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Thankfully, most of us aren't given the option - I for one doubt that I'd opt for the pain in order to have the greatness. However, we all involuntarily experience some types of hardship and have the opportunity to allow God to use it for amazing good - on whatever level that may be.

Ben:

Very True!

I'm in the midst of reading Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels and he tells his story of how his frustration with the dying church he attended as a kid propelled him to spend his life ensuring that the church is truly "the hope of the world".

I know I would not be who I am or do what I'm doing, or heading where I am heading if it were not for some hurt and pain I've experience.

Anyway, Great post

A.W. Tozer once wrote, "All whom God uses greatly, He hurts deeply."

Indeed Jacob walked with a limp following his encounter with God at the ford of the Jabbock. He asked for a blessing. He received a limp.

Authentic leaders are marked by a limp. Not fun, by any stretch....but there are no shortcuts.

Ben,

This blog moved me. Thank you.

Amazing...and breeds hope.

B

Seems like a tough past can propel you more strongly into the future but the direction is not a constant. We have all seen plenty of people with a dark past that has helped to propel them at the speed of sound into destructive habits while others achieve success. What I wonder is, what makes the difference?

I'd say Jesus over bitterness. Recognizing that he suffered too... for us. Understanding there's an enemy at work, that God isn't passive or uncaring, but that our ultimate victory and justice have been secured.

Then again, there's the Andy Stanley and Ed Youngs of the world.

I wonder though...

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