Give Him No Rest

I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7) The final chapters of Isaiah crescendo to the climax of history, detailing the perfection, wonder, and joy of the coming kingdom. In the midst of this crescendo, the Anointed One—Jesus, our coming King—appoints a group…

Questions in the Wake of Suffering

When tragedy strikes, as it did in Las Vegas this week, people begin to ask questions. It is part of human nature: we reason, consider, speculate, and ultimately seek to find answers that will provide meaning or comfort.   Why did this happen?   Where was God?   Couldn’t we have prevented this?   These are important questions, but they are not necessarily the questions to which Scripture gives answers. That is, if we look to…

Fighting Idolatry

Now that I’ve started to identify my idols, what next? How do I fight idolatry in my life? How do I learn to treasure Christ more, to value supremely only that which is supremely valuable?   On a handful of occasions I’ve tried to learn some form of artwork or other—drawing, painting—usually with spectacular ineptitude. The most enjoyable part of the process, though, is reading the manuals that purport to teach you in four easy…

When God Doesn’t Answer

I was recently having an important phone conversation with my wife, sharing my heart with her in a way that I’m not always wont to do. After a lengthy spell of pouring out my thoughts and emotions, I paused to give her a chance to answer—to laud me for my transparency and vulnerability—but got nothing. It’s not that my wife doesn’t speak words of affirmation though, or that she saw through my ploy to win…

I Am My Own War Horse

Israel had trust issues.   Despite God’s unfailing love, unrelenting faithfulness, they so rarely managed to trust him for salvation. Had he rescued them from captivity in Egypt? Of course—dramatically. Had he delivered them into the Promised Land despite the size and strength of the inhabitants? Yup. Had he saved them from foreign yokes? Time and time again, whether Moabite, Edomite, Philistine.   And yet, whenever trouble threatened, they couldn’t seem to remember how faithful…

Devotional: Mark 9:14-29

When Jesus, Peter, James and John return to the rest of the group, they find the other disciples arguing with a large crowd. Seeing Jesus, the crowd hurries to him, and he questions them about the argument.   It seems the disciples had attempted an exorcism in Jesus’ absence, and it hadn’t gone too well. While this probably should have driven everyone present to prayer, instead it leads to pettiness, factionalism, and childish bickering. What…

Light and Momentary Troubles

Some of the most difficult verses in all of Scripture come in Paul’s second letter to Corinth: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (4:16-17, NIV).   One wonders how Paul can so cavalierly dismiss the very real suffering he experienced. As he…