If Only I Had… Then I Could Obey

If Only I Had… Then I Could Obey

Have you ever found yourself in a similar circumstance, thinking to yourself, “If only I had [fill in the blank], then I could obey God better”? If only I had more time, friends who were more present, family members who weren’t so trying, a pet that wasn’t so needy, improved health, more resources, a good marriage, a church I agreed with on more theological matters, a mentor who had more time for me, this book that claims to change people’s lives, a seminary degree—then I could be a better Christ-follower. Have you ever heard that thought float through your head? I’ve heard it resound many times in my own, with a variety of things to fill the blank with.

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The Promise is His Presence (Book Review)

The Promise is His Presence (Book Review)

This is when I picked up Glenna’s book, The Promise is His Presence. In her book, Glenna took me by the hand and led me through her story of suffering, waiting, and unanswered prayers alongside the redemption narrative of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. As she did, she showed me how God’s promise isn’t an easy life, immediate answers to our prayers, or a lack of suffering. God’s promise is to always be with his people, and he fulfills this promise throughout the entirety of the Bible.

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The Gospel Doesn’t Promise a Healed Mind

The Gospel Doesn’t Promise a Healed Mind

Perhaps you’ve heard this variation: “Depression, anxiety, heartbreak—you are not bound to living that way. You don’t have to suffer anymore. Freedom exists in Jesus. Come to him and find freedom.” This is a false gospel. This gospel motivates people to believe in it by presenting your best life now if you’ll just come to Jesus. This is a damning lie. Jesus doesn’t take away your suffering—he promises it (John 16:33). And because we live in a fallen world, your body will fail you—both mentally and physically. But the true gospel, presents a truth much greater than this prosperity gospel could ever conjure up. 

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You Were Not Created to Take the Pain Away

You Were Not Created to Take the Pain Away

It hurts when someone we love is hurting, and we hate that we can’t stop their suffering. We love them, and we wish we could simply dust away their pain, collect it in a dustpan, and chuck it out the door. But we were never meant to do that. Even our most faithful prayers may not make the pain disappear. We were not created to be healers. We are meant to be a part of the body. As a fellow part of the body, I am not meant to fix another. I’m not able. I can’t take away that pain, and to believe I can minimizes their suffering. 

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The Sorrow of Comparing Suffering

The Sorrow of Comparing Suffering

 Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar place. Perhaps you are a mother facing post-partum depression feeling guilty for her sadness because at least she has a living child. Or a wife trying to cover up her sobs because at least her husband’s cruel words don’t leave bruises. Or a woman hiding her grief over her latest diagnoses because it’s not as bad as that lady in church. And so the comparisons continue, and so suffering is minimized, and so true sorrow is neglected. 

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How to Help Sufferers When You Don't Know What to Say

How to Help Sufferers When You Don't Know What to Say

Have you ever felt that heavy burden? A friend has just unloaded her suffering to you, and as you take it in you feel like a deer in the headlights. What do I say? How do I begin to bring truth to this hurt? Maybe you have offered words in the past and instantly regretted them. Or maybe you simply do not understand the pain they are feeling. Perhaps you have never dealt with the issue at hand and have no idea where to start.

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