Before Paul put the final period on his first letter to the Thessalonians he issued a double-edged command: “encourage…and build up one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). In a world more sinful than saintly, such a command is necessary because the spirit of discouragement is dangerous.
In the classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, the main character, Christian, tumbles into the miry bog, the “slough of despond,” and struggles to get free. But the heavy burden on his back pulls him in deeper, and he begins to sink.
This image pictures what it feels like when we’re sinking in difficult circumstances—when our debts outweigh our income, when past hurts won’t heal, when discontentment marks our relationships, and when the light of heaven seems distant and dim. Discouragement, despondency, pain, suffering—these miry pits along life’s journey can pull us down into our own “slough of despond.”
Christian’s rescue came by the hand of a fellow traveller named Help...and the same is true for you today. Use these resources to find healing for your own life...or to minister help to those you find along life’s journey.
If everyone practiced the philosophy of an eye for an eye we’d all be blind. You see, grinding resentment isn’t resolved with revenge; it’s resolved with grace.
Walking closely with the Lord means we must come to terms with forgiving others. Yes, must. We can’t avoid or deny the fact that relationships often bring hurt and the need to forgive.
Joy prompts healing—both physically and emotionally. In this poignant letter of friendship and faith, the Apostle Paul advocated for a lasting joy to undergird the life of all believers.
Just as it is vital to remove the root in order to ensure that the weed will not just grow back, it is essential to bring light to the source of our sin and allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify our hearts, removing sin’s roots.
How would you communicate the message of James 5:13–16 to people enduring chronic pain or illness? How would you address their deep questions about God’s character? How would you emphasize the importance of prayer and confession in the midst of suffering?
The question of how much Christians should focus on health and fitness isn’t just theoretical. I look around and I see more health and fitness issues than ever.
No one lives happily ever after on this earth, but if we cling to our faith we can be sure there will be a happy ending. Our sorrow may last for a night, but joy will come in the morning.
Like the Japanese art of Kintsugi, in which a potter creates priceless treasures by fusing broken pieces of porcelain together with gold, the Lord fills the cracks in our lives with the glowing gold of second chance.
Despite their "in-control" exterior, men often feel like imposters and are insecure that their inadequacies will be discovered.