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When Weakness Is Strength

By |2022-10-29T02:33:19-04:00October 29th, 2022|

Drew had been imprisoned for two years because he served Jesus. He’d read stories of missionaries who felt constant joy throughout their incarceration, but he confessed “this was not my experience.” He told his wife that God had picked the wrong man to suffer for Him. She replied, “No. I think maybe He picked the right man. This was not an accident.”

 

Drew could likely relate to the prophet Jeremiah, who had faithfully served God by warning Judah that God would punish them for their sins. But God’s judgment hadn’t fallen yet, and Judah’s leaders beat Jeremiah and put him in stocks. Jeremiah blamed God: “You deceived me, Lord” (v. 7). The prophet believed God had failed to deliver. His word had only “brought me insult and reproach all day long” (v. 8). “Cursed be the day I was born!” Jeremiah said. “Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” (vv. 14, 18).

Eventually Drew was released, but through his ordeal he began to understand that perhaps God chose him—much like He chose Jeremiah—because he was weak. If he and Jeremiah had been naturally strong, they might have received some of the praise for their success. But if they were naturally weak, all the glory for their perseverance would go to Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:26–31). His frailty made him the perfect person for Jesus to use.

God Is Here

By |2018-11-23T14:08:57-05:00November 26th, 2018|

A plaque in our home states “Bidden or not bidden, God is present.” A modern version might read, “Acknowledged or unacknowledged, God is here.” Hosea, an Old Testament prophet who lived in the late eighth century bc (755–715), wrote similar words to the Hebrew nation. He encouraged the Israelites to “press on” (Hosea 6:3) to acknowledge God because they had forgotten Him (4:1)...

Thanks for Who God Is

By |2018-11-05T16:49:54-05:00November 16th, 2018|

Among the thousands of sentiments printed on greeting cards, perhaps one of the most touching is this simple statement: “Thanks for being you.” If you receive that card, you know that someone cares for you not because you did something spectacular for that person but because you’re appreciated for your essence. I wonder if this kind of sentiment might indicate for us one of the best ways to say “thank you” to God...

Ask the Animals

By |2018-10-05T12:26:06-04:00October 14th, 2018|

Our grandkids, enraptured, got a close-up look at a rescued bald eagle. They were even allowed to touch him. As the zoo volunteer told about the powerful bird perched on her arm, I was surprised to learn this male had a wingspan of about six and one-half feet, yet because of its hollow bones it weighed only about eight pounds...

Stories of Jesus

By |2018-10-05T12:07:47-04:00October 11th, 2018|

As a girl I loved to visit my small local library. One day, looking at the bookshelves holding the young adult section, I reasoned I could probably read every book. In my enthusiasm I forgot one important fact—new books were regularly added to the shelves. Although I gave it a valiant effort, there were simply too many books...

How to Stand Firm

By |2018-08-23T09:54:27-04:00September 10th, 2018|

It was a cold, icy winter’s day, and my mind was focused on getting from my warm vehicle to a warm building. The next thing I knew I was on the ground, my knees turned inward and my lower legs turned outward. Nothing was broken, but I was in pain. The pain would get worse as time went by and it would be weeks before I was whole again...

You Love Me?

By |2018-07-20T15:14:25-04:00August 29th, 2018|

As a teenager, I went through the typical season of rebellion against my mother’s authority. My father died before I entered adolescence, so my mom had to navigate these turbulent parenting waters without his help. I recall thinking that Mom didn’t want me to ever have any fun—and maybe didn’t even love me—because she frequently said no. I see now that she said no to activities that weren’t good for me precisely because she loves me.

Jesus Reached Out

By |2018-07-19T12:30:51-04:00August 17th, 2018|

Sometimes life gets busy—classes are hard, work is exhausting, the bathroom needs to be cleaned, and a coffee date is on the day’s schedule. It gets to the point where I force myself to read the Bible for a few minutes a day and tell myself I’ll spend more time with God next week. But it doesn’t take long before I’m distracted, drowning in the day’s tasks, and forget to ask God for help of any kind...

The Lord Speaks

By |2018-07-18T15:21:36-04:00August 15th, 2018|

We can find nearly every argument in the book of Job about why there is pain in the world, but the arguing never seems to help Job much. His is a crisis of relationship more than a crisis of doubt. Can he trust God? Job wants one thing above all else: an appearance by the one Person who can explain his miserable fate. He wants to meet God Himself, face to face...

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