Making Use of Providence

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In his excellent book, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts, Jerry Bridges wrestles with the doctrine of God’s Providence as it relates to the difficult circumstances of life.  Bridges summarizes the doctrine of God’s Providence this way: God’s “constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people.”

For the sake of understanding, he goes on, “…note the absolute terms: constant care, absolute rule, all creation.  Nothing, not even the smallest virus, escapes his care and control.”

To the ears of some, the idea that not even the smallest virus escapes God’s care and control may sound like a fairly radical (and perhaps ridiculous) idea.  … Continue reading

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A Broken Marriage and a Gracious God

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Yesterday, my wife Noelle and I celebrated our seventeenth wedding anniversary.  It’s an utterly remarkable thing to us, especially considering the fact that just eight years ago we were estranged from one another and headed for a divorce.

We had been married for nine years at that point.  By the summer of 2009, I found myself regularly pleading with the Lord to save our marriage, as we were in really bad shape.  We didn’t trust one another.  We weren’t listening to one another.  We weren’t handling the pressure of life and ministry well.  And we were desperately trying to maintain the appearance of having it all together. … Continue reading

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Hidden Sins in Addiction

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Addiction is deplorable for every reason. The person addicted to a substance or action is often miserable in the addiction. Family members suffer for multiple reasons: seeing a person addicted, loss of finances, stability, fighting against manipulation, crime, and the heartache and devastation coming from the addiction. Of course the most important issue is the person’s relationship to Christ. Addiction does not magnify God’s worth or exalt Him. An addict has little hope she truly knows Christ because she is not living under the direction of the Holy Spirit, but controlled by her fleshly desires.

When dealing with an addict, it takes little time to convince people one of the problems is the addiction.… Continue reading

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Reprise: Why I Study

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One of the burning questions that many people long to ask about pastoral ministry is what desk_studydoes a pastor do all week. In the broader culture, there seems to be a belief that pastors have it easy because they only work a few hours on Sunday mornings. While I suppose for some that may be true (which would explain this, if you see it on a pastor’s shelf run!), but for faithful pastors, who truly love Christ and the people He has entrusted to them, nothing could be further than the truth. Although I rolled my eyes when I was repeatedly told in seminary that I would be busier in ministry than I ever was training for the ministry, I am, and truth be told I don’t know a single pastor that puts in less than 55 hours a week and most put in far more.… Continue reading

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Truths to Remember in Pursuit of Contentment

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I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)

Do you struggle with finding contentment in the life God has assigned to you?  I sure do.  I, unlike the Apostle Paul, have not yet learned how to be content in whatever situation I am.  Indeed there are days in my life when dis-contentedness so fills my heart that not a single pleasure in this world could even begin to drive it out.… Continue reading

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