God at Work
Cody and Lina Wass
God' Getting You to a Better Place
It is amazing how near God feels when you are in the midst of a trial! I am still in a trial, more or less. Read More
Last year I met a girl who I thought was a believer. After considerable thought and prayer, I thought she was the one God had more me; and so after courting her, I asked her to marry me in November of last year. In January of this year my mom, my fiance, and I were sitting down discussing possible color schemes and her likes and dislikes to use for the wedding and reception; when one honest question from my mom, God used to open a crack into the soul of my fiance. Inside of her she was harboring anger, resentment against people she didn't even know, fears, insecurities, and most horrifying of all, I saw an utter darkness in her. I was so taken aback at what I saw, I didn't know how to respond. So, I immediately went to God's word for the answers.
The next day, I told her about what I saw in her, and spoke the truth in love to her. We then began a study which involved a self examination to help point out our weaknesses and sinful attitudes and how we should relinquish all of our sin to Christ. And for the next six weeks I spent countless hours studying the scriptures looking for the truth to share with her. Each day brought more truth and encouragement to keep going to try and show her that she needed to surrender her sin to Christ and make Him Lord of her life. Only then could she be set free.
I finally came to the place where God showed me I could not go any further. There was a spiritual line which I would not cross. I had begun to lose parts of myself, I was losing my joy. She was enslaved to her own sin, even though she professed to being a believer; and she was beginning to drag me down with her. But if that was true, if she was free from sin and made alive in Christ, where was her fruit? I saw very little fruit if at all. She was still choosing to remain in darkness. "Choose to sin, choose to suffer." As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" So with that knowledge in mind, that light cannot fellowship with darkness, I made the decision to break off my engagement with her.
It has only been a week now, and though I still have a ways to go, your book entitled When Life Is Hard has been a constant source of encouragement to me. One phrase from the book that continues to encourage me to remain in this trial that God has me in is, "This trial is working together for your good. As tough as the hard place your are at is, God is getting you to a better place. You have to hold on to that. God knows where to bull's-eye is and He's aiming for it."
I was Bought and Paid For
God has worked in my life during a trial by never leaving me or forsaking me. He showed me he could keep a promise. He does not lie. I do not want to imagine my life without him. I would have died of a broken heart many years ago. Read More
I have never in my entire life have been loved by another human being in a healthy way. My father a physically abusive, sexually abusive, and verbally abusive lost and broken man.
I lived to protect my mother. I loved her so much. I would wake to hear him screaming at her, beating her, my sisters would hide. I a tiny child, would run to her, jump on my fathers back and run interference until he set her free. My mother would leave me and hide, while he beat me. The next day I would be remprimanded by my mother for being naughty. My father would banish me to my room and my sisters were ordered to have nothing to do with me. I would be grief stricken sobbing, beleiving something was wrong with me. My little sister who was three or four..was my little angel. I was lying on the floor sobbing my heart out..lonely and broken. She snuck into my room crawled under the bed and poked he little face out, and said "I still love you." I will never forget that.
My mother sent us to free vacation bible camp at the Baptist Church on year and I would sing "Jesus loves me this I know" whenever I was sad.
When I was fourteen, I started going to church with a friend; they kept talking about born again.. I asked her and her mother what that meant. They told me God loves me. I could not believe that anybody would love me. I asked if she was sure. I could not believe it, I was so happy someone loved me.
I prayed every day that my dad would stop hurting us but he never did. I later moved out and saw how broken and lost to sin he was. He did quit drinking and I witnessed to him on his death bed. I praise God everyday that he accepted Jesus before he died.
I have spent my life trying to be good enough. Now I surrender to God because He loves me. He chose me for his very own. He promised to bind up my wounds. To forgive me for all my sins and make me as clean as freshly fallen snow. For his name's sake, I live and will honor him. I was bought and paid for. I cling to Father God who has promised me a life more abundant and free. Every wound I have received that brought harm to me God will use for good purposes. For my good and His glory.
Lean on God
My husband after 31 years of marriage has filed for divorce. He told me he wasn't in love with me anymore. I thought we had a great marriage. This was the last thing I ever thought would happen. I thought my world was coming to an end. Read More
I have had long and hard conversations with God. My husband has always been my best friend we have been together since I was 16 years old and he was 17, we dated for two years then got married.
I told God I couldn't live without my husband, my whole world was him, but God has been showing me that I need to learn that God needs to be my whole world. This has been one of the hardest years and also the most learning year I have ever had.
I love my husband more now than I did before and that is only through God. Your program had been such a help to me. It has really gotten me to think and understand more of why I am going through this trial. I know now that God is there to help me through it and He will be with me through the court hearing that will be coming up in the next couple months or so. I have learned not to lean on man so much but to lean on God.
Never Give Up
My husband and I have struggled to raise a disobedient child for the last ten years. In our discouragement and exhaustion, we so often wonder what God is doing. Read More
But despite how we may feel at any given time, we try to hold on to the truth; God is in control and He has a plan for us and for our son. God has put us through a lot. But through it all our faith and our trust in Him has grown.
After two years of unemployment, my son proved that he can be trusted. We all must get to the point where we must believe that God loves us and that any trial that comes, whether it be short or long, He has only good in store for us at the end of the trial. Never give up! He never will.
Standing on His Promises
When God allows you to be crushed, can you still trust Him? I was raised in a Christian home. My mom and dad were fruitful believers active in their church, Dad was 86, Mom 84. I had my ticket to California to help my sibs move them into assisted living. Dad, with onset of dementia and effects of seizure medication, began to feel stressed about the move. Read More
On January 2 he took my mother's life and then his own. How could God let this happen to this faithful couple...to us? Job 11 says, "Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens-what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave-what can you know?"
This space cannot begin to hold all that God has done for me. I can tell you God is good and He is present. It has been more painful than I can describe, but as Jesus "endured the cross for the joy set before him", I am enduring in His strength for that same joy. I have be en entrusted to "share in His sufferings". God has stepped out of the safe box I had Him in, and has become bigger, more mysterious, more powerful and more trustworthy than I ever knew before. He has given me scripture, songs (Not For a Moment by Meredith Andrews), dreams, circumstances, people and sermons (When Life is Hard by James MacDonald) perfectly timed when I cry out to Him.
Two weeks before this my son, who I homeschooled, put through Christian high school and poured the love of God into, informed me that he was turning his back on God and us to live a sinful and worldly lifestyle. Again, why God? I thought I had done everything you required.
I am learning that there is only one thing that God requires...that I trust Him. So I am standing on the promises, loving Him, singing, eyes and ears wide open to see His glory and presenting myself as a living sacrifice for Him to use however and whenever He wants. I know His eyes are on me. He weeps for me. He sings over me. He holds me. He answers me when I call out. One day He will take me, and I am trusting,my loved ones to be with Him in glory. I want to hear Him say, "Well done".
He's Healing My Family
My family is going through so much... I have been listening to James MacDonald's series When Life is Hard on WAY Radio. All the while I was thinking this is a trial but when I really dug deep into the Word of God and listened to Pastor James' messages I realize it is not a trial, but consequences of a chain of decisions outside of Gods will - SIN! Read More
This situation is greatly impacting my oldest son and the consequences may cause him to lose his 11 month old son to a lost mother who does not want the baby.
All of this strife has brought my son and I back to the Lord that we love. We are helping each other every day as we dig into the Word to find out what God wants to do with us in all of this. I could go on and on about my broken family going all the way back to my grandparents. I now see what our Lord Jesus wants for us all and I believe He is healing my family through all that we are going through now. I do not know how or when, but my son and I are claiming the Lord's promise that He will hold us up and give us strength and wisdom as we walk through this with Him. Our Lord promises His never-failing love even in our darkest hour. Matthew 11:25-30 - We will allow Christ to set our direction, the pace and the goal. Pray for us!
My husband and I were married for over 23 years. A little over three months ago my husband came home and told me that he was leaving and divorcing me. Read More
This situation was a total shock - it was very hard at first. But God has been with me and I have drawn so much closer to the Lord. I ordered Pastor James's CD on When Life is Hard and it has been a real help.
At the Foot of the Cross
My wife and I have had a lot of trials and hardships over the course of our courting and marriage - Surgeries needed to fix me from being hit by a car. We were blessed with a little girl who is a bright, vibrant, and energetic three year old. Shortly after her birth, we found out that we were going to have another child, we were so excited. Read More
When we went to do the ultrasound to find out what it was, we were met with exciting news, it was going to be a boy, our first son. Again, a cause for great joy. But it was also accompanied by news that they needed to do more tests on (my wife) Ashley and the baby because there were things that they were seeing that they needed to look into further. After more tests and closer looks, they had determined that our son (Kaiden) may have a genetic disorder. I remember Ashley and I crying, praying, and holding one another along with our daughter. We prayed and we had our church lay hands on Ashley routinely, and the specialists were always insistent on us aborting our child. We, however, were resolute in the belief that life starts with God, and we put our faith in Him - Ashley said that she would carry Kaiden for as long as God gave him to us.
The next six months flew by, and we sat and spent time with Kaiden inside Ashley as much as we could, we sang songs to him, we prayed for him, our daughter slept next to mommy's tummy to be next to her little brother. (Which was extremely remarkable because by this time she was only about a year old. But she knew that she had a brother and she knew that there was something that was off that she couldn't quite understand.)
Then the night came. About six weeks before the due date, God deemed Kaiden Joshua to come, and everything happened so quickly and quietly (as was Kaiden's personality) but he was not strong enough to make it through the labor process. He ended up being an emergency C-section. and the doctors tried so hard to do everything they could to save him, but in the end Kaiden was stillborn. It completely turned my world, my life upside down and inside out. My son was here and then gone in the twinkling of an eye.
Ashley and I later found out that He had a rare genetic defect that makes it very hard to live outside of the womb. and he had passed before the doctors could get him out. Ashley and I were grieved by this loss. Ashley in the way that only a mother can know and feel, and me as a father from the loss of a child, and from a husband, watching the impact on my wife and not being able to help ease the pain she was experiencing. Our pastor, and other members of the church had come by to see us, and pray, and hold us. The hospital was soo nice to Ashley as well as me. When they weighed Kaiden, they put a warm blanket between Kaiden's body and the scales which comforted us greatly. The hospital staff took the same level and amount of care with Kaiden that they would have for a live newborn.
A week later we buried him in the children's section of the cemetary we had picked out. Comfortingly enough, during the burial and ceremony, and the week that followed, it rained hard, and it rained long. I placed my son's body in it final resting place, and I as well as Kaiden's uncle placed dirt over him with a profound sense of loss and grief.
It has been two years since we laid our son to rest, there are days where it is easier and there are days where it is harder. We have pictures of him in a frame from the hospital. Ashley has a silver heart with his name engraved on it, that she wears around her neck. I had two sets of dog tags made (because I was in the Marine corps). I placed one set one with my name, and information, and one with his with him, and I keep the other.
All through this hardship, Ashley and I feel God's presence, and peace. We have never felt anger or resentment towards God. We don't understand why things had to happen the way that they did, but we trust in Him, and we trust He knows what He is doing. I have never sought to ask God for an explanation in my flesh, I know that would create a seed of resentment. Kaiden and everything surrounding him is where it rightly belongs, at the foot of the cross.
We have been trying for a while now to have another child and we have not met with success yet. Please be in prayer with us waiting on His timing.
Things are Getting Better
Finding this message series has been God working in the midst of our trial. We spent four years working as full-time missionaries in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky at a Christian boarding school, Oneida Baptist Institute. Read More
We felt that God was leading us back home to Alabama to help care for our parents and that it would be better for our children (ages 19 & 17). I got a job laid in my lap at the local county board of education. I work with some of the most amazing people!
The trial has come in with my husband not finding full-time employment and our daughter (17) going through depression because she did not want to leave KY (she didn't want to go to KY in the first place either) then developing migraines. Sometimes it has felt like we followed God into a valley and He was nowhere around. Things are getting better - not all the circumstances but our attitudes toward them.
Our daughter is still having battles with depression and the migraines are not really getting better. My husband is still without full-time employement but we got an encouraging word today - he has a job interview on March 7th at the local community college. We are praising God and continuing to pray without ceasing!! Now we just need wisdom in dealing with our daughter that we know what direction to take medically and also that she cannot play us as it feels she has done some of this time. We are weary in the struggle but determined to learn and move forward. Thank you for listening to my story. I praise God for your ministry!!
God is On Our Side
We lost our ten year old son in a four-wheeler accident this fall, and God has NOT left our side! I could go on and on with our story, but long-story short: through this pain, and because of the life for Jesus our son lived and still does, so many of our family members have given their life to Christ! Read More
Hallelujah! God DOES NOT allow things to happen simply, just to happen. There is a purpose, a plan, far greater than what we could ever imagine, and He honors us and anyone else who puts their complete faith in Him. One day, it will all be revealed. Until then, when we believers go through trials, we must let others see the Light of Jesus! Remember all of God's promises to us - He is faithful and true!
Just over a year ago my son and daughter-in-law slammed the door on my relationship with them and my precious newborn first grandchild. Any attempt to communicate with them was met with silence or threats of a restraining order. I was as close to "going under" as I've ever been in my life. Read More
During that time I studied James MacDonald's tapes on God's promises. I learned by experience to cling to God and know He loved me and would never let go of me. I gave my son and daughter-in-law and the relationship up to God. That gave me stability even though the pain was always there. I made a choice to cling to God even if I never saw my son again.
Then out of nowhere they began communicating again. We "talked" by email for several weeks and worked out all the things that were issues standing between us. One year almost to the day they were coming down my driveway for hugs and a renewed relationship. I'll never again doubt that God is with me and for me...not because of the renewed relationship but because of how He held me during the worst of times.
My husband and I have been married for twelve years. We married young and I thought he was a believer. A few years in the marriage I realized he was not. Since then, I and faithful church members have been praying for his salvation. Read More
He drank on and off for several years. The last five years you could classify him as an alcoholic. I stayed in the Word and after working though an Esther Bible study I was determined that I was going to seek God's direction daily. Seeking God's direction took me in different directions that I would not have chosen but it was all for good.
Last July the drinking was getting worse and I was worried for his health and for my children and what it was doing to them. I got down on my knees face on the floor and cried out to Jesus and asked Him for His help and for a mighty work that can only come from God. I called my dear sweet accountability partner and best friend - I was ready to pack up the kids and go. My best friend told me to just be still and know that God is in control. We both prayed. That was on a Monday. That Thursday he went to AA for the first time, Friday he said He was coming to church with us for the first time in years. That Sunday he really started seeking God. The following month my husband got saved! He is now almost five months sober. God is molding both of us and has given us a new marriage. God's timing is perfect. God is so good!
My whole life I grew up with a loving, caring and adoring Dad. Six months ago he introduced me and my husband to his new girlfriend. Two months after that he was stabbed defending her in an incident he would have never been involved in before he met her. Since then he has cursed me out and turned his back on me and my family. He no longer speaks for himself but allows this new woman to say whatever she wants - truth or lies - and very harsh/cruel words and statements. Telling the rest of my family lies about how things happened to validate their bad behavior. He has allowed her to destroy our family. Read More
I never would have thought with the loving and close relationship we had that he would ever treat us like this. I picked up this book, When Life is Hard, on my mother-in-law's coffee table and her husband purchased a copy for me knowing how valuable these lessons are. I cannot tell you how much this has helped me understand that although this hurts and I wish it were different - God has His own plans for me. He loves me and only wants to perfect me. I was more devoted to the wonderful dad I thought I had and I was neglecting the loving husband the Lord has blessed me with. I have learned how to be patient and truly give a situation to God. Thank You for this book and this website.
I am 37-years-old and currently going through a divorce with my wife of 14 years. She has told me that she is no longer in love with me and is not willing to try anymore. We have had a lot of ups and downs in the last few years, including the death of my father and impending death of my mother as well as numerous mistakes that we made financially. We have been through some Christian based counseling but she has "made her decision" and we have been separated for several weeks. Read More
At the beginning of this storm, I was fortunate to see Dr. MacDonald at the Moody Men's Conference and purchased this book, When Life is Hard. I have been reading it, and through that God revealed to me that what is happening is a consequence of very selfish behaviors and an inability to get help for things that were hurting me inside. My wife always asked me to put her first and I rarely did. I selfishly didn't make enough quality time with her as I should have as a husband.
I read today that "my marriage is in trouble after many years of neglect" (p155) and that a thief is "anyone who loses his marriage for stealing selfish interests" (p156). I haven't been able to stop crying because He revealed to me why this is happening. I keep begging Him for forgiveness for neglecting my wife and truly see what I've done to ruin my marriage. I am truly thankful that God has revealed the truth to me. I will continue to ask for forgiveness and pray that somehow my marriage can be restored even though it looks bleak. Thank you Jesus...