Hello and welcome to episode 27 of the Testimony Podcast.
We praise God for those times in life when we can feel hope and joy, when we see God’s blessing in our lives, and when we rightly exercise the discipline of celebration. God is good and loves us.
But sometimes the circumstances in our lives mean that it’s hard for us to be joyful, it’s difficult for us to be hopeful, and we find ourselves feeling angry, confused, and disappointed with God.
Expressing these feelings to our brothers and sisters in the church can be difficult, many people won’t know how to respond to us, even if they know the circumstances that might have driven us to this point. Those we love might fall back on unconvincing and even unbiblical phrases like “God works all things for our good”, “we should be joyful all the time”, or “count your blessings and the negative feelings will go away”.
There are times when talking to others can be an encouragement, especially wise people who have themselves suffered, but often we can feel frustrated and isolated, that no one understands our particular circumstances and needs.
It is with all these things in mind that I want to share the next two episodes of the podcast with you. These next two episodes are two halves of a conversation I had with Sara Hall. Sara is a wife, a mum, a blogger and counselor and author of “Tasting Dirt – When you’re disappointed with God”. I have to tell you, this is one of the most important conversations I’ve had with anyone for the podcast, and I think there is real value and wisdom in what Sara has to say for everyone who has wrestled with pain in their lives, with disappointment with the Lord, and the challenge of navigating through to some kind of reconciliation with a God in with whom we are disappointed and angry, and yet still love and want a relationship with.
Sara has suffered a number of tragedies in her life, and she has wrestled with all of these things disappointment, despair, anger, and all of the related feelings that we have to confront in our lives.
But through it all, she has kept the faith and remains a faithful follower of Jesus. In facing and winning these battles, she is able to give us valuable insights into our own lives. She speaks from a place of experience, and of having to do the hard work of reconciling the challenges and tragedies of her life with a faithful walk with God, and so she offers us the kind of hard-won wisdom that is authentic and engages with each of us where we feel our own pain.
So, in the first of these two episodes, Sara and I discuss her background, some of the circumstances she’s been through and then we go on to talk about how we can draw comfort and encouragement from God by looking at how he engages with characters from the bible, from prophecy like Elijah, and especially Mary of Bethany, whose encounters with Jesus speak so much truth about how God engages with a troubled soul and a broken heart. I hope you enjoy the first part of this conversation with Sara, here it is.
Welcome to episode 37 of the Testimony podcast. Before I get into this episode I want to let you all know that the podcast will be on hiatus for a while starting this month July 2022, the existing episodes will continue to be made available. My guest for this episode is the creative entrepreneur, Pete Wilson. Pete was born into a Christian home and over the years he has been involved in youth ministry, worship, corporate banking, and for many years he worked with Hillsong in London and around the world in Europe, America, and Asia. He has worked with Joel and Victoria Osteen for seven years before coming back to England where he is now Creative Director for Glorify, the app that wants to bring the joy of connecting with God to Christian all around the world. In this conversation, we talk about how Pete grew up and matured in a culture of exuberant worship, and still celebrates that tradition, but he has now discovered the benefit and beauty of finding a calm space with God and learning to be peaceful with the Father. He enjoys creating environments and experiences where people can encounter and connect with God. This is his story. ...
Welcome to the Testimony Podcast: people of faith telling the stories that matter from their lives. I'm your host Andrew J Chamberlain and in each episode you'll hear one of my guests telling you how Jesus has been their companion, guide, and saviour through the good times, and the tough times. My hope is that you will be encouraged by the testimony of each of my guests, and in this first episode I will be telling you a little of my story, and what you can expect when you listen to the show. ...
In 1980 Ana Nolan and her husband celebrated the arrival of their first child, a baby girl who they christened Lisa. But even from the beginning, Ana sensed that there was something not right, that Lisa wasn’t quite as she should be. And so began a fifteen year battle as Ana fought to get the best for her child. Life has not been easy for Ana, but she has felt God’s comforting presence with her through all of the years of heartache and loneliness. How has she coped? And what are the lessons she has learnt that we can share in with her? ...