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I’ve read this verse a thousand times. I’ve written about it. I’ve taught on it. But today as I was reading the final days of Christ’s life on earth I was hit by a new truth. Okay, new only in the sense of perspective.

Jesus promises to be with us. ALWAYS.

  • With us when we are under attack;
  • With us when we struggle with finances;
  • With us when illness attacks our bodies or the bodies of loved ones;
  • With us when we struggle with addictions;
  • With us in through divorce;
  • With us when we did that sin…again:
  • With us when we feel lonely and rejected;
  • With us in the storms of life;
  • Add your struggle here…

The thing is, this phrase is stuck at the end of what is commonly called the Great Commission but it’s truth goes far beyond evangelism. It’s a lifestyle. He doesn’t promise to remove the hard times. He does promise to walk with us along the way.

What’s your struggle today. Jesus is with you whether you feel him or not.


In our humanity we often tend to think God only uses those who have their act together. We look for pastors and church leaders that have squeaky clean records, are financially stable and have 15 children, all of whom are on the ‘A Honor Roll’ and in the ‘Who’s Who of American Scholars’.

Especially in our culture that is harder and harder to find, or maybe it’s always been harder to find now that I think about it. Looking back in Biblical history, few, if any of the ‘great men of God’ were all that great. The list is made up of murderers, adulterers, cheaters, and those who struggled with mental health issues (to name a few).

We are never expected to ‘clean up our act’ so God can use us. Peter demonstrated amazing faith when he stepped out of a boat during a storm. David chose to go into battle without any armor. Issac followed his dad to the mountain for sacrifice when they had no animal and then allowed his dad to tie him up! The Apostle Paul did some of his best writing strapped to a couple of Roman Guards!

The point is, God seems to use do his best work in people who are at their worst and bless them in the process. With the power of God’s Holy Spirit within us we can plant seeds of love, mercy, forgiveness and grace in those around us. How we react to life’s struggles are an amazing testimony to the God we serve.

When He puts you in a place of struggle keep one hand in his and reach out to someone else that needs to see the way through the darkness and tears. You’ll both be better off!


Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

It amazes me how many times the challenge to be patient and have courage occurs in the Bible. It’s almost like our Heavenly Father is trying to tell us something!

When you think about it, the two go hand in hand. When we are impatient we tend to react instead of act. We lash out verbally. We take action without seeing all the possibilities or ramifications of our actions. We take unnecessary actions and later need to suffer the consequences. Think about it. It was one act of impatience the forced Moses to flee into the wilderness after his outburst of anger killed an Egyptian. It was one act of anger (impatience) that led him to strike the rock rather than speak to it as God commanded him. One forced him into the wilderness, the other forced him to stay in the wilderness.

While impatience can be thought of as acting too quickly, fear keeps us from acting at all. God often seems to link patience and courage together for a reason. One (patience) allows us time to listen to him. The other (courage) requires action! We don’t serve a stagnant God. He doesn’t change in character but if you’ve ever noticed a sunset you realize he rarely does things the same and always does them with excellence.

Courage is waiting for God’s timing and moving forward as he moves us.

Patience and courage. One gives us time to seek God’s wisdom, the other moves us forward with his blessing.


“Don’t forget to do good…”

I’ve often heard people misquote this verse and others with a similar message to justify their social activism and political agendas even though their ‘actions’ are completely contradictory to the context and whole of the Bible message.

‘Good’ can not be defined in human terms because ‘good’ in human terms is relative to the situation at hand and the mindset of the person or group defining it. Is the good you are doing helping the good of the majority of people who think like you do?

On the other hand, ‘good’ defined by God’s standards is impossible to attain without the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The guidance of the Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s word. It is what empowered Jesus during the wilderness temptations to stay true to his mission and resist satanic influences. Each of the things Satan tempted Christ to do were not wrong in and of themselves but the motive behind them was!

When we consider our ‘good’ actions measure them according to the standards God instituted. Then thank him profusely for grace because even at your best you can’t do everything perfect. Thank him for his inner peace too because if you stand with God, you will ultimately stand against culture and society.

You’ll fair better in the long run when you stand with the one who holds your eternity in his hand that you will standing with those whose future is limited to this world. Your good deeds should be done according to God’s standards, not the whims and fickle ways of culture.


While the Bible was written thousands of years ago, it continues to amaze me, especially in the stories it tells. The stories told are proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s humbling to realize that after all these years the human race is no closer to figuring out how to treat each other. The result is a sense of fear, frustration and hopelessness.

It’s easy to say ‘I believe in God. He is my hope’ but for many of us, at least for me, it’s much easier to put my hope in God when my checkbook is okay, my kids behave, and I haven’t done something stupid to cause friction in the family!

When prayers go unanswered; when there’s more month at the end of the money; when the doctors report is ominous; when the police are knocking on the door, it’s a little more difficult to follow the Apostle’s advice to ‘count it all joy when we encounter various trials.’

No where is this better illustrated than by Mark in the Gospel bearing his name. A discouraged father reaches the end of his rope. He most likely hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since his son began to have seizures that attempted to kill him with fire or drowning.

In an act of desperation he seeks out Jesus (Even back then it was incredibly hard for a guy to ask for help). The story gets worse. When he arrives at the place where Jesus was reported to be, he finds out Jesus was on a retreat with a couple of disciples. The other disciples failed miserably to be of any help whatsoever. An argument ensued. “You mean to tell me I came all this way and you can’t help?”

When Jesus finally arrived, dad told his story. He asks IF Jesus can help. Jesus says, if you believe, all things are possible. Dad blurted out “I DO believe…” but no sooner were the words out of his mouth than he realized that deep down, he struggled with doubt. He finished his sentence with the words many of us say during the honest moments of our lives, “help me in my unbelief!

It’s easy to believe when life is good. Not always so when life goes south. So, like the dad, I often catch myself admitting my desire to believe is greater than my ability to believe.

Have you been there? When we use human logic; when we put our trust in our own resources, Hope is hard to come by. When we put our hope completely in God we find comfort. But here’s the best part. He knows going into all this that you will struggle with belief. He knows that no matter how many times he shows himself capable, you’ll be attacked with the demon named worry. But that’s okay. His power is as result of who he is, not the level of you’re ability to believe.

Rest in his comfort.

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