On Hope Unyielding, people from all walks of life share personal stories of God’s faithfulness. It’s one thing to read about God’s faithfulness in Scripture; it’s another to look into the eyes of someone who has been in the depths of darkness you now inhabit but who has come through them with praise on their lips. Whatever you are facing, I pray that the stories shared on this podcast will encourage you with the truth that God is always faithful, and whatever your circumstances, you always have hope. Read more at https://hopeunyielding.com/
Hope in Suffering with Jonathan Walker
Jonathan Walker shares his powerful testimony of how Jesus saved him from a life of isolation and despair and gave him a hope that isn't dependent on circumstances. We ask some hard questions about suffering, depression and living in a fallen world, and we answer them with stories of how Jesus has been our Hope in our darkest times. If you're struggling to reconcile the existence of suffering and the goodness of God, then this is the episode for you.
Jonathan Walker is a customer service supervisor. He is completing an apprenticeship for pastoral ministry and has been involved in mission work in Eastern Europe for the past several years. He makes his home in the Pacific Northwest.
No Fear in Death with Rachel Opare-Sem
Today my good friend Rachel Opare-Sem is sharing her story of God’s faithfulness to her and her family as her mother battled, and eventually passed away from breast cancer. Although her family didn’t receive the answer they had hoped for, God showed up in amazing, specific ways that comforted Rachel and assured her of His presence and love. She also shares about her struggle with fearing death after her mother’s passing and how God has transformed that fear into hope.
Rachel Opare-Sem is a Ghanaian-American who lives in Troy NY. She works as an architectural designer at architecture+. She’s lived in upstate New York for the past 6 years where she has met a wealth of inspirational people and found a community that keeps her encouraged and challenged. She continues to learn more about God and His goodness as she seeks to know and follow Him. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, arts and crafts, helping out in the community and a good nap on weekends!
God's Faithfulness in the Unexpected: One Family's Journey Through Cancer with Alyssa Marshall
When Alyssa Marshall found a large lump on her five year old daughter Amelie's arm, she knew her life was about to change drastically. Soon after, Amelie was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of cancer. Today, Alyssa tells her story of walking through every parent's worst nightmare, and how in the midst of the questions, pain, and uncertainty, God showed her and her family His faithfulness.
Alyssa Marshall currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her three daughters and husband. When she isn’t homeschooling, having tea parties and folding the fifth princess dress that day she is found running her small e-commerce business Honeydew Goods, or writing on her and her husband's shared blog, HelpGallery. There are few things that bring her joy like that of a long intentional conversation over a good cup of (black) coffee with a friend.
Unfulfilled Desires and Longing for Heaven
C.S. Lewis said it best: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
Join me for Part 3 of this 3 part series on myths I've believed about satisfaction in Christ. Today, I’m sharing some very personal stories as I tackle the final myth I believed about satisfaction in Christ, the myth that we can be fully satisfied with Christ during this life.
This series is an adaptation of my free eBook, Unsatisfied, which you can download here.
If you liked this episode, make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 in this series.
Also, make sure to check out Dr. Matthew Tan's article "The Abyss of Desire," and his other thought-provoking work at https://www.awkwardasiantheologian.com/.
When You Don't Feel God's Love
"A person can never satisfy you; only Jesus can do that!" I've received this response countless times over the years when I've expressed my desire for a spouse.
This answer always left me frustrated. I knew that a person couldn’t meet my deepest needs, but after years of following Jesus, I couldn’t say I felt that He was meeting my needs either. This satisfaction in Christ that my well-meaning mentors and friends spoke of seemed mysterious and unattainable, something they had experienced but I just couldn’t crack the code for.
Looking back, I think this frustration largely stemmed from a faulty understanding of what satisfaction in Christ should look like in my everyday life. In this short episode, I’m tackling a myth I believed about what satisfaction in Christ should look and feel like in my life, the myth that being satisfied in Christ meant I would always feel His love and presence.
This is part 2 in a 3-part series on myths I’ve believed about what it means to be satisfied in Christ when earthly desires go unfulfilled. Click here to listen to part 1. This series is an adaptation of my eBook, Unsatisfied, which you can download for free here or on my website.
Article referenced: ABC News. (2005). Rare Disorder Causes Endless Hunger. https://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=630943&page=1
Do I Have to Get Over My Desire for Marriage to Be Fully Devoted to Jesus?
“If God put that desire in you for a spouse, He plans to fulfill it. And if it’s not in His will for you to marry, then He will change your desires,” my mentors told me.
But as I approached my 30s with no husband in sight, it certainly didn’t seem like God planned to fulfill this desire. So why wasn’t He changing my desires like they told me He would? If Jesus was enough to satisfy, then why did this yearning for human love still persist?
I felt ashamed that after years of following Jesus, I hadn't achieved what I considered pure devotion to Him. But this shame, I realized, stemmed not from God, but from the myth that true satisfaction in Christ meant I would no longer desire marriage.
If you're in a similar place, I hope you'll join me on this journey from shame to freedom as I wrestle with being satisfied in and devoted to Jesus while still longing for an earthly romance.
This is part 1 in a 3-part series on myths I’ve believed about what it means to be satisfied in Christ when earthly desires go unfulfilled. This series is an adaptation of my free eBook, Unsatisfied, which you can download for free here or find on my website.
McDowell, J. (2014). Prophecies of Jesus Fulfilled. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=V8iyjJo2PPU
Love Letter from God. https://www.arielleford.com/love-letter-from-god/
MacLaren, A. Expositions of Holy Scripture.
The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/beliefs/fournobletruths_1.shtml
Keller, T. (2009). Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters. New York: Dutton.
Truths that simultaneously smash you into pieces and make you whole
Just listened to the episode on Cynicism and was on the verge of tears. Hope and her guests are so honest. No shying away from the difficult questions. Ironically, Hope and Corinne have discussed cynicism in a remarkably non-cynical way. They both directly and openly expect an answer from God; so they ask, and he DELIVERS.
The real deal!
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Hope both in our conversations in-person and her blog online. I’ve always appreciated her thoughtful perspective on topics like faith, culture, and relationships. In one of her first episodes (“Depression and the Comfort of Christ”), her dialogue with Bruce came across so natural, comfortable, and full of practical encouragement. I would’ve loved to be in the same room with the two of them, chatting about the intersection of mental illness and faith. Certainly God has used both of these individuals to minister hope to those struggling with depression and grief. Having not dealt with depression myself, the episode helped me grow in compassion for those who do suffer in this way. Looking forward to more stories of God’s faithfulness in all these rich and meaningful personal stories!
Refreshing & Vulnerable!
Hope does an amazing job allowing people to share their stories authentically and tying together themes of what God is doing in their lives. Listen to this if you need encouragement today! It’s refreshing to hear we all have similar struggles and fun to listen to the natural, conversational vibe of this podcast