Devotional

Help for When We're Feeling Overwhelmed

Help for When We're Feeling Overwhelmed

Psalm 102 begins with this introduction (and these psalm prescripts are inspired and part of Scripture), “A prayer of one who is afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD” (Psalm 102). “Afflicted...faint.” The New Living Translation translates it to simpler speech: “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble.”…

Looking to a New World

Looking to a New World

Look around today. Look at the world. Look at the people, cars, businesses, and houses. Look at the sun, trees, and animals. Look at culture, entertainment, technology, and news. This is our world. This is the beautiful and broken, the lovely and languishing. This is the place we live. There’s sin here. We can feel it. We know it. It’s a personal issue for us and everyone we see, but it’s also a cosmic problem...

God Is Happy: What It Means for Our Joy

God Is Happy: What It Means for Our Joy

Have you recently stood amazed at how happy God is? God isn't frivolous, shallow, flippant, lacking in seriousness nor weightiness. He is almighty and fearful. Let’s be clear on that. But God is happy. Even hearing so may seem a tad strange. But recently I found encouragement in this truth: God is happy, at this moment, with himself, with all he’s doing, with his world…

Experiencing Suffering and the Love of God

Experiencing Suffering and the Love of God

My wife is laying on a hospital bed beside me recovering from surgery as I write. Twenty four hours ago, we were planning on waking up and celebrating our daughter’s one year birthday. Now, it’s seven at night and she’s trying to cope with the pain. It began at 2:30 a.m. for her: vomiting, stomach pain, cramps. Her pain built until 10 a.m. when we drove to the emergency room with our two daughters. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. she was in more severe, escalating pain—likely the most I’ve seen her in. Finally at 2:30 p.m. she was admitted into surgery. The diagnosis was appendicitis—and she’s pregnant, so her health and our son’s life is at stake. The surgery went well—to the praise of God, from the fruit of many’s prayers. But now she’s in recovery. Not the day we planned; but it was his. In it all, he was faithful still…

What About Joseph in the Christmas Story? His Life and Legacy

What About Joseph in the Christmas Story? His Life and Legacy

During Christmas season, we wonder in the stories about Jesus’ birth—recounting the star, the magi, the manger, and the shepherds. We sing songs praising the mystery of the Incarnation. We wonder at the angelic visions and pronouncements. The consolation of Israel is celebrated; Mary’s faith is upheld; Jesus’ purpose in coming and presence as Immanuel is exalted. This is good, right, and fitting. But what about Joseph?…

Flies Only Fly Where He Wants

Flies Only Fly Where He Wants

The plagues and the Exodus. These are famous displays of the wonders of God. Much has and could be written about this pivotal season in history. But I want to focus in this short post on the flies and the chariot wheels. Yes, those pesky flies, and yes, just the chariots in the story. These might seem like they aren’t anywhere near the main point of the story, but God used these flies and chariot wheels for his glory. Yet what I want to meditate on here is how he did so…

Depending On God for Happiness

Depending On God for Happiness

Jonathan Edwards was one of the best theologians in history to (rightly) emphasize the glory of God. He wanted God to be praised above all and in all. And because of this, when it came to mankind’s actions, Edwards also heavily emphasized man’s dependence upon God. He saw this is as the biblical flip-side of God being glorified in man…

Evil Thwarted by the Enduring Love of God

Evil Thwarted by the Enduring Love of God

Evil is thwarted, undermined, and outdone by the love of God. This is true especially at the cross where the love of God defeated the darkness that has spread over the world. By dying in the place of his people, God in his love enabled sinners to be genuinely forgiven, reconciled to him, and transformed. There, God’s love won…

Rejoicing in God by Saying God Is Great

Rejoicing in God by Saying God Is Great

I noticed this morning from Psalm 70:4 a helpful, practical connection. The psalmist cries, “May all who seek you, rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, ‘God is great!’” I unabashedly am seeking joy and gladness in God. I wholeheartedly agree with the plea that asks for people, especially myself, to happy glad in God. But what does this look like?…

My Single Favorite Verse About Heaven

My Single Favorite Verse About Heaven

What will heaven be like? It’s a common question. And this curiosity is a good thing because every Christian should long to be in the presence of Christ (Philippians 1:23), and for the day when Christ comes and makes everything right again (Revelation 6:10). And there’s a lot of great verses one can use to detail what we know about the eternal new heavens and new earth, but my favorite verse to describe it all in a nutshell is probably Ephesians 2:7…

Why Did Jesus Rise? 4 Reasons for the Resurrection

Why Did Jesus Rise? 4 Reasons for the Resurrection

In history, three days after he died on the cross, Jesus of Nazareth rose from his grave. We must stress the historical fact that this truly did happen, just as with his life and his cross. If you could go back around 2,000 years, you could watch Jesus of Nazareth die on a Roman cross and you could see him on Sunday alive again…

Jesus, Money, and a Fish

Jesus, Money, and a Fish

One of my favorite miracles of Jesus is one that isn’t talked about too much. It probably is less famous because of how short it is; or because it only occurs in one of the Gospel accounts; or especially because it doesn’t directly impact anyone who is suffering or sick, like so many of Jesus’ miracles wonderfully do. But the reason I love it so much is because of what it shows us about Jesus himself…

How Misplaced Pleasures and Pride Can Change Us

How Misplaced Pleasures and Pride Can Change Us

Why do we act so poorly sometimes? Or to ask it another way, Why do we sin? Is it just that we randomly do wrong at times; or is it that something deeper is going—something with what we desire, crave, and love which makes us misstep? As we can all testify to, the answer is clearly the latter. It is from our desires that wickedness comes (Luke 6:45). The Bible explains that sin resides in the desires, not just or mainly in what we do (1 Timothy 6:9-10). But what does this look like in real life?…