This week I’m sharing some thoughts about facing trouble and persecution for your faith. When you look at the New Testament, it was expected that Christians would experience this. An example is 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5. Paul writes, “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you … Continue reading Prepare to be persecuted?
In Mark 4:16-17 Jesus says that some people will fall away from their faith because of the trouble and persecution they will experience because of it. Since they have “no root” he says, “they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” In the New … Continue reading Expect to be different
Frederick Buechner was upset about his daughter’s illness. If you’ve ever worried about a sick child maybe you can relate to that gut-wrenching reality. He was sitting at the side of the road parked in his car depressed and afraid. All of a sudden, another car came up from behind him as if out of nowhere … Continue reading A licence plate or a message from God?
Do you carry around a burden? Some invisible thing with difficulty or obligation? -Maybe it’s a draining responsibility that only falls to you. -Maybe it’s an internal and unhealthy drive to continually prove yourself to others. -Or maybe it’s a pile of problems you think only you can solve. Psalm 55:22 (ESV) says, “Cast your … Continue reading The burden shifts to Christ
Right now I’m in the midst of a jam-packed, high-energy Vacation Bible Camp. Our key verse is Psalm 106:1: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” The main idea of the Camp is that God is good! Day 1: When life is unfair… God is good. Day 2: When … Continue reading Why it matters that God is good
It’s easy to get frustrated. That’s why having a different attitude toward your frustrations can make them… well, less frustrating. So what is this “better approach”? Frustrations aren’t always final. They might just be calling your attention to something that needs to change. For example: -If you’re continually frustrated that there aren’t enough hours in the … Continue reading Dealing with frustration
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt says that “people need adversity, setbacks, and perhaps even trauma to reach the highest levels of strength, fulfillment, and personal development.” I really wish that wasn’t true! After all… Who WANTS adversity? Who WANTS setbacks? And who WANTS trauma? Not me! But regardless of whether we WANT those things are not, many … Continue reading Why joy is wiser than happiness
Who you are and who you can be emerges from the ashes of what you’ve been through. Hold on. Let me back up a minute… We all have hurts. And hurts CHANGE us. We may not like it, but it’s true. Our difficult experiences influence our attitudes and decisions. They certainly don’t define us, but … Continue reading How you can emerge from the ashes
King David was able to persevere through many challenges in his life. I think he was able to do this—even through such pain and difficulty—because he was CALLED by God to a godly purpose. 1 Samuel 16 tells the story of his anointing as the future king of Israel. He knew that God has summoned … Continue reading The power of perseverance
Yesterday I highlighted Psalm 37. David was feeling frustrated by his lot in life. He felt persecuted and under threat. He had a concern that bad people seem to prosper more than good people. He was angry, and was somehow hurting. Despite all this, he stressed that God’s people should do good regardless of their … Continue reading What you’re doing impacts how you’re doing