Step Nine: STEWARD all of my life for God’s glory.
Below is a video from the “Taking the Journey of Grief with Hope” seminar of The Summit Church (Durham, NC). For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.
NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
“God has shown me great grace; grace greater than my grief. I am learning what it means to live out of my new identity in Christ. That has pushed me to ask the question, ‘How can I be a conduit of God’s grace to others?’ As I have sought God, examined my life, and consulted with fellow believers, I believe this [describe] is what it looks like for me to steward God’s grace now.”
Memorize: I Peter 4:19 (ESV), “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Those who suffer” – This passage will apply to every person many times in the course of their life.
- “God’s will” – Hopefully, at this stage in your journey you can read this without hearing it as God’s punishment.
- “Entrust their souls” – Life is a choice between entrusting our souls to God or seeking to protect ourselves.
- “To a faithful Creator” – If you made it to this point in the study, you have many evidences of God’s faithfulness.
- “While doing good” – Without a returning sense of mission, suffering would drain our vitality for engaging life.
“My sorrow now feels less an oppressive weight, more a treasured possession. I can take it out and ponder it, then put it safely and carefully away (p. 79).” Testimony of an anonymous woman in Experiencing Grief by H. Norman Wright.
“After a close partnership and marriage of twenty-seven years, learning to walk alone again was no easy task… It took me many years to learn that no man on this earth can satisfy the deepest longings of a woman’s heart. Only One can do that. He is also the only one who can help me live with that deep hole, that deep pain in my heart… The pain is still there. He hasn’t filled it up yet, but he has made a bridge over it. I can live with it now and I can stand on this bridge and reach out to others (p. 43-45).” Ingrid Trobisch in “Let the Deep Pain Hurt” Partnership
“There is no doubt in my mind that God is right now equipping you for future opportunities when others are afflicted in this way! We are all ‘comforters-in-training’ (p. 64).” Paul Tautges in Comfort Those Who Grieve.
“Suffering reduces us to nothing and as Soren Kierkegaard noted, ‘God creates everything out of nothing. And everything which God is to use, he first reduces to nothing.’ To be reduced to nothing is to be dragged to the foot of the cross (p. 136)… To believe in God in the midst of suffering is to empty myself; and to empty myself is to increase the capacity…for God. The greatest good suffering can do for me is to increase my capacity for God (p. 137).” Joni Eareckson Tada & Steven Estes in When God Weeps.