Archives For suffering

Dark Night of the Soul

August 4, 2015

Most of us are familiar with this term. Many have experienced a true, dark night of the soul.

All of us can relate to times when our journey was at least a “dim night of the soul.”

The phrase originated with St. John of the Cross who contemplated this from prison. He spoke of “how God changes us not just through joy and light, but through confusion, through disappointment, through loss.”

This background first came to my attention through John Ortberg’s book, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You.

Ortberg says, “God’s love is not content to leave us in our weakness, and for that reason, he takes us into a dark night.”

Our greatest enemy during these seasons is a lack of patience to wait for whatever God would give us, in the timing God chooses.

  • We want rescue now!

Peace be With You

May 6, 2015

My wife and I have recently come off a transition in our roles. We successfully passed off many of our leadership responsibilities to men and women we trained up and walked with.

This is every leaders dream and greatest moment of success, to see something you’ve begun outlast you and be improved by another.

It can also be a place of great insecurity.

In our mission, many leaders hang on to titles far too long for fear of no longer having a voice.

We were not afraid of a loss of influence, but freedom to invest in whatever you want sounds both fantastic and terrifying at the same time.

There have been moments of insecurity and near panic attacks for me. My wife has been dealing with debilitating migraines.

Our dream of “doing whatever we want” has not gone quite as envisioned.

I recently had the privilege of blogging at the Catalyst 2014 Conference as a part of the Blogger Team!

Thursday nights session started with a worship time led by Matt Redman (his album Your Grace Finds Me is amazing.)

Matt Chandler, the lead pastor at The Village Church and the President of the Acts 29 Network spoke Thursday night. Here are some of his thoughts.


When it comes to the idea of change, I like to camp out in the Scripture of Revelation 7:9-10

This text is showing us what will happen. This infuses us with a confidence that knows no hurdles. Change will occur. We will succeed. Some of us have seen little fruit, but don’t lose heart.

There are the miracles, but most often changes occurs over time with scraped knees and busted lips.

Where is God When…?

November 6, 2013

When tragedy strikes, a question on the heels of this event involves some form of “Where is God?”

As the horrors on the nightly news bombard us, it is simple to surmise God must have wound up the universe and let it go.

Otherwise, we head down a path of unanswerable questions.

If God is all-powerful, why didn’t he stop this?
When the Bible promises God works for our good, how can bad things happen?
Why do bad things happen to good people?

Phillip Yancey has made a career of exploring these difficult questions. His pursuit stems from his childhood and early writing career. When investigating tragedy, Christians “often made it worse by offering contradictory and confusing counsel.”

God is punishing you.
“It’s Satan!”
“God has afflicted you out of love, not punishment.”

We, like Yancey, often have no idea how to respond to these statements.

Is God a God of Justice or Grace?

We often wrestle with these two seemingly opposite traits within our Father. Different Scriptures seem to show each perspective. Sometimes we feel like we are reading about two different gods who are at war. We usually end up choosing one at the expense of another.

  • If there are no consequences (justice), than it is sloppy agape.
  • How could a loving God send someone to Hell?
  • How can God be good with so much suffering in the world?
  • If you show people grace, they will sin more!

Books have been written.
Theological viewpoints formed.
The battle line have been drawn.
As they fight, which attribute will win?

This is necessary if God is like us.

We cannot be just and merciful at the same time. We choose one or the other.