doubt

God Has Good Things in Store For You

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” – Psalm 27:13 Sometimes it’s easy to question if God has good things in store for us. We look at what is going on in the world today and can’t help but wonder what He’s up to. Maybe you have experienced harsh conditions or hard trials that make you question God. These circumstances could involve your family, school, or the workplace. I remember “hating” some of my coaches growing up and it was a difficult time for me. I do recall one awesome coach, but he would still make us do really hard drills! But, coaches are meant to stretch and strengthen you physically and mentally. Similar to a coach, God has the best in store for you, but sometimes it takes awhile to realize it. God is in your corner! 

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He is On Your Side

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 Hannah and I were sitting in LAX waiting to fly to Israel when I was in seminary. I started talking to a few of Orthodox Jewish Rabbis who were also waiting for the flight. They asked about my occupation, to which I replied that I am a pastor, after which they inquired, “Are you evangelical?” They told me that they admire evangelicals because they support Israel. I explained to them that I am an evangelical, but that I am a Calvinist, or a member of the “frozen chosen,” a rare breed. One of the men asked what that meant, so I explained that we’re really obsessed with God’s sovereignty and His careful planning of everything. I then turned the tables and asked

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Praise Precedes Victory

“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’” – 2 Chronicles 20:21 After Jahaziel prophesied that Judah would win over the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mt. Seir, King Jehoshaphat and his troops marched into war. However, instead of going entrenched in gear and combat strategy, they moved toward their enemies worshipping the Lord. So certain were they that God would make good on His promise to deliver them that they were confident enough to thank Him before it happened. And while we tend to think of conflict and struggle as solemn, the truth is that our greatest battles are often won from a posture of joyful praise. No matter how dire things look, the

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The Two Great Temptations

“‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” – Genesis 3:4,5 We can learn a lot about how the devil works in our lives by examining the story of Creation. In fact, when the serpent approached Eve in the Garden of Eden, he used two specific tactics that he still employs today, and I think it behooves us to look at them in greater detail. First of all, he attacked the woman by planting doubts in her mind about the Word of the Lord. He slithered up to her and said, “Did God really say…?,” and unfortunately, he’s been doing this ever since. He knows that human flesh is weak, and he’s aware that it doesn’t take a lot to get us to

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Deception

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8 While it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s important to remember that there is a kingdom of darkness surrounding us and that as Christians, we have an adversary named Satan who is serious about wreaking havoc in our lives. Though we often envision the forces of hell warring in acts of blatant evil, violence, or malice, the primary strategy of the devil is always deception. The enemy is an angel of light, and he is really good at slyly deceiving us so that we begin to fall away from abundant life. He knows that if he can get us to doubt the Lord’s love in any fashion, he gains a foothold, and we start to suffer. By convincing us ever-so-subtly that our best existence is

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Plans to Prosper

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:11 is the most tattooed verse in the Bible. In fact, I’m confident that many of us who’ve spent time in church can recite this amazing promise by heart, and a lot of us would even call it our favorite verse. That said, it’s incredible how many Christians don’t truly believe what it says. It’s written in black and white that the Lord wants to prosper us, which means that He wants us to flourish, thrive, and be successful, yet we often doubt His goodness. Interestingly, God gave this promise to His covenant people, the Israelites, after they were exiled to Babylon. Though they were captured and carried away to a foreign land so things looked bleak,

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