joy

Don’t Waste Your Trial (John 16:33)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

John Piper wrote an encouraging booklet entitled¬†Don’t Waste Your Cancer that a dear friend gave to us.¬†It’s been helpful to read through it as my wife and I remain steadfast in the Lord through her condition. I would definitely consider this as a time when my family and I are facing trouble.

I believe that the 10 points Piper lists not only apply to life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, but to all “trouble” we encounter in this life. Depending on what version of the Bible you read, the word “trouble” is interchangeable with trial, tribulation, distress, and sorrow.

If you’re going through any of those today, then I’m here to tell you that it’s no coincidence or meaningless misfortune. God has a purpose for our trials. (more…)

When Bad Things Happen (John 9:2-3)

“His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'” (John 9:2-3)

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is a very popular cosmic question that tries to assign blame for any number of reasons we may find ourselves in difficult life situations. (more…)

We Are Captives (Psalm 126:1-3)

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.'” (Psa. 126:1-3)

As I read this passage, it reminds me that we are just like the captive Israelites who were exiled. The Lord had to bring them back to be restored to their land and position, and in the same way, He also had to restore us and our position in the body of Christ. (more…)

When My Foot Slips (Psalm 94:18-19)

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” (Psa. 94:18-19)

Every day I reminded of my humanity and the fact that I can and will make mistakes.
As the Bible reminds us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) (more…)

Words of Life

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences (Proverbs 18:21). The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).

In a recent small group (we call it “house church”) meeting, we did an ice breaker where we were asked to call out one of our own faults or weaknesses, and were also encouraged to give an uplifting word to someone else in the room if something came to mind. (more…)