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    God Provides

    One snap of the shutter, and there it was . . . one beautiful moment captured in time for eternity. The late summer sun reflected in the breaking wave made the water look like liquid gold splashing onto the shore. If my friend had not been there with his camera, the wave would have gone unnoticed, like so many others that have come and gone, seen only by God.

    Who can imagine how many waves Lake Michigan has sent rolling onto the shoreline? Yet each one is unique. As seen in every wave, God makes extravagant beauty out of seemingly mundane…

    Carried Through

    I recently stumbled across some of my journals from college and couldn’t resist taking time to reread them. Reading the entries, I realized I didn’t feel about myself then the same as I do today. My struggles with loneliness and doubts about my faith felt overwhelming at the time, but looking back now I can clearly see how God has carried me to a better place. Seeing how God gently brought me through those days reminded me that what feels overwhelming today will one day be part of a greater story of His healing love.

    Psalm 30 is a celebration psalm…

    Gracious Uncertainty

    Our natural inclination is to be so precise—trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next—that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

    The Light That Never Fails

    A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come— people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, “. . . no one stood with me, but all forsook me . . . . But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me . . .” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails. When “important” individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do— to look into the face of God for ourselves.

    Don’t Hurt the Lord

    Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? —John 14:9

    Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us— astounded at how “un-simple” we are. It is our own opinions that make us dense and slow to understand, but when we are simple we are never dense; we have discernment all the time. Philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous…

    What To Do When Your Burden Is Overwhelming

    We must recognize the difference between burdens that are right for us to bear and burdens that are wrong. We should never bear the burdens of sin or doubt, but there are some burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. God wants us to roll them back on Him— to literally “cast your burden,” which He has given you, “on the Lord . . . .” If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence.

    Are You Questioning What You Believe?

    In my 30 years, I’ve never really questioned my faith all that much. I’ve wondered about evolution and about the problem of evil existing in the world.

    The power of participation

    Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” And today on Discover the Word, we continue the conversation in our series titled “Bring it to Jesus.” It’s a discussion about the power of participation and what God can do when we bring our participation to Jesus. Listen […]

    Being prepared for God’s answer

    Nobody has all the answers, but everybody has a lot of questions. Today on Discover the Word, we’ll lead the conversation on how when we take a question and “Bring it to Jesus,” we need to be prepared for the answer. Listen today on Discover the Word!

    Going through seasons of doubt

    Most of us have gone through seasons of doubt. Doubting God’s goodness, or plan or maybe even His existence. So, is it wrong to doubt? And what do we do with the things we have questions and doubts about? Well, today on Discover the Word, we discuss how we can take our doubt and “Bring […]

    The Impoverished Ministry of Jesus

    “The well is deep”— and even a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! (John 4:11). Think of the depths of human nature and human life; think of the depth of the “wells” in you. Have you been limiting, or impoverishing, the ministry of Jesus to the point that He is unable to work in your life? Suppose that you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1). Would your response be to shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is too deep, and even You can’t draw up quietness and comfort out of it.”

    Our Misgivings About Jesus

    Have you ever said to yourself, “I am impressed with the wonderful truths of God’s Word, but He can’t really expect me to live up to that and work all those details into my life!” When it comes to confronting Jesus Christ on the basis of His qualities and abilities, our attitudes reflect religious superiority. We think His ideals are lofty and they impress us, but we believe He is not in touch with reality— that what He says cannot actually be done. Each of us thinks this about Jesus in one area of our life or another. These doubts or misgivings about Jesus begin as we consider questions that divert our focus away from God. While we talk of our dealings with Him, others ask us, “Where are you going to get enough money to live? How will you live and who will take care of you?”

    The Death of Doubt

    We know him as Doubting Thomas (see John 20:24–29), but the label isn’t entirely fair. After all, how many of us would have believed that our executed leader had been resurrected? We might just as well call him “Courageous Thomas.” After all, Thomas displayed impressive courage as Jesus moved purposefully into the events leading to His death.

    At the death of Lazarus, Jesus had said, “Let us go back to Judea” (John 11:7), prompting a protest from the disciples. “Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” (v. 8).…

    During times of transition will you trust God?

    During times of transition we’re all enrolled in Trust School. The question is, will we barely pass, fail completely, or graduate with honors? Today on Discover the Word, our team, along with pastor and author Jeff Manion, concludes their series called “The Land Between.” When life is turned upside down, God wants to know, “Will […]

    God’s not put off by our honest complaints

    Any pastor can tell you that too much whining in the wilderness wears a leader down. It did for Moses. He complained to God and told Him the load of leadership was too much to bear! Today on Discover the Word, the group and pastor and author Jeff Manion discuss how God’s not put off […]

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