A few weeks ago, a guy I knew died. He died in a house fire with his 5 month old son. His wife and two other small Children were coming back the next day from Florida.

At the same time, I was fighting bronchitis, a double ear infection and strep throat. I was falling behind on my school work. I was too busy and under-resourced. I was discouraged.

That Saturday I almost skipped church. I had received a few shots and was starting to feel better but I was still so far behind and discouraged and to be honest I was struggling with the “ug” question.  There was the death of a man who had sold his life for Jesus. His wife and children. There was my impending failure at school. There was just the over all “ug” of life catching up with me.

I didn’t skip church.

I went and it was awesome. I vaguely  remember what was preached. What I do remember was singing “It is well with my soul.” One particular line came down and hit me so hard, I almost had to sit down.

These particular words pierced my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Emphasis mine)

I grew up singing this song. It had never hit me like it did at that moment. Perhaps because I have a life time of failures to reflect upon now. I’m not really sure why but it was a time where God reached down and hugged me all at once. In a world of partial forgiveness, God’s love is perfect. It is redeeming. I bear my sin no more.

We can let go of our anger. We can let go of our hurt. It’s OK to struggle with ug questions of life. God is big enough to handle it.

Be blessed today as you realize that God has forgiven you wholly.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 11:38 am and is filed under Church and Society, grace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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27 Comments(+Add)

1   Eric    http://Eric
April 28th, 2011 at 11:45 am

Joe,

What comforting words, and worthy of serious and deep contemplation. I am glad that God used those words to comfort and encourage you.

I also know of the man and his son that were killed in the house fire, as I am friends with his cousin. Very sad and yet even in this event we can be encouraged by God’s promises.

2   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
April 28th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Be blessed today as you realize that God has forgiven you wholly.

Amen, If you have repented and trusted Christ.

Serious question: What if there were people outside as the fire started, and they knew your friend and his son were inside and resting comfortably, and they did not warn them because they were concerned they might wake them up from a restful sleep? How would you feel then?

It would be called murder in the second degree, depraved indifference.

Your ‘pastor’ is guilty of depraved indifference, and of the blood of all those he is influencing and not warning about the reality of the wrath that is to come.

This illustration is not meant to take away from the tragedy of what happened to your friend. I grieve with you and hope that he and His son were saved so that they are enjoying eternal life with God.

I am sorry to hear

3   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
April 28th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

John,

You need help.

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 28th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

PB

Your every utterances are an example of what hell on earth looks like.

5   Neil    
April 28th, 2011 at 10:14 pm

wow, pboy, you’ve been cold-hearted and callous in the past but this really is stunning.

as for serious questions – you’ve left two from me unanswered.

6   Rick Frueh    
April 29th, 2011 at 4:40 am

PB – Your comment seemed incongruous to the post. Jerry, I as well am ministered to by that song as well as many other spiritual sons.

“A life time of failures.”

I stand with you. Isn’t God’s gracious forgiveness something perfectly wonderful! I amazed that God would redeem people like Jerry and Chris, but I am sorely vexed when I realize He has forgiven someone like me. I do not say that as poetic hyperbole – I mean it from my heart. I rejoice that I am redeemed completely on His faithfulness and none of mine.

7   Rick Frueh    
April 29th, 2011 at 6:38 am

PB – Just a word of advice. Not everything has to be a platform. Some things should be altars while other things should be mirrors.

“A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak”

8   pastorboy    http://www.riveroflifealliance.com
April 29th, 2011 at 7:30 am

#5 Which ones?

Forgiveness is not granted, it is earned. Earned by Christ at Calvary. His grace is free, but it is costly. It is free for the taking but it must be taken.

Serious question # 2 Joe: What if the doctor you had been to knew what it is you had, and he had an instant cure, one that would guarantee to eradicate the bug or virus, but he refused to offer it to you instead giving you one that tasted good and cost less, but would not cure your ailment. How would you feel about that Doctor?

I bear the sin no more because Christ has taken it. Amen. He is the cure for the disease, sin. There are a lot of cheap imitations out there which may taste better but will not cure. Those who take those potions will spend eternity in the lake of fire, where there is no coming out.

9   Neil    
April 29th, 2011 at 9:10 am

Not everything has to be a platform. Some things should be altars while other things should be mirrors.

very nicely put.

10   troy    
April 29th, 2011 at 9:28 am

Joe,
We moved to the UP in Michigan in May of 2007 (have since moved back home to NE Indiana). My wife was pregnant with our 7th baby, due around Christmas time. We had no family and very few friends there. In September she hemorrhaged and they had to do an emergency c-section. Our baby lived for ten hours and my wife nearly bled to death; and we had very little human support. As the baby slipped away, in the midst of the tears and snot, this song came to both of us simultaneously, bringing peace and comfort. As I later looked into the origins of the song, the reality of God’s presence at that time knocked the wind out of me. From the story from the scripture, as well as the life experience of the writer of this song…just wow. God can use the same words to comfort different people in completely different centuries going through similar circumstances. I still choke up when we sing this song in Church. And like you, I’d heard this song hundreds of times growing up in Church, but it came alive that day in a Marquette, MI hospital. Be blessed and continue to lean on the strength of God when you’re tired and weak.

11   Neil    
April 29th, 2011 at 10:01 am

pboy, i asked you a theological question in the culture wins comment thread and i asked you to recant and possibly even apologize for your false accusations against me regarding ingrid.

12   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
April 29th, 2011 at 10:15 am

#6, I think you mean Joe.

13   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 29th, 2011 at 11:04 am

FYI,

Per Comment #10 in this thread:

I’m a fairly libertarian guy who likes folks to have the freedom to discuss and debate and (sometimes) make an ass of themselves. But in a free society, folks like you and Fred Phelps (whose only substantive difference from you is in his degree of shamelessness) seem to insist on your right to defecate in public, wherever you darn well choose. And you have that right, which is why you’ve got your own blog in which to post your slanderous fantasies.

You may defecate here no longer.

After some discussion, I think your insensitive/asshatish comments here, and the hell-on-earth you desire to bring to those you engage requires that you be put on moderation again. I expect that now and then my dog will take a dump on the carpet, and I will clean it up and scold the dog if I catch it. If one of my kids did the same thing, they probably wouldn’t be comfortable sitting for a long time. Maybe as long as your moderation will last (this time).

I think you and God need a long talk together, and that, perhaps, a different career than “pastoring” is best for your … skill-set.

14   Rick Frueh    
April 29th, 2011 at 11:12 am

#12 – Yes. Sorry. :)

15   Rick Frueh    
April 29th, 2011 at 11:21 am

I will never understand the heart that reads a brother’s testimony of God’s forgiveness, a struggle with sickness, and grief over a friend and his child’s horrible death, and then launches into the same old ODM diatribe.

And no one can accuse me of avoiding confrontation when and where appropriate. I do not understand some things.

16   Neil    
April 29th, 2011 at 11:26 am

and for the record, the whole defecation metaphor is being applied to the repeated offense of using someone’s heartfelt pain and subsequent comfort from god as a platform for theological demagoguery and tangential platforming.

17   Rick Frueh    
April 29th, 2011 at 11:30 am

#16 – So true. My thoughts about Bell’s bookaside, when we ignore someone’s pain it only reveals that “Love Loses”. At least that kind of love.

Chris – Have I ever been close to the dreaded moderation??

CLAIM TO FAME

Rick Frueh is the only person in history to have posted on SoL AND PPP. :lol:

18   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 29th, 2011 at 11:34 am

Chris – Have I ever been close to the dreaded moderation??

Do note the beginning of my cited quotation: “I’m a fairly libertarian guy who likes folks to have the freedom to discuss and debate and (sometimes) make an ass of themselves.” So, while I can’t say it hasn’t been discussed, I can say that I’ve never been one to push for it. In fact, I’m rarely the one to first request/push for someone to be moderated…

19   Rick Frueh    
April 29th, 2011 at 11:44 am

Whew! I feel much better! :)

20   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
April 29th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Rick (#15): I will never understand the heart that reads a brother’s testimony of God’s forgiveness, a struggle with sickness, and grief over a friend and his child’s horrible death, and then launches into the same old ODM diatribe.

Sadly, it’s not a first. Even more sadly, sometimes the authors do it to themselves.

(Note: some of those links may be dead since they point to SoL, which has been — on multiple occasions — “mortally wounded, and [the] deadly wound was healed”.)

21   John Hughes    
April 29th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Sorry to burst your bubble Rick. But I too have posted on both sites.

22   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 29th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

John – I think Rick means actually publishing articles on each site…

23   John Hughes    
April 29th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

PB – I am just saddened by your post. Totally unbelievable. As Rick said there is a time and purpose for everything. This was not the time. Jesus’ words come to mind:

Matt 7:2 – For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

24   Rick Frueh    
April 29th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

John – I claim to be exclusively infamous br having articles posted on both sites. SoL tries to forget, and PPP changed its name as an attempt to distance themselves from me. :lol:

25   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 29th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Actually, SoL ceased to exist after you wrote an article there…

And just seeing it referred to as SoL makes me laugh, since its abbreviation was an unintentional, but accurate, reflection on its administration. Kind of like Obama’s current choice of “Win the Future”…

26   Rick Frueh    
April 30th, 2011 at 7:57 am

The administration of Sol were believers and are under the correction of God. But Obama, according to his definition of what is a Christian, is not a believer.

Therefore we should project the gospel and not criticism.

27   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 30th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Actually, Rick, you missed the complete point of the joke (which had to do with the abbreviations SoL and WTF).