Morning Musing: Romans 12:15

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I got some hard news the night before last. In the midst of a pandemic like we are facing right now, hard news like this comes with a particularly bitter aftertaste. Someone I counted a friend died suddenly leaving behind a grieving wife, two young boys who won’t understand, and a family who are all hurting. Yesterday morning as I woke up thinking about it, praying for those involved, something Paul commanded came to mind that I think is all the more necessary for Jesus followers to be putting into practice these days.

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Morning Musing: Nahum 2:2

“For the Lord will restore the majesty of Jacob, yes, the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their vine branches.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things we try and teach our kids is that they shouldn’t delight at someone else’s misfortune. Doing that is natural. We tend to think about life as a zero-sum gain affair. Someone else winning means we’re losing. Their losing, therefore, must mean we are winning. But that’s not the way of Christ. How are we supposed to teach them this lesson well, though, when we see Nahum, whose name means “comfort,” offering as much to Israel by prophesying the destruction of Assyria?

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What I Said This Weekend…

This past weekend I had the sad honor of presiding over the funeral service for my Grandma, Judy Johnson. She was a wonderful woman who lived a rich, long life. It was indeed a challenge to capture her life in a few words–a challenge made all the harder by how well I knew her. Fortunately, her faith was solid and she’s with Jesus so I have no worries or fear about that. What I did want to share with you, though, is what I said. Thank you for reading this. I pray it might offer you or someone you know the comfort that can only be found in the Gospel.

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How Not to Comfort the Hurting

In part two of our series, Grace in Hard Times, we take a look at the conversation among Job and his friends as they wrestle with the awful tragedies that have befallen him.  Their attempts at comforting gradually transform into attempts at condemning him when he won’t play ball with their notions of how the world works.  Along the way, we learn an important lesson on how to approach getting our minds around the hard times we face.  Keep reading to find out what it is.

 

How Not to Comfort the Hurting

Have you ever been sure you were right…until you learned you weren’t?  Tell me if you’ve been here before.  One day we were getting ready to go to the pool and I had asked Noah to go to the garage to get something for us to take.  We weren’t planning on making it a long trip and so to the boys’ disappointment we pretty severely limited the number of toys they were going to be able to take. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Revelation 6:9-10

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This verse has long been really encouraging to me during times of loss.  We have to be careful crafting doctrines from a single verse, but the picture John paints here seems to suggest pretty clearly (especially when paired with Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16) that those who have died before us are in some sense aware of what is happening here on earth.  They may be dead and gone, but they are still somehow able to see and know what’s going on here. Read the rest…