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  • When God Gives Us a Platform

    When God Gives Us a Platform

    There are many ways we may respond to the sudden onrush of some new pain or the sudden onset of some fresh sorrow. There are many options set before us when health fails and uncertainty draws near, when wealth collapses and bankruptcy looms, when a loved one is taken and we are left alone. There…

  • The Soundtrack of Heaven

    The Soundtrack of Heaven

    I once heard of a ship that was crossing the Atlantic from Europe to South America, and as it neared the end of its crossing, it escaped a close call that would have sent it to the depths and would have taken the lives of many of its passengers. After departing Dover, the ship had…

  • Contemplating Life Without Romans 8:28

    Life Without Romans 8:28

    I have often heard it said that Romans 8:28 is the wrong verse to bring to the attention of those who are grieving, that while it is true in our especially difficult moments, it does not necessarily become helpful until some time has passed. And while I can only speak for myself, it has been…

  • What the Mightiest Man Could Never Do

    What the Mightiest Man Could Never Do

    Everybody knew the local blacksmith. Everybody knew him because no matter where the townsfolk went, they could hear the sound of his hammer as it beat against the anvil. No matter where they were they could hear the sound of his bellows as it spurred the fire to burn and roar with fresh intensity. Day…

  • A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Christian

    Let’s suppose that for just one day the Lord chose to make a documentary about you—“A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Christian.” For a single day your every move was recorded and your every word transcribed. For a single day even your thoughts were externalized and written down. A camera crew was beside…

  • When God Fails

    On the Day When God Fails in Just One of His Promises

    There’s nothing easier than looking at the world around us and feeling despair. Society is in open rebellion against God and it seems like that rebellion must soon lead to some kind of persecution against God’s people. Courts and politicians seem content to chip away at the right to speak freely and worship according to…

  • If God Utters Any Complaint At All

    If God Utters Any Complaint At All

    A father and his child walked together by the banks of the Yangtze River. They paused often to gaze at it in wonder. In the distance, they could hear the roar of a waterfall and they could see great clouds of mist rising far into the air. Soon they came to the edge of the…

  • How Joni Eareckson Tada Blessed Me Forty Years Apart

    How Joni Eareckson Tada Blessed Me (Forty Years Ago)

    Joni Eareckson Tada has had a long and faithful ministry. I expect you are familiar with the basic outline of her story—how in 1967, when she was just 17 years old, she was involved in a diving accident that left her paralyzed. In the initial stages of her recovery she stewed in sorrow and self-pity…

  • Never Be Discouraged and Never Be a Discourager

    Never Be Discouraged and Never Be a Discourager

    “I offer two pieces of wisdom,” he told me, “two commitments you can make: Never be discouraged and never be a discourager.” I have thought deeply about this counsel and have decided it is good—mostly good. I say “mostly good” because there are times when we cannot help but be discouraged, times when we are…

  • Something as Flimsy as Stone

    Something as Flimsy as Stone

    “The most impressive things on earth are ruins,” he said. “The four greatest structures ever built have now been reduced to a state of decay.” The Parthenon rising above the city of Athens is in ruins; the temple of Artemis in Ephesus is in ruins; the temple of Jerusalem is in ruins; the Colosseum in…

  • Infants Are Easily Discontented

    Infants Are Easily Discontented

    Infants are easily discontented. They cry when hungry, they cry when tired, they cry when uncomfortable, they cry when afraid. It often seems they cry for no reason at all! Toddlers are perhaps a little better, but they are still quick to fuss and complain, still quick to express every little sorrow and every minor…

  • Are You a Lover of Good

    Are You a Lover of Good?

    There seems to be something embedded within our sinful human nature that makes us quicker to see evil than good. There is something that draws our attention more naturally to sin than to righteousness, more easily to what is ugly in other people than what is beautiful. No wonder, then, that one of the qualifications…

  • When We Follow

    When We Follow God’s Plan

    When I was a child, the maps in my Bible got me through many a sermon. I was rarely interested in listening to the preacher, so I would flip to the back pages of the Bible to study the maps there. I would gaze at the contours of the lands of the Middle East. I…

  • Breathe a Sigh of Relief or Recoil in Terror

    Breathe a Sigh of Relief or Recoil in Terror

    A single object can be a source of comfort to one person and a source of fear to another. The same object can make one person breathe a great sigh of relief and another to recoil in terror. The one holding tight to the grip of a gun feels very differently about this firearm than…

  • When You Do Not Dare To Go Alone

    When You Do Not Dare To Go Alone

    I was once told the story of a child who had been invited to spend a sunny summer day playing with his friends. He lived in a rural area and it took him a good bit of time to make the trek. But the child made his way toward his friends as they made their…

  • And You Shall Never Displease Me

    And You Shall Never Displease Me

    So many people live with a deep sense of failure. So many people go through their lives convinced they are a constant disappointment to the ones they so naturally long to please. Children consider their parents and feel a sense of shame, certain that in some way their parents regard them as a disappointment. Meanwhile,…

  • The Calm Will Be the Better

    The Calm Will Be the Better

    There was no silence like the silence that descended over the trenches of Western Europe on the morning of November 11, 1918. At exactly 11 AM, an armistice came into effect that brought a halt to all fighting on land, sea, and air. Never had silence been better appreciated than when that silence marked the…

  • All Every and Not One

    All, Every, and Not One

    We live out our Christian lives in a place between Egypt and the Promised Land. We have been justified but not yet glorified—we have been delivered safely through the Red Sea but have not yet forded the Jordan and arrived on its far bank. We may not physically wander as did the Israelites of old…

  • Always Longing

    Always Longing

    We can tell a lot about ourselves by what we long for, by what we desire, by what we dream about, by what consumes our thoughts when we lie in the quiet darkness of night. You can tell a lot because what consumes our thoughts is a good indication of what consumes our hearts which…

  • The Year of Our Dreams or the Year of Our Nightmares

    There is an undeniable intricacy to God’s world. There is an inescapable predictability to the universe God has made. The stars and planets follow their course day after day, year after year, millennium after millennium. We can predict with absolute certainty the next time we will have a full or partial eclipse. We can gaze…