Walking with God in the Hard Places

Nov 26, 2023    Don Willeman


“You may be tempted to believe that God has changed because your circumstances have, but if that were the case, he wouldn’t be God. He’d be you.”

~Jackie Hill Perry in Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him


“We should challenge the relativism that tells us there is no right or wrong, when every instinct of our mind knows it is not so, and is a mere excuse to allow us to indulge in what we believe we can get away with. A world without values quickly becomes a world without value.”

~Jonathan Sacks (1948-2020), former Chief Rabbi in the UK


“If we don’t re-enact Jesus’s dying and rising, then justification by faith can become a feel good formula…. The Gospel turns in on itself and becomes one more thing to make us feel good about ourselves.”

~Paul Miller in The J-Curve


“On and on the rain will fall

Like tears from a star like tears from a star

On and on the rain will say

How fragile we are how fragile we are.”

~from “Fragile” by Sting


“Look, if someone wrote a play, to glorify what’s stronger than hate,

Would they not arrange the stage, to look as if the hero came too late?

He’s almost in defeat; it's looking like the evil side will win,

So, on the edge of every seat; from that moment the whole thing begins.”

~from “Show the Way” by David Patrick Wilcox


“When through the deep waters I call you to go,

The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,

For I will be with you your troubles to bless

And sanctify to you your deepest distress.


“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.”

~from the hymn “How Firm a Foundation”


Deuteronomy 8:1-10 (ESV)

Deuteronomy 8

1  “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. 6 So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.


Hebrews 12

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the

 discipline of the Lord,

  nor be weary when reproved by him.

6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

 and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.