This is Episode 15, the fourth part of a series chronicling Rick’s life from a dysfunctional childhood, to being saved, to losing his wife and children through an unwanted divorce, and this final part, where the LORD began to bring life out of the death He wrote into Rick’s narrative.
Episode 12 – From Birth to Jail
Episode 13 – From Jail to Jesus
Episode 14 – From Jesus to Death
Episode 15 – From Death to Life
The making of a Christian through the crucible of suffering.
Scriptures in this podcast
John 12:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Philippians 1:29 – For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.
1 Peter 2:21 – For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
After the loss of all things—my wife, children, job, money, property, home, all the material things except what could fit in the back of my car, there was nothing left but me …and the LORD.
I was completely and fully whittled down to size. I had nothing, though God is everything, but I was so afraid of Him, and what He was going to do next in my life. Success as the world thinks it is counter-intuitive to how the LORD brings it to His children.
Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
I did not find God as being warm and fuzzy. He was unmovable and unchangeable.
Job 23:13-16 – But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind. Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him. God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me.
The good work He was doing sounds better in Philippians 1:6 than in Job 23:13-16.
Philippians 1:6 – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Though all things were working for my good, according to God’s Word, I wanted my old life back.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
It was during this season that the Sovereignty of God began to come into view, and when it did my discomfort level with the LORD began to rise, which was only outdone by my anger toward Him.
Though I did not want to admit the truth about my what was going on in my heart, which is humorous in light of Hebrews, it was not long before I had to be honest with Him. I was mad!
Hebrews 4:13 – And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Specifically, it was His omniscience and omnipresence that rattled me. God was there before He formed me in my mother’s womb. God was there when He regenerated me.
Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
He knew all of these things and He was working in my life for His glory, my good, and the benefit of others. It was time to “do business with God” rather than being self-righteously angry at those who hurt me.
Matthew 7:3-5 – Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Isaiah 64:6 – We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
James 2:10 – For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
Proverbs 16:9 – The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Romans 8:29-30 – For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
I was too self-righteous to speak my mind to God, but the pain level continued to rise until I could not hold it in any longer.
1 John 3:1 – See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Isaiah 53:10 – Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Mark 1:11 – And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.
Philippians 3:10 – That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.