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Seeing God's Plan

Part of the difficulty of enduring trials in our lives is not knowing what the end will look like. Because we are suffering, all we can focus on is the pain and difficulty, so we are prone to miss how God could be using our suffering. That’s why it’s healthy for us to look back on our difficulties and see how God used them for good, either displaying His glory, sanctifying us, drawing sinners to repentance or any number of other possibilities. When we see even the smallest glimpse of God’s plan, we are strengthened and encouraged to endure the next round of difficulties that will inevitably arise. Seeing God’s plan helps us know He has one, and it bolsters our trust in Him. May God grant us eyes to see His plan in our past trials and confidence to trust that He has a plan in our current struggles. God has a plan; trust Him! Read More

Enduring God's Tests

Sometimes it seems that everything is going against us. As we face one trial after another, we think that they have to end soon, and we struggle to have patience or joy. But if we focus on the trials and difficulties that seem to pile up, we might miss opportunities that God is giving us in the middle of the chaos. Even as we struggle through trials, God gives us opportunities to be productive in service to Him; we just have to find them. And even when our trials seem to be unending, God wants us to exhibit patient endurance as we wait for Him to work. Most important is the confidence we can have that God will not abandon us even if we feel like He’s distant because He promises never to desert us or forsake us (Heb 13:5). Whatever you’re facing, keep trusting and waiting on God. He’s there and He’s using what you're going through even if you can’t see it right now. Read More

The Lord Lives

It could be one of the most absurd things anyone could believe: Someone rising from the dead. Everyone in our enlightened culture knows that people can’t just rise from the dead, right? Even in the first century, the dynamics surrounding belief in the resurrection were varied. Peter and John seemed ready to believe as they quickly ran to the tomb and believed when they saw the folded grave clothes. Mary needed a bit more evidence, but believed when she heard Jesus say her name. Thomas was the slowest to come around. He announced that he would only believe if he could see and touch Jesus. It might be easy to praise Peter and John and scorn Mary and Thomas, but the point of John’s record of Jesus’s resurrection was so that we might believe, and they all believed. Jesus did say that those who believe without sight will be blessed, but belief is belief. So believe! Even if your faith doesn’t look like what you imagine everyone else’s looks like, believe! Jesus is alive. Believe, and live in Him! Read More