The summer after my freshman year of college, I worked the same job I’d had for the last three years. With this level of experience at a gift shop, I was sometimes put in charge of training new employees. These would often be girls a few years younger than me, girls I went to high school with, or people I knew from 4-H. Because of this, there were several fellow employees I knew well. This is important context for the story I’m about to tell.
I keep a relatively busy schedule and often feel like I have a lot on my plate. Some weeks it feels like my husband and I are running on several different schedules from one another, only connecting for brief moments maybe at dinner or a shared responsibility.
I was 12 when I first got my Facebook account. My parents believed it was a good way for me to stay connected to my family who all were starting to disperse across the nation. I already had an email account through a child-friendly service so my parents could access and read every email (even if it had previously been deleted). Facebook felt like my first account that had true freedom on the Internet. I could post whatever I wanted, and I could talk to any of my Facebook friends. My parents warned me not to accept anyone I didn’t know in real life and that even if the Internet seemed temporary and I could delete, posts live on forever. Soon, I was on my way.
Have you ever fully thought about God’s forgiveness? About what it means that He has forgiven us?
I’m not good at forgiveness. I hold grudges. I say I forgive but then I don’t forget. I am not slow to anger and quick to forgive. In my sinful nature, I don’t want to forgive someone easily. They need to earn my forgiveness. I am so thankful that God’s forgiveness isn’t like mine.
Forgiveness is at the heart of our relationship with Christ. Through the forgiveness won for us on the cross, we are a part of God’s family. It’s an amazing gift that we receive through the Sacraments. Here are four verses to consider when thinking about God’s forgiveness toward us.
During hard times, it can be difficult to find the energy to rejoice. It feels easier to focus on how bad everything is and to dig in your feet and say, “Nope, nothing to be joyful about here.” I am frequently guilty of this. I often take a look at what is going on in the world and, instead of bringing my worries to God, I bury myself in how bad it is. In biblical times, there were many situations where believers could have lost all hope. But God’s promises break through and turn hard times into joy.
Lately, a specific Bible passage has been popping up frequently for me. A note from a college friend, a post in a Facebook group, and a random opening of my Bible have all brought my attention to Psalm 91. I’ll be honest, the first couple of times I noticed people referencing it, I ignored it. I thought I’d look at it later; after all, there was too much to worry about for me to open my Bible. (Isn’t that always the excuse?)
But last night, I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning and just wide awake. I finally decided that I had the time to read my Bible. And I knew exactly where I should turn to: Psalm 91.
Times of turmoil can leave us shaken. We are reminded that we are not the ones in control. It teaches us that no day is guaranteed. But we can feel comforted knowing that Jesus is still on the throne. During this unprecedented time of canceled plans and, if we’re being honest with ourselves, panic around the world, spending time in prayer is very necessary.
If you’re like me, you’re probably panicking a little bit right now. It feels like practically overnight everything went from bad to dangerous. I’m feeling very off-kilter, like I’m not quite sure what to do to move forward because I don’t know where forward is. I am a naturally anxious person, and so when it seems like the madness of the world has increased, I get worried. By that, I don’t mean I go out and panic-buy toilet paper, but I mean the pit I normally have in my stomach and the pressure in my head have grown. And without Jesus, I really don’t know how I’d cope.
My hometown church is small. It always has been. I started attending my junior year of high school, and at that time, it was already a pretty small congregation. But it’s smaller now, six years later. And I know we’re not the only church with this story.
The past few months, I’ve been talking about new Bibles. From trying out a devotional Bible to gifting a Bible to someone, we’ve considered why finding the right Bible can enhance your walk with God. Now that maybe you have a new Bible in your hands or you’ve decided you want to continue using your current Bible, it’s time to delve into reading it. A new Bible or renewed vigor for reading the Word of the Lord is an opportunity to reevaluate your Bible-reading habits. But where do you start?