Difficulty of Admitting God’s Action on My Behalf

How did I move from a situation where it was evident for me when God was answering my prayers, to a mindset where it had become natural for me to doubt about God’s intervening in my life after I had prayed, instead of believing He has answered? How did I move from a posture of faith to one of struggling to perceive God’s action on my behalf?

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer (Ps 18.2)

Becoming conscious of this difficulty helped me to slowly move from this posture of doubt to the posture of faith I had earlier held in my life. One key to this reverting from unbelief to faith in practical affairs of God’s answering or not my prayers was to consider as a part of my faith to thank God for what He had done in response to any given prayer. Faith is thus not be limited to the act of asking, but is also extended to that of receiving.

Full text available under, La difficulté d’admettre l’action de Dieu en ma faveur (French).

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

This page was last updated on August 2017, January 2018, and March 31, 2021.

Can Married Couples be Restored?

Can married couples be restored? Can God restore old broken married couples? What about Christian couples struggling in situations where they see no exit? My answer: assuredly! My wife and I spent a number of years in a situation that could too often have been described as more painful than joyful, yet we both remained faithful to one another.

I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me (Jonas 2.2, ESV)

In fact, without knowing it, we were trying, as many do, to fill through each other the unanswered needs from our past. This is often the case, for intimate relationships tend to reactivate childhood wounds in need of being healed. According to the therapist Hartville Hendrix’s Getting The Love You Want, it is in the context of a real commitment to each other that those wounds can be healed, as we have also experimented ourselves.

This has been far from obvious though. For a long time, we tried very hard to get things fixed, but somehow never seemed to succeed. After a while, we just let go of the issues that bothered us, and both agreed to disagree about our perceptions, no longer really trying to convince the other. We just lived side by side as best we could while we focused each on our own responsibility before God. I then discovered some of the relational patterns that I had developed when I was young, and on the basis of which I was still interacting; I began to replace these for more effective strategies. It was a first step.

At the same time, about ten years ago, I was asked by my supervisor to hire someone to replace me on the specific job I had been hired to do for my employer, because I wanted to take other responsibilities at work. As it turned out, I trained this person, and worked alongside her for six months. She was a Christian, from a different branch of the Church than ours, and we had some very interesting conversations together.

She was one of the means God used in my life to think through what the basis of my faith had been. This led me to identify one specific area of my life I had let myself slip into. The Holy Spirit of God made it clear to me that He wanted me to repent from it – no later than right now! The impression left on me by this realization was so clear that I became convinced I needed to make a choice right there and then. So I did, immediately. From then on, the guilt that had greatly burdened me, and indirectly affected my relationships, completely disappeared. I was freed from it, liberated as if from a rush of wind from God.

What followed was a series of steps where I went from the position of one who feels a victim of circumstances, as if a prison of a spiritual nature encased me, to one who knew he was God’s son, a prince under the authority of Christ, co-heir with the King. It became clear to me that I could call upon my Father, and receive answers to my petitions in resisting whatever temptations were before me. I am not saying here that I became sinless. What I am saying is that I became a warrior against the forces of darkness – as I had been in earlier years. I remembered who I was in Christ, and I began to be much more efficient in turning immediately to my source of strength for fighting sin.

These changes became the basis for a new outlook in my relationship to my wife. She saw the changes that had occurred with me. I also began to pray God for her every time she did or said something that I did not like. I began bathing her in prayer, until one day she told me she felt loved and accepted. Our relationship then took a completely different turn. It must be specified that in the mean time, my wife was also going through experiences of spiritual liberation of her own. This allowed her to welcome the renewed person I had become, walking along with me anew, closer than we ever had been.

Our adult children – who were no longer living at home at the time, and both had careers of their own – began teasing my wife and I. Eventually – within the same year – they  began saying things like: “Mom, dad is courting you! Don’t you see it?”.  A little later they began to teasingly accuse us of suffering from blind love ! A good problem, isn’t it? : “You are really strange parents, they said jokingly. It seems as if you both believe the other has no defects or shortcomings of any sort. You are like young lovers who just met.

Up to this day, my wife and I still enjoy a very good relationship for which we thank the Lord.  So when I say to anyone I feel the joy of Christ, and His peace within me now, these two events related just above are always in the background of my mind and heart.

People in our Church who have known us for many a year began to say that the changes they saw in us as couple have encouraged them greatly in not losing hope that God can work in their lives too in ways that they had began to despair would be possible.

Reading through the epistles of Peter, paying close attention to First Peter 5:6-11, it strikes me that the prowling evil-one tried to destroy both my wife and I, and, through us, our entire family, yet he failed. God prevailed. I am thankful to my Father.

As I conclude this article, I am raising my heart in prayer on the behalf of all who struggle in their marital relationship, and might be tempted to adopt a despairing attitude.

I pray God to use this testimony for providing some measure of hope to suffering couples. Are you amongst them? I am praying that the Holy Spirit will perhaps lead you to the right people, or that He will bring home to you some passages of Scriptures, in such a way that it will help you understand your own situation in a better light. I am praying that He will enable you to trust Him to set things right in your own heart, so that you will know how to restore whatever needs to be, both in relationship to your spouse and to your God. I pray that you will want to do whatever needs be done with this regard.

I first published the above testimony, December 10, 2014, on Christian Forum Site, under Forums –> General Forums –> New Members Welcome –> New to group… how much help has this group been to you? It has been adapted to better suit its present context, and amplified to provide a richer human dimension to what occurred spiritually.

Relying on God helped you getting through situations that seemed desperate at times or this article was helpful to you in some ways,  feel free to let me and others know of it.

You wish to get involved and discuss further about the above topic, please consider doing so at Christian Forum Site. I will be happy to engage with you there.

We also would like you to feel more than welcome to join our nascient (as of this writing) trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). Or, you may simply share some aspect of your hard-gained life experience in the box below.

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Author: Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA.
February 7, 2018.

Knowing one is Loved by God: the Key for Loving Others

Knowing one is loved by God: the key for loving others–Our love for others will be limited unless we understand God’s love toward us, since it is the love that God has for us that is the source of the love we have for others.

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you. (Isaiah 49:15, ESV)

Although Se savoir aimé de Dieu : la clé pour aimer autrui is currently available in French only, this site contains English language articles covering some of the same ground and that may be of interest to you, for example: Testimony and Training.

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

You may communicate with me through the indications under Questions or Comments.

Author: Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA.
February 8, 2018.

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Research key words:
knowing one is loved by God; key for loving others; loved by God; loving others.

What I mean by “I am a Christian”

After coming to Christ and to a life of obedience to what God teaches in his Word, it took me several years to understand that it is not so important to be able to become proud of the type of Christian that we are, but to be proud of the type of Savior we have, Jesus,  through whom we are adopted into the family of God, and become heir of His promises. This is part of what I mean when I say that I am a Christian.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6, ESV)

Although the Full text of this article — Ce que j’entends par « Je suis chrétien » — is currently available only in French, a number of English Language articles deal with similar or complementary subject matters as this one:

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Daniel Garneau
Article updated: August 28, 2017; January 5, and June 18, and July 23, 2018.

Answering Hervé-Cyrille from Benin

This article provides advice to those who meet Christ through the Web, and are wondering how they might proceed in order to grow in their new-found Christian faith. Here is some of the most basic advice to be heeded, in a nutshell. First, ask God to help you understand as you read the Bible. Second, make sure you take into account the context of the Biblical passages that you read or that other quotes to you. Third, Consider what God says in His Word to be more important than what others say about it. Fourth, Find believers to gather with, and a church that teaches the Word of God.

… Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12.1b-2, ESV)

Full text of article available under:  Réponse à Hervey Cyrille du Bénin (French).

Other articles that might be helpful for meeting the same needs as this article does:

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Summary created: August 28, 2017.
Updated: January 11, 2018; July 23, 2018.

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Research keywords: Advice to those who meet Christ through the Web; Advice to new believers; Advice to new Christians; Help for starting the Christian life.

Merging of Past, Present, and Future

My journey of faith, when I consider it today, may be considered from the angle of a merger of horizons, or the encounter of past, present and future.

What is man that you care for him (Psalm 8:4)?

Three events have been turning points in my Christian life. Witnesses of Jesus told me about the love of God for human beings, guiding me in this with the Word of God. After a fairly long period of resistance on my part, I finally decided to make the changes that needed to be made in order to obey God and follow Jesus. But it was several years later only that I came to understand what to be loved by God meant, and what it entailed in terms of the peace that comes with knowing we are forgiven by Christ no matter what.

Always, God was there. Keeping watch over me. Guiding me. Respecting my refusals.  For God does not impose himself upon us. Instead, he invites us, and waits until we are ready. In the past, God waited for me. In the present, he does not bully-me around, but waits for me to become ready to enter more and more fully into the love He has for me. For, from our human perspective, all begins with our understanding that we have God’s love for us.

No matter how despairing your situation might seem to be at any given point in your life, please always remember that God is preserving your life all along. Personally I went through phases of high expectation, deep despair, and to one of peace and joy in Christ. Today I realize that God is using every dimension of my personal history for His glory. One way to put it is that I am now living at the encounter of past, present and future.

Full text available from :  La rencontre du passé, du présent et du futur (French).

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Summary created: August 28, 2017.
Updated: January 5, 2018, and June 28, 2018.

Intelligence and Christian Faith

When I came to the Lord as my personal Savior as a young adult in 1977, I believed myself to be very limited in terms of intellectual capabilities or potential, such as are involved in the proper understanding of written material of any degree of complexity. Yet I wanted to understand what God was teaching in his Scriptures.  I titled this article, Intelligence and Christian Faith because it was God who provided me with the abilities I was asking of Him so I would understand His Word and be able to explain it to others.

You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
(Psalm 27:8, ESV)

One day I read a passage of Scriptures that said that it is God who gives wisdom to the wise and understanding to those who have understanding. My French language Bible used the French word “intelligence” for “understanding,” and I took it to mean that God provides one’s mind with the abilities one would otherwise be lacking to comprehend what God’s Word, and God’s teaching, is all about. Based on this interpretation of things, I said to God that if He wanted me to understand His Word, He would absolutely have to make me capable of doing so, for it would otherwise not be possible for me to get it.

I consider that Christianity removed a barrier that would otherwise have prevented me from believing that I could one day achieve what I had to heart to know through systematically and regularly reading the text of the Bible for myself through the years. As I applied myself to understand as best I could what I was reading, I made progresses that would otherwise not have been within my reach. Also, God helped me through His Spirit, but He also helped me through His Word to believe He would intervene. This had a mobilizing effect upon me for several years until it had become and felt natural for me to study the Bible and whatever other text I wanted to understand, no matter how complex.

The original version of article may be read at :  Intelligence et foi chrétienne (French).

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Translation provided on August 25, 2017.
Comments opened on January 5, 2018.

Research Key Words: Christian Faith; Intelligence and Christian Faith; Intelligence; Understanding; Intellectual capabilities.