I don’t know when it happened but one day I began associating faith with answers—strong faith = strong answers. I never would have admitted it but when I prayed and didn’t get my answers, I was plagued by fear, doubt, and anxiety. Continue reading “Addicted to Answers”
I was a 23 year-old youth pastor feeling the winds of transition blowing across my life. Not knowing the “what” or “where” of my new season, I began praying for direction. Soon afterwards, I met a missionary who invited me to join him in some exciting work he was doing in Mexico. Believing this was an answer to prayer, I accepted the invitation, said goodbye to my family—not knowing when I would return—and boarded a plane for Monterrey, Mexico. Continue reading “The Gift of Disillusionment”
Emoticons… at the click of a keystroke emotional transparency has never been easier! 🙂 If only this were true. ): Unfortunately, humans struggle with emotional honesty. Not unlike the use of emoticons, we can be too quick or slow to admit our true emotional state, especially in our relationship with God. Today we’ll look at what it means to be honest with God about our emotions and how this directly relates to hope. Continue reading “Emoticon Spirituality”
How can theodicy questions lead us closer to God? They foster desperation because the answers to such questions will never be fully grasped this side of the grave. Our suffering and others’ suffering will always be shrouded by the mystery of “Why”? It is at this dead-end where our response will take us either to a place of earthly desperation – resulting in hopelessness, depression, and exasperation – or to a place of holy desperation – resulting in faith, hope, and confidence in God. Desperation (earthly or holy) always involves the feeling of hopelessness. Continue reading “Choosing Your Desperation”
Why does God allow suffering? If he is all powerful and good, why do grief and hopelessness run so freely upon the earth? Why does God not end the cycles of abuse, violence, hatred, and evil that wreak havoc in this world? These questions reflect the theological mystery called theodicy. Continue reading “Theodicy and the Silence of God”
Desperate for God? Why the word desperate? It’s so… extreme… intense… emotional. In American culture, “desperation” stirs up images of emotionally distressed individuals pleading with another to give over something craved. One is also struck with images of desperate poverty, hunger, or overwhelming hopelessness. Often such desperate ones are the butt of jokes, avoided in social settings, and seen as socially unstable. What good could possibly come from such a belittled disposition?
Despite these impressions of desperation, I will recast this attitude from the perspective of faith and show how it is actually critical to our renewing of faith and restoring of hope. Continue reading “Rethinking Desperation”