Have you ever been through a season where life didn’t go as planned? Maybe a vacation you planned was canceled or a cruise was postponed. Or maybe you didn’t get into your top school for college. Most of us have gone through a season where life took an unexpected turn. It can cause pain from unmet expectations, make us stress, and even cause us to doubt the Lord’s goodness.
Yup. Sometimes situations in life can cause us to doubt God.
My husband recently made this statement in a sermon: “As Christians, we believe in an alien identity and an alien purpose. We believe that our identity and purpose come not from within, but from above.” These days, that kind of statement can be an unusual way to talk about identity!
Have you ever experienced a seemingly mundane interaction that was actually very impactful?
But I didn’t notice at first.
Let me tell you what I mean.
If you ask Christians why they go to church, the answers will vary. We recently went through (some of us are still going through) a time when regular church attendance was not possible. It left many asking the question, “Why do we go to church?”
This blog post is adapted from Overcoming Life’s Sorrows by R. Reed Lessing.
“I Only Have Eyes for You.” Harry Warren and Al Dubin composed this song in 1934. Numerous musicians have recorded it, including Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, and Art Garfunkel. Rolling Stone ranks the Flamingos’ version of the song 157th on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The Lord has His own version of this golden oldie. He only has eyes for exiles. Compare this with what Babylon said to Judean deportees: “You’re slaves, prisoners, cogs in our vast and ever-growing political machine!”
“Let’s go, push yourself!” the exercise instructor yelled. “We didn’t come here to be mediocre!” I laughed, or possibly just grimaced, and clumsily attempted the physical feat she demonstrated so easily. After class, I joked that given my age and lifelong lack of coordination, I aspire to be mediocre.
This blog post is adapted from Engaging the Psalms: A Guide for Reflection and Prayer.
Unquestionably, of the 150 psalms, Psalm 23 is the most familiar. It has been used on countless occasions, especially at funerals. It is still on the lips of many, in the version they learned from the King James Bible. Even those who are only Christian in name may know a line or two.
But how well do we really know this psalm? For further insight, it is worthwhile to dig into the subject of sheep and shepherds in the Bible.
I have worked my fair share of odd summer jobs, including working in carnival food carts: from shoveling out your favorite snow cone or grabbing the monster bag of cotton candy to everything in between. Each Fourth of July, I worked in the elephant ear cart, making those doughy, fried treats covered in cinnamon sugar.
Our reasons for praising God are innumerable, yet I often fail to find words that accurately express my praise. Thankfully, the Lord Himself provides words of praise in the Book of Psalms. Although the psalms are wrought with all types of emotions, some of the best (and most popular) words of praise are found in their pages. The Psalms give us words of praise for what is good, how God is good, and how He works for us and loves us.
This post is adapted from Words of Strength and Promise: Devotions for Youth. Read below for a devotion written by Juliana Shults.