Beauty Through Suffering

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)


Fall 2018

What is your first reaction when faced with extreme stress, pain or fear in your life? Do you thank God for the opportunity to learn more about Him? I'd be lying if I said that was my first reaction. Yet, the Psalmist (likely King David) was able to proclaim this very desire as he penned the words of Psalm 119:71. I wonder how long it took him to get to that point of complete surrender to God's plan for his life. What did he have to believe? What do we?

To eventually accept afflictions in life (after the initial shock goes away, of course) with some measure of joy and thanksgiving rather than with an attitude of anger and despair, it helps if we believe that hardship and pain can be for our greater good.  The way God designed EVERYTHING points to this truth.

Without an ending there can be no new beginning.

Consider the planet Earth's four seasons, especially, Autumn.  Have you ever stopped to think that tree foliage is the most stunning for only a mere portion of its existence, and  near the end its life span?

When summer turns to autumn and the days get colder and shorter, leaves burst into brilliant color when life-giving nutrients fade away. The changing conditions produce beauty in the leaf's "suffering", preparing the tree for the harsh winter to come. And eventually the warmth and new life of Spring comes again. Always.

We are like that tree.

What change is grieving and challenging you? How are you reacting to it?

Remember, sometimes a part of has to die so we can truly live. Hardship and pain bring about "endings" that can, if we let them ...

... Protect us from greater disaster,

... Propel us to greater achievements, and

... Permit us to experience the comfort of God. 

Dear friends, the end can better than the beginning, because the end IS the beginning.  God will do the new thing, Spring will come, and your life will flourish again. In the meantime, ask God to make you stunningly beautiful through it all. 

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 

Hope For Troubled Times

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13 NKJV

I turned the TV off last night in my hotel room right after the presidential candidate debate ended, feeling sorry for both McCain and Obama because one of them will be taking over leadership of a country in turmoil.  The U.S. economy's future is uncertain and because of the uncertain economy, one has to wonder how strong our national security efforts could really be in the face of growing hostility towards the U.S. overseas. 

Many people are living in fear and despair without hope.  Just this week, a 45 year old Los Angeles man killed five members of his family and himself because he felt his financial situation was hopeless. 

As Christians, we are called to provide hope to a world in crisis.  This doesn't mean throwing a bible verse or salvation tract in front of someone in the middle of their searing pain.  However, it does mean that we need to stay close enough to God so that the joy of the Lord shows through to others from our lives, even if we too are concerned or fearful about the times we are in.  When we do this, our hope for the future - a guaranteed future filled with the glories of heaven-will be contagious.  After we show our love and hope to those around us, it is then that we might have the chance to share the source of that hope.

The Apostle Paul prays that our God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace in believing.  We can live in abundant hope because of God's power in our lives.  All we've got to do is stay plugged in to the source.  Let's be the hope of the world.

To ponder:

  1. 1) Who in my life needs comforted in these uncertain times?
  2. 2) How much hope do I have to give?
  3. 3) How well do I know the God of hope?  What can I do to know Him more each day?


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

What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?

Suicide is a bigger killer across the the United States than homicide, yet it gets little attention.  In addition, there are also many popular assumptions about that fate of the victim that are contrary to the truth of scripture. 

Check out my post "Suicide and the Bible" over at Truth Talks to discover how you can provide hope to those who mourn because of the tragedy of suicide.

Hope to see you there.

Accepting the Do-Over

Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." ~ He 4:6-7 NKJV

God gives us many do-overs to start anew.  He's been giving them out all through biblically recorded history.  In the passage above we see King David being quoted in Psalm 95 by the writer of Hebrews.  David, approximately 400 years after Joshua and the Israelites failed to enter their promised land (or "rest") the first time, spoke of another change for God's people to enter into rest.

God is still waiting for his people to come back to him and he still waits today.  He is still giving out do-overs!  Unfortunately, we get caught in a cycle of defeat by not making good use of our do-over, and fail to enter the spiritual rest that God promises us.  Our unbelief, not trusting God, keeps us defeated.

Generally, there are four keys to overcoming our unbelief:

1) Forgive your past mistakes.  God has forgiven you.  Forgive yourself and start fresh.

2) Remember your past victories.   Intentionally recall a time in the past where God has come through for you.  He will do it again!

3) Trust God's promises.  The Bible is filled with truths to hold on to.  God will do what He says because He cannot lie.

4) Trust God's power.  God created the universe. He can create a new beginning and craft a solution to your problems.

The bottom line is that each day is a new day and no matter where we are in our lives, God will give us another chance to believe in Him.  Most importantly, He is worthy of our trust. We can pray to Him with confidence, "I can't _________________, but You can _______________."  When we master that prayer, we are on our way to the "rest" God desires for us.

Points to ponder:

  • What are you the most tired of struggling with in your daily life?
  • What kinds of things do you tend to work out on your own?
  • At what times do you say you trust God, yet in reality still hold on tightly to your problems?

Note: This post is excerpted from a portion of a new retreat I'm presenting this weekend entitled "The Work of Rest".  If you are interested in learning more about it or would be interested in booking it at your church, please contact me.


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

Hope Deferred

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  - Proverbs 13:12 NKJV

My friend's son is getting married this weekend.  I've heard her talk about the day with excitement and anticipation as the weeks rolled by this summer.  The big day is almost here and I can sense the joy in her spirit.  Can you remember the last time a long awaited "dream" or desire finally came to fruition?  How did you feel when you were waiting?

I don't like waiting, but as I get older, I'm getting better at it.   Not only am I getting better at waiting in traffic or grocery store checkout lines, but I am getting better at waiting in the bigger areas of life.  I'm learning how to not "make things happen" and am re-learning that the only things I do have control of are my own thoughts and actions.   These learnings have helped me to hold my expectations loosely and better enjoy the moments in between expectation and reality. 

Hope deferred, or delayed "dreams" don't have to make our hearts sick if we keep our minds' eye focused on what we have to do today and let God take care of the rest.  Patience comes with knowing and trusting that God's desired outcomes are better than what we can imagine anyway.  Patience comes when we surrender our will to God's.  When we hold our desires loosely, we allow God to change the desires of our hearts.  Our waiting will become less painful as we trust God's provision and direction for our lives.  They still will bring life and joy when they come, but the waiting might just be a little easier.

For further thought:

1) Rate your "grip" on your own desires on a scale of 1-10 (10 being white-knuckled). How does your "grip" affect your patience in waiting?  How does it affect what you do with what you hear from God? 

2) What are you learning from God in your situation?  Does God want you to take hold of a different desire?


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

Hoping in God

Dear readers, I am consumed with my retreat writing and am sincerely hoping in God to find the words to say and to meet my own internal deadline of completing my first draft by the end of August.  Thankfully, the retreat is not until September 26 and I'm pretty much on track.  Consequently my writings have been a little sparse this past week.   However, I am also thankful that I am able to share a post written just yesterday about hope, written over at Truth Talks.  I'm sharing it here in its entirety today because someone stopping by might be refreshed and rejuvenated by these words. 

by Sharon Houk

As I hear about all the challenges our nation and world is facing, I am tempted to cover my ears and eyes hoping it will all go away. A nagging voice lures me to sit back and let others do whatever is necessary to fix it. Others who are closer to me struggle with fear and frustration of personal crisis. What am I to do? I am but one person.

I am to share biblical truths and promises wherever I can. That's what I am to do.

The purpose of Truth Talks is to challenge its readers to know how the Truth, the truth of God's Word, sets us free from uncertainty's bondage. Whether it’s uncertainty in the world or in the other room, struggling through heartache is doable when we know the promises of the God of hope. Take a moment to soak in these promises.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:9-10)

On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. (Psalm 138:3)

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.(Isaiah 58:11)

It is said that two things in life are certain: taxes and death. There is a third certainty: hope in God. We may not see what he’s doing at the moment, but he answers our calls. We may feel like we’re walking alone, but he’s guiding our steps. We may feel parched and sun-scorched, but he’s preparing refreshment. Keep hoping in God.

Who do you know that needs a cup of refreshment today?

No More Tears, No More Pain

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  - Rev 21:4

Of all the blog posts I've written in the nearly three years I've been writing this blog, one of my most popular posts has been found by people typing the words "feeling helpless" into their web browser's search engine.  Does that strike a chord in you?  It does with me.  I wonder what about their situations and the pain they must be feeling.  I wonder how deep their loneliness is that causes them to type the words in the privacy of their own homes.  Do they have someone to talk to or turn to?  Do they know God?

I think we've all been in that "helpless" place before.  We may have experienced the feeling a little differently than our friend, neighbor or coworker, but the core emotion is still the same.  What can we do when we feel this way?  First of all, we can rely on our faith foundation, trusting that God is in control of everything in our lives, good and bad.  Secondly, we can know that the situation is temporary.  One day all of our tears will be wiped away and God will make all things new.  That is a promise.  It is declared in God's word by God Himself:

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And he said unto me.  Write: for these words are true and faithful.  - Rev 21:5

These words are true and faithful.  One day, maybe not here in our earthly lifetimes, God will create lives for us with no more tears and no more pain.  We can wait for that day with a confidence more sure than anything we have ever known.

Dear Father in Heaven, I thank you for your faithfulness and care over us as we struggle through the day-to-day, feeling helpless at times.  Strengthen your faithful servants in Your word and Your promises and give us hearts to reach out to those in need.  Let those who are desperate hear Your call.  Amen.


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

Hope Through His Resurrection

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV)

How are you feeling today?  Hopeless and helpless?  Joyless & jilted?  No matter what the trial is in our lives, we don't have to feel that way.  If you've accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can be hopeful and joyful through it all.  The key is all in where we choose to focus our attention. 

If we keep an attitude of gratitude, remembering the good things we have rather than the seemingly "better" things we don't have, we can have an inner sense of peace and joy no matter what the situation.  We can choose to be thankful for God's great act of mercy in allowing his only son Jesus to pay for our sins by his death of the cross.  We can choose to be thankful that God also raised Jesus from the dead, allowing us to relish in the certain hope of a glorious eternal life with God and an inheritance in heaven.  Think about how great that life is going to be!  As Christians, we have that to be thankful for. 

This Easter weekend, let's choose to put on an attitude of gratitude rather than one of grumbling over the way our lives have not turned out like we've planned.  After all, how do we know that our lives aren't turning out exactly as God has planned?  If He's in charge, things have got to end up well!

Wishing you all a blessed Easter holiday.

For further thought:

1) Have you personally accepted Jesus into your life?  Do you remember a specific time and place where this occurred?  If not, you may not yet be a Christian.  Check out this link to know more about becoming a Christian.  If you do accept Christ today, would you email me to let me know that you did?

2) What area of your life do you need to give total control of to God?  Give it to Him today and be thankful that He is in control of all.

3) How can you thank God for His mercy on you today?


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

Impatient Hope

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only this, but also we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.  Romans 8:22-23 NASB

As I look out the window on this bright winter's day, I wonder what creation would look like if it were free from the curse placed on it because of Adam and Eve.  I wonder if we would even have winter.  I wonder if we would have snow.  Would the leaves on the trees still wither and fall to the ground leaving the naked and bare branches behind for a season?  In an incorruptible world would the green grass turn brown and lie dormant as it waits for the warm weather to return?  If nature could in fact "groan", I wonder what it would say. 

As a part of God's creation, I can't speak for the plants and animals, but I can at least speak for myself.  I am waiting eagerly for the full benefits of adoption into God's family.  After all, the bible says that as a Christian I am an heir of God. 

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of god, and if children, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 

Romans 8:14-17 NASB

But we must wait for our inheritance because it is in heaven and not on earth.   Our full adoption as sons and daughters of God culminates with new bodies, spiritual bodies, that can inherit the kingdom of God.  This is our ultimate hope.  The day when corruptible becomes incorruptible.  This is what we are all eagerly waiting for, aren't we?  Even creation itself.   It will be then that death will be swallowed up in victory.  (1 Cor 15:55)  It will be then that we will claim our rewards for faithful service.  Then we will get what we've been so impatiently hoping for.  It will be worth the wait.

Keeping the end in mind,



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