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Abiding in Christ

When we believe the gospel, many things about us as people change. One of the most significant changes is our standing in Christ. Before we were saved, we were outside of Christ. But upon our faith and repentance, God places us into Christ. In Christ, we are new creatures (2 Cor 5:17); we are dead to sin and alive in Him (Rom 5:5); and we receive many other glorious realities. One of these other realities is that we live in fellowship with Christ (John calls this abiding in Him). When we are saved, we begin an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that demands a willingness to make adjustments in our lives just as we would if we took up residency with anyone. We must be sensitive to what offends Him and consciously conform ourselves to His standards. This is accomplished by God’s truth dwelling in us which changes our backbiting to building up, our grumbling to thankful praise, and our self-glorifying occupations to God-glorifying work. May Jesus continue to change us as we live in Him and His Word lives in us. Read More

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