It can overwhelm and sap every ounce of energy. It can grow into an all-consuming question dominating life. It can paralyze, frustrate and evoke the deepest anger. It is the question, “Why did this happen?” Although we might never obtain an adequate or accurate answer, a clear path forward exists. Continue reading “Wasting energy and time on “why””
As we read through the dialogue in Job, we have the advantage of knowing what was in chapter 1. It was there that God declared that there was no one like Job: “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8 NET). As we read through the dialogue between Job and his three friends, keep in mind that Job is innocent of doing anything that caused the calamities that he has had to endure. Continue reading “It’s your own fault”
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My heart is glad
In 1976, Stevie Wonder released the album, Songs in the Key of Life. One of the enduring songs on that album is an upbeat, harmonica-laden, “Isn’t She Lovely,” a song that attempts to capture his feelings in the moments after his daughter, Aisha, was born: Continue reading “Unspoken words from the cross – Pt. 3”
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“I have set the LORD always before me” (Psalm 16:8).
“And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ . . . But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 1:21; 2:10 NKJV).
Some of the greatest questions faced by humans are those related to suffering. Why does suffering come? Why do innocent people suffer? Why do some seem to suffer disproportionately? These have no easy answers and contemplation of them causes great anguish to many. Continue reading “Why me, Lord?”
Oskar Gröning, 93, has been indicted for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for his role as a member of Hitler’s SS unit at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
When prisoners were brought to the camp, their belongings were confiscated and Gröning would collect their currency and send it elsewhere to help finance the war effort. Continue reading “Sins will find you out”
The world encourages us to develop coping skills. God wants us to do more than cope. He offers us strategies to express our faith, strengthen our joy, and promote righteousness in the world. For every situation, we have the Way. How can Christians deal with difficulties?
1. Trust the word of God in every way. Satan wants us to feel that Scripture has nothing for us, but everything we need for our walk, worship, and work is in the Bible. “I trust in your word” Psalm 119.42 NET. No situation calls for laying aside the word of God. It has both answers and power for the difficult moment we’re living.
2. Own up to your feelings. Denial intensifies them. Cain failed to deal with his anger and killed his brother, Genesis 4. Express your emotions in prayer, admitting them to God. He can handle them. Write it down, if necessary. Use many of the Psalms as models or their words to express your thoughts. Recognize, too, that emotions do not represent reality, but only our inner state based on our momentary, limited evaluation. “How do I feel?” is a great question, but ultimately we must move on to ask, “What must I do?” In the garden, Jesus admitted that he felt anguish: “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” Matthew 26.38 NLT. Then he went willingly to die on the cross. Continue reading “10 faith strategies for every situation”
Few situations evoke the questions that suffering produces. The furnace of suffering within the book of Job appears intended to offer us much more than the shallow solace that our suffering could have been worse.
This book raises the stakes. We are invited to explore whether human piety can rise to altruism and whether God’s workings are merely simplistic computations. The conclusions impact how we understand life and live it.
We know that vindication will come. So we wait. Continue reading The truth we know for the reality we live
Everything has lessons for our lives. Continue reading Lessons from a storm