Nothing Goes Unredeemed

And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." - Revelation 21:4

No matter how hard we try, we can't always understand life's trials. Disease strikes. Finances fail. People forsake us. And God allows it all. We are to be thankful in it all and through it all... 

"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor 4:17-18 NASB)

These words are hard to swallow through the pain and tears, yet the truth remains that if we seek God's desire for us, we will triumph because of our trials. God produces new character in us with surgeon-like precision as He peels away our imperfection. 

We may not understand God's methods but we can know He has our best in mind. No "loss" we experience in life will go unredeemed in God's kingdom. I think the Christian band Selah says it eloquently in their song "Unredeemed":

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see it will not be unredeemed.

Take a few moments to listen and watch the Selah video below of "Unredeemed". Its a beautiful song with a message of hope. What shattered thing do you need to lay before the Lord today? Lay it before Him and make today the start of something new. He'll redeem it. Just watch and see.

NOTE: For email subscribers who don't get the video, here's the direct link to watch:


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach, Trainer and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her other blog at 

Receiving Love: Obstacle #4-Perspective

Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction. 2 Corinthians 7:4

In case you are just joining in for the first time, I've been going through 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 and discussing how having too much pride, too many priorities and too little patience affect our relationships (for the first post in the series click here).Today I will be discussing the fourth obstacle to receiving God's love through our personal relationships-having too limited a perspective.

While I don't know if most people believe this, difficult times pave the way to more intimacy and deeper connection between two parties. Sure, no one enjoys a disagreement, but if two-way communication is allowed to take place around the disagreement, the relationship can soar to new heights from the mutual understanding.

Unfortunately, most people view conflict as undesirable in a relationship. I've heard many times from people that good relationships "are supposed to be easy". 

Well...yes and no.

Great relationships do have a sense of ease about them. However, great friendships can have points of contention from time to time and still be great. Paul expressed his joy in the troubles he had with the Corinthians. Perhaps he knew that the tough times were only temporary and circumstantial and would bring forth change for the better. Paul never ceased to communicate either, even though it appears in his letter that he was the one who was pleading for acceptance. Paul knew that the Corinthians were worth fighting for.

The key to any relationship's survival is perspective and honest communication. If we keep our minds open to the possibility that our limited perspective is not the only way things can be, and keep the lines of communication open, any relationship with two people willing to reconcile can be salvaged and propelled to greater heights.

Dear Father, you know my heart. Show me your heart in all of my relationships. Thank you for the trials that keep me compassionate towards others. Give us all the hearts and minds to suspend our own judgment and open the lines of communication with those you have put into our lives. Give us your humility and patience and enable us to understand your priorities and perspective. Amen.

Receiving Love Obstacle #1-Pride

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. - 2 Corinthians 7:1 NASB

Too often we let ourselves get in the way of what God wants for our lives. In my last post, I mentioned that there were four things that cause relationships to break down: too much pride, too many priorities, too little patience and too limited a perspective.  Actually, these are tactics to avoid in any aspect of our lives!

Today we will talk about pride. Pride is the root of all evil in the world. Pride hinders holiness because it creeps into the fabric of our lives, sometimes without our knowing. It shows up in our priorities, causes impatience and keeps us from seeing the big picture. Unfortunately, pride isn't always self-recognizable. It is often unearthed only after someone (or the Bible) confronts us with the error of our ways.

Essentially, pride is selfish and wants to be right at all costs. If we are prideful we will look for ways to prove we are right, rather than try to understand someone else's point of view. Admittedly, I am guilty of this at times. I will research a point until I've found the answer that proves what I've already decided was true...and then stop looking.  After all, why would I want to dig up evidence that I could be wrong? I quit while I'm "ahead". But am I really ahead and am I really right?

We don't get "ahead" or gain just by being right. A lot of times we lose. Conflict erupts that might have been avoided. Fellowship breaks down and we miss out on the love God intends for us. God wants us to experience His love on earth and in eternity. We can have all of that if we seek Him and His wisdom with an open rather than a closed mind. How is your state of mind today? What would God say about you?

Receiving Love: 4 Obstacles to Acceptance

I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? - 2 Corinthians 12:15 NASB

I can feel for Paul.  Being pushed away and misunderstood by someone you love is a very painful and emotional experience. By the nature of Paul's writing in 2 Corinthians, it would appear that he was not being well received at the time. I think we've all been on the receiving end of rejection and have most likely pushed someone else away at some point in our lives. Why do things have to be this way? What causes this to happen?

I believe that we see a very clear picture of what causes relationships to break down in 2 Corinthians 7:1-4. Here's a quick summary:

1. Pride...too much (v1)

2. Priorities...too many (v2)

3. Patience...too little (v3)

4. Perspective...too limited (v4)

The bottom line here is that we all get in the way of our own happiness and what God has intended for us. When we do, we often start blaming other people for the lack of satisfaction or reciprocity in our relationships, when in fact, we may be the ones causing the problem.

In my next few posts we will dive into 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 and learn about those obstacles getting in the way of how we receive love from others. Stay tuned for my next post on how our own pride gets in the way.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her other blog at

Making Comparisons

2 Cor 10:12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  (NKJV)

Is the Christmas season stressing anyone out yet?  Do you spend time worrying about what other families are doing to commemorate Jesus' birth?  What about Christmas decorations?  Do you wish you had what others had?  I know I sometimes fall into the trap of comparing what I'm doing to other people and honestly, what good does it do?

Comparing ourselves to others causes more harm than good in more than one way.  I suppose that is why the bible tells us not to compare, huh?  In 2 Samuel 17:23, we see a suicide as a result of feelings of inadequacy over this issue.

Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb.  (NKJV)

For a little background on the story, Ahithophel was the trusted advisor of King David but was called on by Absalom, David's rebellious son, to give advice regarding how Absalom could overtake David's throne.  Little did Ahithophel know, but the fact that his counsel was not taken by Absalom over Hushai's counsel (a man sent by David to Absalom to confuse things a little) was an answer to prayer.

Poor Ahithophel.  I wonder if his pride got the best of him because his advice was not taken.  His advice was not taken because of preference toward another, Hushai, a man sent by David to confuse Absalom. After all, Hushai was a "nobody" and he was a "somebody".  I believe that pride led to his untimely demise at his own hand.

So can you see how this might relate to us?  Comparing ourselves to others rarely gets us anywhere that God wants us to be.   It can make us complacent in our walk and service to God if we think we are doing better than others but it can also depress us into a state of paralysis because of low self esteem.  Either way, the art of comparison gets us nowhere.  For our own well-being, we need to just keep our eyes looking upward and onward to the job that God has us to do right where we are. 

Things to think about:

1) How am I comparing myself to others around me?

2) If I feel good or bad about myself when comparing, why is that so?

3) What is it that I sense God would have me to do in my situation, today?

Light affliction

What do you consider "light" affliction?  Me, when I think of "light" affliction, I think of heavy traffic, long drive-thru lines at McD's (remember, I am a McD's regular coke addict), and enduring my dog's barking when I'm trying to have my daily quiet time with God.  However, when I read Paul's words to the Corinthians regarding his trials, I am quite sure that he had heavier troubles than I ... and considered them to be light!

Can you imagine what it would be like to consider prison time,  beatings and shipwrecks nothing more than "light afflictions"?  Paul is really to be admired for his eternal perspective on things.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.(1 Cor 4:17-18)

Being able to see how the issues in our lives not only affect the here and now but the eternal future is the key to being able to outlast the hard times on this earth.  I think that when Paul regards his sufferings as trivial, he is comparing them to what Jesus endured for you and for me so that we could be reconciled to God.  When I think about my difficult times, they do not compare with a crucifixion.  I'm sure that yours don't either.

In addition, Paul realizes fully the importance of his work for God's kingdom.  He understands not only that his works would earn him future rewards in heaven but he would do anything to promote the gospel because he knows how importance of the message.  What "cause" would you die for? Is the prospect of an eternity in heaven worth the short time we will serve on earth in obedience to God no matter our circumstances?

Keep pressing on my dear readers. A glorious future is awaiting for you.  In the meantime, keep praying and gathering strength from God and His word, taking one day at a time.

2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

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Helping Prayer

I saw the movie "End of the Spear" last night.  I have to admit, shamelessly, that until recently I had never heard of the Elliots or the story of these missionary slayings in Ecuador.   I'm not a good student of current events.  At any rate, I know of them now.  The movie is definitely worth seeing.

When I think about missions work, one of the first things I think about is how necessary prayer is to the missionaries' work and safety.  They are often working in very dangerous conditions.  Paul was also a missionary.  Can you imagine being in a world where most everyone around you has never heard about Jesus?  Living here in the U.S., it is hard to imagine, isn't it?

Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthians apparently after he and his fellow travelers had been suffering some persecution (2 Cor 2:8-10).   In Chapter 2, he is quick to point out the power of prayer and how thankful he was for it.

2 Cor 2:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

Paul was very thankful for the gift of prayer bestowed on him by the church at Corinth.  knew that God had delivered him from life threatening circumstances (v8) and despair in Asia.  The bottom line here is that prayer really does work.  We may not always see the results of our prayers, but we need to keep up our intercessory prayers just the same.

To think about:

1) Who am I actively praying for?  Do they know that I am praying for them?
2) Who is actively praying for me?
3) Have I thanked people for their prayers and informed them of answered prayers so as to strengthen their faith?