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Topic: Faith & Doubt

doubt and unbelief

Bible Q&A: What’s the Difference Between Doubt and Unbelief?

Question: What’s the difference between doubt and unbelief? Answer: This is a really good question! There are four parts to the answer. 1. You can’t have faith without questions. This is true for the simple reason that God has chosen to keep many secrets. “The secret things belong to the Lord […]

Blame God

The Reason We Blame God

I believe wholeheartedly in the sovereignty of God. Yet I sometimes elevate this attribute over others. When I do, I end up blaming God for what he does in my life, in other’s lives, and in the world. Thus, I realize I must trust in the goodness of God in […]

faith is shaken

When Your Faith Is Shaken

What makes you question your faith? A crisis, chronic condition, daily drudgery, or something else? If you experience a season when your faith is shaken, you’re not alone. At least three Bible heroes faced a crisis of faith. In each case, Christ intervened and transformed dark moments of questioning, cynicism, […]

messiah

Bible Q&A: Is Jesus the Messiah, or the Misleader of Millions?

Question: In the Old Testament the devil already exists, and God says that he will send others to test his faith. This person will be of good spirits and have the ability to perform miracles to stray the weak-minded. In the New Testament, Jesus arrives, a man who has the ability […]

heart of faith

How to Cultivate a Heart of Faith

Sooner or later, the unexpected—even the unthinkable—will rip through our lives like a Category 5 hurricane. Will our faith survive the gale-force winds? That depends on whether we are sound of heart or slow of heart—whether we have cultivated a robust faith or merely scattered seeds of belief across the […]

truth will set you free

The Truth Will Set You Free

The question what is truth? is more relevant today than ever. You would think that with all our easy access to information and expert opinions, we would know the truth— Yet the opposite is true. We have trouble recognizing real news from fake, trusted sources from clickbait. No one has time to investigate […]

God promises

Do You Expect More Than God Promises?

We sat in amazement, shocked by the unexpected blessing the Lord provided for our family right before Christmas. After going into this season with the hard reality of no income and the heavy weight of trials, we had accepted the fact that this Christmas would contain few gifts and activities, […]

waiting

God Never Wastes Your Waiting

Microwaves. Instant downloads. Express lanes. Remote-start cars. We’re a culture that knows what we want—and we want it now. Feasting on entitlement and instant gratification, we hate delays in traffic, food service, and the Internet. My coworker says we live in a drive-thru society and because of that we’ve developed aversions to any […]

God's word

What Should I Do When I’m Struggling to Read God’s Word?

There are times when I read God’s Word…and the words seem to fall flat. I’m hungry to hear from God, eager to meet him in my Bible—yet nothing jumps off the page or particularly moves my heart. This can feel like looking at a delicious meal, and wanting to enjoy it, […]

walk by faith

Walk by Faith When Things Get Worse

Jacob limped forward and bowed again. It was hard to get up; his hip was still pained from the previous night’s struggle. With every step that brought him closer to his brother, he became more terrified. Last night, this fear caused him to send everyone else across the river and […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (April 27, 2017)

Beware of Broken Wolves (Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition) These are the false teachers who use their own authenticity, pain, and brokenness to attract believers who are also suffering…Broken Wolves are a grave danger to your family and to your local congregation. Five Ways You’re Unintentionally Hurting Your Infertile Friend (Meredith […]

defense against sin

How to Avoid a Hardened Heart

Video Notes: If you come to the Bible as a critic, the Bible will be a closed book to you. Your heart will be as hard at the end as it was at the beginning. If you are going to move beyond hardness of heart, you have to humble yourself […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (March 29, 2017)

Helping Kids Handle Conflict (Eric Davis, The Cripplegate) A child’s greatest need is not insulation from mean kids, but salvation from their sin; not to meet nicer kids, but to meet Christ. Through faith alone in Jesus Christ, this greatest need will be met. Three Promises for Those Who Are Hurting […]

God's love

Three Ways to Experience More of God’s Love

Is it possible to fully understand the immensity of God’s love? The Bible tells us repeatedly that God loves us and has given us plenty of evidence to back up his words. He created us. He created a marvelous world in which we are called to create. He provides for […]

When God Says No

When God Says No

Do you ever feel like God has abandoned you? Perhaps in your head you know he hasn’t, but deep down your heart questions his presence. You wonder why God has put you in such troubled and persistently difficult circumstances. You’re lonely, needy, confused. You want God to provide for you, […]

disappointment

10 Ways Disappointment Can Strengthen Your Faith

Disappointment exercises our faith. Like a good resistance band, it pushes back at us, putting on the pressure and testing our endurance. We can either succumb to its force or return the push. We can give way to what disappointment naturally produces—discontentment and doubt—or we can let it grow us. […]

defense against sin

The Difference Between Jesus and the Law

Video Notes: Here is the difference between Jesus and the law: The law tells you what to do, but it can’t give you the power to do it. Jesus tells you what to do, and he gives you the power to do it. That is where strength, hope, and faith […]

heart

Cultivate a Prayerfully Expectant Heart

Do you expect God to answer prayer? Or do you, like me, struggle to maintain a prayerfully expectant heart? For years, maybe even decades, Simeon had been waiting for God to fulfill a promise. Was he weary of waiting? I don’t think so. Simeon was a man of faith, “righteous […]

weak faith

A Prayer For When Your Faith Feels Weak

Sometimes my faith feels too small. Or maybe I allow the things of life to become too big. Regardless, when that happens, prayer becomes a struggle. So it’s helpful for me to write out my prayers, allowing Scripture to inform them more deeply and reign in my rampant thoughts. This […]

minister

How to Minister to Someone Whose Faith Is Under Fire

Your faith is always under fire. It is always being pounded, and that can happen in one of two ways. Trials. “We sent Timothy…to strengthen and encourage you in your faith so that no one would be unsettled by these trials” (1 Thessalonians 3:2). The Tempter. “For this reason, when I could […]

God is good

God Is Good, So Fight the Lies

A sneaking suspicion lingers in my heart. It never ceases to lie to me: “God isn’t good,” it says. “Wouldn’t you be healthy if he was?” It often masks itself in other lies: “What did you do to cause this pain?” “You must not have learned your lesson yet.” “Why […]

For Nothing Will Be Impossible with God

For Nothing Will Be Impossible with God

He and his wife prayed that God would grant them a baby. Months turned into years, which turned into decades. Each year that went by, more of the same. No pregnancy. No baby. Just the quiet lives of two people growing old together. Eventually, they accepted that they would never […]

grief

Tears of Grief and Victory Songs

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57) Graduation ceremonies undo me now. At a graduation party recently, I watched pictures of a little baby grow to be a little girl, and then saw her step out onto the stage, […]

trust in the Lord with all your heart

What It Means to Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

Education and learning have become idols to which people increasingly bow. We live in a time of exceeding pride in human knowledge and accomplishment. The information humanity has amassed is more than any individual can fully comprehend, and it is almost ubiquitously available. We are also surrounded by a culture […]

When God Feels Far Away

It seems to be one of the most common experiences of the Christian life. God feels far away, like he is hiding himself, or at least withholding his reviving presence. We feel destitute, spiritually dry, and desperate for a sense that he is still there, still listening, still caring. But […]

when God seems unfair

When God Seems Unfair

A co-worker receives a promotion the same week you’re laid off. The house you considered “perfect” for your family is sold to another buyer. You labor long hours at your current workplace and volunteer at numerous nonprofits, yet your dream of owning a business is squashed by a bank’s loan […]

How to Move from Duty to Delight

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6) There is a diminished version of Christianity that is often found […]

pray with faith

What Does It Mean to Pray with Faith?

God’s Word provides a rich catalog of amazing promises of what prayer can do. One such Bible verse is James 5:14-15, which says, Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of […]

Be Strengthened by Grace

While I often know that I am weak in the light of God’s strength, it is a very different matter when I taste this reality. It is in these moments that God breaks me of selfish pride and carefully crafted plans that are rooted in the false belief that I […]

god of our fathers

The God of Our Fathers

In Moses’ great hymn of thanksgiving after the waters of the Red Sea washed over the Egyptians, he exalts his heavenly Father. But have you ever noticed that he pays tribute to his earthly father as well? I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse […]

failure

What Jesus Says About Our Failures

Perhaps the greatest discouragement in my Christian life is my own weakness before God. It’s at the beginning of a well-worn path to doubt. How could the Holy Spirit possibly be working in me if I’m still struggling with this? For me this comes up frequently in my struggle to […]

while you wait

While You Wait, Do These Three Things

Genesis 37-50 tells the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob. God blessed Joseph richly and used him powerfully, but only after Joseph had been in slavery and prison for 13 years. The Bible gives us many examples of people who had to wait for God, but I have chosen […]

Three Subtle Differences Between Dead and Living Faith

I have a deep love for the kids that I have the privilege of ministering to. They bring me so much joy…even when they’re running around the church like tiny crazy people. I also have a deep sense of the weighty task I’ve been given. The Lord has entrusted them […]

faith

10 Distinct Differences Between Faith and Unbelief

I’ve been thinking about what it means to live by faith. Saying that you believe in Jesus is one thing. Exercising faith in Christ through the challenges of life is another. It’s easy to confess faith but then to speak and act in unbelief. I’ve caught myself doing that a […]