“No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3 (NIV) Before Nicodemus can get any further Jesus interrupts him, stops him dead in his tracks… “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (3:3). This is an extraordinary statement....
When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart… Psalm 73:21
We come today to the most common source of doubt—doubts that grow from the heart. You can’t resolve them by taking a class or by making a new commitment.
These doubts arise from disappointed hopes and shattered dreams – the deep inner pain of people who find that their life is not what they wanted nor what they expected. Here are some examples:
Parenting – You often wonder if you were a good mother or father. Although your children are successful, none of them has the one thing that really matters. Finances – You retire next year and your income will be a tenth of what you expected. Loss – You have longed for a child, but you feel the pain that it has never happened for you. Or you were given that gift and then lost a child through illness or tragedy. Friendship – You feel like an “outsider” at school. And even worse, you feel that you just don’t fit in at home. Marriage – Your marriage has settled into a pattern that is deeply disappointing, and you feel powerless to change it.
We could multiply examples, and you could add your own. You were rolling along down the highway of life, and suddenly it is as if there was a bend in the road, and you find yourself in a completely unexpected situation.
When you are plunged into the deep end of personal pain, you may find yourself asking questions that you never imagined would ever enter your mind. If that should happen to you, you need to know that some of the greatest men and women of faith have been there before you.
Where have your hopes been deeply disappointed?