Nothing can guarantee we'll make it through hardship without scars, slip-ups, or shaky moments. But there are things we can do to maximize our chances of suffering in a way that honors God and makes us more like Jesus. And a lot of that work begins long before the trial does.
Sometimes action has to precede emotion. Sometimes we have to trust the power of obedience to shape us, instead of trying to get ourselves in shape to obey.
He might be above and beyond us in just about every way. But He also draws close to us in all His holy otherness.
We may not always be sure what to make of what God sends us. But we can always trust and know the One who sends it.
How can we foster genuine, enduring faith in the young people within our spheres of influence?
God is our ultimate Source of faith. But often He provides it through other people.
Keep your Gospel shoes on. Because you have some walking to do. And you want all your footprints to spell Jesus.
A life following Jesus isn't an easy life. But it's the best possible life we could ever live. And it takes us to the best place we could ever be: the heart of God, the very definition of goodness. You’d think we’d rush to taste that goodness. What kind of healthy human doesn’t want to experience inner peace, to be truly and faithfully loved, to live with a sense that they and their lives matter? Yet we hold back....afraid the sweetness holds poison. Convinced the fruit we’ve been told is scrumptious will turn out sour or bland. Suspicious that the goodness is all taste and no nourishment for our famished souls.
Yes, trouble may chase us. Pain may nag us. Sorrow might ambush us again and again. Guilt and shame may nip at our heels. But the only things that can keep up with us, day in and day out, all the days of our lives, are the goodness and faithful love of God. And like the Good Shepherd He is, He will send them after us relentlessly. No, scratch that – He’ll come after us Himself, bringing them with Him. Because that’s who He is.
Suffering when you can see the point is hard. Suffering when you can’t see the point is harder.