Life can and will be difficult. Challenges and hardships that will seem to be beyond your capacity to process, or even endure, are coming your way. This is not a negative fortune or word of prophecy; it is simply a reality of life in this world for everyone - Christians included.
If tough times come - and they will - what will you do, and what will be your focus? You don't have to wait till they fall upon you to develop your approach. As a matter of fact, now is the best time to chart your general course for when the "bad" times hit.
In John 16:32-3, we see one of Jesus's last conversations with His disciples before He was arrested and crucified. He was giving them crucial preparation for facing times of confusion and hardship. He said, "A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may...
We live in a society that is more resourced and privileged than any in history. Yet, that privilege can easily lead to a complaining posture. Wealth can paradoxically lead to an attitude of complaint and discontent.
When we focus on things, we can subtly start to believe that they will bring us happiness, identity or security. Once we have taken that bait, we can be drawn to attach our sense of self to those things and/or the “need” to get or maintain them. When we don’t have them – or when they don’t provide for
us as we thought they would - we become insecure and discontent.
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6) This statement is like a math equation: Godliness + Contentment = Great Gain. What, however, does it mean?
Walking in God’s ways, in a state of soul-contentment, is Great Gain. The great gain is walking with God in His ways. It is not tied to circumstance or...
Do you ever feel out of sorts, like something isn’t right within you and you need some form of comfort? Where do you look and what do you do for comfort in times like this?
We all have different things that bring us some level of relief. Some are benign and some may be toxic. Some help us draw near to God, and some are false comforts that produce guilt and shame within us. It is important to remember that on the deepest level God is our great comfort in Jesus Christ, and He willingly comforts us in all our troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
What about your family, or your neighborhood, or city – Who/what can console on these larger levels? You can probably think of some families that participate in particular false comforts from generation to generation; some neighborhoods are known for their false comforts; and even some cities are known this way. But Jesus Christ alone is the real consolation for people!
The angels declared at the birth of Jesus, ...