The Beginning Is Where We Will Find The Faith We Need

Runner at the Beginning

Start from the beginning. Most of us can remember struggling to tell the story of an event to our parents. In our excitement we muddled the details and became frustrated. “Honey, start from the beginning”, was the great advice from Mom!

It’s been said that life’s a circle and eventually we wind up back in the place where we started.

Continue reading “The Beginning Is Where We Will Find The Faith We Need”

Finding God’s Purpose In The Things We Hate Most

God’s purpose is often found in places we don’t want to look for it. We want to find God’s purpose in the pages of Scripture, in our comfortable pew at church or in the lessons of being generous to others. But God’s purposes are usually not revealed that way.

So often, God’s purpose is found in the uncomfortable things we experience in life. God’s purpose will always need faith and faith must always be tested.

I. God’s Purpose Is Found In Suffering

We see throughout Scripture that God used suffering to draw people closer to Him. He used suffering to reveal Himself and His power. Through suffering God has changed both hearts and nations.

Because we live in a fallen word, suffering is something we will all experience. Through our suffering, we may find an opportunity to build a bridge for others to cross over. Our experience in suffering will become a part of our testimony. Our testimony gives us opportunity to encourage or strengthen others through their suffering. 

While God does concern Himself with our suffering, what He is most interested in is our response to suffering. Suffering is rarely our choice, but our response to suffering is! Our suffering will accomplish one of two things; it will draw us closer to, or drive us further from Him. 

[bctt tweet=”Suffering is rarely our choice, but our response to suffering is!” username=”michaelkduff”]

Can you think of someone whose relationship with God grew deeper through the pain of cancer, chronic illness or other types of suffering? Strangely, in the end, they seemed almost thankful for it.

II. God’s Purpose Is Found In Trials

Though it is similar to suffering, trials are more emotional than physical. A trial can be a financial crisis, loss of a loved one, divorce, employment struggles or you fill in the blank.

While many of the trials we struggle through are self-inflicted, at times God allows trials to enter our lives. See the book of Job for a worst-case scenario. 

As His children, God will never leave us where we, especially spiritually. He wants us to grow because it’s unacceptable for us to be stagnant in our walk with Him. One way He will move us to the next level spiritually is through trials.

King David spent time hiding in a cave. The disciples found themselves in a big storm in a small boat. Paul was shipwrecked not once but three times!

Trials will eventually put us in the place where we must depend on Him.

III. God’s Purpose Is Found In Waiting

Waiting is probably the most difficult way to find God’s purpose. The worst part of waiting is the silence from Heaven. The greatest suffering Jesus endured was God turning His back on Him while He was on the cross.

When we are waiting, the silence makes us feel like God has abandoned us. But we have God’s promise that He will NEVER abandon us or forsake us.

Hebrews 13:5 …I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


We have been told that God’s purpose in having us wait is that He is preparing something better. God has a purpose, even in waiting.

Is it possible that God’s purpose is nothing more than to grow you closer to Him?

I wish there was a one size fits all answer to finding God’s purpose in these three events. But there is not. All three events require greater faith and greater trust. God desires no other response from us, because that is His purpose!

What has God taught you through suffering, trials or waiting? Use your testimony as a bridge for others and share a comment with us. If you know someone this blog might be helpful to, please share it with them.

How To Life A Life Free Of Selfishness

Selfishness is a ruthless taskmaster that sucks the joy from your life. Selfishness is being devoted to caring only for oneself, and being concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, or welfare, regardless of others.
Photo of people displaying selfishness
The words from the video clip stung, “I have been the most selfish person to ever live…” The next point in the pastor’s message was, “It’s Not About You.”
I suspected I may have an issue when half my family pointed at me and laughed. I know it’s not all about me, but what everyone fails to understand is – I want it to be!
Anyone there with me? The problem is, making it all about you requires us to exert a great deal of selfishness.
Selfishness is a dysfunctional family. It’s next of kin are greed, bitterness, anger, and depression. Living a life filled with selfishness is a fantastic way to be miserable.
[bctt tweet=”Living a life filled with selfishness is a fantastic way to be miserable.” username=”michaelkduff”]
So how do we beat the selfishness that dwells within us?

I. Selfishness Flees When You Are Thankful 

It is very difficult to be selfish and thankful at the same time. The next time you find yourself slipping into selfishness, try being thankful for something.
In addition, thankfulness is the Will of God.
I Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
You must develop the habit of being thankful. One blogger recommended that you journal three things you are thankful for each morning during your devotion time. If you don’t have a quiet time you need to start one because selfishness is best fought with truth!

II. Selfishness Fades When You Serve Others

There is a trap in serving others – it is possible to serve selfishly. Serving others never needs a press release!
We can find glory and pride in serving others, especially if you tend to love being in the spotlight. It’s hard to swallow, but remember serving others is not about you… please don’t hate me, this is hard for me as well.
You need to look for a way of serving that will not benefit you in any way, other than the reward of serving others. Go scoop soup at the local homeless shelter, slip the homeless guy on the corner a cheeseburger, stay and help cleanup the church after everyone has gone home.
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Is it possible the cure for your selfishness is as simple as humility?

III. Selfishness Fails When You Kill The Monster

“Be careful or the green-eyed monster will get you!” Wise words spoken by my Mother-In-Law many years ago. When you set your eyes on something that someone else has whether it be success, possessions or status, that desire will quickly begin to work through your selfish nature and the monster begins to grow.
All selfishness wants from you is a little more regardless of the cost. Selfishness is never satisfied or content.
The Bible calls this consuming desire for more, covetousness and God knew it would be a big deal in your life which is why He made it one of the Big 10!
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
The best weapon to fight the green-eyed monster is contentment. When we recognize and are satisfied with all that God has blessed us with, selfishness will not survive. Contentment is a byproducts of the thankfulness we talked about earlier.
How do you recognize and deal with selfishness? Share a comment below or share this post with someone who might benefit from it.