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faith

How to Make Our Faith Grow

Rachel Chimits
June 25, 2019

We can be told to “just have more faith” or even pray for more faith, but there are also specific steps we can take to help strengthen our faith.

“Faith is on the rise,” reports The Guardian magazine, “and 84% of the global population identifies with a religious group.”

The article more or less touts this as a positive statistic, but its stance only brings up the real questions: “What are people putting their faith in?” and “How does this faith help people?” 

What and Who Do You Trust?

Faith is simply defined as “allegiance to duty or a person” or “complete trust” in the dictionary.

When Disappointment is Good

Rachel Chimits
July 9, 2019

Nothing seems more undesirable than hard times and unanswered questions, but God always has a plan and purpose for these moments in his children’s lives.

Disappointment seems like the gateway emotion to a lot of worse ones: bitterness, anger, depression and more. By that logic, God wouldn’t want Christians to experience disappointment. Why expose us to what only breeds bad things in our hearts?

The only problem is that Jesus regularly disappointed people.

Think about how Mary and Martha must’ve felt when their brother died in John chapter 11. They had seen Jesus heal so many sick people and knew that he was in a town nearby, and yet their brother suffered for days until he finally died.

The Problem of Happiness

Rachel Chimits
May 21, 2019

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 ESV).

In her 2011 book, Ellen DeGeneres said, "…the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself. Happiness comes from within. You have the power to change your own mindset so that all the negative, horrible thoughts that try to invade your psyche are replaced with happy, positive, wonderful thoughts."

This advice sounds very catchy and pleasant. In some limited ways, it’s correct; we do have control over our reactions to bad circumstances. We come up against the limits of positive thinking rather quickly, however.

The Courage of Vulnerability

Rachel Chimits
April 29, 2019

In an age of social media confessions and “tell-all” memoirs, we must ask ourselves what true vulnerability is and why it’s important.

In the opening lines of the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

People at the end of their rope are blessed? This passage begs the question of why God focuses on broken hearts and humble, mild-mannered nobodies.

These three opening categories are each vulnerable and—dare we say it?—weak.

A Leap of Faith

Rachel Chimits
May 6, 2019

When we’re making major life decisions or are faced with a huge change, planning our next move can be challenging.

David Brinkley is credited with having once said, “She took a leap of faith and grew her wings on the way down.”

This advice seems in the same vein as popular “empowering” messages that Western media figures, celebrities and even some Christians toss around, pointing to the wild success stories of a few and neatly sidestepping all the shattered dreams of many others who inexplicably didn’t manage to sprout feathers.

The dark side of this saying is its implication that whoever doesn’t achieve their goals is at fault for the failure.

No pressure.  

A Voice to the Voiceless

Roger Jonker
March 17, 2017

The following is a beautiful letter written to us by a grieving mother.  The testimony she paints is a of daughter’s utter faithfulness to God despite severe disabilities.  The mother’s letter has been slightly edited and abridged:

Writing a special note of encouragement as I wish to express deep, profound gratitude for all your articles, which I’ve read over the years.

My beautiful daughter, Diane Barbara Jackson, entered eternal life and glory on 11-7-2016.  God gave me grace upon grace to care for her daily in her home for six years, as I am an old registered nurse.  I read your articles to her, and they were soul food.  It was a great journey of love to care for my daughter through Jesus.