Trials are a part of life, but the inevitability of suffering doesn’t make our pain any easier. Though we recognize that difficulty and suffering are to be expected, sickness, disaster, and despair can still show up and hit us like a freight train. No one can truly be prepared for the various trials of life
The book of the prophet Isaiah explodes with powerful messages of both judgment and Messianic hope. Wrath and grace fill nearly every page. In Isaiah, there is both a terrifying expectation of punishment and a magnificent vision of hope. God will bring justice upon Judah and on the wicked nations surrounding them because of their
To be human in a fallen world is to feel disconnected and lonely at times. To be human is to suffer. To be human is hard. In our struggles, one of the most alienating things is to feel like no one understands. Words can be powerful, but even words fail to capture the depth and
Surely, it is special to be called by God for a specific purpose and work. Jeremiah is one such person who is set by apart by God to be a prophetic messenger. Before he was even born, the Lord saw and appointed this mission for Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew
The unblushing and vivid descriptions of romantic desire and sexuality may unsettle readers of the Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs). The language and imagery and subject matter of this book of divinely inspired poetry are not what most of us expect to encounter when we approach the Word of God.
For “the Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes, life under the sun is confusing and chaotic, yet mercilessly predictable. Some things make no sense; sometimes bad things happen to those who are righteous, and sometimes the wicked prosper. Sudden and shocking tragedy can strike at any moment. Someone can work his whole life just for
What is the key to success in this life? What does it mean to be wise? The book of Proverbs provides a clear and resounding answer that is perhaps summed up well by Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. in all your ways
The book of Psalms, the songbook of God’s people, bursts with strong emotions directed toward the Lord of all creation. Joy, lament, hope, desire, desperation, mourning, wonder, and a wide range of human attitudes and experiences in relation to God are on display. One of the central themes in the Psalms, though, is the desire
When sorrow strikes and tragedy occurs, the common response of many sufferers is to point out the seeming absence of God. If he was here, this never would have happened. If he had not forsaken me, surely this trial would not be pressing in on me. If only God was present! Where are you, Lord?
Weekly Thought: Encouragement from Every Book Esther: A Story of Gallows, Timely Courage, and the Unmistakable Work of God
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah recount the hope-filled, yet difficult struggle of God’s people as they return from exile and rebuild the nation. The Lord is clearly at work in fulfilling his promise and bringing his people back from the darkness of living as foreigners in a strange land. They rebuild the temple in
What happens when we hear the Word of God? When God speaks, things happen. Worlds are formed. Light appears and darkness scatters. The foundations of the earth tremble at his voice. But what happens in us when we hear the Word of God? What is supposed to happen? Because if we truly listen to the
After many years of suffering and darkness in exile for God’s people in Babylon, hope springs anew in the book of Ezra. Amazingly, the Lord stirs up the pagan king Cyrus to allow a group of the exiled Jews to return home to Jerusalem and rebuild the holy temple of God. The Lord’s faithfulness is
Prayer focus topic—Glory of GodPrayer points—As Jesus prayed that God’s name would be hallowed, let us also pray that God’sname would be honored and glorified. Pray that all we do and all we ask for and all we pray forwill ultimately serve the purpose of glorifying God in heaven. Pray that our lives would be
Prayer focus topic—ThanksgivingPrayer points—Take today to focus on giving thanks in prayer. Thank God for the abundantphysical and spiritual blessings he has given in the past year and the ones he gives us each day.Pray that he will help us to always have hearts of gratitude toward him.
What happens when the worship of the Lord is neglected? What becomes of a nation when Kings abuse their power to build self-exalting empires? What is the fate of a people who live in a land where truth is a scare commodity? These are some of the key questions addressed in 2 Chronicles as the
Prayer focus topic—Churches of Christ in New EnglandPrayer points—Let’s focus in prayer on our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in New England.Pray that God will bless the churches of New England and will help them grow and reach outwith the gospel. Pray for continued unity, fellowship, and encouragement among the churches inthis region. Pray
Prayer focus topic—EnemiesPrayer points—As Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecuteus, let us spend this day specifically praying for those who are opposed to us. Think about thosepersonally and broadly who might be classified in your mind as an enemy: maybe a co-worker,or even a family member, or someone
Prayer focus topic—Goat Ministry in IndiaPrayer points—Thank God that we get to be a small part of the goat ministry that helps widowsin India. Pray that God would bless our efforts and our funds and that all that we give will beused wisely for the sake of those in need. Pray for those widows that
Prayer focus topic—Widows and OrphansPrayer points—We know that one of God’s plans for the Church is to take care of widows andorphans. Pray for God’s help as we seek to do that this year. Pray that we as the Church will lookfor ways to support the children who are most vulnerable in our community, country,
Prayer focus topic—Free DayPrayer points—Let’s pray that God would bless Free Day this year. Thank God for theopportunity to serve others, and ask for God’s help that the items we give and the service werender will bear fruit for his kingdom and display the light and love of Jesus. Pray also for thevarious benevolence works