At this point, only 8% of us will keep those resolutions we made back in the New Year. For the rest of us, our momentum has already slowed to a crawl.
And let’s be real; who wanted to brave subzero temps and ice storms for a trip to the gym? Truth be told, my yoga pants have never even been to yoga.
The holiday season has a way of exposing what we worry about the most. In preparation for the Christmas season, I decided to read through the Gospel of Luke. Recently I came across this all-familiar passage that struck me differently than before.
“Do not worry about everyday life…these things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs…wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:22, 30, 34
Let’s be honest. There’s pressure to put the happy in our holiday.
And if gift-giving, family gatherings, and expectations weren’t enough, we’re told to do it all with a bit of cheer.
But what if you don’t feel merry or thankful? And your season isn’t bright?
This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever.
My heart beat wildly as I pressed a firm hand to my chest. Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other, sweeping me into a sea of despair.
Anxiety. Depression. Disease. Inability to conceive. Now this.
Panic threatened to overwhelm as inflammation increased and my knee swelled for the third time. After four years of ceaseless prayers, all my hope for the future was shattered.
I thought I was getting better. But I was still broken. Continue reading
My hope and strength for this life are rooted in the next. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, I can be fearless in both life and death.
The resurrection is our foundation for life and death.
The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation and pinnacle of the Christian faith. Remove it, and our entire faith collapses like a house of cards, for “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).
There are many theories that try to debunk the truth of the resurrection but none of them are sufficient given the entirety of historical evidence (you can read more about those here). Even Lee Strobel, an atheist, skeptic and seasoned journalist for the Chicago Tribune, set out to disprove the resurrection only to discover an overwhelming amount of historical evidence that confirmed it as fact, not fiction (you can read his book, the Case for Christ or watch the movie on Netflix).
Contrary to popular belief, we are not just pining away on earth until we finally get to heaven. We can experience the abundant life Jesus promised here, now, in this present life.
Because of the resurrection, eternal life starts now.
The fact that Jesus is alive is what makes the Good News so great. This means we can have fellowship with him today and experience the abundant life he promises for those who believe.
By nature, the word salvation implies that we are saved from something.
The Gospel isn’t a self-improvement program. It is a liberation movement.
And liberation is only needed if I am a slave.
The truth is that all of humanity is enslaved to sin. The word sin means to “miss the mark”; we are by nature law-breakers and fail to meet God’s perfect moral standard.
“For all have sinned…everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin…for whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (Rom 3:23, John 8:34, 2 Pet 2:19).
Life is unpredictable. In the span of three decades, I’ve already lost more than I care to lose: family, friends, a job, dreams and health.
When you’ve experienced recurring loss and grief, it can create a cycle of anxiety and fear over what else you could lose.
Salvation, for one.
Many times I have been gripped by the panic that I could lose my relationship with God. Or that Jesus will forget me when death darkens my door. Could I do something to jeopardize my eternity? Will my faith be enough?