I Believe God: a 40-day healing journey

Posted: April 3rd, 2018 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

 I Believe God: a 40 day healing journey

Since Robyn’s leukemia diagnosis on December 31st, I’ve posted a daily update to Facebook on her condition, how people could pray or something the Lord has been teaching us. Friends began to comment about the posts being turned into a devotional. So about a week ago, Robyn and I launched a Kickstarter Campaign to publish the book.

If you’d like a copy (or multiple copies) of the book, then please check out the campaign by CLICKING HERE. From the beginning, Robyn nor I have wanted to waste this trial. Our hope and prayer has been that the Lord would use us through this process.

One of the things Robyn mentioned a couple days ago was needing to review all the Lord has been teaching us. There’s been so much. The most powerful lessons and truths will be what makes it into the book. The good news is that these truths aren’t just for us. No matter what difficulties you’re facing, the Lord wants to encourage you and equip you to see the breakthrough you need or to endure well until it comes.

Even though we’ve reached our minimum funding goal for the book to be published, our hope is that many more people would make a pledge and receive the book. We believe it will be life-changing. It already has been for us.

 I Believe God: a 40 day healing journey


What Do You Need God to Do?

Posted: March 21st, 2018 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

IMG 3388 760x570 What Do You Need God to Do?

I don’t know what you’re facing today. But I do know it’s something. Maybe it’s big and feels overwhelming. Maybe it’s not so big, but there seems to be no end in sight and it’s wearing you down.

Robyn was diagnosed with leukemia 81 days ago. According to the protocol for treating the type she has, we have about 180 more days to go. Either the intravenous or oral drugs are almost daily. The PICC line in her left arm was inserted on January 11th. She’ll have it for six more months.

Maybe you’re facing a medical issue of your own. Or it’s someone close to you.

You may be facing a financial crisis. Or you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to pay your tax bill next month, like me.

Or you’re dealing with a strained or broken relationship. Or someone around you is hurting and there’s nothing you can do.

You could be dealing with any number of stressful situations. I know I am.

And if you’re like me, you’ve prayed and prayed some more and done your best to fix things or find a way through, around or out of the circumstances you’re in.

And yet, you’re still in them.

Our natural tendency is to focus on what we see and feel and become discouraged or angry or fearful or worried or anxious or some combination. Our peace of mind is fleeting. Real joy eludes us.

When your back is against the wall, when there’s nowhere else to turn, just when it seems all hope is lost…you’re in good company. Abraham was there. Sarah was there. So was Rachel. And Joseph. And Moses and David and Daniel. Also Peter, Philip, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, the blind man, the lame man, the deaf man and the woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years. And all twelve disciples caught in the storm. And let’s not forget the apostle Paul.

I was asked recently if I thought God gives us more than we can handle. I think the answer is “yes.” And life in general can also throw at us more than we can handle. At least handle well. Almost anyone can endure hard or painful circumstances. The issue is how well we handle them. Do we experience peace and joy? Or do we grumble, complain and blame God for it all?

No matter what you and I face today, here’s the really good news…

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

God is able. And He is ready to do so much more than we may have thought. But here’s the key…it’s according to His power that is at work within us. In other words, we must cooperate with Him. And cooperation begins with believing Him.

And believing Him means we must choose to stop focusing on the circumstances and start focusing on Him. If I view God through the lens of my circumstances, He will look far away, unconcerned and uncaring. But if I will saturate my mind with His word and view my circumstances through His eyes, then everything begins to change.

We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we view them. We can let them rob our joy and come between us and God. Or we can let them press us to Him and experience what only He can do.

It’s our choice.


The Year of the Lord’s Favor

Posted: January 1st, 2018 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

For Christmas, I gave Robyn, our kids and our sons-in-law, each a small smooth stone on which I’d painted a theme Scripture for the new year. Each of them was different.

As I begin this post, it’s a little after 5:30 a.m. on January 1, 2018, so Happy New Year! Robyn and I have declared it the Year of the Lord’s Favor (from Isaiah 61:2), which was the verse I gave to her.

We began the new year at Mercy Hospital. It’s a good name, don’t you think?

About a week and a half ago, we noticed Robyn was bruising very easily. Four days ago, she had an appointment with our family doctor who is also a dear friend. After reviewing her lab results the following day, things began to move fast. He immediately referred her to a hematologist. Later that day, she had a bone marrow biopsy. A follow up visit was scheduled for January 8th. We were told we’d get a phone call if it was serious, so we should hope to not get one.

Yesterday morning, we got one.

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Can You Be Trusted?

Posted: September 27th, 2017 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

cornucopia 1789664 1920 760x507 Can You Be Trusted?

There are times when I struggle with trusting God, so it’s something I’m constantly working to get better at.

I invest time in His word. I thank and praise Him for His goodness, faithfulness and generosity. I try to take every thought captive and hold them up against the truth of His word. When I feel myself getting worried or anxious over my circumstances, I re-focus my eyes on Him. I have a long way to go, but I’m getting better.

While learning to trust God is crucial, there’s another question that’s just as important: Can God trust me?

I personally don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like to have more money or more influence or more answers to prayer or more success. I wonder what would happen though if God granted us the desires of our hearts.

What would happen if God answered your most passionate prayers? Would the world be a better place? Or would you just have more stuff and be more comfortable?

How would you handle 10x the amount of money you have now?  It’s tempting to think we’d be wonderfully generous with a large amount of money, but if we’re not generous with the amount we have now, that won’t change if we’re given more.

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Why Does God Test Us?

Posted: September 2nd, 2017 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As followers of Jesus, we have become citizens of a new kingdom. Paul wrote, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

It’s important to realize, this kingdom operates very differently than the earthly realm in which we also live. When we approach life in God’s kingdom like we do life in the earthly realm, we will experience frustration and confusion. One very major difference between God’s kingdom and the earthly realm has to do with seeing and believing.

In the Kingdom of God, we believe then we see. Our faith perceives what is unseen and then we wait for God to bring it to pass. But the world system doesn’t operate that way; it says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” To experience success in God’s kingdom, we must operate according to His values. And that requires intentional effort, because He has said…

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

As we grow in our understanding of God’s kingdom-priorities, we can align ourselves with Him and experience the life He has for us. His thoughts and ways begin to take precedence over ours. Now we might not always like the way God does things, but that’s besides the point. This is His universe and His kingdom and He gets to decide what the priorities will be and how things will be done.

One of God’s major priorities for our lives is growing our faith, our ability to trust Him completely regardless of our circumstances or feelings. Hebrews 11:17-19 says:

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

God tested Abraham. And it was a big one. He told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. I can only imagine what Abraham must have been feeling. He and Sarah had waited all their lives to have a son. And finally in their old age, Isaac was born. And now it looks like God is going to take him from them.

“Sacrifice my son, Lord? But why? How will I explain this to his mother? I don’t understand. You promised You were going to bless the world through him. There must be another way.”

God had no intention of letting Abraham go through with it. It was only a test of his faith. And Abraham passed. So how did he do it?

He “embraced the promises.” He knew what God had told him about Isaac. It would be through him that God would bless the world. Isaac would eventually become the father of Jacob. And Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, had his own sons who became the nation of Israel.

Abraham also reasoned that even if Isaac was sacrificed, God could raise him from the dead. The Hebrew word for “reasoned” means: to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over. In other words, Abraham took into account what God had said previously. He thought it all through very carefully. And he embraced God’s promises. The end result of his reasoning was that he knew he could trust God to come through for him. And God did.

Since God never changes, it means He will test us too. I’ve seen it in my life this summer. As God has been at work in me, teaching me and strengthening my faith, I’ve noticed He has also been testing me. Something will happen that seems to contradict what God has said in His word. My tendency has been to focus on the circumstances and doubt God. And that only leads to discouragement. But once I realized God was testing my faith, I chose to embrace His promises and reason that I could continue to trust Him.

So what are you facing today? What circumstances seem overwhelming right now?

Could it be God is testing you? Maybe He wants you to know He really will come through for you, just as He did for Abraham. But if your faith is never tested…how will you know? If you never feel the need to see God come through, how will your faith ever grow?

Maybe the challenges you’re facing today are the tests that are preparing you for what God has in store for you in this next season. What if He has great plans to bless you and use you in ways you’ve never experienced before, but first your ability to trust Him must grow?

Like Abraham, take some time to reason. Don’t focus on what you can see. That will only lead to discouragement and hopelessness. Keep your eyes on God’s character and His promises. You’ll pass the test, see your faith grow and move into a new season of fruitfulness.


What If This Isn’t Where I Wanted To Be?

Posted: August 21st, 2017 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

About a week ago, Robyn and I were driving home to Arkansas after a wonderful time in New Jersey visiting family and friends. The plan was to stop for the night in Terre Haute, Indiana, so I made reservations at a hotel, entered the address into my phone and off we went.

Thirteen hours later, we exited the interstate as we followed the voice instructions to get to our hotel. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves in the middle of a cornfield with no hotel in sight. It’s not what you want after an all-day drive.

Robyn entered the address into a different map program on her phone and we soon found our hotel, which was miles from where we were.

Have you ever found yourself somewhere you didn’t want to be and weren’t even sure how you got there? Maybe you had a vision for your life. A passion. Something you believed God put in your heart to do. And you began to follow His instructions. Along the way, there were some setbacks, but you persevered, you continued doing your best to follow where He was leading.

“Turn left here. Go straight ahead. Make your next right. Make another left. Arrive at your destination.”

Huh? You look around feeling confused. This isn’t where you wanted to be.

So what happened?

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The Dangerous Wrong Voices

Posted: March 1st, 2017 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

If you took an inventory of your thoughts today…how many do you think would be negative and how many would be positive? How many are causing fear and how many are causing your faith to grow stronger?

I rarely watch the news or visit news websites. I also find myself spending a lot less time on social media. And I’ve “unfollowed” a number of people on Facebook.

I just don’t need the negativity. Life is tough enough without being reminded of it day after day.

Thoughts are powerful. I need to decide carefully which voices are bringing them to me.

Hebrews 11:6 says that, “And without faith it is impossible to please God…”

God wants to be believed. It pleases Him.

It’s not easy though. Especially when we get our eyes focused on our circumstances and listen to the wrong voices.

God had miraculously led the nation of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt. He brought them to Mt. Sinai where He gave them His laws. About a year later, they are camped just outside the land God had promised to give them.

He instructs Moses to send 12 men into the land to explore it. They return 40 days later. Ten of them are afraid of what they’ve seen…the fortified cities and how strong they think the people are. “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” These men begin to spread a bad report about the land among the people.

Two of the men, Joshua and Caleb, do their best to convince the people they should go in and take the land because God is with them…

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How to Never Be Disappointed

Posted: January 14th, 2017 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

woman 1006100 1920 760x428 How to Never Be Disappointed

Would you like to never feel disappointed again? To never feel the sadness that comes with unmet expectations? It’s simple.

Do nothing. Ask for nothing. And expect nothing.

Give up on your dreams. Take no risks. Make only small attempts.

Have no expectations of yourself. Set no goals. Make no plans.

Never express your needs to your spouse. Definitely not your wants.

Never pray. If you do, don’t ask for anything specific.

Don’t talk to strangers. Or ask a friend for help.

Learn to tolerate the job you hate.

Don’t think you have what it takes to start a business, form a non-profit or write a book.

Never seek adventure. Or try to make a difference.

Listen to anyone who tells you “it can’t be done” or “you’re not good enough.” Especially the negative voice in your head.

Fear failure. It guarantees you’ll attempt nothing great.

Just settle. For the life you have now. For the marriage you have now. For the influence you have now. For the financial situation you have now.

Get completely comfortable with the status quo.

It’s that simple.


I Will Wait For Him

Posted: December 21st, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 I Will Wait For Him

20 Days of Believing God (Day 16)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that was so far from what you’d dreamed of, hoped for, prayed for and worked toward that it’s hard to understand how you even got to where you are now?

And now that you’re there…are you doubting yourself? Wondering if you really have what it takes? Are you at a loss to know what to do next?

Are you doubting God? Just when you need him most does He seem to be absent? Silent? Checked out?

Maybe it feels like you’ve given it your best shot…and your best shot wasn’t enough. You tried, but your marriage hasn’t gotten better. The relationship with your child is still strained. Your job search hasn’t yielded any results. The business you felt sure God called you to start has been more of a drain than a blessing.

Are you out of ideas? Not even sure how to pray? Is your hope hanging by a thread?

So where is God when we really need Him?

I’ll be honest, I have more questions than answers today. If you’re feeling discouraged…I get it.

I don’t know why you’re having to endure your current circumstances. I don’t know why God doesn’t step in sooner. I mean I know the “correct” answers. I could give you those…but today…

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:19-24


How Not to Wait on God

Posted: December 13th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

20 Days of Believing God (Day 9)

You have a need. You feel confident God will meet it. But nothing happens.

So you wait. And wait…and wait. Until you’re tired of waiting. So tired.

After God promised Abraham and Sarah they would have a son, they waited 25 years for his birth. David waited 14 years to become king after being anointed by Samuel and he spent much of that time running for his life. A Savior was promised thousands of years before Jesus finally came on the scene.

We might have to wait a week for the results of a biopsy, a year to sell a house or a few years for a start-up business to become profitable. Maybe for you it’s waiting for God to heal your marriage. Or waiting to get pregnant. Or waiting for a spouse.

Waiting is a mega-theme in the Bible. It’s something we have to learn to do well.

So let’s look at a few ways to NOT wait well. I’ve tried all of them so you don’t have to…

1. Get angry. God doesn’t behave like I want Him to. He doesn’t come through for me, at least not the way I wanted. So I conclude He’s not good or worth trusting. After all, I did my best to obey Him and now He’s treating me unfairly. Anger soon turns to bitterness and cynicism. It’s a downward spiral from there. I’ve been in that spiral. It’s not pretty.

2. Get discouraged. The waiting seems endless. Things aren’t getting better, they’re only getting worse. In fact, just when it seems like things can’t get worse, sure enough, they do. Circumstances can seem so overwhelming that we lose hope. We can’t even imagine things turning around.

3. Feel sorry for ourselves. This is a subtle one to fall into. It’s a victim mentality. We think, “I did what God wanted, but I guess He’s just against me.”

4. Manipulate our circumstances. Abraham and Sarah tried this one. When Sarah couldn’t get pregnant, she suggested Abraham sleep with one of her servants. Being the unselfish, man-of-faith he was, Abraham went right along with her plan. When God has me in a season of waiting, it’s best to not take things into my own hands. Nothing good can comes of it.

5. Lower our expectations of God. This may be the worst of the five, but I was guilty of this for a number of years. After living through the first four, I figured the safest bet was to just lower my expectations. I just wouldn’t expect God to do anything for me. If I didn’t expect Him to answer prayers, bless me or help me out of difficult situations, then I wouldn’t be disappointed. I don’t know if there’s a more offensive way to view God than as someone who really can’t be counted on.

So those are the wrong ways, but how do we respond when the need is unmet and God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry?

Tune in tomorrow…