ep. 73 | Hope When It Hurts with Sarah Walton
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I’m chatting with Sarah Walton on the topic of hope when it hurts. We talked about everything from Sarah’s own experience with suffering to how we can remind ourselves of the gospel, even in the midst of our pain. All throughout our conversation, she shared how the gospel speaks into all areas of our lives and gives hope to our suffering.
So you’ll know her a little better, Sarah is a stay-at-home mom with four kids under the age of 11. She also authored a book along with Kristen Wetherell from episode 67 called Hope When It Hurts: Biblical Reflections to Help You Grasp God’s Purpose in Your Suffering. You can follow her blog at Set Apart: Hope on the Road Less Traveled and find some of her writing at Desiring God, Revive Our Hearts, and Unlocking the Bible.
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
What does suffering look like in your own life?
How does walking through pain and suffering affect our view of God?
What hope does God offer even in the midst of suffering?
What do we need to suffer well? What would that look like?
How does the gospel impact all of life, including our most difficult circumstances?
What does it look like to suffer apart from the gospel? What does it look like to suffer embracing and knowing the gospel to be true?
How do you practice remembering the gospel in the midst of your pain?
What would it look like for the Body of Christ to practically come alongside you in your suffering?
What true words of encouragement can we offer those who are suffering? What are some things that, while well-intentioned, we might actually want to avoid saying because it could be more hurtful than helpful?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who is navigating a season of suffering either by themselves or alongside side a friend?
What are your 3 simple joys?
Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?
“When things like this happen, it all comes down to ‘do I believe God is sovereign and do I believe he is good?’ Those are two of the most critical questions we ask when we can’t make sense of it.”
“If I look to the things that are seen, what hope do I have? It looks like God is cruel, it looks like God is not at all listening or aware, or that he doesn’t care, or that he’s not sovereign? But understanding that the stuff that is wasting away, God is actually using it to renew us and grow in us this likeness of Christ.”
“When we see people hurting, it scares us because it makes us realize that we, too, are just as vulnerable.”
“The greatest good suffering can work for a believer is to increase his or her capacity for God. The greater one’s need, the greater will be his capacity, And the greater his capacity, the greater will be our experience of our Savior.” -Larry Waters
“It has given me the capacity to experience more of Christ in far greater ways than I ever would have. I wouldn't have felt like I needed Christ more when life was a lot easier.”
“If God was willing to crush Jesus, his own Son, who was sinless and perfect and holy, he must love us far beyond what we can even grasp. And, therefore, I have to speak that same truth into my circumstances right now.”
“God is going to allow things that look really bad in the moment. It looked like evil was winning when Christ was on the cross.”
“What things appear doesn’t always tell what’s true in the kingdom of God.”
“What Satan intends for evil, God can end up using to advance his own purposes, and he often does. Not only in our own hearts, but in purposes far beyond us. In the lives of others who are watching it puts his glory on display in incredible ways, as the cross did.”
“God promises that he is going to redeem it. It may not be in our lifetime in the way we want.”
“We have to go to the cross because that is the essence of our faith. Christ died so that our suffering wouldn’t be hopeless anymore.”
“I have to be in the Word everyday. It has become such a lifeline for me. If I don’t, I am so quick to start believing what my circumstances and emotions tell me.”
“It’s preaching to my heart in those moments that I can’t do this myself right now. I have to believe, and I have to trust that God is here with me.”
“We need to be really good listeners. We speak too much, and we want to run our mouths. But pull back and say I want to be here for this person, not so that I can tell them how I have the answers, but I want to be here with them and tell them that I’m willing to long suffer with them.”
“We can be comfortable and actually be in more danger than when we’re suffering. It’s important for us to be sowing the truth that we are not the gods of our own lives. By lifting our eyes to see that God is giving us our breath every day. He is truly in control of the good and the bad and the absolutely horrific. There is so much peace and freedom that comes with believing that.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
SARAH’S RESOURCES FOR HOPE WHEN IT HURTS
Beside Still Waters by Charles Spurgeon
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
The Crook in the Lot by Thomas Boston and Jason Roth
Hope When It Hurts by Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton
SARAH’S SIMPLE JOYS
Time alone in the morning
Deep conversations and then moments later laughing hysterically
When her kids play together
CONNECT WITH SARAH
How has pain and suffering shaped your view of God?
How can you practice remembering the Gospel in the midst of your pain?
What are you going to do or implement as a result of what you’ve learned this week?
Marriage After God is a weekly podcast hosted by Aaron and Jennifer Smith intended to encourage, inspire, and challenge Christian marriages to chase after God together and to cultivate an extraordinary marriage. Be sure to check out their podcast here!
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