Michael Coughlin is an evangelist from Ohio, and an abortion abolitionist. He was first on Echo Zoe Radio nearly seven years ago, for the July 2016 episode, in which we talked about Proper Comparisons. He returns this month to talk about Faithfulness through Trials.
Outline of the Discussion
- Michael visited in 2018 while in town for evangelism during the Super Bowl.
- Michael explains the background of his trial, which began the morning of April 9th (Easter). His mother-in-law called to say that his daughter Bailey was found unconscious and was in the hospital. She ended up in a coma, she was hooked up to an EEG, and her brain was showing no activity in her cortex.
- After twelve days, it was apparent that she was not going to recover. Michael's family, after much prayer, opted to remove the ventilator.
- They were comforted during the worst of the experience with hymns (see Additional Resources below.)
- She died on April 21st. They held a memorial for her on April 28th.
- Prayer and support was so helpful while she was in the hospital, but after the memorial service, it dropped off, which was difficult for the Coughlins.
- The amount of prayer during a difficult trial can be astonishing. Michael guesses that over 10,000 people prayed for his daughter and their family. Having been through a child with brain cancer, Andy had a similar experience in regard to prayer.
- They had a nurse that had been at a prayer meeting the night before at his church and had prayed for Bailey. Providentially, he was assigned to the floor that Bailey was staying on and found Michael's family to pray with them more and encourage them.
- Michael pointed out that sometimes when people are going through terrible trials, people excuse egregiously unbiblical behavior because of the trial they are going through. He never wants to allow bad circumstances to cause him to blaspheme, or to doubt God's goodness. It's important to have good theology before the trials begin.
- Michael wrote blog posts about what his family was going through after reaching out to Justin Peters to ask for prayer, and Justin tweeting about it. He needed to point people to something rather than answer the same questions over and over again.
- Michael has had a couple people he knows go through similar experiences just in the last few weeks. He's already able to help others through their trials.
- People who already had something against Michael (such as preaching the Gospel) came out to add to his pain. He took it as persecution (albeit mild) and rejoiced.
- A lot of people offer help. Some are helpful. Some are trying, but unhelpful. Some are downright malicious.
- If we don't live our faith during good times, we're not going to suddenly start when things get bad.
- There's still time to repent!
- Romans 8:17
- 1 Peter 5:9
- Matthew 5:10-11