Tag Archives: God

Coping Better with Unwanted Change: Four Steps to Greater Peace and Joy (Step 4)

We’ve been talking about a four-step restorative process to help you cope better with unwanted change or loss in your life. Once you can see and accept what you’ve lost or cannot change (Steps 1-2) and have started to appreciate your remaining blessings and opportunities (Step 3), you will experience more peace and joy. But there’s still another step.

Hiking through the Swiss Alps

Step 4: “Delight”

Trust in the LORD and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Take delight in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)

What do you take delight in? What are the desires of your heart?

For me, I love my birthday, which I just celebrated last week. As usual, I took the day off from work to do whatever I felt like doing, all day long. I went out for breakfast, spent hours interacting with well-wishers on Facebook, reflected on my life and future, read something I was very interested in, celebrated with my family, and, of course, ate ice cream!

But birthday delights, holidays, Friday night dates, lazy Sunday afternoons, and other special times are the spice of life for me, not the main course. In the right measure, the little (or big) treats in life bring me a lot of joy. Too much of them, and they lose their specialness. If I try to take too much from them, they can become like idols—alluring and wonderfully distracting from weights and responsibilities, but lacking sufficient nutrition for my psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. If my delights become addictions, they become my masters and can even slowly destroy my life or the lives of others.

From Scripture, we learn that God gave us many wonderful things in nature, in our beloved relationships, in our vocations, and in many other aspects of our lives. They are God’s gifts to us, and key ingredients to living fully and joyfully. God wants us to delight in them, providing that our greatest love is for our Creator God. If we keep this relationship first in our hearts, then then rest of our desires, delights, and loves will fall into their proper places, in the right proportions.

When I was teenager, I thought that these verses in Psalm 37 meant that if you put God first in your life (“delight in the LORD”), then God would give you whatever you most want (“the desires of your heart”)—perhaps a lovely spouse, riches, property, good friends, fun experiences, etc. etc. But one day it dawned on me that there may be a more profound way to view this promise. Instead of interpreting these verses as describing something transactional (if you do this, then God will do that), the process may actually be transformational (if you do this, then your heart and mind will be changed, leading to an entirely new set of desired outcomes).

When the Psalmist says, “delight in the LORD,” he is not talking about saying or doing something just to try to win God’s favor to get something from God. Rather, he’s saying, genuinely take pleasure in your relationship with God, just as Jesus taught us to do when he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). Then, the more your heart’s desire is genuinely to know, love, and serve God with all your being, the more you will want what God wants for you, i.e., to live righteously (or justly) and to do good, or in Jesus’ words, to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:38). Delighting in your Creator God leads to delighting in fulfilling God’s good purposes for your life. And when you think and feel this way, the greatest joy and privilege God could ever give you would be to enable you to know, love, and serve God even better, and to receive more opportunities to let God love others through you.

For me, delighting in God includes taking time to appreciate all that God has done in creation and in my life. As a minister and professor, it also translates to spending most days happily teaching, researching, writing, coaching, praying for or with others, mentoring, and trying to help or encourage those who cross my path. As a married man with children, delighting in God and God’s calling on my life also means loving my wife and family as best I can.

I’m deeply grateful for the life that God has given me and for the ways Christ has inspired and called me to worship, serve, and love. Even with all the suffering, loss, and difficulties I and my family have had to endure over the years, putting God and Christ at the center of my heart and priorities has given me great meaning, purpose, peace, and joy, which I could not have found in the same way otherwise.

For you, delighting in God first may look different than it does for me, because you have your own relationship with God and Christ, and unique calling. But the spiritual principle is true for all those who can accept it, and the result of ordering your life in this way (greater peace and joy) will be the same: When you choose to delight in God and let God transform your heart’s desires to match God’s desires, God will surely give you the desires of your heart.

In Practice

By now, you should be experiencing the fruit of working through the first three steps: See, Accept, and Appreciate. But don’t stop there. Make a conscious decision to move toward finding and doing more things that delight you. And start with God.

If you’re ready to take the fourth step, reflect on the following questions.

  • Where are you looking for pleasure, peace, and joy from day to day?
  • How well does what you delight in line up with what God wants you to delight in?
  • What would it look like for you if you delighted more in God and God’s good purposes for your life?
  • If your heart’s desire matched God’s desire for you more closely, how would you order your life differently? What would you be praying for?

Bottom line: You can make a lot of progress toward greater peace and joy in your life by seeing, accepting, and appreciating. But the most important step of them all is Step 4: “Delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Suggested prayer: “Loving God, I want what you want for me and my life. Please teach me to delight in you, and transform the desires of my heart to match yours.”

Next week: The conclusion to this series of articles with more practical suggestions for how to move through the four steps to greater peace and joy in your life

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Coping Better with Unwanted Change: Four Steps to Greater Peace and Joy (Step 1)

What unwanted change is wreaking havoc in your life right now? Maybe it’s a significant loss—you were fired, someone you loved died or left you, or you’re grappling with an unexpected financial setback or liability. Maybe you received a frightening diagnosis, or you are struggling with an ongoing illness or disability. Maybe it’s an upsetting situation (or person) that you can’t avoid, such as an unreasonable boss, a troublesome neighbor, or a forced move and undesirable change of location. Whatever it may be, how are you handling it?

I’ve always been a glass-half-full kind of person. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Yet, how can you be upbeat when your life suddenly changes dramatically for the worse? How can you get past all the inner turmoil when you’ve lost so much or continually have to deal with a person or situation that you hate but can’t get away from?   

In this multi-part series, I’m going to share four steps that have been very helpful to me when I have felt heart-broken, frustrated, disappointed, sorry for myself, or any number of other negative emotions due to some unwanted change, circumstance, or person in my life. These insights first came to me many years ago when wrestling with painful relational issues when my family and I walked across northern Spain on the Camino in 2006. Over time, I’ve come to see that the same “4 Steps to Loving A Hard to Love Person” (See, Accept, Appreciate, and Delight) also provide a pathway to coping better with any unwanted change in my life. These steps may take a great deal of time to work through, but when taken thoughtfully and prayerfully, they have proven very helpful in getting unstuck mentally and emotionally in a wide variety of difficult situations. In this post, we’ll look at just the first step in this process.

Step 1: “See”

By the rivers of Babylon—

there we sat down and there we wept

when we remembered Zion.

Psalm 137:1 (NRSV)

When ancient Israel suddenly found themselves as captives in Babylon in 586 BC, they had to grapple with incredible losses—the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (Zion), their forced exile from their home country, and the collapse of their lives as they knew them. We can’t go back to reconstruct all the ways they handled this tragedy, but can infer from the text that, instead of putting their heads in the sand (e.g., by believing false prophets who tried to give them false hope of returning to Judah), the exiles saw the situation for what it was, faced the awful truth, and let themselves feel the emotional weight of their losses. “By the rivers of Babylon—there we sat down and there we wept….” Such grief was bitter, but it was also an important step toward moving forward.

However, for many of us, when we experience great loss or are suddenly forced to cope with frightening or overwhelming burdens, instead of facing the truth as the Israelites did, we get stuck in nonproductive, emotional turmoil. We may walk around in a daze or even in denial of what’s happened, or our fight-flight-freeze instincts may trigger an intense emotional response that either ties us up in knots on the inside or pushes us to act in unhelpful or even hurtful ways.

That’s what was happening to me for much of 2021. After 13 years of (in-person) teaching in Myanmar, the doors suddenly slammed shut in my face, when the military seized power in a coup-d’état on February 1. My school suspended all classes, the country began its ongoing slide into disarray, and it became no longer safe for me to return. Then there was the daily trauma from continual reports of imprisonment, beatings, or killing of protestors, doctors, journalists, political opponents of the regime, and even some of my students. Houses were burned to the ground and hundreds of thousands fled to the jungles to survive.

All this felt overwhelming and too difficult to fully face. For months, I felt almost panicky about my powerlessness to help them. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing more, yet I could never identify what I could do differently. And so, instead of coming to grips with reality, I lived in a perpetual state of anxiety on their behalf, as if sharing their distress and desperation would somehow prove that I wasn’t abandoning them in their hour of need. The truth was, I was so caught up in my unexamined, emotional reaction that I couldn’t realistically assess the situation. I was stuck in my emotional turmoil, carrying a burden that wasn’t helpful to me or anyone else.

In practice

How about you? Where are you being held prisoner by your emotional reactions? What do you need to see more clearly about whatever you’re grappling with?

  • What did you lose or what burden has been placed on your shoulders that you did not choose and do not want?
  • What is the clearest, most accurate, description of what happened or is happening?
  • If you could name it, in a word or two, what would you call what happened to you?
  • How is this [unwanted situation] affecting you emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually?
  • What is your best realistic assessment of the implications of this change for your future?

Even if it takes more time than you’d like to be able to answer these questions clearly, don’t give up until you get enough emotional distance to accurately assess your situation. Be patient with yourself, but don’t give up. The goal is to be able to make good decisions about your future based on the truth instead of being held prisoner to your emotional reactions or a distorted picture of reality.

Here is one short prayer that I created many years ago continues to be helpful to me whenever I’m in emotional turmoil and can’t seem to see clearly. Perhaps it will help you, too.

“Loving God, please help me to see whatever I need to see. Give me courage to face the truth, and wisdom and strength to act on whatever you reveal.”

Next week, Step 2: “Accept,” the next critical step toward recovering your inner peace and joy.

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Look Up for Hope

I lift up my eyes to the hills—

from where will my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth.

The LORD will not let your foot be moved…

The LORD will keep you from all evil;

he will keep your life.

The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in

from this time on and forevermore.

From Psalm 121

These are amazing words of inspiration and hope, but are they true? What does such faith mean for those who are traumatized and brutalized by others, such as the people of Myanmar, where thousands of people have had to flee for their lives into the jungle since the political upheaval began in 2021? How does the psalmist’s confidence apply to those whose homes have been burned to the ground? What sense do these assurances make to the families of those who have been beaten, tortured, or killed?

For years I struggled with such broad promises of the LORD’s protection and help in the face of so much exploitation and abuse of the vulnerable around the world. To trust in God’s deliverance sometimes seems ridiculous when so many suffer and die at the hands of evil doers. I’ve heard many testimonies of people who have experienced God’s miraculous help, yet other people of faith are never rescued by God.

At the same time, in spite of gut-wrenching experiences and unanswered questions, my faith in God has been indispensable and life-giving to me. God’s unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness have provided a powerful source of self-acceptance and daily hope. Jesus Christ’s resurrection gives me hope that someday there will be justice, if not in this life then in the next. God’s presence in my life motivates me to become the kind of man God wants me to be for my family and for my community. My experience of God’s love and grace fills me with more compassion and mercy for those who are weak and vulnerable, people who need to experience the light of Jesus Christ and the love of God through a fellow human being. Even though I can’t fully understand why God allows so many to suffer so horribly, I am deeply grateful for all that God has done in my life and in the lives of so many other people who have similarly reached out to God and put their faith In Jesus.

So how should we interpret assurances of God’s help and deliverance like we find in Psalm 121? Was every Israelite saved from evil, as the Psalmist declared? Certainly not. But the Hebrew writer was not a fool. He knew that even those with great faith in the LORD sometimes fall victim to evil and injustice. Everyone suffers in some way, and some day, each of us will die, no matter how many times we might be saved from a premature demise.

Yet, the psalmist is not offering words that are out of touch with reality, but ones that offer hope in the midst of our suffering. He provides guidance not so that we can live in denial or flee into fantasy, but so that we might find spiritual resources to face and cope with whatever is overwhelming us. He speaks in hyperbole and metaphor to inspire the people to lift their eyes from focusing on their troubles so that they might see what God sees and reach out for what only God can provide.

I cannot prove to you that God cares, and I cannot make sense of the gross disparities in the world and all the senseless violence and heart-breaking tragedies. Yet, I do know that hope and strength do not come from denial, fear or faithlessness. We will not be stronger or better by allowing ourselves to be swallowed up by cynicism, hatred, or vengefulness. If we focus on evil, we will be consumed by it.

If, instead, we focus on God, we will find the perspective and strength we need to face and overcome it. If you let go of questions about the prevalence of evil that no one can answer, and if you drop your resistance to that inner voice that is calling you to put your faith in your Creator and in Jesus Christ, you will find relief, acceptance, forgiveness, inner peace, and hope as never before. This kind of hope cannot be extinguished even in death. And the love that comes from God is more valuable, enduring, and powerful than anything else in all creation, for it is not based on your own accomplishment or worthiness, but on the character and power of God.

So, brothers and sisters in Christ, lift your eyes to gaze on the beauty and majesty of creation and of your Creator. “The LORD who made heaven and earth” has done amazing things in nature and for people of faith from the beginning of time. Lift your eyes to Jesus Christ to contemplate God’s character and intention to save you from yourself and from all those forces within you and in the world that you cannot overcome in your own strength, including death itself. Choose to trust that your Creator loves you and is active in your life for good. Lift your eyes up to your Redeemer–not necessarily to rescue you from all your troubles, but to provide strength to keep your head high, to follow Jesus Christ confidently, to serve God’s purposes faithfully, and to continue to reflect God’s light and love in the midst of so much darkness, hatred, and evil.

He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.  Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:32-39, NRSV

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No Easy Answers in a War Zone

Only Faith, Hope, and Love

HEAL Africa Doctors meeting for Bible Study in war-torn Eastern Congo

How can you answer troubling questions about God that have no easy answers? How can you talk about God’s love to traumatized people in a war zone, when God seems so distant and disengaged from their suffering? During my weekly Bible study that I conduct for a group of 20-30 doctors (pictured below) in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I’m often asked, “What should we say to our patients, whose family, friends, or neighbors have been driven from their homes or brutally murdered?” In Eastern Congo, some six million people have died due to violence, starvation, and disease over the past 25 years. Their nightmare has raised earnest questions about God that are difficult to answer, such as, “Does God care?” and “Why didn’t God protect us?”  

Meanwhile, in Europe, Russian troops are wreaking havoc across Ukraine, thousands are being injured or killed, and over three million people have been forced to flee the country in a matter of a few weeks so far. In Asia, as you well know, the crisis in Myanmar continues unabated and the suffering keeps multiplying. Everywhere there is great suffering from injustice and violence, the same kinds of questions keep arising among Christians. Even my Burmeses theological students want to know, “Are we suffering because God is punishing us?” “Is God ignoring us?” “Should we expect any help from God?”

Homes burn Loikaw Township, Kayah State, Myanmar, following Junta airstrikes, 2_23_22 PC_Free Burma Rangers

In my role as seminary professor and Bible teacher in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia over the past 15 years, I’ve been asked these kinds of questions repeatedly by people who are being traumatized by genocide, war, or oppression. However, rather than try to make up answers to unanswerable questions or offer up false hope, it’s been far more helpful to admit the limitations of human understanding about God and to focus practically and realistically on how we know that God works in the midst of great evil.

As I have struggled with my own understanding of what to expect from God, I have longed ceased to put my hope in God’s sudden appearance out of nowhere to save the people. I’d be delighted for any miraculous intervention God may choose to make, and I pray for God’s help and deliverance daily. But most of my hope rests on how God works in, among, and through those who know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.

I have never had a vision of Jesus, but I see Jesus in his body of believers all the time—in their compassionate acts of kindness, self-sacrificial service, hospitality, and generosity. They are riddled with all sorts of imperfections and failings, yet they treasure their relationship with God. They keep drawing from the well of God’s love and grace for light and life in the midst of their darkness. They love Jesus, and they genuinely want to share Jesus’ love with others. And do so, sometimes even at great personal cost.

It’s been inspiring to me to see the outpouring of support for those who are suffering in all the places where I serve— including, Ukraine, Myanmar, and the Congo—both from faithful followers of Christ within the countries and from a wide variety of caring people internationally. This is surely part of God’s plan to minister to those who call upon the name of the Lord in their distress.

There are no easy answers to the cries and confusion of people in a war zone. Nevertheless, when we, as the body of Christ, fulfill our purpose to be the heart, voice, hands, and feet of Jesus, the world will know that there is a God who cares. The power, presence, and love of God will be evident for others to experience through us. And we who serve in Jesus’ name will be less overwhelmed by the evil all around us, because our eyes will be focused more on what we can do and less on what we can’t; on what God is doing through us, and not on just on what we hope and pray that God will do for us.  

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

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Hope for Hopeless Times

Are you the victim of mistreatment and unjust oppression? Are you feeling hopeless? Are you wondering why God is allowing you to suffer so unfairly?

In this 29 minute presentation, in English with Burmese subtitles and photos from the present Myanmar context, I address the following four questions.

1. “Why us?”

2. “Why is God so silent?”

3. “Where can we find God?”

4. “What hope is there?”

When we suffer unjustly, we all want deliverance from our suffering. But when God does not spare us, we often want answers to questions like these. Now, some of these questions cannot be fully answered, given our limited ability to understand the will and ways of God. However, at the same time, the Bible has a lot to say about each one, and the experience of millions of followers of Christ shows that there truly is hope for those who live in seemingly hopeless circumstances. The key is to understand what kind of hope is available to us when there seems no way to stop those who are mistreating us or to escape our painful situation.

Coping with oppression and trauma is complicated and often requires therapy, pastoral counseling, and/or a lot of help from others. In this video, I do not try to address all of these issues comprehensively, but rather focus on the great spiritual resources that believers have in Jesus Christ and in the ongoing presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The more you learn how to draw on the Spirit’s support and encouragement, they more you will experience inner peace, inspiration, and hope to enable you to face whatever you must face in this life with greater strength and hope. Never do I suggest that suffering from mistreatment or oppression is easy, but I do know how much help comes from leaning on the Lord Jesus Christ at such times.

The original context for this video was a special talk for faculty and theological students at the Myanmar Institute of Theology, in Yangon, Myanmar. I welcome your comments and questions, as this is a topic for ongoing reflection, prayer, and discussion for the people in Myanmar and for all those who suffer unjustly.

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When I almost lost my faith…and the life-changing decision I made

When my mother slowly lost her mind due to dementia (Alzheimer’s disease), I was heartbroken. Then, I was angry. As the months turned into years, I started to become resentful and bitter toward God. Why didn’t God spare her and us from so much suffering? Why did he fail us?

In the final chapter of my book, What We Can Expect from God Now: Seven Spiritual Truths for Trusting God in Troubled Times, I tell my own personal story of grief over many losses in my life, including my mother’s heart-wrenching demise. During those years, I almost lost my faith. But one day, something surprising happened that saved my relationship with God. I understood that I needed to make a choice, a very important choice, with huge potential consequences.

In short, I finally understood what Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, meant when he wrote about his “leap to faith.” As a thinking-oriented person, ironically mired in resentment and bitterness, I had just about lost all hope for healing and renewal. But, what happened that day, and the decision I made, turned out to be a huge turning point in my life, for which I will always be grateful.

If you’ve been struggling with your faith, or feel resentful or even bitter toward God for something God did or didn’t do when you were suffering, I hope that something in this chapter will be life-giving and healing for you.

Chapter Eight (Conclusion) in “What We Can Expect from God Now” Video series (Read in ENGLISH with BURMESE subtitles. ©2021)

“ယခုချိန်တွင် ဘုရားသခင်ထံမှ ကျွန်ုပ်တို့ဘာကိုမျှော်လင့်နိုင်ပါသနည်း” စာအုပ်​၏နောက်ဆုံးအခန်း (မြန်မာစာတန်းထိုး ဗွီဒီယိုစီးရီးများ)

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Don’t let anxiety rule your life!

What’s your strategy for dealing with anxiety? Do you have a good one? Is it working?

In this chapter, I talk about my own experience with anxiety and some of what I have learned that has been most helpful to me over the years. For example, when I face my anxieties directly, they lose some of their power over me. When I use a practical tool that I developed to help me whenever I feel overwhelmed with anxiety (which I explain in detail in the video), I feel more peace and am better able to redirect my energy in positive directions. When a situation is completely outside of my control, I get strength by waiting on God. Most of the examples pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I hope the application to the current political and social crises will be obvious.

I know that there is a lot to be concerned about in these troubled times. I pray that the teaching in this chapter will be practical and helpful for you. As you put your faith into action and apply this spiritual wisdom when you feel anxious, you will see the difference. You will grow in many ways, be more useful to yourself and others, and God will give you greater peace, strength, and confidence to face all that you must face and endure.

Chapter 7, in “What We Can Expect from God Now” (©Timothy C. Geoffrion, 2020) with Burmese subtitles:

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Chapter 6 in “What We Can Expect from God Now” (read by the author)

VIDEO SERIES ON TRUSTING GOD IN TROUBLED TIMES

Produced in ENGLISH with BURMESE subtitles

When we are so cruelly mistreated or suffer tragedy, or whose lives and hopes have been severely disrupted by abusers or threatening forces, we will naturally experience the typical symptoms of grief (shock, bargaining, anger, depression). Consequently, it is no surprise that the people who are writing to me from Myanmar this week are stunned, angry, confused, discouraged, or simply terrified over the wanton destruction in Chin State and elsewhere in Myanmar.

Just a week ago, one of my former students, Pastor Cung Biak Hum, was shot to death as he rode his motorcycle into the town of Thantlang (Chin State, Myanmar) to help families whose homes were being burned to the ground by occupying forces. Any death is painful, but senseless, cruel, and brutal killings of those who are trying to help others in their time of need, and who leave behind a loving spouse and small children, are especially distressing. He’s now an inspiration and hero to many, but he will greatly missed.

Right now, you may be feeling the same way about suffering or oppression in your own life or about someone you care about. You may be nearly out of your mind with distress, worry and fear. You’re wondering, what’s going to happen next? How should you be praying? If God is not going to spare you from suffering, why should you pray at all? What are some practical ways to deal with fear and anxiety about the future?

In this week’s chapter, the spiritual truth addresses these questions. Though it was originally written to help readers to deal with their anxiety over COVID-19, the spiritual truth in it applies to all kinds of fears and worries.

I cannot fully answer why God is allowing you to suffer as you are. But I can assure you of Jesus’ love and care for you, and of his desire to minister to you in your time of loss and suffering. After I finish reading the chapter, I offer some additional, personal words of encouragement, especially for those suffering in Myanmar right now.

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Chapter 5 in “What We Can Expect from God Now”

VIDEO SERIES ON TRUSTING GOD IN TROUBLED TIMES

Produced in ENGLISH with BURMESE subtitles

It’s such a disturbing and frightening time in so many other places around the world right now. The past weeks have been especially terrifying for the Burmese people in Myanmar. More brutality. More death. More uncertainty. More and more displaced people are on the run, fleeing for their lives. The spiritual question on the minds of many is, what is the relevance of faith and one’s relationship with God in the face of such horrors and challenges? What is the role of prayer when we all we are experiencing is oppression, deprivation, and suffering?

This week, in the chapter I’m reading from my book, “What We Can Expect from God Now: Seven Spiritual Truths for Trusting God in Troubled Times,” I share some biblical answers to these extremely important questions. In it, I talk about how the Apostle Paul encouraged other followers of Christ who were facing great suffering, deprivation, and even death in their day. His teaching is both reassuring and practical for all those who looking for more strength, courage, and confidence to sustain them throughout their long dark night, whenever and wherever it comes.

Though you may experience much suffering in this life, nothing can separate you from the love of God which comes to you through Jesus Christ. This kind of love is nothing less than God’s presence with you through his Holy Spirit, who consoles you in your suffering and enables you to live, to love, and to experience the love and support from other brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s enduring love and presence also guarantees that no matter what happens in your life, suffering and death are not the final chapters for followers of Christ. Once this life is finished, you will spend eternity in God’s loving presence.

With Christ’s love,

Dr. Tim

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Chapter 2–What We Can Expect from God Now (read by author)

VIDEO SERIES ON TRUSTING GOD IN TROUBLED TIMES

(Produced in ENGLISH with BURMESE subtitles)

In times of crisis, many of us instinctively respond with a Fight, Flee or Freeze response, which can lead to poor decisions and ineffective leadership. So, how can we go beyond these instincts to make good decisions, based on the leading of the Holy Spirit?

In this second chapter of my book, I talk about my struggle to discern the will of God when I was conducting leadership workshops for ministers in Myanmar, when the COVID-19 pandemic first started, back in March 2020. Through this difficult time, and in many situations since then, I have seen the wisdom and effectiveness of a “both-and” approach to decision-making, which I explain in the video.

I pray that each one of these spiritual truths will help you to experience more of God’s loving presence and the power of the Holy Spirit’s power from day to day, and that God will use these videos to strengthen and encourage you in many ways to live better by faith in the midst of your hardships and suffering.

Rev. Timothy C. Geoffrion, Ph.D., D.D.

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