Category Archives: Faith

Christian Hope: Does It Differ from Optimism?

He then told me something – and it was hard for him to talk, so I had to listen closely – that I have never forgotten. He told me that the last two months – since he had come over to Jesus’s side – had been the two best months of his life. I looked at him in wonder. Here was a man from whom everything had been taken. His former life was gone. His world was a bed. His body was a prison. And the last two months had been the best time of his life.

How was that possible? What had happened? Continue reading

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8 Things Hope Does for the Believer (part 2)

My son Kevin and I were once fishing in Quebec from a boat that was anchored about 100 yards above a small waterfall. (I say small, but it probably dropped 30 feet over a course of a couple of hundred yards.) Without that anchor, the current would have carried us into pain and loss. And without hope, the strong currents of this age will carry you and your family where you do not want to go. Continue reading

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8 Things Hope Does for Us (According to Scripture)

Hopelessness makes work seem pointless, but hope has the opposite effect. It is no wonder that the New Testament’s most hopeful chapter closes with these words: “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). You know that when you have hope. Continue reading

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Hope – I Need Somebody (Hope- Not Just Anybody)

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“I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins”

Many people find the extravagant breadth of Christian forgiveness objectionable. Should even Hitler, if he has expressed “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” be forgiven? What about the sexual predator? The murderer?

I have had to be clear about this in my own mind. The forgiveness of sins is easy enough to believe when you are sitting in a church pew. It is another matter when you are sitting in a jail cell with a man accused of molesting a two-year-old child or a woman who shot her sleeping husband and then decapitated him so she could be with another man. In such situations, could I honestly say that I believe in the forgiveness of sins?

Yes. I have been able to believe in the forgiveness of sins – even in those cells – because I believe in the God of Jesus. I am, however, in doubt about whether the people I came to see believed. They didn’t stop making excuses long enough for me to find out, but people who believe in the forgiveness of sins make confession, not excuses. Continue reading

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Faith Is Work

Amy Carmichael, said: “The tests are always unexpected things, not great things that can be written up, but the common little rubs of life, silly little nothings, things you are ashamed of minding [at all]. Yet they can knock a … Continue reading

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Everyone Gets Tested (Not Everyone Passes)

Everyone gets tested. Ordained ministers get tested. Soldiers, sailors, and Marines get tested. High School and college graduates get tested. Lawyers get tested. Police officers get tested. Corrections officers get tested. Pilots get tested. Drivers get tested. Do followers of … Continue reading

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The Christian and Testing: Will We Pass the Test?

The Bible is uncomfortably clear: God test people and nations. Not everyone passes the test. Yet, as C. S. Lewis so eloquently put it: “The promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of … Continue reading

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When Does Happily Ever After Start?

In faith-friendly books and movies, principal characters always face struggles and frequently experience doubts. As their circumstances worsen, their doubts grow and then, at some critical moment, they face a difficult decision. Will they trust God or will they go their own way?

In the few movies and books in this genre with which I’m familiar, a secondary character usually models the wrong choice for the reader or viewer. The protagonist then models the right choice by trusting God. After that moment of faith, the suspense grows greater still. The question of whether the hero will trust God is already decided. Now the question is whether God will prove himself worthy of that trust. Continue reading

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Fountain of Life: Love for Jesus

In 1 Peter 1:3-9, we see how the flood of blessing that flows from the Fountain of Life spreads: It blesses us first with new life (verse 3), which comes with hope already installed. It blesses us with a spectacular … Continue reading

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