In God's plan, the development of uncompromising character requires struggle and sacrifice. Our victory requires continual drill, tests and development of discipline.
The Parable of the Sower and the Seed exemplifies a number things that can happen to prevent us from having a place in God's spiritual harvest.
In Part One, we saw that pressure, hardship, and anguish are not elements of a Christian's life that suddenly disappear because of faith and God's calling. It also became clear that trial ...
Affliction seems to be an integral part of Christianity. However, when it is viewed in the context of eternity, it is relatively light.
Entrance into the Kingdom of God will not happen without many tribulations (Acts 14:22). We may need to adjust our expectations of what discipleship entails.
When we were baptized and gave our lives by covenant to God, we committed ourselves to a lifetime of change. This change would be partly internal ...
David Grabbe, assessing the impact of struggles, pressures, and tribulations of our spiritual journey, reveals that Christ's followers will have to endure afflictions and fiery trials as He prepares them for His Kingdom. Some detractors have tried to preac. . .
Mark Schindler, acknowledging that movies and books contain unforgettable aphorisms to ponder or live by, focuses on a memorable line from the movie A League of Their Own, a movie about a struggling women's baseball team, when the coach tells a disheartene. . .
The author of Hebrews 12:5-11 teaches us not to despise the rigors, the difficulties, that come from God, but to take them as evidence of God's work with us: "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons ..."
Our sins can drag us down, but there are other weights that impede our progress, limit our usefulness to God, hold us back, and hinder us in our race.
Acts 27 teaches that we must distinguish among several types of suffering. Regardless of the type of suffering, we must remember that God will deliver us.
Ted Bowling, reflecting on the potter and clay analogy, reminds us that the Master Potter continually molds and shapes His people. Finding different kinds of clay in the riverbed, he weathers it to the point it stinks (like our own sins), and then pounds t. . .
Life is difficult to navigate. Adversity is a common part of life, yet now, having been called by God, we must work hard to overcome and conquer these challenges.
In the turbulent and uncertain times ahead, we will need extraordinary fortitude and courage. Trials can improving perseverance or active endurance.
Noah is an outstanding example of persevering through a dreadful experience. Not only did he persevere through the Flood, but also through 120 years of preparations.
Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.
Our hope is based on having a living Savior. At times we are discouraged and overwhelmed, but God has not left us—though unseen, He is in the trials with us.
The apostle Paul endured tremendous hardship, and his example teaches us that we have the ability—and even responsibility—to choose how we let our circumstances affect us. Paul had to decide whether to let his circumstances weigh him down or to. . .
As America continues to shed its Christian values and heritage, the incidence of persecution of Christians is bound to increase. ...
Affliction is a necessary aspect of life, yielding strength of character, while ease and comfort weaken us. Christ was perfected as High Priest through suffering.
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
There is an aspect of God's goodness that is rarely associated with goodness. As surprising as it may seem, God's goodness can be feared! Martin Collins explains why this is so.
Patience in the face of trying events is a clear indication that we are developing genuine godliness. We can learn to turn trials into positive growth opportunities.
God promises certain Christians that He will keep them from the Tribulation—the "hour of trial." Here are the characteristics of those whom God will protect.
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
Martin Collins, realizing that most people, both outside and inside the church, crave assurance , avers that we can have assurance that we are God's heirs and offspring if we are led by the spirit, remaining on the sanctified path of fellowship, growing co. . .
John Reid, drawing on an example of an exhausted military medic, explores the problem of burnout with the attending symptoms of collapse, callousness, and giving up. The inability of solving mounting cultural and social problems despite advances in technol. . .
Even loyal servants of God have had to contend with depression and discouragement. Antidotes include rest, refocus, right expectations, and obedient actions.
In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus begins a passage, asking, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" He finishes His thought with the metaphor of a man building a house ...
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the rather humble circumstances surrounding our calling, cautions us to avoid partiality in our judgments. Jacob, because of his favoritism of Joseph brought about untold jealousy and strife within his family. God judges impa. . .
The meal offering represents the fulfillment of the second great commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Here is how to understand this offering.
John Ritenbaugh focuses on the remarkable energizing capacity of hope. In the familiar triumvirate (faith, hope, and love) faith serves as the foundation, love serves as the goal, and hope serves as the great motivator or energizer. Unique among the religi. . .
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