Cast Your Burden Upon the Lord

So much of what we experience in this life is so very heavy. So many of the burdens God calls us to carry are so tremendously weighty that they threaten to crush us to the dust. We bear the weight of our own sin and depravity, the shame of doing evil and the pain of failing to do good. We bear the weight of other people’s sin and depravity as they hurt and harm us, sometimes intentionally and sometimes purely …

The Thing About Light and Momentary

They are words that can be tremendously encouraging or tremendously discouraging. Said at the wrong time or in the wrong spirit they can compound hurt, but said at the right time and in the right spirit they can be a cool drink on a hot day, a soothing balm on a sore wound. They are the words “light and momentary.” As the Apostle suffered physically and spiritually, as he spoke of the outer self wasting away, he proclaimed “this light …

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The Harder Our Earth, the Sweeter Our Heaven

The man who lives in the Swiss Alps is probably not terribly impressed when he visits North America and strolls through the Adirondacks or the Smokies. The woman who has spent her life snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef is probably not too enthusiastic about snorkeling off the East Coast of Canada. The person who has grown up on the beaches of Maui is probably not going to break the bank to vacation on the beaches of Lake Superior. There …

Listen to the Church in China

Christians in the West hear a lot about the church in China. We hear of its growth, of its strength, of its suffering, of its perseverance. We admire it and often laud it, yet in truth know very little of it. Though we often hear about the church in China, we rarely hear from the church in China (for at least a couple of reasons: There is a need for many of those believers to keep a low profile and, …

One Way To Know You’re Being Persecuted

One of the most intimidating things Jesus taught was that, as his followers, we should expect to be persecuted. And one of the most surprising things he taught was that, when we encounter such persecution, we should face it with joy. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12). In Dustin Benge’s book The Loveliest Place, I read a brief explanation of what Jesus means …

We Are Very Anxious About Our Character

Earlier in the week I posted an article about being willing to suffer wrong in the face of those who wish to do us harm. After sharing it I came across a wonderful quote from F.B. Meyer that is at least parenthetically related. He counsels us on what to do when others attack our character and seek to harm our name. In short: wait on the Lord. We are very anxious about our character, but if we live close to …

The Snows, The Deep Snows, the Awful Snows

You do not need to read extensively in Christian history or Christian biography to spot the connection between sorrow and sanctification. Though it is certainly not always the case, very often the people who are particularly used by the Lord are the same people who endure suffering. De Witt Talmage makes this point well in a quote from one of his sermons. Call the roll of all the eminently pious of all the ages and you will find them the …

What Does It Mean To Trust God in Our Trials?

What does it mean to have faith? What does it mean to believe in God’s promises? What does it mean to have confidence that God is who he says he is and that God will do what he says he will do? What is the nature of that faith, that belief, that confidence? There are times during this long and wearying pilgrimage when we undergo severe tests of our faith—tests that are often related to our losses and bereavements. Even …

The Squiggly Line of God’s Providence

Even in our sorest trials we have the highest confidence: all things work for good. Even in our darkest valleys we have the brightest light: all things work for good. Even in our lowest moments, our hardest days, our most difficult circumstances, this precious promise blesses us, sustains us, gives us hope: all things work for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. As Christians we know that God’s sovereign hand draws a line …

What Matters Is Not the Size of Your Faith

We aren’t certain whether gold is pure or alloyed until it is tested in the fire. We don’t know whether steel is rigid or brittle until it is tested by stress. We can’t have confidence that water is pure until it passes through a filter. And in much the same way, we don’t know what our faith is made of until we face trials. It is the testing of our faith that displays its genuineness, says Peter, and it is …