Category: Suffering

What God has prepared

Paul is blunt: anyone outside the faith is as thick as a brick about God. Without faith no one will ever grasp God’s ways or wisdom. Even if they happen to be otherwise bright and able. Yet once faith comes alive the promise of Isaiah 64:4 is available to all: “‘What no eye has seen, …

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The Branch

Isaiah is a special read in the Advent season. The book offers a spiritual GPS or Satnav in a world with muddled moral maps. It sets out a reassuring bigger picture of life: in the end everyone will get to a proper destination. Amid job losses, Brexit votes, uncertain elections, crumbling social values, broken marriages, …

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Disrupted

The other day Terry asked me about evil. He’s a regular at the coffee shop where I do my morning reading and writing. His question had a sharp edge. Most of us began adult life with hopes for a successful career, a happy marriage, and a satisfying retirement. But who promised us this hoped-for stability? …

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Job’s Treasure

Job, an epic sufferer in the Bible, was both confronted and affirmed by God. God confronted him as a “faultfinder” (40:1) but he also affirmed Job for having “spoken of me what is right” (42:7) in contrast to Job’s moralistic friends. God’s contrasting references to Job invite attention. First, what in Job pleased God? A …

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Judgments

A few days ago the United States Supreme Court rendered a judgment on marriage. Some decades earlier the Supreme Court rendered the Roe v. Wade judgment that unleashed abortions. Over a century ago the Supreme Court held that blacks are not qualified to be American citizens in Dred Scott v. Sandford. So courts make judgments—it’s …

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Grief

Early in the morning I lost my mother. As soon as she left us, grief arrived. She trusted in Jesus and we share the assurance of eternity—but grief is still a tsunami. I’ve felt grief before and I hate it. I’ve lost a father and some dear friends. Grief always fills the empty space that …

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Heart Warfare

This post is shared with the Cor Deo website: please post any responses there. Thanks! Pharaoh, in the Exodus account of Israel leaving Egypt, had a fight with God. The ruler moved by stages from being dismissive of Yahweh—a God he only learned about through Moses—to being beaten and compliant in the end. How did …

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Murder

Last week I was shocked to hear of the airline copilot who flew his airliner into a mountain, killing many while taking his own life. But he was not alone in dealing out death. During the week there were suicide-vest killings in a Somalia hotel; killings in Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, America, and more. So my …

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A Growing Challenge

Jesus warned his disciples—and, by extension, us—of what to expect before his return. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false …

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Life as leftovers?

All of us have scars and hurts: perhaps a physical disability, a mental limitation, a sexual violation, a major relational loss—or a combination of these and more. And even as Christians the damage may have stolen our hope and left us in a debris field of disappointment. Yet people respond differently to disappointments. Some are …

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