Why Does My Christian Life Feel Like I Can’t Win?

The struggle of the Christian life is real. We fight against sin in our lives. We wrestle with doubts and confusion. We wait for the resurrection that never seems near enough when we lose a loved one. And we work tirelessly to live up to the calling God has placed on our lives as we follow Jesus. This hardly sounds like the victorious life I hear people talk about. When I can’t feel God around me in the middle of my situation, I feel as though I’ve been sent out into a room of a thousand people and told to teach them how to do a successful brain transplant. I have no idea what I’m doing, and the one who does is apparently silent. Where’s the victory in that? When a pregnant, Christian mother is at home alone with her child and an intruder rapes and then murders her in front of her child, injustice is an understatement. Where’s the victory in that? When a pastor of a large congregation battles depression and anxiety from his past, repented sin, crippling him behind the scenes and ruining his family life, defeat may be a better description. Where’s the victory in that? The Christian life in my experience isn’t filled with the daisies, roses, and rainbows I hear about from some pulpits. Where’s the victory they talk about? I can find an answer when I look at Scripture. Continue Reading...

The Fear Paradox – Exodus 20:20

“All the people were seeing the thundering and the lightning, and heard the sound of the horn, and saw the mountain smoking – and when the people saw it they trembled with fear and kept their distance. They said to Moses, “You speak to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you so that you do not sin.” The people kept their distance, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.” Exodus‬ ‭20:18-21‬ NET Don’t be afraid… God wants you to fear him. Seems like a contradiction. Should we fear God? Should we not? What is Moses talking about here in verse 20? Continue Reading...

The Top 4 Christmas Plot Twists in the Bible Story

God does the unexpected, not to keep us guessing and ensure his place as the omnipotent strategist but because we live with different expectations because of sin. Without the Spirit’s work in my life, I want to rule my own existence. If I had my way, I would be able to do whatever pleased me, whenever I felt like doing it. I would determine my fate; I would determine how I live my life. This is exactly what caused Adam and Eve to sin. They wanted to be like God and decide what they thought was best. Ever since, we’ve been both guided and blinded by the same desire. We can’t understand God’s plan. Without his work in our lives, his plan is foreign to us. We just can’t see it coming. Thankfully, he continues with his plan anyway. When he does, we get some pretty interesting twists; not because they’re random, but because we just can’t see them coming. Here’s my top 5 plot twists in the Bible story, God’s plan played out in human history. Continue Reading...

Christians Have Trust Issues

Learning to trust God is something all Christians must learn to do. It can be an incredibly difficult and trying process (as Job can attest to). Josh and I (Chris) have recently been struggling with how to trust God in our lives. We are caught between what we feel like are jobs that do not allow us to use the skills and abilities we have or work in the area we feel God has ultimately called us to. We struggle with future decisions about employment and ministry direction. We have both been under financial strain lately because of unforeseen expenses, the burden of student loans; and we have very young children. With all this going on, we have been talking a lot about having to trust God for provision and our futures. We thought this discussion would be a great one to have with our TIP community and allow you to be part of what God is doing in our lives. Continue Reading...