“I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. (Amos 4:6)
Now that I’m older and I can look back at my life as a child, teen, and young adult, I see in hindsight the many times that God was reaching out to me, even before I became Christian. There are very distinct moments and circumstances that occurred that were too well orchestrated and specific to be accidents or coincidences, and I now see that God was trying to both warn me and draw me to Him.
The foolish and/or dangerous situations that I repeatedly put myself or others into, I have only survived by the grace of God, as He still has plans for me to accomplish in this world as an instrument for Christ. (more…)
“Then I told her, ‘You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.’ (Hosea 3:3)
I’ve recently torn or severely sprained the MCL (medial collateral ligament) in both of my knees. In what some would call a series of “bad luck”, I first tore the MCL on my right knee, and then after over 2 months of healing, I immediately sprained the same ligament on my left knee the moment I went back to a sport I love doing.
Although being injured isn’t fun, I praise God because it has redirected my focus and given me more time and mindshare to study His Word and disciple my family, through a season in which my family (and I) need it the most. (more…)
“‘Woman,’ he said, ‘why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). (John 20:15-16)
I was 24 years old when I believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. When I share my testimony with people, I always mention that there was a church service I went to in which with absolute 100% certainty, I knew that God was speaking directly to me. It was the moment I recognized that He knew my name. (more…)
“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…)
“So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.'” (John 11:14)
This morning I spoke to a co-worker and brother in Christ, who shared that he has gone through many life-threatening trials in his life due to several illnesses. As my wife goes through her own season of faith-stretching, Jesus gives me a wonderful reminder in John 11 that God can use suffering, even to the point of death, for our sake. (more…)