Guidance When Life Hurts You Terribly

 heartHow you handle these fragile moments is pretty much key to the remainder of your life. It’s ok to feel abandoned or alone. It’s ok to be depressed. But let God know about where your at. I’m convinced He really wants to know.

Quotes to Guide

A.W. Tozer

“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He’s hurt him deeply.” (Roots of Righteousness, Chapter 39)

Calvin Miller

“Hurt is the essential ingredient of ultimate Christ-likeness.” (Quoted in Christianity Today, July 2007, p41)

Larry Crabb

“Brokenness isn’t so much about how bad you’ve been hurt but how you’ve sinned in handling it.” (Christianity Today, A Shrink Gets Stretched, May 1, 2003)

“Shattered dreams are never random. They are always a piece of a piece in a larger story. The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream. They are ordained opportunities for the Spirit to first awaken, then to satisfy our highest dream.” (Shattered Dreams, 2001)

Adolph Monod

“And if among the trials that you are called to bear, there is one that seems, I do not say heavier than the others, but more compromising to your ministry, and likely to ruin forever the hopes of your holy mission, if outward temptations be added to these coming from within, if all seems assailed, body, mind, spirit, if all seems lost without remedy, well, accept this trial, shall I say, or this assemblage of trials, in a peculiar feeling of submission, hope and gratitude, as a trial in which the Lord will cause you to find a new mission. Hail it as the beginning of a ministry of weakness and bitterness… which He will cause to abound in more living fruit than your ministry of strength and joy in days gone by ever yielded.” (Adolph Monod, Farewell, quoted by Amy Carmichael in, Learning Of God, (London: SPCK, 1983), 52.)

Alan Redpath

“When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible person and crushes him.” (Quoted by Gary Preston, Character Forged from Conflict: Staying Connected to God During Controversy. The pastor’s soul series, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999)

Bruce Wilkinson

“Are you praying for God’s superabundant blessings and pleading that He will make you more like His Son? If so, then you are asking for the shears.” (Secrets of the Vine, 60.)

Charles Swindoll

“Someone put it this way, ‘Whoever desires to walk with God, walks right into the crucible.’ All who choose godliness live in a crucible. The tests will come.” (Moses, Great Lives from God’s Word, 285.)

“Being stripped of all substitutes is the most painful experience on earth.” (David, p70)

Elisabeth Elliot

“The surrender of our heart’s deepest longing is perhaps as close as we come to an understanding of the cross… our own experience of crucifixion, though immeasurably less than our Saviour’s nonetheless furnishes us with a chance to begin to know Him in the fellowship of His suffering. In every form of our own suffering, He calls us into that fellowship.” (Elisabeth Elliot, Quest For Love, (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1996), 182.)

George MacDonald

“No words can express how much our world ‘owes’ to sorrow. Most of the Psalms were conceived in a wilderness. Most of the New Testament was written in a prison. The greatest words of God’s Scriptures have all passed through great trials. The greatest prophets have “learned in suffering what they wrote in their books.” So take comfort afflicted Christian! When our God is about to make use of a person, He allows them to go through a crucible of fire.”

Helen Keller

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” (Quoted in Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 4.)

Oswald Chambers

“God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.” (Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (September 30). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.)

“No-one enters into the experience of entire sanctification without going through a ‘white funeral’ — the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crisis of death, sanctification is nothing more than a vision… Have you come to your last days really? You have come to them often in sentiment, but have you come to them really?… We skirt around the cemetery and all the time refuse to go to death… Have you had your ‘white funeral’, or are you sacredly playing the fool with your soul? Is there a place in your life marked as the last day, a place to which the memory goes back with a chastened and extraordinary grateful remembrance–’yes, it was then, at that ‘white funeral’ that I made an agreement with God.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, January 15, (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour and Company, Inc., 1963).)

Jesus Christ had no tenderness whatsoever toward anything that was ultimately going to ruin a person in his service to God…. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you can be sure that there is something in you that He wants to hurt to the point of its death.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 27, (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour and Company, Inc., 1963.)

Charles Stanley

Does God purposefully allow suffering? “The comfortable, but theologically incorrect, answer is no. You will find many people preaching and teaching that God never sends an ill wind into a person’s life, but that position can’t be justified by Scripture. The Bible teaches that God does send adversity – but within certain parameters and always for a reason that relates to our growth, perfection, and eternal good.” (*Stanley, C. F. 1997, c1996. Advancing through adversity (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN.)

Link to further blessings



A Slice of Bryan

slice-solutions-pie-pan-divider-creates-perfect-slices-4The ‘Annex’ is an out-patient facility providing support for the mentally ill in our community right here in Homer, Alaska. It is one of the service components of ‘the Center’ which oversees psychiatric services to our peninsula. There are full services for just about anything that might arise. This includes crisis issues that may happen on occasion. An on-call therapist is available 24/7.

The Annex is primarily a day ‘clinic’ that shuttles clients into a therapeutic environment. Therapy groups and ‘providers’ are available for almost 30 people who come in, (or not, as attendance is voluntary). But can become quite busy. A daily lunch is prepared, and activities are numerous. Each client has a case manager for counseling. (They are overworked in my humble opinion).

I’ve been attending for quite some time now, coming in two or three times a week. I’ve learned a lot by going. Socially, mental illness can be terrible, as you can imagine. I find I isolate myself; lapsing into bouts of bipolar depression.

The Annex is a means of ‘common grace’ for my beleaguered soul. People understand my quirkiness there. And although it is not a ‘Christian’ ministry, it often acts like one. I frequently feel more sensitivity and care from those who understand the ‘ins and outs’ of having a mental disorder than those in the Church. Now, I’m not bashing the ‘fellowship of the saints,’ I just know my time spent at the Annex connects with my specific personal needs.

I regard my time there as my ministry. 

Very few of my ‘friends’ have met a Christian believer who has a mental illness, much less a former pastor. I’m aware of being watched, or evaluated all the time. I endeavor to be both salt and light to these who have become ‘my ministry.’

I still have issues: Bipolar, Epilepsy, HCV. These are each in themselves significant, but together can make life a real challenge at times. But they make me aware of who is weak (me) and who is strong (God). I’m also learning that He loves “tax-collectors and notorious sinners.” Jesus welcomed these whom society scorned. If we follow him, won’t we do the same?

You matter. You matter very much to Him. Nothing you face “can separate you from the love of God, (Romans 8). Stop fretting about the things you can’t change, you are His intense concern. He fully intends to show His strength in your weakness,whatever that might be.

bry-signat (1)


When Jesus Becomes Real to Me

Holy Spirit Power


“He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

John 16:14

We do not make Jesus real by conjuring up a mental picture of Him long ago in Galilee and trying to walk in imagination with Him there. We do not have to go back two thousand years or travel to Palestine to find Jesus. There is a fad for that sort of thing, but so might one inwardly visualize any character of history. Such mental association may, indeed, affect one’s life to some degree, but it is far from the way Christ is made real to the believer.
The Holy Spirit has come for that purpose. All things spiritual are from God through Christ and are communicated to us by the Spirit. It was expedient that Jesus should go that the Spirit might come. He does not testify of Himself but of Christ, and He makes the Lord real to the heart. It is not a mere mental exercise but the work of the Spirit that enables us to say, “He is real to me.”

—Vance Havner