Martin Rinkart was a German who lived through the Thirty Years’ War. Plus, the plague struck in 1637. More than 8000 people died in his town. He was a pastor and buried 4000 of those people, sometimes in mass funerals for 50 people at once. This man, with these experiences, wrote that great hymn of … Continue reading The needs he has already addressed
In Luke 18 a blind beggar cries out to Jesus for mercy. “When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (verses 40-41) In response, the man asks for his sight—and gets it! He believed in who Jesus was, and trusted in his power to do something big. … Continue reading What do you want me to do for you?
Everyone isn’t in the same “place” as you are. That statement is true physically, but also mentally. We are scattered all over the geographical map. But we are also experiencing different stresses, strains and emotions right now. I think that’s just good to remember. Why? Because it changes our behaviour toward others. At the start … Continue reading Some are okay; many are not
After looking in the tomb where Jesus’ body had been (and not finding it), Luke 24:12 tells us that Peter “went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” The word for “wondering” could also be translated as “marveling.” He was marveling at the events. At this point in the story I get the sense that … Continue reading There is hope for you too
The resurrection of Jesus transformed the apostles. Initially, they were sad and dejected after the crucifixion. They were probably also traumatized from what they had seen, and perhaps even ashamed since some of them had denied or abandoned Jesus. But then they saw him alive again. It turned them into lions of courage and hope. … Continue reading Real hardship and real hope
A friend of mine was clearly upset. We were classmates. He was no stranger to life’s troubles, and was also very insightful. It was as if he could perceive the meaning of things on multiple levels at the same time. He was sitting in a study carol in the library reading his Bible. I came … Continue reading Fighting forgetfulness: God’s power then and now
In 2 Peter 3:18, the apostle says to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The reasons why this kind of growth is a good idea are beyond quantification. But here’s one of them. You never know what challenges you’ll face in the future. But what you DO know … Continue reading Preparing who you are (for the future)
I realize that equating hope to a pillow sounds a bit too cutesy, so just hear me out. William Gurnall lived in the 1600’s and wrote about the relationship between hope and patience. If we have reasons to hope we are more likely to be patient: “patience is the back where the Christian carries his … Continue reading Hope is a… pillow?
In the 1996 Olympics Derek Redmond was in the 400-metre race. During his heat he was out in front. But then his Achilles tendon snapped! He fell to the track. The crowd gasped. He got up, slowly. Limping. He was trying to move forward while dragging his leg behind him. The crowd started to cheer … Continue reading The grip of his righteous right hand
We’ve been talking about perseverance. In the Bible, James gave some very down-to-earth counsel to those enduring hardship: “Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered” (James 5:10-11). … Continue reading Look to the example of others