Category Archives: Trials

Is my pain and suffering God’s will for my life?

Those who teach a prosperity gospel leave little room for the place suffering has in the will of God for the believer. Granted, most of us would like a life without pain or difficulty. We would like to keep suffering at arm’s length if we could. But two Biblical characters reveal that suffering may beContinue Reading

A personal look at a popular Psalm

Attending a funeral recently I was reminded how personal the 23rd Psalm is. Just notice the pronouns. To King David, God wasn’t someone else’s God, and he certainly wasn’t distant. He was near. And he was personally involved in King David’s life. No wonder this is the Psalm that is read by the bedside ofContinue Reading

Finding hope in despair…

During difficult times we all need hope. The Psalmist captured it this way: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation (Psalm 42:5).  I can’t remember who said it, but the words were wise: If IContinue Reading

God’s promises when people suffer…

Suffering doesn’t differentiate among its victims—both the child and the retiree get cancer.  The parent lies awake for the choices that their prodigal son or daughter make. Suffering is unavoidable.   The book of 1 Peter was written as an encouragement to those who were suffering. It concludes with a wonderful verse and four action wordsContinue Reading

The Valley of Vision – A puritan prayer

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly. Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be lowContinue Reading

Idols of the heart

If you’ve read the Bible, then you know it’s no secret that God hates idols (Deut.32:21). I know it’s a strong word. We usually think of God and love in the same sentence not God and hate. I used to think that God’s abhorrence of idol worship was simply about his glory (Ex. 20:2-6). After all,Continue Reading

Joshua and the fear of falling

Even though it happened over thirty-five years ago I can still remember the feeling of panic.  Looking down the ladder, realizing my brother was no longer steadying it at the base, and then feeling the ladder begin to slide away from the tree.  My 30 foot descent wasn’t rapid enough to break any bones, butContinue Reading

The wisdom of God

The wisdom of God means that God knows all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act.1  I often misinterpret the actual events, and I only guess at the possibilities. But God knows all possibilities and their implications. This is a tremendous comfort to me. I make judgments of error every day because my knowledge is limited. I cannot possiblyContinue Reading

When it appears that God is silent…

Sometimes it’s easy to feel alone. We serve a God who is not seen with  human eyes, so during troubling times our faith is prone to waver (John 1:18; Hebrews 11:1). This was the situation for the Israelites when they were in slavery down in Egypt. As their lives grew increasingly difficult they cried outContinue Reading

Help another and help yourself…

Heard an insightful statement the other day. When you help dig someone out of a hole you find a place to bury your own problems. Mel Johnston gave the counsel years ago, but it’s really good if your challenges seem great and your burdens seem heavy. Rather than always looking for help, try looking to help.Continue Reading