“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,” (2 Timothy 1:8-9) Verse eight is not nearly as popular as verse nine. We much prefer the assurance  we’re saved by grace not by works, to the context of this verse. We tend to avoid suffering, not want to share in the suffering of others. OurRead More →

“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Giving back, turning and strengthening others when we have come through the fire, is often one of the ways God redeems affliction for our good. If we’re currently in the fire, though, that may not be a comforting thought when we’re bleating for relief from our pain ourselves. SeekRead More →

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Some like to quote this verse to hurting people asking why God allows suffering. They’re misapplying it a bit. The immediate context for this statement is: Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to ourRead More →

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35,37) Paul is long winded, so for the full scope of what he is saying, we need to read chapters seven and eight of Romans in one sitting, or at least 8:26-39. The most crucial context to these verses appears to be, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, howRead More →