The Shack, written by William P. Young and adapted to film in 2017 by Lionsgate media, tells the story of a man named Mackenzie who loses his daughter to a brutal murderer. In his grief, he is later summoned to the shack in which his daughter died by the Holy Trinity manifesting themselves as a black woman, a mid-eastern man, and an Asian woman. The film attempts to provide a Christian understanding of how human suffering and evil can exist when an all-powerful beneficent God exists. However, it ultimately fails to provide either a Biblical or comprehensive solution to the problem it addresses.
I promise you that the title isn’t meant to be clickbait. Anxiety is a very real thing that we feel as human beings, and the Scriptures are replete with comforts and corrections for us in our worries. Rather what I mean by “nobody struggles with anxiety” is that an individual’s battle against anxiety is never a war against anxiety particularly. They may feel anxiety and that anxiety may produce a great deal of pain in their hearts, but anxiety is always a product of some greater issue. Continue reading Nobody Struggles With Anxiety
Today I want to address that which is both a highly neglected Christian responsibility and a highly underappreciated Christian privilege. The exhortation from Scripture goes as follows:
“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
Todays topic is something we can all relate to: suffering. We have all suffered in one way or another–a physical illness, a death in the family, or even persecution for being a Christian. In the gospel of John, we find examples of each of these. I want to examine an account of each, and glean insight from the narrative as to why we go through hardships, and how God can still shine through our darkness. Continue reading God’s Glory Through Suffering: A Case Study in the Gospel of John
I hate depression. It saps my joy like a leach sucks out blood; it puts a weight on my heart that Hercules couldn’t lift; and it cripples me from accomplishing anything meaningful in life. Thankfully, God has promised that He has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), and depression is not outside that promise. So we are going to look at some of the antidotes God has given us in the book of Ephesians that can bring healing and life back to our tired souls. Continue reading Depressed? Take 6 Chapters of Ephesians and Call Me in the Morning
You feeling depressed? Saddened by the various disappointments and trials of life? One of the chief ways to fight against the darkness that tries to choke our joy is by remembering the many blessing that God has given believers in salvation. Gratitude drives out darkness. It is hard to be depressed and thankful at the same time. So I have created a list of 42 blessings that we have received in salvation. These are not all the blessings, but they are a start. They succeeded in making me smile, and I hope they bring some joy to your heart as well. Each one includes a reference for you to look up in your Bibles. For your convenience, they are in consecutive order. Continue reading Defeating Depression with 42 Blessings of Salvation
Every person must deal with the reality of despair at some point. Such a meeting is inevitable and comes upon all. No one is immune and no one can escape it, although we may try to delay our encounter with despair or deny its presence. Despair, as I shall use it, is the absence of hope. Despair can come from death, debilitating sickness or health conditions, frustration in life, failure, purposelessness, moral evil, guilt, shame, oppression or elsewhere. The source of despair does not matter so much for our discussion as the reality of it. It has the power to destroy a person or, ironically, to lead them to life.
What I shall outline below is what I have observed about people. People can be sorted into five categories based on their response to despair. It is informed by scripture and, as far as I know, is pretty comprehensive. Some people may live in and utilize more than one of these categories. Some people are pushed into one category quite against their will, others slide into a category as a recourse against the inevitable result of despair, death. Some people will begin in one category to die in another. The five human responses to despair are: Continue reading 5 Responses to Despair
When you think about the life of Jesus, Paul and Jeremiah and David and the Psalmists what do you see? Do you see a group of well-content men who soaked up life and all it has to offer? Do you see a group of men who “lived life to the fullest,” and savored every moment? Or do you see a group of men whose trademark is suffering?