What You Can’t Pick and Choose

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” – Psalm 42:7 Something I love about the Psalms is that they are raw and real. Most of them were written by King David, a man who minced no words regarding the depth of his feelings. In fact, if we have ears to hear and eyes to see, his ancient poems have something important to teach us about our human journey — something that’s been repeatedly backed by science: you can’t pick and choose your emotions. A song of hope and victory is often preceded by a song of lament and sorrow. Pain is a necessary part of the human experience, and unless we acknowledge this truth, we can never move fully into abundant life. Unfortunately, many people try to push down the yucky things that they feel and simply pretend

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You Are the High Bidder

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” – James 2:5 I really loved my Grandma and Grandpa Schuller, and I also really loved spending time at their house. In fact, some of my fondest memories revolve around family gatherings in that special place, and it was a source of major sadness when they both passed away and the property was sold. Worse yet, their belongings were listed in an online auction, so even family members had to pay for the things they wanted. As you can imagine, it felt strange to spend money buying back their stuff, but there were a couple items I knew I needed to have. One was a VHS tape of my grandpa giving a Christmas sermon

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Heavenly Groanings

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” – Romans 8:26,27 There sure is a lot going on these days. When we look at our world, including the recent violence in Afghanistan, some major natural disasters, and the continuing impact of the COVID-19 virus, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. And while our hearts should be heavy for the state of this hurting sphere, my hope is that our grief leads us to a place of prayer. Our Lord has given us the privilege of sharing in the sufferings of others by coming before His throne any time of the day or

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For Your Good and His Glory

“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.” – Job 13:15 Many times, the enemy will try to harm us by using our misfortunes to fill us with shame and guilt. However, the wonderful thing about God is that He delights in turning seemingly dire and hopeless situations around for our good and His glory! There’s a story in the Old Testament about a guy named Job, who was an exceptional person. He loved God with all of his heart, and he was a hard-working, decent family man. However, out of the blue, tragedy struck him, and he lost everything he held dear — his livestock, his wife, his children, his friends, and his health. And while it seems his circumstances would have been enough to make any human being crumble, Job had a choice to make: he could

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Death Brings Greater Life

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:10,11 Well, we made it to the last day of 2020. I’m almost certain that there has never been a greater sigh of relief among so many as the end of a year approaches. Last January, as we made our resolutions and reflected on the days behind us, none of us had any idea what was waiting just months down the road. We’ve all been challenged, stretched, and tested in the past 365 days, and some of us have endured loss that is throbbing and stinging even now. Nevertheless, I am confident that as hard and unconventional as things have been this year, there has been a gift in the experience. One of the most

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