The pain of unjust suffering—one of the most severe trials we can experience—tests our faith like nothing else. In our world today, we can’t escape it. As difficult as injustice is to endure, the greater challenge is facing it with an attitude that preserves faith. For the most part, we can’t control what happens to us today or tomorrow, whether fair or foul. But we can choose our attitude.
Our world desperately needs models worth following. Authentic heroes. People of integrity whose lives inspire us to take God seriously, to follow His Word obediently, to pursue Christ passionately.
Thankfully, the Bible places before us a spiritual "hall of fame"—raw, uncensored, gritty stories of men and women sometimes soaring, often stumbling, through the incredible life of faith. They wrestled with sin, experienced God's grace, struggled with weakness, and overcame by faith. Their inspiring biographies have been memorialized in Scripture, not simply because of their faith in God but because of God's faithfulness to them.
These great lives from God's Word not only provide realistic portraits for appreciation but also relevant principles for application.
When it comes to temptation, our culture offers very little motivation to resist it. More often than not, we hear the voices yelling, “Give in! You deserve to be happy!” Truly, yielding to temptation is much easier than resisting it. Joseph provides a sterling example of one who could have cuddled lust and enjoyed its warm embrace but instead chose to resist its persistent, alluring offer in favour of righteousness.
The biography of Joseph is nothing short of remarkable, occupying as much or more space in Genesis than the biographies of Adam, Noah, Abraham, or even his father, Jacob. Joseph emerges from the pages of Scripture as a man with whom most of us can identify. Over his long life, Joseph responded to broken dreams and impossible circumstances with a faith that propelled him from the pit of slavery to the pinnacle of power.
When most folks hear the term leader they think of presidents, pastors, teachers, and CEOs. But very few think of themselves. And yet, it’s true. You are a leader.
The prophet Micah taught that God wants His people to do three things: “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly” with Him (Micah 6:8 NASB).
At the height of his success, King David fell in the midst of battle. But his lost battle wasn’t against the lion, the bear, the giant, or the Philistines. David lost the battle against himself.
Who had more of God than the Israelites in Moses’ day? But they were ungrateful, hardened, and faithless. Their Great Deliverer, in their eyes, had become a cruel taskmaster.
From the biblical text it didn't seem like Isaiah involved himself in changing the moral or spiritual landscape of his country—at least, not until he faced a heartbreaking loss and then had a life-changing encounter with God.
Caleb remained forever young, even though he had every reason to back off, fade into oblivion, and give up with a long, heavy sigh as he snuggled down into a bed of moth balls. No way! As we shall observe, Caleb stayed in the mainstream—in fact, on the front edge of new and fresh challenges.
Just as a river without the boundaries of the shorelines can become a devastating force, love without discernment can sweep away the reality of sin and the power of grace. John’s letter to a lady and her children provides for us guidance as we seek to balance truth and love.