Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: At our lowest points, when we don't want anyone to observe us, that's when we have the greatest opportunities to reflect God's glory to a watching world. Here's Barbara Hughes.

Barbara Hughes: A faith that perseveres through suffering and still believes that God is good is making a very powerful statement about the object of such faith.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, May 28. Do you have the kind of faith that holds fast even in the midst of suffering? God can help you develop it in your life. Here's Nancy to introduce today's guests.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Women often share with me that they wish that they had someone to mentor them. An older woman, an older godly couple, who could help them know how to deal with practical issues of everyday life.

And this week on Revive Our Hearts, all week, we have the privilege of having, well, I don't think they would mind me saying, an older couple. They're not old but older.

Barbara Hughes: That's who we are.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Kent and Barbara Hughes who are with us to talk about Barbara's book Disciplines of a Godly Woman. Kent and Barbara, thank you for being with us on Revive Our Hearts.

Kent Hughes: Thank you, Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And this conversation is fun. I wish we could capture everything that is part of this conversation but our time is limited each day. We're talking today about one of the very important implications of what it means to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

And that's in this whole area of perseverance, persevering when things are tough. You have both as a couple, in your family issues"¦Kent, you're a pastor for a large and busy church.

Kent Hughes: That's right.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You've been through some deep waters in many areas. In fact, some just recently. Barbara, you were telling me last night, you had a fall recently and you're in a sling today or walking with the help of a cane, not because you're that old but you had this fall. And you told me recently...

Barbara Hughes: Fractured some bones.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: fractured some bones and you had to be out of your house for a while because they found some mold.

Barbara Hughes: Hazardous mold. They just came one day and said, "You have to move out tomorrow." So we've been out for many months.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: So the Lord has been teaching you some important lessons about how to persevere under pressure. So for a period of many years, in different seasons of life, you've had to face some tough things.

And you talk in your book about how to have faith in the goodness of God even in the face of extreme adversity. That's something that's really tough for a lot of people. They find themselves questioning, in the midst of adversity, is God really good? And yet, you say He is.

Kent Hughes: Definitely. In fact, goodness is an attribute of God. I think back early in our marriage when Barbara encouraged me when I was going through a very difficult time. And I remember her saying, "I believe God is good. In fact, I believe so strongly, I've got enough faith for both of us. Hang onto my faith."

So she encouraged me in this whole matter of the goodness of God. And, of course, God is good. Behind a frowning providence is a smiling face of God; He is always working for our good in all of things as believers.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And yet, this good God does allow us to get into circumstances that don't seem to be good.

Kent Hughes: Well, God is always taking us to the end of ourselves that we might depend upon Him and that His glory might be shown in our lives. I mean, that's just part of the Christian life.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Help us with that.

Barbara Hughes: Well, what I've learned in my walk with the Lord and from the Scriptures, what He has taught me, is that persevering through suffering is a means of spreading the Gospel.

You see, a faith that perseveres through suffering and still believes that God is good is making a very powerful statement about the object of such faith.

If we give up and say, well, you know, "How could God let this"¦I mean a good God couldn't do this"¦"I say just the opposite. Scripture is teaching us that when"¦just as Job, he persevered and what did he say at the end, (Job 42:5) "I have heard of you with the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you."

His faith persevered through terrible things. And God is using it [suffering] for us to see Him, that's the second thing. And people"¦

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Actually Job was given a new vision of what God is like as a result of having walked through his sufferings.

Barbara Hughes: And so that's the other point, that we see God. But it's a means of spreading the Gospel because people are watching.

In our congregation, they have witnessed us go through many, many difficulties. And it has been a means of spreading the Gospel because our faith hasn't shattered. Our faith in the goodness of God hasn't fallen or wavered because He has even brought, sometimes allowed but sometimes even designed"¦

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Even designed, Yeah.

Barbara Hughes: for our good and His glory in the spread of the Gospel.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Circumstances that don't seem in and of themselves, that aren't in and of themselves good circumstances.

Barbara Hughes: Exactly.

Kent Hughes: That's right. In fact, she almost died about eight years ago undergoing surgery. She hemorrhaged during surgery. And they couldn't stop the bleeding and, in fact, had to do surgery again.

Her hemoglobin went down; we thought we were going to lose her. I called all my colleagues; we were praying around her bed. What had happened is they did not know how to stop the bleeding. She had a rare bleeding disorder.

Barbara Hughes: In fact, let me just say this, Kent. We just got a document in the mail. They did research on our family to show us, I believe, the providence, the wonderful providence of God, that we are the only family in the world on record, not that has this, but that is on record, documented, that has my bleeding disorder. It is the only documented record of our DNA, the breakdown in my bleeding function.

Kent Hughes: So the doctors were frantic. They did not know what to do. And here's how God took care of her. When I was sitting in the room waiting for the surgeon to come out, I saw a friend, an acquaintance who went to the ATM machine, Susie Lux.

She worked at the hospital; she worked down in, where they do all the lab work. I told her Barb was in and she said she'd see her the next day.

Well, years before, Susie Lux and my wife's niece had worked in the lab and had run blood tests on each other and found out that my wife's niece had this bleeding disorder and warned her.

The next day when the doctors were trying to save her life, Susie heard they couldn't stop the bleeding, remembered running those test eight years before, ran downstairs, called it up, ran to the doctors who were in emergency meetings and said "I know what's wrong with Mrs. Hughes."

She mentioned it and they said, "Well what's the antidote?"

She said, "You'll have to name it. I can't remember but if you say it, I'll know it."

When they said cryoprecipitate"¦they gave her cryoprecipitate to save my wife's life.

Barbara Hughes: And they literally said that she saved my life, the doctors did. And it was the next day when I was bleeding out again.

Kent Hughes: I have an empirical, verifiable, providence of God and that is if Susie had not come to the ATM machine where I was sitting and then hadn't gone to the room the next day and heard they couldn't stop the bleeding, Barbara wouldn't be here.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And what you're saying then is our lives are not lived by chance.

Kent Hughes: And the way we live out our lives and the way we look to God has everything to do with the Gospel. We are being watched.

Barbara Hughes: Our suffering is such a wonderful means of spreading the Gospel because it is our golden opportunity, our unique opportunity to show the world that God is worth it. He is worthy of our worship, even in the difficult things He brings into life.

And, anybody that can worship God who cannot remember the Willis family when they lost all those children in that fire, who cannot remember the beautiful testimony to God and the goodness of God in the face of that"¦

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And there's really no other way to for us to become like Jesus than to walk through that pathway of suffering. He suffered and He calls us at times to suffer.

He learned obedience through the things which He suffered. And we say we want to be like Jesus, we want to be sanctified, we want to be these godly women; and yet we recoil and resist and resent and go kicking and screaming when God says, "OK, if that's the outcome you want, here's the process." We want the outcome without going through the process.

Barbara Hughes: Exactly.

Kent Hughes: In fact, Paul says [2 Corinthians 4:11], "that we're always being delivered over to death that the life of Jesus might be seen in us."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And there again, you come back to the goal, that Christ may be seen, that He may be known, that He may be loved. I'm thinking of John Wesley, I think it was, who said, "Our goal is to give the world a right opinion of God."

And in the way we respond"¦you know anyone can respond well when things are going well. When the sun is shining, when you have money in the bank and when your husband is wild about you, anyone can love God and praise God then.

But, you know, if we only praise God and rejoice and love God in those circumstances, we're really paid lovers of God.

Barbara Hughes: Exactly.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: It's when the chips are down and when storms come, as they will and as they do, that we discover who we really are, what we really believe and that we reflect to the world what God is really like.

Kent Hughes: And, Nancy, we're here such a short time. Life goes by so fast and the process on the other side is going to be so glorious, that we have no idea. I mean it is so fast.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Isn't that what Paul says in the Book of Romans, chapter 8:18, "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed." And I think that is what helps keep us persevering. As you say, "the toughest time is in the middle."

At the beginning, you have"¦you know, some adrenalin kicks in or something, you can rise to the occasion. And at the end, we'll see the outcome, we'll know it was all worth it; but it's in that long stretch in the middle that we have to keep our eyes"¦

Barbara Hughes: The day in, day out, the nitty-gritty of life is where we live most of life.

Kent Hughes: Yeah.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And I'm thinking of moms that listen to Revive Our Hearts and some of them have a lot of children, some have little children, some of them are homeschooling their children and life is a pressure cooker.

And I know there are many who are tempted day after day to just throw in the towel and say, "It's not worth it."

Kent Hughes: Nancy, I have a perspective of"¦I remember when I held our first child like a little star fallen from heaven. I blink my eyes, it's twenty-some years later; I'm standing in another hospital and I'm holding her little star fallen from heaven.

I blink my eyes another time and I'm 60 years old as I am now; I blink again, I'm 70; I blink again, I'm with Jesus. That's how fast life goes.

Leslie Basham: That's our guest, Kent Hughes, talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss about the brevity of life. Since life's so short, we need to develop disciplines that make the most of our time.

One of our guests today, Barbara Hughes, has written a book that can help you develop the kind of habits that will make everyday count for eternity. It's called Disciplines of a Godly Woman. And it will help you grow in prayer, Bible study, ministry in the church and Christ-like behavior.

Why don't you make it a part of your personal Bible study and order a copy for a suggested donation of $18? Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com and click where it says "Order Today's Resources." You can see a description of Barbara's book and you will also find information about ordering a copy of today's program.

It comes as part of a weeklong series with Kent and Barbara Hughes, available on cassette or CD. While you're visiting ReviveOurHearts.com, would you consider helping us?

We're a listener-supporter ministry and your help is important to us as we continue teaching women in your area. Would you consider supporting us financially and praying for us.

You can give on-line and you can also read a list of prayer requests that we posted. Just click were it says, "Share and Interact."

You can also contact us by phone toll free at 1-800-569-5959. 

Or write to Revive Our Hearts. We would love to hear what God is doing in your life and we're encouraged by your letters.

What is the essence of womanhood? Think about it. Then join us for tomorrow's discussion on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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