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He Cares for Us

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Sometimes the stresses and trials of life can cause us to feel frayed and discouraged. The more we are pressed down, the more squeezed by our circumstances, they can speak very loudly indeed.

We may consider ourselves to be strong emotionally and spiritually, yet we are bound to feel overwhelmed at times. Pressure-whatever the source-can mute a sense of God’s comfort, the assurance He is there. Though well versed in Scripture, a leader in the church, or many years into our Christian life, at our most vulnerable, dark moment our heart can cry out, “where are you God?”
It is very human to want to avoid difficulty. No one wakes up in the morning and asks God for more. Though we wish difficulty would go away, it is our Father’s comfort we most need whether it does or not. Being a needy and broken people, what is essential is more of Him. When disheartened, a fresh look at what appear to be simple reminders in God’s Word is called for.
Here are a few verses to consider:  “Come to Me, all w…

Art as a Signpost to God

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Francis Schaeffer spent much time in art galleries in every American and European city he visited. As many as he could.(Francis A. Schaeffer, Jan. 30, 1912 – May 15, 1984. Theologian, philosopher, teacher, cultural analyst, gospel apologist.) No pastor, other Christian figures, or individual believers ever accompanied him. Out of refusal? No. Complete disinterest. Only his family came along.

The same outlook is true today. The church, by and large, is utterly disinterested in fine art. Music and writing are its main creative outlets. It is a sad loss because the finest of the arts, indeed human creativity itself, brings such glory to the Creator. It is an untapped catalyst to bring our wonderful Lord glory, a springboard to minster to others, while bringing beauty to an ugly world.

Our attention is indeed skewed. In modern culture, the purpose of art seems to be to bring "glory" to the artist themselves. What we are missing in our outlook is profound. There is a great Cause…

What Child is This?

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The sublime truth of the Incarnation, of Jesus Christ’s humble birth as a baby is of utmost importance at Christmas.

In the larger cultural sense, the baby Jesus is a benign, safe, and religiously sentimental symbol conveying a warm feeling one can easily dismiss. In this view, Jesus forever stays a baby, yet He did not stay this way.
The implications of Christmas, though full of wonderful hope, bear a sobering reminder. Why did Christ come? Scripture makes it plain Jesus was not born, nor did He live, merely to inspire others. He came to save us from our sin. The hope is not abstract, not mere emotion. The purpose is redemption for our rebellion against almighty God.
This same Jesus-born of the virgin Mary, born in time, space, and history-became a man, lived a perfect life, suffered and died for our sin, and rose again from the dead. This same Jesus is the Lord of glory, reigning in power at the right hand of God. He is the lord of powerful and holy majesty, before whom every knee …

Fear of the Future

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The future of our personal lives can fill us with apprehension. It is a great unknown, fertile soil for anxiety and worry. Since we do not know what it holds, we often fill in the gaps with what we believe about the world. Our experiences and past can emotionally shape how we handle what may lie ahead, or our perceptions of it. The more unsure we are, the more unease increases.

Feeling as if we own no control in life can cause a great deal of turmoil, yet we have little ultimate control over outcomes and circumstances. We seek comfort in being the master of the details of our lives, but will encounter trials, trouble sometimes hits, and tragedy may visit us. To seek control we do not possess adds to inner conflict.

Though life is full of difficulty, outright disaster is a possibility not a certainty. It can also be a matter of how we perceive something, rather than objective reality. Fear conveys the sense of heightened and known certainty, though it is not known. Panic tells us eve…

My Personal Testimony

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The following is my personal Christian testimony. I have never shared the full details before, though I have been very open about my struggles. This should in no way be assumed to be the normative or average experience of accepting Christ, it is that of a troubled man. It is because of the hope in this darkness I share it. (Note: This was originally shared in the September newsletter of Cross Road Baptist Church). 

I was 19 or 20 years old, living an isolated life with severe social anxiety. I had little contact with anyone, living in one room in my parents’ house. One day I went out to get the mail and found a tract on the ground in front of our mailbox. I brought it into my room and read it, discovering bible verses with how you can be saved. I accepted Christ. God had a unique way to reach me in my lonely life.

I can’t say everything became wonderful. I was spiraling downward with severe emotional and mental issues. It debilitated me for about 15 years, with severe problems affecti…

Considering

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The following will sound judgmental to today’s ears. I get that. I do not mean it so. Even if you may incline this way, I’d like to ask the reader something. Will you forgo dismissing it outright and consider what you read for a moment?
Imagine you opened your eyes in eternity. Your days are over, here you are. You discover, to your dismay, it is not what you presumed. In reality, the world never revolved around our self-gratifying ideas of “being spiritual”. There is a much more profound question instead. We are confronted before a Holy God, where the question is, “What did you do with my Son?”
God tore His heart out for us, so to speak. He gave His own Son. Christ suffered beyond the limits of our understanding by dying for our sin. We are not meaningless lumps of tissue which dissipate in space as some vague energy when our days are done. We are created beings God gave His utmost to, with the most astounding love which can be conceived. At that time in eternity-such a short way aw…

Why, God?

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Sometimes we may go through periods of pain and trial that are so traumatizing we experience defeat. We have nowhere to turn and feel alone. We may ask, why? Why God, why did you allow this? Why did this happen to me?

Such turmoil can cause a great deal of anguish, yet God can handle our questions. We can bring them to Him. The Bible is full of wounded cries to God. Job found himself in that position, as well as Jeremiah the prophet. They experienced deep suffering. The Psalms often articulate distress. An example: I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalm 69:3).

The pain of our circumstances can distort our awareness of God’s nearness. Yet, rather than our trial causing us inner conflict with God, He alone is the source of our hope, comfort, and peace. He Himself, as our true, living, intimate, Father is the answer to our questions. This is not an abstract or vague hope. It is a sure as a relationship to Him in His Son Jesus Christ…