Rousing successes and mountain-top victories are not the stuff of life. They do not produce life nor can they define it.
Elijah discovered this, post-Carmel, 1 Kings 18-19. Wise men warn against letting the dips and valleys of experience determine personal value and satisfaction; let them alert the foolish that neither can the peaks and heights of accomplishment.
Many seek to increase time spent on the slopes of success. They strive for the vibrant hills of a moving heart. But the tops can be, in their own way, as draining as the dale. For beyond the pinnacle lies the downward incline to the next dip. Continue reading “Of dips and dales”
“What’s the point?” “Is this worth the effort?” We have all heard such comments and perhaps even asked such questions in certain situations.
When such thoughts reveal a floundering faith in Christ a physician’s care may be required. Just as athletes might need some athletic tape or analgesic spay to press on, Hebrews offers remedies for going the distance in moments of doubt and discouragement. Continue reading “Remedies for going the distance”
A few school teachers seem to delight in failing students. They make up trick questions, use questionable methods, and prefer murky objectives and subjective grading. But God wants to give every child of his a passing grade, if we will but respond positively to his testing.
The Lord works for our success. He wants us to grow and be like him. He has our best interest at heart. God is good and desires to bless. “The crucible is for refining silver and the furnace is for gold, likewise the LORD tests hearts” Proverbs 17.3. His testing has a good purpose. He hopes to bring out the best in us. Continue reading “The pudding is in the proof: God proves his people”
Spring is in the air! It’s also in the soil, the rain, and the weeds, and the ache in my back from all the bending and stooping.
All complaining aside, springtime is my favorite time of the year. The hundreds of daffodils playing in the breezes, nodding over their crocus counterparts, are just beyond breathtaking this year. Continue reading “Momentary light affliction”
People seem to love to complain. Nothing is ever good enough (or so it seems). Nothing ever goes right. Nobody likes things the way they are. Somehow it seems that if everything was perfect that people would complain about that, too!
Notice what James said about those things we normally complain about: “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials…” (James 1:2 NET). Joy when we fall into trials? Joy? What planet was he living on?! Continue reading “Consider it all joy”
Life is made up of ups and downs. There lies our opportunity. Continue reading That’s life! Four opportunities in trials
We all know the experience: when it rains it pours. Continue reading When it pours
Did Paul promote a Pollyana perspective where Christians merely pretend all is well while the wheels roll off the wagon? At first glance, it might seem that way. Continue reading A Pollyanna Perspective?