Children love to pretend. They have a rich fantasy life and effortlessly slide into their own parallel universe. The plan is to quit pretending when you are an adult and learn to see and accept reality.
If only. I bet you know plenty of other adults who are still pretending. Single people move in with each other and pretend to be married. Married people act as though they are single. Sedated by drugs or alcohol, people pretend that their lives... Read More
It's fun to listen to children trying to wrap their minds around God's divine attributes-all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal in past and future, present everywhere. "Dad, if God is all-powerful, that means he can do anything, right?" "Yep." "Well, then, can he make a rock so big he can't lift it?"
God is indeed omnipotent, but there are some things he can't and won't do. He refuses to force anyone to worship him. Worship, like love, cannot be forced. It must be... Read More
You can understand and even sympathize with people whose poverty and hardships have made them suspicious of God’s love and power. Has it ever occurred to you that prosperity is an even greater spiritual burden?
Jesus told his shocked disciples once, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). He said this from sad experience, because his encounters with the wealthy... Read More
Thanks to Satan, trusting in God is a challenge even when things are going well. Think how much harder it is to feel confident when you’re exhausted. “Good tired” is how you feel at the end of a productive day. But you probably also know “bad tired,” don’t you? Bad tired is when you are physically and emotionally drained by the selfishness of others, or worse yet, by your own foolishness and bad judgment.
Are you the parent of a... Read More
Is it good to be skeptical? If you’re a scientist, skepticism is considered a badge of honor. Scientists live to prove things. And it’s by doubting, trying, and testing that the great principles and laws of the universe are uncovered and the properties of matter better understood.
Is it good to be doubtful and skeptical of God? Is it a good plan to devise tests to prove God’s existence, love, wisdom, or power? Not such a good idea. Doubting God... Read More
Everybody has been bullied. Everybody has been pushed around, ridiculed, and mocked. People assume that those doing the putting down must feel powerful, but actually it’s the reverse. People who hurt other people really don’t like themselves much, and so they want to drag others down to their own level of emotional misery.
Honestly, though, we’d all have to admit that there are things about our own lives that we don’t like, and so we don’t like ourselves all that... Read More
It’s really hard to trust God when you feel guilt in his presence. Guilt comes on two levels. There’s head guilt and heart guilt. In our heads we know that we have broken God’s rules for our behavior. But guilt is also the wretched feeling of shame and failure in our hearts.
Sometimes we let God’s Word get us halfway there. We hear the gospel message and know that we have been forgiven, but we don’t feel forgiven. We still... Read More
Let me ask you something. What are you afraid of right now? You can be a tough guy and say, “I’m not afraid of anything.” But you are—be honest. Others have the opposite response: “I have so many fears—where do I start?”
Fear holds us back from trusting and believing. Fear paralyzes. Fear makes our painful memories much more intense. Fear breeds despair about the future and makes us not like our present very much either. Fear makes us blind... Read More
Knowing is not yet believing. Believing is not yet trusting.
Some people just can’t accept the concept of the existence of God. They see no particular order in the universe that would demand the existence of a grand Designer behind it all. They can find other explanations to satisfy them about the origins of life on earth.
Some people know that there is a Creator, but only as Someone to acknowledge from a distance. They see the brilliance of his... Read More