Faith Builders

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Job 42:7 MRSV
After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job was a righteous man, a man who loved and served God with all his heart and might. He was a man who had prospered in an earthly sense, owning many flocks and having twelve children. He also was a man blessed with good health. All of this God allowed Satan to take from Job. Job’s life went, in a matter of days, from being comfortable and happy to being alone and miserable.

There is a saying: Bad things happen to good people.

Are You a Person Who Fears God?

Psalm 119:74 NRSV
Those who fear You shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in Your word.

I want people to like me. I mean, I really want people to like me. I think many of us do. It’s a natural thing, to want to be liked and accepted. But more than that, whether consciously or unconsciously, we all work at trying to create a culture around us that’s comfortable. We want our friends and associates to share our morals, values, and habits. And it becomes uncomfortable when we find ourselves planted within a group of people with whom we have little of value in common.

Life is Messy, Sloppy, Sometimes Miserable

Isaiah 43:10-13
"But you are my witnesses, O Israel!" says the Lord. "And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God; there never has been and never will be. I am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your deliverance; I declared what I would do, and then I did it -- I saved you. No foreign god has ever done this before. You are witnesses that I am the only God," says the Lord. "From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse my actions" (NLT).

TODAY is the Day!Premium Content

I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. Psalm 118:13, The Message.

Rage-filled and loathing self, I was in a battle and determined to destroy myself. Not the self. My entire being. I did not know Christ within me, the Hope of glory! In my own eyes, I was evil. Unable to control my temper, ashamed, and drowning in a sea of self-created guilt and pity, I wanted out. I stepped to the precipice and looked deep into the darkness with longing to never again see the light of day. But when I jumped off the edge into the night, I found my cry answered by the Voice of Love and Grace, and my fall was broken by the gentle hands of Jesus catching me in His arms; He has held me close to His heart ever since, promising to never let me go! Praise be to Him forever! Alleluia! Amen!

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When We Have to Wait

James 1:17
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

I'd like to say that I hate to waste time. I mean, I can sit in meetings and fume at how slow everything goes and what inane questions others ask. I can be just as impatient with Father God Who is -- according to my way of thinking -- working much too slowly and holding me back from my life's ambitions.

The fact is, I hate to wait. But, if I am truly honest, it's more that I want to control my time and my efforts. I want to lallygag and waste time when I want to

Prayer for the Heavy Hearted

Abba...I sense many heavy hearts today. Hearts that are burdened and weighed down by what they are seeing and experiencing.

For some, it seems as if the world is closing in on them and coming against them at every turn. Nothing they are trying to do turns out well and some are even wondering in their hearts where You are in all of this. They are battling discouragement as they walk in the way they believe You have sent them. They are trying to minister to others with seemingly no to little success. They are being faithful, yet wondering if You might actually have abandoned them. They so need Your reassurance and a sense of Your Presence.

Learning Not To Take OffensePremium Content

According to John Bevere in his book,The Bait of Satan, the bait of taking offense is the number one trap that the enemy – Satan – sets for Christians. And the closer the relationship between the people involved in the offense taken, the deeper the wound and the deeper the offense, as seen in the depth of David's suffering when he expresses his suffering after being betrayed by one near and dear to him in Psalm 55:

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The Benefits of Prayer

Prayer carries every burden to the Lord -- and leaves it there.

Prayer goes to the Lord...
with every need--to have it supplied;
with every enemy--to have it conquered;
with every corruption--to have it subdued;
with every trouble--to have it sanctified,
and with every promise--to have it fulfilled.

Encouragement for Pastors & ProfessionalsPremium Content

The more I think about the human suffering in our world and my desire to offer a healing response, the more I realize how crucial it is not to allow myself to become paralyzed by feelings of impotence and guilt. More important than ever is to be very faithful to my vocation to do well the few things I am called to do and hold on to the joy and peace they bring me. I must resist the temptation to let the forces of darkness pull me into despair and make me one more of their many victims. ~ Henri J. M. Nouwen

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You may have "learned" but do you really "know?"Premium Content

1 John 2:3 NRSV
Now by this we may be sure that we know Him, if we obey His commandments.

I'm spending my summer in Clarksville, Tennessee, with my son and daughter-in-law (they're expecting our first grandchild). Prior to coming, I spent some time looking at maps to acquaint myself with the general area. I also spent some time online learning a little about the town and the nearby Army base, Fort Campbell. But, I have to admit, that I didn't know anything about Clarksville until I came here. And even now, I know very little (except how to get from home to the Wal-Mart). Why? Because I haven't lived here; I haven't become a citizen.

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