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 …

Become a Patron

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 …

God Has Found You Faithful

The Parable of the Talents is one of the best-known and best-loved of all the parables Jesus left us. It tells of a man who is going on a journey and, who, before he sets out, distributes his wealth among his servants for safekeeping. To one he gives five talents, to another two, and to another just one. (A talent, for sake of context, is about 20 years’ of wages for a laborer.) It tells how each of these servants …

The Song I Sing in the Darkness

No work of art is more beautiful, more valuable, more irreplaceable, than the twenty-third psalm. It has stood through the ages as a work of art more exquisite than The Night Watch, more faultless than Mona Lisa, more thought-provoking than Starry Night. The lines of the greatest poets cannot match its imagery, the words of the greatest theologians its profundity. Credentialed academics may wrestle with it, yet young children can understand it. It is read over cradles and cribs, over …

What Can God Do With Broken Hearts?

God has a special place in his heart for the weak, the weary, the downtrodden, the broken. “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden,” he says, and “bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.” His special blessing is upon those who are poor in spirit, who are meek and mournful, who are reviled and persecuted. The faith that honors him is the faith of a child, and his power is made perfect in weakness …

This Broken, Beautiful World

For some it was a day of great rejoicing. For some it was a day of deep distress. Though Solomon’s temple had long since been destroyed by the order of King Nebuchadnezzar, the people had now returned from exile and had commenced work on a new temple, a new home for their God. Once the builders had finished laying the foundation, the priests and musicians called for a celebration, a time to praise God for the work begun. Then, as …

What Jesus Does Not Pray

The final night that Jesus spends with his beloved disciples is a night of much prayer. Before he prays privately in the garden he prays publicly in the upper room. Before he prays for himself and his own endurance, he prays for them and theirs. “I do not ask that you take them out of the world,” he prays to his Father, “but that you keep them from the evil one.” What he does not pray is as noteworthy as …

The Ministry of Sorrow

The church would be impoverished if Joni Eareckson Tada was not a member of it. Christian history would be lacking if it did not involve the accounts of Marie Durand and Corrie Ten Boom. We would be missing out on much encouragement if its ranks did not include Amy Carmichael and Elisabeth Elliott. What binds these precious saints together is not first their common gender, but their common faithfulness in suffering. By facing trials in a distinctly Christian way, by …

The Path to Glory

Jesus did not tell his followers to take up a feather and follow him. He did not tell them to take up a scepter or a sword, a flag of surrender or a trophy of triumph. Rather, he told them to take up a cross, to shoulder a rough and heavy burden that was synonymous with pain. It should be no surprise, then, that his followers’ path to glory is paved with much sorrow and much suffering. He told us …