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Fresh Conversations About Faith & Suffering

Nov 19, 2019

It’s been my (often painful) experience that too-few people of faith engage in transparent conversations around faith and suffering. Our Christian Living Bookshelves don’t often have much to offer in the way of helping the truth-seeker who is desperate to overcome their big questions and dogged doubts. Thank heavens for people like Philip Yancey, Timothy Keller, Joni Eareckson Tada, Henri Nouwen and others. Their words, combined with God’s word, made a major difference in my faith. This is, in part, my purpose in writing Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves. If I can be one more safe voice for a person in a place of pain, then that feels like success.

Over the past couple weeks, both before and after the launch of Relentless, I’ve recorded multiple interviews—podcasts, radio shows, guest blog posts—talking about this very subject. In the event you find yourself short on resources too, I’ve listed the most recent here along with a short description. I pray they encourage and strengthen your faith!

Recent Interviews About Faith & Suffering

Live Inspired with John O’Leary, Episode 203 (and 132!): This was actually the second I’ve been on John O’Leary’s well-loved podcast. And this conversation was just as rich as the first one. In this episode I share simple tips to respond to our circumstances in a more positive manner. As John said, “This inspiring conversation will help start your week on fire!”

Graceologie with Gwen Smith, Episode 67: In this podcast episode, I join my friend Gwen Smith to talk about how to hold onto faith when it seems God is gone.

Overcoming The Fear of Abandonment, Win Today with Christopher Cook, Episode 168: In this conversation with my friend Christopher, we talk about the grim details of my third bout with cancer and the very real temptation to end my life to finally escape the pain. In this podcast, you will hear promises without the platitudes, and a battle strategy to find safety in the very real, always near presence of the Lord, even in the midst of your most trying time.

Csillia Muscan, the Grace-filled Leader, Episode 40: In this episode, Csilla and I talk about it looks like to wrestle with your faith in the midst of agony, to question God’s love and presence during those time and how to sit with friends who are walking through difficult season.

The Scars That Mark Us, a guest post via Ann Voskamp‘s blog: “In a world that pulled away from pain, Jesus pushed in.” In this guest post, I shared one of my favorite stories, pulled directly from the pages of Relentless. It will give you a small sample of what you can find in the rest of the book.

Suffering and Faith, God Stuff TV Podcast with Bill Giovannetti: In this interview, Bill and I dig deep into Theodicy, a defense of God in places of suffering. We dive deep into the theological pool in this conversation, and I LOVED IT. This has been one of the most life giving, faith-building conversations I’ve had thus far on the message of Relentless. If you want to dig a little deeper into what the Bible says about faith and suffering, this episode is for you.

The Hard Truth About How God Feels About You, a guest post on (In)Courage: In this guest post, I shared one of my favorite stories from Relentless, a moment when I realized I’d failed at the one thing I wanted to get most right as a mom.

The Living Room with Joanna Weaver, Episode 18: Have you ever been so hurt that you’ve questioned God’s reality, His goodness or whether or not you can trust Him? You are not alone. Whether you are facing health issues, broken dreams or relationships, betrayal or abandonment God wants to reveal Himself to you as the One who never leaves your side and never wastes your pain.

Coming Alive Ministries with Jennifer Hand: This was one of my favorite conversations to date, because it was filled with both serious truth and hilarious laughter. Jennifer has a warmth and earnestness that will make you feel right at home. And that’s exactly how I felt when we talked.

How To Hold On To Hope, Clutter Free Academy Podcast with Kathi Lipp, Episode 382: In this podcast, my bestie Kathi Lipp and I give real-life examples of ways life can feel relentless and how we try to cope with that chaos. In this episode, you’ll also hear us discuss two unhelpful extremes that we try to “fix” chaos in our lives and two helpful ways to cope, as well as how we can find an anchor outside ourselves and our circumstances to keep us from being tossed about and how relentless challenges and God’s relentless presence can coexist.

When You Fear You’re All Alone, a guest post on Elisa Morgan‘s Really blog: Do you ever feel alone? Really alone? Of course you do. Don’t we all? In this post, I share a personal story that will poke the reality of presence into our aloneness.

Grit ‘n Grace Girls Podcast with Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory, Episode 177: Unlike all the other conversations posted here, THIS conversation—er, podcast—was recorded LIVE and IN PERSON at the Leverage Conference in San Jose, California, November 6, 2019. It was spontaneous. It was honest. And it was a whole lot of fun. Cheri and Amy are a delight, all around. So if you’re a good girl needing to break a bad rule, join in!

How To Hold On To Your Faith When Life Is Hard, Christian Habits Podcast with Barb Raveling: How do you hold onto your faith when it seems like God has disappeared? Whether in struggle, illness, death, or failure, the presence of pain is often so overwhelming it can drown out God’s voice. On the Christian Habits Podcast, we talk about questions like “Why doesn’t God take away the pain?”, “What do you do on the days when the emotional and/or physical pain feels devastating?”, “How do you deal with the doubts about your faith that often accompany relentless pain?,” and “How do you deal with the fairness issue–when it seems like everyone else has great lives and you’re stuck with this hard life?”

QUESTION: Have you listened to any of these interviews or read any of these posts? Which one meant the most to you? Why? Share your own personal insights so we can learn from you, too. 

P.S. Have you purchased your Altar Stone Companion Cardpack? It’s a great resource to turn the altar stones in the pages of Relentless into your own personal Altar of God’s Presence. And if you don’t yet have your copy of Relentless, you can find out more info HERE.

1 Comment

  1. Penelope

    Michele, I’m looking forward to clicking through and reading these guest posts you’ve published elsewhere. (podcasts, sadly, don’t work for me with my brain tumor disability),

    Two books I have read and loved and drawn so much from are Walking With God Through Pain & Suffering, by Timothy Keller; and Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain & Suffering, by Kelly M. Kapic. Highly recommended, both.

    SO looking forward to my copy of Relentless! xox


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