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Jesus Taught Me How To Deal With Tragedy
4th January 2022 • Jesus Taught Me That • BeFun BeKind Podcasts
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Everyone encounters challenges, but sometimes we go through such struggle and emotional pain that it can shake us to our core. Today's story is an example of someone that went through that, and how they recovered.

Our guest, Gerard Long, endured the loss of two children, a failing marriage, and a cardiac arrest where he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. After recovering, he founded a non profit and has dedicated his life to helping helping people and couples recover from tragic events.

Join us as we hear about the journey of how he was able to heal his marriage and his own emotional struggle, and now use it to help others.

This podcast is produced by BeFun BeKind Podcasts. If you're interested in starting or growing a podcast like this one visit Befunbekind.com to start your journey.

Transcripts

Brent:

Today, we are going to hear a story about tragedy, the complexity

Brent:

of grief, and the recovery process that takes place after that.

Brent:

We are going to be talking to Gerard long, who spent 30 years in the banking and

Brent:

finance industry and realized his calling was to found a nonprofit that helped

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people deal with and overcome tragedy.

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He's an author speaker and really has a profound story.

Brent:

Gerard it is great to have you on.

Brent:

I feel like we have so many things to get to in this conversation.

Brent:

Let me just start off by asking how do you see the message of Jesus

Brent:

moving in your life right now?

Gerard Long:

He's drawing me ever closer and that's that's always, my goal is to

Gerard Long:

get as close to Jesus Christ as I can.

Gerard Long:

And for him to be seen in my life as I think that's the best all of

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us can do as Christ followers is to get as close to him as we can.

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And then out of that, hopefully impact as many people's lives as we can.

Gerard Long:

So I would say that, and I try and walk as closely to the Lord as I can.

Brent:

Absolutely.

Brent:

Let's start with just understanding your story.

Brent:

You have such an amazingly powerful journey and a powerful story to tell.

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And I want to take this time, and just let you walk us through whatever

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aspects you want to walk us through.

Brent:

And then we'll of course dive into

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different parts of that, but tell our audience a little bit about

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your journey and how you have gotten to where you are today.

Gerard Long:

Okay.

Gerard Long:

Sure.

Gerard Long:

I'd be pleased to do that.

Gerard Long:

I'm going to start On the 26th of October, 2019, and then I'm going to go backwards

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from there and you'll see why in a moment.

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So on that date, I was invited to go around to a friend's house at 1:00 AM

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in the morning I was going to watch the semi-final of the rugby world cup.

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I love rugby and England were playing New Zealand and my

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friends were rugby fans as well.

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So we went around, I went around in the middle of the night.

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England scored a try within two minutes.

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And my friends looked over to me to see what was happening for

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thinking I'd be out getting excited.

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And I was slumped in my chair.

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Long, long story short.

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I was having a, I had a cardiac arrest and my heart stopped.

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I flat-lined there was no breathing.

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And apart from the fact that there were two young guys there who were also

Gerard Long:

watching, one of them, I was mentoring another one that was his friend.

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They just didn't, they didn't accept that I was going to die, well I was dead.

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And one of them, the chap I was mentoring got a sort of download from God that

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he needed to start pumping my chest.

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Now he'd never done CPR on his life before.

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Got me on the ground and started pumping my chest for 30 pumps and

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then mouth to mouth nothing happened.

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And the other guy was shouting at me, come back, Joel, come back like this.

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It was amazing how God seemed to be using them.

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And so before the first responders came they called down the wife of

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my friend who invited me around and she was a former nurse and she came

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down and she said, check my vitals.

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He's gone.

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I'm sorry.

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He's gone.

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And I later discovered that.

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All of those people who have cardiac arrest outside hospital in the U S only

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6% survive, six out of hundreds survive.

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And of those who do survive, you have terrible brain damage that nine

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out of 10 had terrible brain damage.

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So she's saying no, he's gone, first responders arrive after

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10 minutes or so they take over.

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And they're desperately trying to get, find a heartbeat, pump my chest.

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They gave me six or seven electric shocks to the heart.

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And they were about to stop.

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And still these two young lads refused to accept that I was dead.

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And so they said, ah, I give him one more.

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And they gave me one more and they found a heartbeat.

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So go forward a little bit.

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I'm coming round in the ICU and I should be dead.

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There were medics all said it was a miracle.

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Why am I still here?

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No brain damage.

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Amazing.

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And I felt the Lord wanted me to share, I needed to share three Epiphanes

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that he had given me in a period of catastrophic suffering that Jeanie and I

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had gone through between 2005 and 2014.

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So let me just go backwards into that.

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I take you to 2004 and I'm saying.

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Does life get any better than this?

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I was on the top of the mountain, so to speak.

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I had a great walk with Jesus, a wonderful marriage, and a

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great Church had a amazing job.

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I was an expat international bank at the time.

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So earning a lot of money in a beautiful house.

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Seeing people come to faith in Jesus, in our house, we were running, a

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thing, called alpha in our home.

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Can you ask for anything better?

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Everything was amazing.

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And it was interesting because not long after that, I felt God

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actually gave me a bit of a heads up.

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And he said to me, Gerard, you're going to go through a season of brokenness, but

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out of it, I'm going to glorify my name.

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And I told Jeannie that, I told her these words and neither of us understood what

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that meant, but we clicked into 2005 and it really was like a modern day Job story

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because everything's to be going wrong.

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But as before everything, I couldn't do anything wrong, everything was right.

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And all the things I touched seem to turn to gold, so to speak.

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Now, suddenly everything started to go downwards and it got worse and worse

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through the year, and then at the end of the year, on the 8th of November,

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our youngest son, Alex, who was just 17 years old, he knew the Lord.

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He was trying to help somebody at school.

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But very unwisely he made a bad decision.

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He took some, a drug.

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They, the other boys said it was marijuana.

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We're not sure, but I think it was, and he became delusional and paranoid

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and we thought he'd get over it.

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It would just pass through and he'll get back to normal.

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And he was a bright boy, very popular, great athlete, had

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everything going for him.

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But on the night of the 8th of November, he went outside and committed suicide.

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And our world just fell apart.

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And my dear wife, Jeanie went from shock to horror, to anger, and then to

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hatred because the horrible thing was suicide is not just the grieving of

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the loss of a child, but or it could be anyone but particularly a child.

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But it's the blame and the shame.

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Why didn't we see this coming?

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Why didn't we do something about it?

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She tried to rewind the clock.

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She hated herself for that.

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She hated me.

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We had, we'd had beautiful marriage up till then.

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Now it's hanging by a thread.

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Why did you bring us to the states?

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Why did you bring us to Chicago?

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All of these things were going on and she hated God.

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Now we've been serving God with all our hearts for 24 years.

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Prayed over our children in the womb, covering them with the blood of Jesus all

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of this, I've done it, I'd done it all.

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And now this has happened.

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And so she got to a point where she couldn't reconcile what

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had happened with a loving God.

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And so she lost her faith for two years and it was hell absolute hell.

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And I was trying to love her.

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But she was throwing it back in my face all the time.

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I had a job at the time.

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And then what happened was that I used to get up in the middle of the night.

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The only way I could get through this was to get up in the middle of the night.

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And I used to go down to my study and I literally used to weep

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until I had no more tears to cry.

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I was just completely broken and I cried out to God and yes, I did have a a

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short season when I said why Lord, why?

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I thought you were my friend.

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Why have you allowed this to happen?

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And the holy spirit was very real and, it's taught to the apostle,

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Paul talks about the fellowship of his suffering in those times,

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the unbelievable presence of God.

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And it was like he was in this room and I sensed his presence.

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So amazingly through that weeping.

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And then I had the three epiphanies not all on the same night, but it was over,

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over a space of weeks because this was going on for weeks and months and years.

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In fact, the first epiphany was one of God's great love for

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every person on this planet.

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And the way it happened was that one night I felt an arm around me and it was so real

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that I looked up to see who was there.

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And there was no one physically there, but then I realized that through the

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holy spirit, actually it was Jesus.

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And then the amazing thing was that he was weeping with me, literally

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sobbing because I used to sob.

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So it was from the bottom of your stomach.

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I used to sob so deeply and he was doing the same with me.

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And I realized in that time that how much God feels everybody's suffering

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on this planet, he sees it all.

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He feels it all and he's alongside us.

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Or there's people listening into this today.

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I just want you to know that God sees you and he cares about you

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and he's there right with you.

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Now, the obvious question is hang on.

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If there's a God of love and he's all powerful, why doesn't

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he stop all the suffering?

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Why, what is the, why is he allowed this to happen, etc.

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And the answer, I can't go into all the details, but I'll just give you the answer

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we know from scriptures that there is going to be a day when it all comes to.

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This age will come to an end and where we're heading for a time when there's no

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more death or mourning or crying or pain.

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And that will be, oh yes, it will be a wonderful day.

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But here's the thing in this age, we're in, it's an opportunity every day

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for more souls, more precious people.

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To come to the father to come to God through what Jesus has done for

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them and to be rescued for eternity.

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So we're reading in second, Peter three and verse nine.

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It says God's not slow concerning his promise, but he's patient

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not wanting anyone to perish.

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But everyone to come to repentance.

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So I saw this paradox that they've got God's call on the one hand it

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breaks his heart, all that's going on in the world today.

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But on the other hand, he wants more precious souls to be rescued and brought

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to be with him through Jesus for eternity.

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So that was an epiphany for me on this.

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I understood a bit more about the whole thing of suffering is obviously, a

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depth in there, I can't go into it now.

Gerard Long:

Now the second epiphany, then you can read much more in my book about this.

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The second epiphany was one of eternity, and now we talk about heaven

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and we talk about eternity and, but it, when we get, when you get an

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epiphany, it goes deep or you ever get a revelation, it goes deep into your

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soul and you get it at another level.

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And I, I really understood when scripture says this life is just a breath.

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Relative to eternity.

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It's just a breath.

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Now.

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I know it seems intense now, but actually when you compare it to

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what's to come, it's very short.

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And what God is asking us to do is to be faithful.

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Faithful to whatever he calls us to do while we're here.

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Now, we're all called to love.

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We're all called to, to tell the people about Jesus, but also it

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gives us specific things to do.

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And I realized that God was giving me this calling of brokenness,

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really empathy, to be able to help other people who are suffering and

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particularly to reach out to the lost.

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And I know that.

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I had committed his life to Jesus and yeah, he made a bad mistake,

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but I really believe that the blood of Jesus covers every sin.

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And I know that Alex is in heaven and I'm going to see him again.

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And it's going to be a great time when I see him again.

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And so I saw that it was in this small space of time, relative to eternity.

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God's asking me not to get better, to keep my heart and to be faithful,

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to do the things he wants me to do.

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I compare this meeting with Alex.

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It's a bit like an airport, you go to the departures and there's

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a lot of tears and yes, Jean and I got a lot of tears over the years.

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But when you go to arivals boy, there's a lot of joy.

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And when we get to see first Jesus, but then our loved ones in

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heaven, what joy is it going to be?

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It's going to be amazing and then the third epiphany was one of God's grace, how

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God gives us what we need to go through.

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Everything he asks us to do now, the first grace, his saving grace suit,

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Jesus, his blood being shed on the cross.

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He became our substitute, took our place, took the punishment.

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We all deserve.

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I made a way for us to have our sins forgiven, take away the barrier

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between us and God and to come into a relationship with the father for eternity.

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But there's also a grace for each day.

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And that is the life of Jesus.

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Jesus said, I've given you my life.

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My body is broken for you, John 16, 14.

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He talks about the holy spirit.

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He will take from what his mind, that's his life, his victorious life.

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And he will make it known to you.

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So I realized that God promised me to give me what I needed.

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I needed love more love because I'd get to the end of the day with Jeannie.

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And I'd be absolutely exhausted.

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In fact, twice, I said to God, I can't do this anymore, but if you

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want me to, you're going to have to put in more love into my heart.

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Because she used to be horrible to meour of her brokenness, and I wake up in

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the morning and there'd be more love.

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And more grace, we call it grace, but it's really, it's just the life of Jesus

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made known to us by the Holy Spirit.

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So now we have a story.

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We have a testimony to be able to say to people, I know

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whatever you're going through.

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God's grace is sufficient for you.

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He'll give you what you need.

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So I, in now in that time, I was asked to lead Alpha USA, which

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is all about rescuing souls.

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Now I've always had a heart for the lost, and now I'm being asked to

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lead this organization in America, which is all about rescuing souls.

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So I stepped down, I had a 30 year career in banking and I stepped

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down from that and and joined Alpha USA and helped to lead that

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for the next eight years as a CEO.

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and in that time, there was more grief.

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It went on and on to two months after Alex, my sister died of cancer a few years

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after that my brother died of cancer.

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It was grief upon grief.

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My nephew, Jeanie's nephew died in car accident and then the the most

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unbelievable, unimaginable thing could happen is our daughter, Rebecca.

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She had a terrible accident in lake Michigan and on the

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8th of May, 2014 she died.

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So now it's not just one, but now two children have gone ahead of us to heaven.

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And Jeanie had taken about eight years to come out of her grief from Alex.

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Our marriage had been restored.

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Her faith had been restored.

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She was ministering with me again, she's reading the Bible again

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and she'll be sharing scriptures together, as we love to do.

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But now wham she's dragged sucked down into the depths again of grief and sorrow,

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and she realized she couldn't go on.

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And so she decided to take her life.

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She went up to Rebecca's room and she wasn't going to come out.

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But as she went into the room, she opened the door and she described to me.

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What happened was that a light was in that room that she, it was incredible light.

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She didn't see any physical being, but there was just a

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clear presence of God there.

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And it was filled with love.

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She said, and filled with joy and she had a sense of Alex and Rebecca, both

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behind her, but she didn't need to look because she was so absorbed with Jesus

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who was in front of her, so to speak.

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And he spoke to her many things.

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But the thing that was really profound, she told me later was that he said to

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her, Jeanie, your grief is not your own.

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So Jeannie came down and after this encounter, she'd gone off

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a shell, almost like a zombie.

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She came down and she was glowing.

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Literally my jumped off and I said, Jeanie, what has happened to you?

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And she described this amazing encounter with God.

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And she told me the things that God had said to her.

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Two other witnesses later that day, who, who said that, who asked the same

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question and were amazed to see, there were three witnesses, oh of the impact

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of the presence of God on Jeanie.

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She's never been the same sense.

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It was only one thing that could have rescued Jeannie and her utter brokenness.

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And that was the presence of God.

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And he came and he rescued her.

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So now we're saying, okay, Lord we're totally broken.

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What is it you want us to do with this pain and this suffering.

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And we realized God wanted us to turn it around for good.

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Genesis 50 is a well-known verse with Joseph.

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He said to his brother, you intend this for evil, God intended it for

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good, for the saving of many lives.

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And so we realized that God was calling me out of Alpha.

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I stepped down from my role in Alpha, and we started our own nonprofit

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called Awakening to God Ministries based on Isaiah 61, 1 to four which

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of the words that Jesus started his ministry with the first part of it.

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Anyway, spirit, the Lord is on me.

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He's anointed me to preach good news to the point.

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To bind up the brokenhearted release for capitalism freedom

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from darkness, for the prisoners.

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And we realized that God had given us, okay, say this guest gift of empathy, the

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ability to say to someone who's suffering.

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I understand because I've been on that same road.

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And that's what Jesus can say to us.

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We read in Hebrews five.

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I think it is.

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We don't have a high priest who doesn't understand.

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Now he understands because he's been here.

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So we are a witness.

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We're all witnesses to Jesus.

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We've all got different stories.

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And I started to realize that through broken this, and then I, as you look

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through scripture, you won't find anybody old or new Testament who God uses.

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He doesn't go through.

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Everybody wants to go through suffering and through it, we have this

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incredible opportunity to experience the life of God through Jesus.

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In a more powerful way.

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And that's when the apostle Paul and Peter and James talk about it as being a

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privilege fact in Philippians 1 29 says that you've been given the privilege,

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not only to believe in Christ, but also the privilege to suffer for him now.

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It doesn't make any sense from the flesh point of view?

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Of course it doesn't.

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No we desperately miss our children every day and we still

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weep for them from time to time.

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But as it says in scripture, our current sufferings aren't worth comparing with

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the glory that shall be revealed in us.

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And so that's what we do now in second Corinthians one, three, and four, it

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says this, it says with the comfort, where with you being coming from.

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You're able to comfort other people.

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So it's a a powerful message to be able to pass on to others.

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We've been reaching people around the world.

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Since that we've been going about seven years now, the poor in India, we've done

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52 villages, is about over 25,000 people.

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We've helped with the clean water and mosquito nets and food, medical aid.

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And then online, we do masses of stuff online.

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We've reached, we reached about 44 million people last year with messages

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of hope, comfort, and hope people who are suffering from grief or maybe with

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depression, or maybe they're suicidal.

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Things have happened in their life through no fault of their own.

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Like with Job, he didn't deserve it, from a natural point of view, but

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God was using it for a story because right at the middle of our Christian

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faith is the cross of Jesus Christ.

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The most gruesome, gruesome, but as suffering, you can imagine where the

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spotless beautiful, loving Jesus.

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Our Lord was tortured to death in front of his mother.

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And you might say it is gruesome.

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It's painful in this broken world.

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He came and he came to rescue us, but out of it, he made a way for the whole

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world to be saved if they'd receive him.

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So now you start to understand a bit more when the apostles talk about

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this suffering, there's a whole other ministry that many people will.

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And they wonder why they're going through it.

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God never loses control.

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He's sovereign over every single thing.

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Now, sometimes we cause our own suffering by being silly.

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We go and do things we shouldn't be doing, but there's other times, many times when.

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We haven't deserved it.

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Being abused as a child, you don't, of course you don't, you haven't brought

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that on, but then you look at someone like Joyce Meyer who was raped by over a

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hundred times by a father and her mother knew about it and look how God's used her.

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So there's many examples today through history in the Bible where

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God turns it around for good, for the saving of many lives.

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And that's a great thing to be able to do,

Brent:

Gerard, when you mentioned the story of Job, I

Brent:

had actually thought of that.

Brent:

That actually came to my mind.

Brent:

Oh my goodness.

Brent:

This is like a modern day Job story.

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And that is also a great example of how that story particular has

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been used throughout history.

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And the impact that has had on people.

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I'm just so thankful for you and for your family and the story

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that you've come through and that you're able to share it with us.

Brent:

Something that I had in my mind as you were going through this, if you are a

Brent:

new Christian in recovery of some sort of loss, it may be tough for you to

Brent:

have these thoughts of hope and purpose and salvation that Jesus has given us.

Brent:

What would you say to that person?

Brent:

What would you say to that new Christian or maybe even someone that

Brent:

is listening to this has not been really exposed to the hope of Jesus.

Brent:

What would you say to that person?

Gerard Long:

It would be that the scripture speaks about three

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phases of grieving of coming through loss or pain or suffering.

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And do you see that as actually, you guys are excuse me, 60, 61 verse three.

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And the first phase I call it to be cuddled, or to be loved is that if you're

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really raw from loss or from some terrible thing, that's happened to you, it's very

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important that you grieve and you grieve.

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That you don't try and rush on you.

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Don't try and get theological answers.

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You need to grieve.

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And when, cuddled, I mean that if people are trying to help other folks, don't try

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and quote scripture in the wrong time.

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It's this that's not right.

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You just need it.

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It's a ministry of presence just to be present with that person.

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Let them know that they're so loved and.

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That person who's suffering at the moment in that deep grief.

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You just need to know that God really loves you and he cares

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about you and he sees you.

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And yes, we do live in this broken world and there's a lot of pain and

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a lot of suffering and he wants to.

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Yeah, just put, take you in his arms, so to speak and let you know that

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you're loved and you're special, and that he's going to heal you.

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He's going to heal.

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He heals a broken heart.

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He binds up their wounds.

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That's the first phase.

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The second phase is what we call a restaurant.

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And that's when he starts to build you up again, think of it.

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Think of your heart or your soul, like a tank when we've been hit

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hard with some loss or some tragedy or something happened to us.

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That's really rocked our world.

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We go to empty.

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And so the cuddling bit gives you a little bit of.

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Input again to restore your soul.

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The restoration then is when you start to receive more and more, and you start

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to become, come back to who you are.

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Again, you can laugh again and you can start to have some vision that

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your life is going to go on and you're going to have a good life

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and things are going to be good.

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And then the third phase, which many Christians don't go to this

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phase is the phase of trials.

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And again, you don't try and rush things to get straight to try it for you.

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You've got to go through those phases.

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Very important grieve.

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Because addled be restored.

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And then the third phase is tribe.

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There's second Corinthians, two 14.

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He continued, he leads us in triumph and through us, he spreads the

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aroma of Jesus and every place and triumph is where you turn around.

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Whatever's happened to you to help other people.

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So now your, and this is one of the places that Jeannie had when

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she came out of her darkness.

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In fact, it was a key moment and she just heard these words and her

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mind kicked Satan in the teeth.

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Shortly after Alex went home to heaven, the Lord reminded me of

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Romans 16, 20, the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

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The grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Be with you.

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In other words, God's going to use.

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To extend his kingdom and to help, to rescue more souls for eternity.

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That's triumph.

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You're not going to let the suffering, when you're going to

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triumph, you're going to be over it.

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You're going to be the one who's able to say.

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I know that?

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God's grace is sufficient because I've been through this

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and now look what he's doing.

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Now.

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Look what he's doing.

Brent:

Yeah, my goodness.

Brent:

And I think that is to your point, that's the most powerful part.

Brent:

You get to impact other people with what you've just been through.

Brent:

And every person that you look at that has a story, even remotely similar to

Brent:

that, that is using it to impact people.

Brent:

And they're so full, they're so full of joy and of empowerment

Brent:

of what they've been through.

Brent:

They realize the power that their story has on people, as I'm sure you do.

Brent:

It's as profoundly impacted me just in our short time that we've known each

Brent:

other over the, over the past few weeks, it's it's so profound and I would think.

Brent:

Yeah.

Brent:

If you are a Christian dealing with grief, that is a really amazing thing

Brent:

that we have that we can look to.

Brent:

It is that triumph at the end of it.

Brent:

Thank you for sharing those three steps with people.

Brent:

Something that you said a little bit earlier I want to come back to it

Brent:

because this is a question that gets asked a lot, especially with people that

Brent:

struggle with this is asking why does God allow bad things to happen to us?

Brent:

And this is tough for a lot of people, especially going through that moment.

Brent:

I would love for you to just maybe hit on that just a little bit more.

Brent:

Are there some particular things that you could maybe offer whether it'd be

Brent:

scripture or just a couple of thoughts that you have that you can maybe dive

Brent:

a little bit deeper into that mindset.

Gerard Long:

Sure.

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And it's, this is the big one.

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Now this is the thing that really is a struggle for most people who struggle

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with faith or have lost their faith.

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It's because of the sissy of suffering.

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So it is huge.

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I'm going to be writing a book about this down the line, but just let me

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just give an overview just to help a little bit, hopefully, but we live

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in a broken world, in this season.

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God, if you like, is given us an opportunity to be with him for a term.

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And starts right away from Adam and Eve and he, and that, that

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means that God's going to be God, in our lives, in the center.

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And we see it right at the very beginning where Adam and Eve basically

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I'm paraphrasing, but they basically said, no, we want to do our own thing.

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Push got out and God had warned them.

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Look, if you do this, there's going to be disorder.

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There's going to be death.

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Death happens at the micro level cells die, things die.

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And That's exactly what happened.

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So since that moment where humankind push got out there has been this

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dreadful and entropy was a steady deterioration right through the universe.

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Going down now, Jesus came to rescue us.

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He came to give us a way to come back to the father, praise God through that.

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But we're still left in this broken world and the consequences of sin.

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Now I'm talking about corporate sin.

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I'm not trying to point to any individual, but corporate sin is, has

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been absolutely catastrophic on this unit.

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In every single way, this terrible thing of sin we play it down.

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So don't realize how terrible it is, this rebellion against God.

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And so we're in this, we're in this world now.

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So that's the sort of reason for suffering now you might say why didn't,

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why did God allow that to be suffering?

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I would suggest this, that if you're going to have your creation.

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Given the chance to love you.

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Cause that's what he wants.

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God wants us in relationship with him.

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He made us for relationship with him.

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The only way to have true love is you must have free will and to have free will.

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You've got to have a choice.

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You've got to have the ability to say, Nope, I want to do my own thing.

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That's free.

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Why, so we're not robots here.

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Now.

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We make a choice and this is a season.

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This is the era.

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This is the age in which we make a choice.

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I want God to be God in my life.

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I want Jesus to be my savior.

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And that's the choice we make.

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And it's an eternal choice because it determines where

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we're going to be for eternity.

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When it comes to the end, there will be if you choose to reject

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Jesus that you're taking your punishment for your sin on yourself.

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Jesus took your punishment.

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But if you reject it, then you're left to take your own punishment and that's

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separation from God for eternity.

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So that's the reason why there is suffering.

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That's the reason why we see it in the world today, this terrible degradation

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slow deterioration of the universe.

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But Jesus made a way through it.

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Now answer your question.

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Why did good people suffer?

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So Jeannie and I would serve, we'd serve God with all of our hearts.

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For 24 years, we'd laid our lives down.

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We give not things in our life.

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So like Jeannie lost her faith cause she couldn't reconcile it.

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But he says, when I saw eternity that I started to understand without eternity

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doesn't make any sense, but with eternity it flips everything, everything changes.

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So when the Bible teachers speaks about eternal reward, Which it does in the

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new Testament over a hundred times, scriptures, like with Jesus says whatever

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you're willing to give up in this line.

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And that means not for us not getting better.

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We know there's no choice.

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We didn't choose to give up our children.

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We wouldn't have done that.

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But when we're in this situation where we don't have them, they're not with us.

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We have a choice whether we're going to get better or better.

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And whether we're going to keep serving God and lay our lives

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down, take up our cross daily.

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He said, if you're willing to give up your houses and brothers and

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sisters and children, et cetera, et cetera, we'll receive a hundred

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fold in this life and in the life to come, it's a win-win situation.

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See Alex and Rebecca aren't dead.

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They're more alive than we are, and we're going to see them again.

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For eternity and our relationship with them.

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Cause that's what Jesus speaks about.

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Built out for yourselves treasure in heaven.

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I don't know exactly what that looks like, but I think it's just a quality of life.

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So to speak, it's going to be so much greater.

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That's why it says our current sufferings aren't worth comparing with

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the glory that shall be revealed in.

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And so we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but what is unseen for

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what is seen as temporary tent?

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This life is temporary here.

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What is unseen is eternal.

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So now you start to see what the Bible talks about.

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Living hope is wow, there's a better day coming.

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Wonderful days ahead in this life you made the point about joy.

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I can't explain the joy that I have in my heart, other than the

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fact that Jesus is Lord of my life.

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And he's taken me through this.

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The apostle Paul said sorrowful yet, always rejoicing.

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And that's how Jeanie and I are.

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Now.

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We have this unbelievable love and joy and peace that we live in and

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we're passing on to other people.

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And that's what the Bible says.

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It says that th this is what will come out of our being faithful

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to what God's called us to.

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And he hasn't caught everybody to go through terrible suffering.

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No, not at all.

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But most people go through some form of suffering in this world.

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Jesus said in this world you'll have trouble, but take heart.

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I've overcome the world.

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So then you start to see, okay, God's working through this, which he

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is for his glory and for our good,

Brent:

Thank you so much for illustrating that for us.

Brent:

The relationship with your wife you mentioned was very tough.

Brent:

And I think that someone that is going through this and experienced.

Brent:

experiencing.

Brent:

brokenness in a relationship to whatever degree, but especially after loss.

Brent:

What are some key points in building broken relationship as you are going

Brent:

through that, but more specifically as you have just passed through

Brent:

that, maybe just a point or two that you found that, would be helpful.

Gerard Long:

That the first thing is in any relationship, let's

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say a marriage is on the rock.

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So to speak, you need one of you, one.

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To say, I'm going to go to God for the grace to rescue my marriage and Hebrews

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4 16, 1 of my favorite scriptures, which I hung on to, through the utter

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darkness and terrible brokenness, we go boldly therefore to the throne of

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grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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Remember the Lord said to the apostle Paul, my grace is sufficient for.

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For my strength is made perfect.

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In two Corinthians 12 verse nine, my grace is sufficient for you.

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His grace.

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Remember it's the life of Jesus.

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So I used to go in those early hours in the morning, and I literally used

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to cry out that throne of grace Lord.

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Give me more love.

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Give me more patients more strength.

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That's what grace is.

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Everything you need.

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The journey on.

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So if one of you is doing that you both doing it, then that's great.

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You're drawing near to God.

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You God's given you what you need.

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And you're saying, Lord, I need you to help me.

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Maybe it's more patients.

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Maybe it's more love.

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And then what are we all called to do?

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We're all called to.

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Now love is very practical.

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We've done a whole marriage course.

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So you can find it on YouTube under a a minister awakening to God.

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We've done a whole marriage course on this, but there's many aspects to love.

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We see in one Corinthians 13 love is patient love is Kime

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holds no record of wrongs.

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For example, it doesn't boast.

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It's gentle.

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It's kind, all of those.

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We're all called to love.

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Now.

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Sometimes it's hard.

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Isn't it?

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Sometimes it's tough to love, especially when it's getting

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thrown back in your face.

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That's our cross.

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That's our cross.

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That's where we have to say, Lord I, and I did, I used to say

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at this, I'm struggling here.

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Help me now.

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What does love bring love brings light alright . Jesus said to the disciples,

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you are now the light of the world.

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Then that's an, obviously that's a spiritual light.

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So when one person in the marriage is going through a really tough

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time, then they're in dark.

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Jeannie was in utter dark.

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She turned away from God.

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It was blackness.

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And she would say it was a horrible place, but she was calling.

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This darkness had come over at Satan, so to speak a dark in our

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eyes, she couldn't understand.

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Couldn't see often what happens in a marriage when it's broken

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up is that there's a darkness there over at least one person.

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Maybe it's sometimes it's both the, you don't see, you

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don't see the right way to go.

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You're so locked into your pain and suffering.

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There needs to be light.

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Light comes from love.

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So I realized as I was loving Jeannie bit by bit, there was a

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light that was coming on and she started to see things different.

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And this happened over years.

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It was a lot of person hands, but she started to see things.

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And bit by bit, then there was hope brought back into the relationship.

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And she started to say things like, you know what, Gerald, I am

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thankful up until then she'd be saying, I wish I'd never been born.

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And I knew then this was the God was starting to reveal things to her.

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She started to give thanks again.

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And she started to say things she used to let me hold her hand when

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we went for walks and bit by bit.

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The love came back and now I love is deeper than ever before this.

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There is always great hope with Jesus, whatever darkness you're in.

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It costs you a life may do.

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You may have to lay your life down a lot, but then out of it, What

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you get outweighs the costs of what you've been asked to go through.

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Just be courageous, keep going, never give up.

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And he will bring you through into victory.

Brent:

Wow.

Brent:

That's such a great advice.

Brent:

I feel like relationships are hard enough as they are with, without throwing some

Brent:

of those crazy things in the middle of.

Brent:

And if anyone has walked through some tough circumstances in an,

Brent:

as part of their marriage, I know you have, so thank you for just

Brent:

giving us some of that wisdom.

Brent:

Thank you so much for that.

Brent:

We really want to talk about the part of your journey that's taken place

Brent:

after this and what and where you're headed and what you've accomplished.

Brent:

And so we're going to do a whole other segment, just focused

Brent:

on that one to encourage our audience, to stay tuned because it

Brent:

is going to be just as powerful.

Brent:

But Gerard, this has been really amazing.

Brent:

I really enjoyed hearing your story.

Brent:

Thank you so much for coming on.

Brent:

Living Hope is the name of your book.

Brent:

Everyone go check it out.

Brent:

It's an amazing read.