Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Stay Encouraged in the Midst of Suffering

by Gregory A. Johnson

Christ on the Cross by Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Many people are suffering today, including some who are Christ-followers. Contrary to the belief of some, people of faith also suffer. Suffering does not come only to those without faith. Christ suffered; Christ-followers will also suffer.
I know that suffering is not a topic that brings thrilling goose bumps or makes us want to shout or dance with joy. Maybe that is why some churches and popular church leaders avoid the subject today, but it should not be avoided. In fact, with all the suffering people around the world, we need to talk about it and find ways to help people cope and make sense of it all.
Are you suffering today? Do you know of those who are suffering today? I imagine you can say “yes” to one or possibly both of those questions.
In the midst of suffering, you will always find encouragement in God’s Word. Most of the New Testament was written to people of faith who were experiencing tremendous suffering. The church suffered much during the first three hundred years of its existence. I don’t find the early preachers, like the Apostle Paul and Apostle Peter, avoiding the subject. In fact, they experienced suffering firsthand, and they talked about it openly, bringing encouragement in the midst of suffering.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Face the Impossible

How to Face the Impossible, by Gregory A. Johnsonby Gregory A. Johnson

You may be facing an impossible situation today. If not today, maybe tomorrow you will. Life is full of the impossible.

The nation of Israel faced a seemingly impossible situation when they came up to the Jordan River on their way to the Promised Land. There were no bridges, and the water was deep. How would they ever get to the other side? They faced the swirling currents of the swollen Jordan River, remembering that God got them across the Red Sea on dry ground. He did it before; He would do it again.

As Christ’s followers come upon impossible situations, they stand firm in their faith, knowing that nothing is impossible with God. As they stand in faith, they remember every other impossible situation that God has brought them through.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Will You Dare to Be a Daniel?

by Gregory A. Johnson

Briton Rivière [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Will you dare to be a Daniel? As I recently read through the book of Daniel, I was challenged with that question.

As a young man, Daniel was taken from his home in Jerusalem to serve the king of Babylon during the Babylonian captivity. His environment changed overnight, as he was placed in a culture that was so different than what he was accustomed. He could have allowed this new culture to influence his life, or he could live counter to it. Daniel decided to live counter to culture, regardless of the cost.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Look at Your Circumstances Differently

by Gregory A. Johnson

How to Look at Your Circumstances Differently, by Gregory A. Johnson
I may be tired, confused, and even somewhat depressed when I go into my place of prayer, but I’m strengthened, enlightened, and my heart is full of thanksgiving when I come out. I go in as one person and come out as another. I’m renewed in His presence.

If you pray, you know what I am talking about. You have experienced the same. Do you know why it happens?

Prayer changes us. Even if our circumstances are the same, after we spend time around the throne of God in prayer, we are changed. When we enter our place of prayer, we are not the same person as we are when we come out.