant.
  • Be aware of your innermost feelings and share your thoughts. 
  • Leaving one side to obsess about the situation or action that broke the trust is not going to solve anything. Instead, it is important to openly discuss the details and express all feelings of anger and hurt.
  • Want it to work. 
  • There is no place in the process for lip service or more lies. Be honest about and true to your wishes.

Once the above points have been taken to heart by both sides, talk openly about your goals and check in regularly to make sure you are on track.

For the Offender

As the person who compromised the relationship, it may be hard or even painful to be reminded of your wrongdoings. Remember, though, that the above steps are essential to the process of repair and recovery. As you work on them:

  • If you are the one in your marriage who lied, cheated, or broke the trust, your partner needs you to show that the errant behavior is gone by changing your behavior. That means no more secrets, lies, infidelity, or anything else of the sort. Be completely transparent, open, and forthcoming from now on.
  • Be honest. Work to understand and state why the bad behavior occurred. Statements such as “I don’t know” don’t instill confidence or help you get to the root of the issue.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions and decisions; defensiveness will only perpetuate the conflict or crisis. Justifying your behavior based on what your spouse is doing or has done in the past is also not productive.

For the Betrayed

While moving forward hinges a lot on what your partner is able to show you, remember that work that you do also has a lot to do with your potential success. As you proceed, day by day:

  • Actively work on understanding why and what went awry in the relationship before the betrayal actually took place. While this won’t help you forget what happen, it may help you get some answers you need to move on.
  • As hard as it may be, once you have committed to forgiving your partner, work on providing positive responses and reinforcement to help give your partner consistent feedback to things that please you or make you happy.
  • Know that it’s also OK if you do not want to continue the relationship after considering the above steps or beginning them. Just be honest with yourself, and your partner and don’t go through the motions just because you feel that is what is expected of you as a devoted partner.

For the Couple

While there’s independent work to do, remember to:

  • Listen completely to one another.
  • Remind one another that you each deserve open and honest answers to your questions about the betrayal.

Rebuilding the Relationship

Once couples have committed to rebuilding trust, they must work on treating the relationship like it is a completely new one. Both sides must ask for what they really need and not expect their partner to simply know what it is they want.

Do not withhold trust in this new relationship, even though it is with the same person. Withholding trust out of fear or anger will prevent you from emotionally reconnecting with your partner. This keeps your relationship from moving forward in a healthy way.

Instead, work toward rebuilding the relationship by doing the work required in building trust and rebuilding a mutually supportive connection. Come to an agreement about what a healthy relationship looks like to you both. Some examples include establishing date nights, working on a five year, ten-year and even 20-year plan together, finding your love languages, and checking in with your partner about how you feel the relationship is doing or if it is living up to your expectations.

Remember that all relationships require work. Even the closest of couples have to work hard at renewing the spark while working to grow in the same direction together, year after year.

A Study on my Spiritual Journey: My Creator has given me everything I need for Life and godliness…

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3; NIV).

“Everything you need for life.” Doesn’t that sound a bit ambitious, even pretentious?

What do you need for life? Wisdom for raising kids. Courage in the face of opposition. Peace under pressure. Faith in the face of tragedy. Comfort in bereavement. Love when you feel alone. Healing when you are wounded. Strength when you are overwhelmed. Where can you get everything you need for life?

I would never have chosen this title if it were not for Peter’s words: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (v3). Peter is making an extraordinary claim: In Jesus Christ you will find everything that you need for life!

Jesus is sufficient for ALL of life

This challenges the way people often think about Christianity. We often view our lives as a series of compartments: My work—that’s one area. My family—that’s another. My pleasure—that’s what I do just for me and for my own joy. There’s my faith—which is a very important part of my life. And then there are my hopes and dreams

Most folks in church would agree that Jesus Christ has everything we need for faith. He’s enough to fill that compartment, but some are not sure that he has everything we need for life! Peter presents us with completely different picture. You will find in Jesus Christ not just everything you need for faith, but everything that you will face in life!

Think about what that means for getting through life in middle school or high school–your first experience of discovering that the world is unfair. Peter says Jesus Christ is everything you need for dealing with this. Your first experience of rejection, of finding yourself outside the group, Christ is everything you need for that. You will experience struggles with your own moods. Jesus is everything you need.

God’s divine power has given you everything you need for life in middle school and high school through your knowledge of Jesus Christ. Everything you need for life in old age. Everything you need for married life. Everything you need for single life. Everything you need for your mid-life crisis. Where you discover that what you have done is less than you thought. You look at how long you have to go and it’s less than you thought too.

We are talking about life in all of its fullness here, and Peter is saying to us that Jesus Christ is sufficient, not only for faith, but for all of life. If you can see that He is sufficient, not just for a corner of your life, but for the whole of it, this will change how you follow Jesus Christ.

“Godliness” means God-centered living

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness (v3).

Peter has a particular kind of life in mind. He talks about “life and godliness.” A godly life is more, rather than less. Godliness simply means a life that is centered on God. In Jesus Christ you will find everything you need for a life that flows out of a passion for God. The life he’s talking about is not an artificial one, where you try to conform to certain religious expectations and try to be a good person. No, it is a life animated and energized by the power of God for everything you need. And the freedom and the joy for the kind of life you will find in your knowledge of Jesus Christ.

By any standards this is one of the most amazing statements in the entire Bible. It headlines what God has to say to us through this letter and it takes us to the heart of authentic Christianity.

What is Christian Faith?

To whom is Peter speaking? He says right at the beginning that he is writing to “those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours” (v1). Peter is writing to those people who have “a faith as precious as ours.” This immediately raises the question: What kind of faith is that? Because it is only to those who have this kind of faith that the promise is given: You have everything you need for life.

Christian faith is faith in Jesus Christ

Notice three things that Peter affirms here:

  1. Jesus is God: “Our God … Jesus Christ” (v1). If someone says: “Jesus is never referred to as “God” in the Bible,” show them 2 Peter, or John’s gospel where Thomas falls before the risen Lord Jesus, and says “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
  2. Jesus is Savior: “Our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (v1). The world teaches you to have confidence in yourself. The Bible teaches you to have confidence in him. I know that I will mess up in many ways through my life, but I am quite sure that Jesus Christ will not mess up on his work, which is to save me and on the last day present me before the Father without fault and with great joy.
  3. Jesus is Lord: “The knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (v2). Christian faith is confidence in Jesus Christ. It is confidence in His ability to bring you through every circumstance of life. I know that I will face many trials and many temptations and many circumstances of life that are too great for me. But I know that they are not too great for him. He is Lord over the darkest temptations and the strongest devils.

He is Savior. He is Lord. He is God. He is with me and he is for me. Christian faith is confidence in Jesus Christ. That’s why we want him to be at the center of everything we do in worship. That’s why he’s at the center of the Bible.

Christian faith is apostolic

A faith as precious as ours (v1).

We often speak about personal faith. That’s good, because you have to believe for yourself; nobody else can believe for you. But Christian faith is more than personal; it is apostolic. To be a Christian means that you share the same faith as the apostles. We often ask people, “Do you have a personal faith?” It might be better to ask, “Do you have an apostolic faith? Do you share the faith of the Apostles? Do you believe what they believed?”

What matters is not that you have “a faith” (as if you had to make up your own), but that you hold to “the faith” (the apostolic faith), the faith that was “once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude v3). The apostolic faith is the only one worth having! For the promises of the gospel belong to the people who share the same faith as the Apostles.

Christian faith is God’s gift and His command

…to those… who have received a faith as precious as ours (2 Peter 1:1).

You received this faith. You did not generate it. The apostle Paul said the same thing in different words: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).

Faith is also a command that we obey: Jesus said, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22). That’s a command! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31). That’s a command; God calls us to do this. Faith is God’s gift and his command.

Have you ever thought about how strange it is when a preacher says to an unbeliever: “Put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”? How can an unbeliever put his or her faith in Jesus? If you are an unbeliever, then by definition you do not believe. And if you do not believe, then you don’t have any faith to put in Jesus!

So how can anyone ever be saved? The disciples asked that question once, and Jesus said “With man it is impossible but … all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). God is able to create faith where it does not exist. He created the world out of nothing, and he is able to create a faith that you can go and exercise.

It is a strange tension that faith is both a gift and a command. When Augustine understood this he said to God, “Command what you will, only give what you command!”

It is important to understand something about Augustine: God was calling him to change, but he did not have the capacity to change. “Lord, you are absolutely free to issue any command you choose. But please understand this, Lord. I don’t have what it takes to do what you command. If you command me to have faith, that’s fine with me. But I don’t have faith, so you need to give it to me.”

If you are not yet a Christian, this is a great place to begin. You can come to God today as Augustine did. You can say: “You command me to have faith, and I don’t have it. So give me what I do not possess. Make me what I am not.” Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7). That’s how you come to God: Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to your cross I cling.

If you come to God like that today, it will change your life. You are admitting that you cannot save yourself. You are casting yourself on Him. You are agreeing with Jesus that your salvation is impossible apart from God. There’s a strange irony here: The first step of faith is to admit that you do not have it, and to ask God to give you what you do not have.

Christian faith comes through Jesus’ own glory and goodness

Our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (v3).

What would make an unbelieving person want to follow Jesus today? The first reason is his goodness—the sheer excellence of his life, the abundance of his grace and kindness. The second reason is his glory—the total impact of all that he is. That’s how Jesus draws people—he calls us through his own glory and goodness.

Think about how this relates to evangelism. If we want to see people follow Christ, we should make much of his glory and his goodness. Make him the focus of your Sunday school class, or small group. Keep him central when you share the gospel. Remember that the gospel is not about you and your faith. It is about Jesus and his glory.

Jesus said, “When I’m lifted up, I’ll draw people to myself” (John 12:32). Faith is formed as Christ is exalted. When you see his glory and goodness you will be compelled to follow him.

What Does God Promise to Those Who Have This Faith?

By his own glory and goodness… [Jesus Christ] has given us his very great and precious promises. (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Participation in the divine nature

He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature (v4).

What does that mean? How can you participate in the divine nature? Either you would somehow have to enter into God, which the Bible never suggests happens. Or God would somehow have to enter into you. The Bible clearly teaches that when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Spirit enters the life of that person.

When Peter says “you may participate in the divine nature” (v4), he is talking about our union with Christ. This is the same thing the Apostle Paul is speaking of when he says: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). Our Lord puts it in a picture “I am the vine you are the branches. If a man remains in me he will bear much fruit” (John 15:5). These are all different ways of talking about a shared life.

Many of us think that we have all that God has to offer, but all we have is forgiveness for the past, heaven for the future, and a great void in between. I want you to grasp this: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (v3). The gospel is more than forgiveness and heaven. It is God’s power and presence in your life today.

A man by the name of Henry Scougal put it this way: The life of God in the soul of man. That’s the promise of the Gospel. That means new power, new desire, and new capacity.

When we are in heaven we will see Jesus in all of his glory. We will say “I knew he was great, but not this great! And to think the he was with us all the time on earth! Why didn’t we have more faith? Why didn’t we make more progress?”

Escape from corruption in the world

He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may… escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (v4).

What’s wrong with the world? Where does the corruption in the world come from? What would need to change if we are to have a world of freedom and justice and love and joy?

There are many answers to these questions. Some people will tell you that the corruption in the world comes from lack of education, lack of opportunity, or lack of resources. The Apostles would not agree with that.

Peter says the corruption in the world is caused by evil desires. That’s why you find corruption in people who have education, opportunity, and resources, as well as those who don’t. What evil desires are we talking about? Envy, greed, lust, pride, and laziness—to name just a few. These desires are in us, and they corrupt us.

Teenagers: Do you ever find yourself overcome by moods, and you say to yourself, “Where did that come from? Why was I like that?” Do you ever find yourself looking at another person—at what they have, and their success? It eats away at you and you say, “Why is my life not like that?” You don’t want to be like that, but you can’t seem to help it. There’s something going on inside you. It spoils you. It corrupts you, but you can’t get free from it.

Understand your position

What does Peter mean when he says we can “escape” the corruption in the world? I am a Christian but I have an ongoing battle with lust or greed or pride or envy. What do you mean escape? I struggle with evil desires all the time!

Some of you will have seen the film, The Fugitive.[1] A doctor is framed for the murder of his wife. He is sentenced to jail, but while they are moving him to a penitentiary there is an accident. The bus rolls off the road, and in the chaos that follows, the character, played by Harrison Ford, escapes. He becomes “the fugitive.”

He hits the road with a mission: to find the truth and to establish justice. He moves from place to place, constantly in danger of being apprehended. He finds himself in a great struggle. He is relentlessly pursued. It seems like the whole world is against him, but he is not in chains. He is free.

That’s your position as a Christian believer. Understand your position and it will make sense of your experience: I am the fugitive. I have been released from captivity to sin and darkness by the power of Jesus Christ. I’ve escaped.

But sin and temptation are pursuing me. Satan, who once held me captive, is always after me. He is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan wants to get you back in chains, but God is with you and He will protect you. Sin is your enemy, but it is no longer your master (Rom. 6:14).

You will be hounded by the world, the flesh, and the devil all your life. You are in for a life-long struggle, but you are not in chains. You are not a captive. You have escaped! You can move. You can act! And this freedom is God’s gift to you in the Gospel.

Hear God’s promise

I want to speak to Christians who feel defeated. I want you to hear this promise: By his power, and through Jesus Christ, God’s promise to you in the Gospel is that you should escape the corruption caused by evil desires. Sin shall no longer be your master.

You will not escape the battle with evil desires. But if you are in Christ, you have escaped their power over you. Stop telling yourself you are in chains when God has set you free.

I thank God for this promise. A gospel that offers forgiveness but not power isn’t big enough for life. Many people have heard a gospel that is about forgiveness for the past and heaven for the future, but it says nothing about God’s power to change your life now.

That’s why there are many who attend church and profess faith, but never grow. They remain stuck in the same failures, gripped by the same fears, trapped in the same despair.

Peter says “Let me tell you about a faith that is big enough for life. Let me tell you about God’s power that gives us everything we need for life and godliness. That power will come into your life through Jesus Christ who calls you by his own glory and goodness.”

And here is his promise: his Spirit will live in you, giving you new power, new desire, and new capacity, so that you will escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires! Sin shall no longer be your master!

Fundraiser to get our Service Dog For our Son, Tyler.

Our Son Tyler, he is 10 years old. and my Wife Jill Atkinson

Help us Spread the Word. (Please Share).

4 Paws For Ability (Ohio)  is training a multipurpose service dog for my son Tyler (age 10). Tyler has severe non-verbal autism, Type 1 Diabetes, seizures,  paralyzing migraines & ADHD.

4 Paws will have Tyler’s dog ready early 2020, but we must get to Ohio & train with the dog for 2 weeks. Tyler cannot fly so I need to rent an RV and pay for a caregiver to join us. The cost needed includes RV rental, fees, gas,  food and caregiver expenses.

Thank you for reading Tyler’s story and for your act of kindness in donating and passing his story on.

FundRaising Event

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Please send us a comment. What country you are reading this from, and if you are able to share our little story.

Many many many heart felt thanks from:

Alex & Jill Atkinson, Tyler and Jesse Renfro.