True to James 1:2-4, my troubles tested my faith. They brought hardship and hidden tears, but, also true to Scripture, they became opportunities for great joy. Here are several insights I gleaned through my experience.
In the process of living and dying in a sin-cursed world we experience distress, agony, and misery due to pain, disease, loss, and damage. We call it suffering. Everyone experiences it sooner or later. It is part of the human condition. Some of it we bring on ourselves. Some of us suffer through no fault of our own.
Besides being difficult physically, emotionally, and spiritually, the fact that suffering often appears to have no rhyme or reason, and appears meaningless adds a measure of psychological suffering. Suffering is easier to endure if we can attach some meaning or purpose to it.
While we can't often control the sources of our suffering, we can control our response to it. God gives us direction as to how to respond so as to make it meaningful. We hope these resources help you turn suffering into a situation to praise God for His strength amid your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9b).
Those whose lives are marked by illogical, outrageous joy seem to display five characteristics that form an acronym for GRACE.
Late on a Tuesday in August the text message came. “Mom had an aneurism. She's in a coma. Not expected to live 24 hours.” We were on a remote island and even a float plane wouldn't get us back in time.
Crises are deemed to be negative changes in life especially when they occur abruptly. Since a crisis is a testing time or an emergency event, we may panic, become stressed, or struggle to cope as a result.
I had never given the idea of compassion much thought until a few months ago when in the midst of a friend’s crisis, I felt gut wrenching pain and realized, for the first time, this was what true compassion felt like.
For the rest of the missions trip, I thought about Jesus' ministry and the compassion He must have felt for the many people He encountered. People He taught, healed, and those who desperately cried out to Him.
Being compassionate or not is all about what you look at and see. The fact that we don't like seeing pain makes compassion difficult, but compassion only occurs in the context of another's pain.
Humans are designed to plan, but our knowledge is limited. We can trust that God is preparing things in ways we can't imagine, and we can trust Him with our future.
Many marriages shipwreck when crisis strikes, but devastation can be avoided. Here are a few insights I've learned through personal experience and by watching other couples.