Parenting dyed with the most powerful force

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“If you allow yourself to forget the daily mercies you receive from your Father’s hands, mercies you could never earn, it will become easier for you not to parent your children with mercy.

Mercy is tenderness and compassion toward someone in need. Our children are just that — needy.

…Parenting is about the willingness to live a life of long-term, intentional repetition. God has called you to a life of patient perseverance. He has called you to be willing to do the same thing over and over again. He’s called you to slow down, settle in, and let him progressively do through you what only he can do. He’s called you to believe that his plan and his timing are always right. He’s called you to be willing to live with what is incomplete and to be thankful for each step that is taken. And he’s called you to look for opportunities every day to be part of his process of grace in the lives of your children. Here’s the bottom line: he has called you not only to parent your children but to lay down your life for them. He has called you to expend the major effort, time, and energy of  your life for your children’s welfare. He’s called you to be his tool of grace again and again and again. Parenting really is a life of holy repetition.

…you are blessed with his grace so that every day your parenting would be dyed with the most powerful force of change in the universe: mercy.”

(Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul Tripp)

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walking through something difficult

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“One of the main metaphors the Bible gives us for facing affliction is walking – walking through something difficult, perilous and potentially fatal.

The walking metaphor points to the idea of progress. Many ancients saw adversity as merely something to withstand and endure without flinching, or even feeling, until it goes away. Modern Western people see suffering as something like adverse weather, something you avoid or insulate yourself from until it passes by.

The unusual balance of the Christian faith is seen in the metaphor of walking – through darkness, swirling waters or fire. We are not to lose our footing and just let the suffering have its way with us. But we are also not to think we can somehow avoid it or be completely impervious to it either. We are to meet and move through suffering without shock and surprise, without denial of our sorrow and weakness, without resentment or paralyzing fear, yet also without acquiescence or capitulation, without surrender or despair.” (Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, by Tim Keller)

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.”

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 

“I am going to prepare a place for you…I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

(Isaiah 43:1-2, Hebrews 13:5, John 14:2-3)

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no pit so deep

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“There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.”

(Betsie ten Boom’s words, recorded for us by her sister, Corrie, in The Hiding Place. Betsie speaks of the evil seen and experienced in her WWII concentration camp, where 96,000 women were murdered in the gas chambers.)

Those are Betsie’s words. Here are your Lord’s:

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? … I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

Follower of Jesus, remember always, no matter your trouble or danger or fear:

No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still.

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God’s love rubbed into your grief

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“The love and hope of God…has to be rubbed into our grief, the way you have to rub salt into meat in warm climates…Your grief is going to make you bleaker and weaker or it could make you far more wise and good and tender, depending on what you rub into it.”

(From Tim Keller’s sermon, “Truth, Tears, Anger, and Grace” on John 11:20-53, to his New York City congregation the Sunday after 9/11. Listen to the whole sermon here.)

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Unforeseen? Or part of a pattern?

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“As my health returned, I was able to use my eyes longer. I had been sustaining myself from my Scriptures a verse at a time; now like a starving man I gulped entire Gospels at a reading, seeing whole the magnificent drama of salvation. 

And as I did, an incredible thought prickled the back of my neck. Was it possible that this—all of this that seemed so wasteful and so needless—this war, Scheveningen prison, this very cell, none of it was unforeseen or accidental? Could it be part of the pattern first revealed in the Gospels? Hadn’t Jesus—and here my reading became intent indeed—hadn’t Jesus been defeated as utterly and unarguably as our little group and our small plans had been?

But . . . if the Gospels were truly the pattern of God’s activity, then defeat was only the beginning…” (Corrie ten  Boom’s memories from solitary confinement, before she was transferred to Ravensbruck concentration camp, 1944; as remembered in The Hiding Place)

All that seemed so wasteful and so needless. All that seemed unforeseen and accidental in the beginning; that seemed so utterly and unarguablely like defeat.

All part of the pattern first revealed in the gospels. All only the beginning:

For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes….However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows…So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return…And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens…And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven…But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.” (Mt. 24:27, 36, 25:13, 24:30-31, 25:31)

Nothing wasteful or needless. Nothing unforeseen or accidental. All, rather, a part of the pattern first revealed in the gospels. The pattern where seeming defeat is the beginning, and the Son of Man returning with power and glory is end.

Or rather the new beginning. The moment we watch for. The moment when the magnificent drama of salvation unveils the Lord Jesus reigning on His eternal throne.

Reigning for her. And for you.

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He is beautiful

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“Religious people find God useful. Christians find God beautiful.” (Tim Keller)

A religious leader named Simon invites Jesus to eat dinner in his home. As Jesus arrives, Simon doesn’t offer water to wash the dust from his sandaled feet. Simon doesn’t offer a kiss of greeting or olive oil to anoint Jesus’ head. Simon has invited Jesus, but he has also intentionally skipped their culture’s gestures of welcome and hospitality.

Then though. A woman arrives. She’s not just any woman. She’s the lowest of the low.

She’s heard that Jesus is eating at Simon’s house, and braves probable snubbing by the gathered religious crowd in order to find the Lord. She arrives with many month’s wages in her arms. She enters the room. She enters with awe-struck, penitent tears.

The gathered invitees are “reclining at table” — they’re facing inward toward a low center table with their legs and feet extending outward like spokes in a wheel. She, the uninvited, approaches.

She begins to wash the feet Simon ignored.

She not only washes, but she anoints. Using her valued, costly…

beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind Jesus at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.

Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”

And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50)

A Lord who forgives; who gladly loves the unlovely; who cancels debts mounted high.

A woman who knows she’s unable, needy, desperate.

A religious person who thinks he’s not.

One finds Jesus somewhat useful.

The other finds Him beautiful.

Which one are you?

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the dazzling display of sovereignty in creation (meant as a primer)

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“Why did God create?…God was not inwardly lonely or personally empty; He was entirely self-satisfied, self-content, and self-contained. So God did not create because of some limitation within Himself…

He created everything out of nothing in order to put His glory on display for the delight of His created beings and that they might declare His greatness.

…A. W. Pink writes with thought-provoking wonder of the extraordinary sovereignty of God before creation:

‘In the great expanse of eternity, which stretches behind Genesis 1:1, the universe was unborn and creation existed only in the mind of the great Creator. In His sovereign majesty God dwelt all alone…There were then no angels to hymn God’s praises, no creatures to occupy His notice, no rebels to be brought into subjection. The great God was all alone amid the awful silence of His own vast universe. But even at that time, if time it could be called, God was sovereign. He might create or not create according to His own good pleasure. He might create this way or that way; He might create one world or one million worlds, and who was there to resist His will? He might call into existence a million different creatures and place them on absolute equality, endowing them with the same faculties and placing them in the same environment; or, He might create a million creatures each differing from the others, and possessing nothing in common save their creaturehood, and who was there to challenge His right? If He so pleased, IMG_4951He might call into existence a world so immense that its dimensions were utterly beyond finite computation; and were He so disposed, He might create an organism so small that nothing but the most powerful microscope could reveal its existence to human eyes. It was His sovereign right to create, on the one hand, the exalted seraphim to burn around His throne, IMG_4952and on the other hand, the tiny insect which dies the same hour that it is born. If the mighty God chose to have one vast graduation in His universe, from loftiest seraph to creeping reptile, from revolving worlds to floating atoms, from macrocosm to microcosm, instead of making everything uniform, who was there to question His sovereign pleasure?’

God’s dazzling display of sovereignty in creation was a primer (an introductory teaching on a complicated subject) on His right to rule in matters of salvation. God, who commanded the light to appear on day one of creation, soon would order gospel light to shine into the darkened hearts of spiritually blind sinners. God, who separated the waters on day two, would cause an infinite chasm to separate Himself from sinners. God, who gathered the waters together on day three, would gather sinners to Himself. God, who created the sun, moon, and stars on day four, would omnipotently create saving faith. God, who began to create the animal kingdom on day five, would graciously send His Son to be the Lamb of God to take away sin. God, who created Adam and Eve on day six, would soon re-create sinners into His image. His free grace would perform the second Genesis in the salvation of lost men and women.” (From Foundations of Grace by Steven Lawson – this  excerpt from July 3, 2017’s “Why did God create?” at ligonier.org)

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when obedience results in hardship

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When you begin along a path of obedience to the Lord and are met by hardship or persecution, don’t despair. Don’t renege when suffering arises. Don’t panic. Do not doubt His faithfulness:

Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”

Rather:

Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.”

Because:

“The Lord is near.”

And because He is near, no matter the form your hardship has taken as a result of your obedience, you can:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

(Elisabeth Elliot, I Corinthians 16:13-14 and Philippians 4:5-7)

Painting: Woman Digging by Camille Pissarro, 1883

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skilled at seeing other’s weaknesses

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“Why is it that we’re so skilled at remembering the other’s weakness, failure, and sin and so adept at forgetting our own? Why are we so good at seeing all the ways that another needs to be forgiven but forget how great our need for forgiveness is? When we’re filled with the grief of our own sin and with gratitude for the amazing forgiveness we’ve been given, then we’ll find joy in giving to others what we’ve received. Perhaps a lifestyle of unforgiveness is rooted in the sin of forgetfulness. We forget that there’s not a day in our lives that we don’t need to be forgiven. We forget that we‘ll never graduate from our need for grace. We forget that we’ve been loved with a love we could never earn, achieve, or deserve. We forget that God never mocks our weakness, never finds joy in throwing our failures in our face, never threatens to turn his back on us, and never makes us buy our way back into his favor.

When you remember, when you carry with you a deep appreciation for the grace that you’ve been given, you’ll have a heart that’s ready to forgive. That doesn’t mean that the process will be comfortable or easy, but it will mean that you can approach your needy friend or relative remembering that you’re just as much in need of what you’re about to give to him or her.” (Paul Tripp)

Father, we need you to work in us a posture of deep appreciation for the grace we’ve been given! We need desperately to destroy, time after time, our default response that puffs self up and thinks self-righteous thoughts. Break us of our desire to ridicule others we conclude are “less” than us. Convict us when we — with words spoken, or just in our hearts — elevate ourselves over others. Oh Father, as each day’s new sun rises, please help us! Remind us!

“When we grasp that we are unworthy sinners saved by an infinitely costly grace, it destroys both our self-righteousness and our need to ridicule others.” (Tim Keller)

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Jesus, cast a look on me

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Jesus, cast a look on me;
Give me sweet simplicity;
Make me poor, and keep me low,
Seeking only Thee to know.

All that feeds my busy pride,
Cast it evermore aside;
Bid my will to Thine submit,
Lay me humbly at Thy feet.

Make me like a little child,
Of my strength and wisdom spoiled;
Seeing only in Thy light,
Walking only in Thy might;

Leaning on Thy loving breast,
Where a weary soul may rest;
Feeling well the peace of God
Flowing from Thy precious blood.

In this posture let me live,
And hosannas daily give;
In this temper let me die,
And hosannas ever cry.

Click here to listen to Indelible Grace’s beautiful version of this 1700’s hymn, Jesus, Cast a Look on Me.

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love with no parting

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“One of the deepest desires of the human heart is for love without parting. Needless to say, the prospect of the resurrection is far more comforting than the beliefs that death takes you into nothingness or into an impersonal spiritual substance. The resurrection goes beyond the promise of an ethereal, disembodied afterlife. We get our bodies back, in a state of beauty and power that we cannot today imagine. Jesus’ resurrection body…could be touched and embraced, and he ate food. And yet he passed through closed doors and could disappear. This is a material existence, but one beyond the bounds of our imagination. The idea of heaven…is not just consolation – it is restoration. We get it all back – the love, the loved ones, the beauties of this life – but in new, unimaginable degrees of glory and joy and strength.” (Tim Keller)

I do yearn for love with no parting. I yearn for the forever-end of the sadness of separation; for the forever-end of goodbyes to beloved children and friends; for the forever-end of parting from dearly-loved pets and places.

I’m sure you do, too.

We yearn for that day. The day when all will be made new. When grief will no longer exist. When the groaning of our spirits, and the groaning of all creation itself, will end. We yearn for restoration, for transformation into a state of beauty and power we cannot today imagine.

What to do with parting-caused yearning?

Don’t turn or hide from the yearning. Your yearning is valid, meant to draw you toward resurrection hopefulness. So don’t smother (or chastise yourself for) your grief. Instead, take your parting-caused sorrow to the Lord. Grieve. Pour out your sadness before Him! Ask Him to increase, through this particular yearning, your desire for heaven. Ask Him to fill your saddened heart with His balm of truth. Truth that calls you to wait — to wait with hope-filled expectation.

Truth that calls you to wait patiently. To wait confidently! To, with eager hope, join all creation in expectant waiting for the glorious freedom that’s coming — freedom from death, from parting, from decay.

Wait patiently, dear ones! The promised day — the day when your deepest desire for love with no parting begins — certainly approaches:

“…all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are…with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” (Romans 8:19-25)

Jesus is coming back, and He brings with Him restoration beyond the bounds of our most hopeful imagination. He brings the love we’ve always yearned for: He brings love without parting.

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pursuing happiness and the worst thing that can ever happen

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“Most people spend their lives trying to make their heart’s fondest dreams come true. Isn’t that what life is all about — ‘the pursuit of happiness’? We search endlessly for ways to acquire the things we desire, and we’re willing to sacrifice much to achieve them. We never imagine that getting our heart’s deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us … If we look to some created thing to give us the meaning, hope and happiness that only God himself can give, it will eventually fail to deliver and break our hearts.” (Tim Keller)

Anything we pursue, apart from love in a relationship with the God who made us, will eventually break our hearts. And it’s sad to have our hearts broken.

But there’s something even worse.

The worse would be this: to not have our hearts broken. To sacrifice and achieve and acquire the things we desire and then to be content with the counterfeit meaning and hope we find there. To be content with temporary satisfaction — apart from God. The worst thing that could ever happen would be that our heart’s fondest dreams come true and we become content apart from God, and God does nothing to stop us.

So, yes, it is sad to acquire our heart’s desire and then have that thing let us down. But to not have God break our hearts with dissatisfaction over that substitute happiness we worked so hard to acquire is infinitely worse. To pursue our fondest dreams, and acquire those dreams, and then never have God wrench us away from the counterfeit is the worst that can happen.

For that =

Being left alone. Left to our own devices.

Being allowed happiness with the substitute.

Being allowed contentment with the lesser.

That = eternal tragedy.

So when your heart’s deepest desire becomes yours and then fails to deliver and you feel as though your heart will break, rejoice. Deep within your spirit, rejoice! He caused the substitute hope and happiness to fail. He didn’t pass you by as you endlessly searched for and acquired what you were sure would make you happy. You can experience deep joy because He didn’t leave you alone. He cared enough to break your hold on that created thing, and with the psalmist you can gratefully cry:

“…let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” (Psalm 51:8)

Father, don’t pass me by. Heart or bones — or whatever it takes — break what must be broken when I search for meaning or hope or happiness apart from You.

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asking in Jesus’ name

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You may be like me and you’ve wondered what Jesus meant when He said:

“…I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-13)

Jesus says that He’s leaving, and that in His absence the disciples are to ask the Father in His name, and that what they ask will be done. I understand most of that. But “ask in my name” is a phrase I don’t use very often. So I need a good definition:

Asking in the name of another means that the other authorized me and sent me to ask, and wants to be considered as asking himself; he wants the favor done to him.” (Andrew Murray, 1828-1917)

A visual to help

As I think about Murray’s definition, I imagine that “asking in the name of another” might look something like this: A prince leading his battalion on a faraway battle field sends, and authorizes, a loyal soldier to go and ask his father, the king, for more troops. He says to the soldier, “Go and ask my father, in my name, for what I believe is needed to win this battle.”

Arriving at the castle, the loyal soldier has no right in himself to ask anything of the king, but because he’s been authorized to ask in the name of, in the place of, for the prince, he enters the throne room boldly. The prince, he says, would like the requested favor done to him, for him. The soldier hasn’t dreamed up what to request, and he doesn’t request what he himself might like. He requests only what his lord, the prince, would if he were standing there himself. He’s been authorized to speak in his place, in his lord’s name, and his request is to be considered as if it’s coming from the prince himself.

He comes as a loyal soldier, with the authority and wishes of the prince, and asks the father to act on his request because he’s asking according to the will of the son. He asks what the prince would ask. And so, in the end, the king receives the honor and glory due his mighty name. As he honors the prince’s request spoken through his soldier, the  father’s greatness and care shine through.

That visual helps me.

But how do I request what Jesus would?

Just how do I discern what my Lord would request? It’s here that John Piper helps. Praying “in Jesus’ name” means that I:

  1. Pray for Jesus’ fame and not my own (so I don’t ask from vain or selfish desires)
  2. Pray because of Jesus’ divine worth, not my own (meaning, I let Jesus’ worth shape and filter all that I ask for as I come to the Father in His name)
  3. Pray on the basis of the payment Jesus made on the cross (I come to God as a little child resting in the “yes!” of all God’s promises made on the basis of Jesus’ death for me — no other angles for trying to get to God are allowed)
  4. Pray according to God’s sovereign wisdom, which Jesus prayed for regularly …”not my will but Thine be done.” I then know I’ll be given all I need to walk in the works He’s prepared for me to walk in (Eph. 2:10). (For John Piper’s short video that these points are taken from, link here).

“For me it is absolutely essential that my prayers be guided by, saturated by, and sustained and controlled by the word of God…if you open the Bible, start img_2665reading it, and pause at every verse and turn it into a prayer, then you can pray all day that way.” (John Piper)

So. When I pray, I ask, in Jesus’ name — not just as a tacked-on phrase at the end of my prayer. I try to pray what God has said He wants for His people: so I read the Bible, or I remember a verse, and as I pause, you come to mind. Or you and your current need comes to mind, and I ask God to remind me of scripture that applies. I then pray for you, guided by the Word, asking that the Father would be glorified in the Son as He works out what is best for you, and through you, in your current need.

Like the soldier, I want my Prince to get all the fame and glory. I come to my King because He told me I could and should. And just as the Prince would have if he were actually speaking, I request with the heartfelt attitude of “but you know best, Father, and I fully bow to whatever you choose in this matter.”

Related: How can I know what to pray?

Windsor Castle, Paul Sandby (1731-1809)

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Do you want to know who you are?

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“If you believe in Jesus and you rest in Him, then suffering will relate to your character like fire relates to gold. Do you want to know who you are – your strengths and weaknesses? Do you want to be a compassionate person who skillfully helps people who are hurting? Do you want to have such a profound trust in God that you are fortified against the disappointments of life? Do you want simply to be wise about how life goes?

Those are four crucial things to have – but none of them are readily achievable without suffering. There is no way to know who you really are until you are tested. There is no way to really empathize and sympathize with other suffering people unless you have suffered yourself. There is no way to really learn how to trust in God until you are drowning.

But God is with us in the fire. He knows what it’s like to live through the miseries of this world – He understands. He is near, available to be known and depended upon within the hardship. He walks with us, but the real question is – will we walk with Him? If we have created a false God-of-my-program, then when life falls apart we will simply assume He has abandoned us and we won’t seek Him.” (Tim Keller)

I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.

(Isaiah 43:1-5)
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Are there really any certainties?

image001I don’t understand how airplanes stay in the sky. I don’t understand how a needle runs around a record’s surface and then sound, exactly like the original recorded sound, comes out. I don’t understand how ants know to walk in a line, or how salmon know exactly where to return for spawning. I don’t understand 1/1,000,000th of the mysteries of this world. In a life so complicated, are there really any certainties? Are there any things that are sure?

Yes. There are. There are things spoken by God, who does not vacillate or lie, who doesn’t hedge His bets or make things up as He goes along. And as His beloved child, no matter today’s feeling or fear or frustration, you can rest on His spoken sureties. His certainties.

Here are five never-changing, base-your-life-on-them truths. As you read them, slow down. Make the words, which at first glance might seem impersonal, personal. For instance, #1, personalized, would read, “God has spoken to me, and the Bible is His Word, given to me to make me wise unto salvation.”  #2 would read, “God is Lord and King over me; He rules all the things that happen in my life for His own glory…so that I, along with angels might worship and adore Him.”

Personalize J.I. Packer’s five certainties, thinking, as you read, about how to apply them to your life:

1. God has spoken to man, and the Bible is his Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation.
2. God is Lord and King over his world; he rules all things for his own glory, displaying his perfections in all that he does, in order that men and angels may worship and adore him.
3. God is Savior, active in sovereign love through the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue believers from the guilt and power of sin, to adopt them as his children and to bless them accordingly.
4. God is triune; there are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it, and the Spirit applying it.
5. Godliness means responding to God’s revelation in trust and obedience, faith and worship, prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God’s Word. This and nothing else is true religion. 
(J.I. Packer, Knowing God)

Store these things that are sure, these certainties, in your mind and heart. Ask God to “open your eyes to see the wonderful truths in His instructions” (Psalm 119:18), and to give you steely determination to see and live your life, no matter your day’s feeling, fear or frustration, in the light of His Word.

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