Outwardly the course of my life is set, but inwardly I am profoundly restless and I feel far from You. There's no risk left, and I'm scared of settling for this. Trouble is, everything's going great, it'd be easy to miss my life a day at a time. It's all become too easy, too predictable, too safe, too sensible I feel like I'm just dying spiritually... So I've got nowhere left to go, but to get down on my knees and wait for You to speak. The one thing I do know is that if I don't learn to truly hear Your voice for myself, and follow it diligently - regardless of what others say - I could feel like a fraud for the rest of my life.
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
The goal is to confront life’s challenges without losing your peace. If you find yourself in a situation where darts are flying at you from every direction, take time to stop and focus on Jesus. Put your mind on a short leash and guide it back to the place where you felt God’s peace all around you. Then camp out there for a while. If you have lost your peace altogether, ask yourself, When was the last time I felt Him near me? Then go back there. Remember this: You may have lost sight of Him, but the Prince of Peace will never lose sight of you.
A pastor must be like a matchmaker who persuades a girl to marry someone else. He must be very careful the girl does not fall in love with him, the matchmaker. Likewise, the pastor must be a guide, enabling the believer to reach the Bridegroom. He must ignite a love for the Bridegroom in the hearts of the believers, so that after hearing one of his sermons, the congregation should not say, "How beautifully he has preached," but "How wonderful Jesus is!" Remaining attached to the pastor and not passing through him to the Savior, about whom he preaches, can be a deadly danger for the believer.
We name the name of the One who... makes fear and anxiety themselves tremble with fear and puts them to flight. We name the One who overcame fear and led it captive in the victory procession, who nailed it to the cross and committed it to oblivion; we name the One who is the shout of victory of humankind redeemed from the fear of death—Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Living One.
One of the things I’ve learned following Jesus is how much He enjoyed being with people. Except for time with His Father, there seemed to be nothing He loved more. He didn’t just love the idea of being with people either, He actually loved being with them. A lot of people in the world stop being available at some point. It’s subtle, because it happens a little at a time and it’s not malicious or anything—it happens though. But Jesus wasn’t that way. He seemed to have more time for people as time went on, not less. That’s one of the things which makes love so powerful; it leaves us a way to find it.