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Sometimes my faith is shaken when my dreams are shattered. I wonder where God is in the midst of my suffering. I cannot sense his presence. I feel alone and afraid. My faith wavers. I question what I have long believed. I wonder what is real, especially when my experience doesn’t match my expectations. This wavering deeply troubles me. I have tasted God’s goodness, enjoyed close fellowship with him, rested in his tender care. I have known both his power and his love. Yet in the midst of profound struggle, I have no answers. Just questions. “In this life, I...

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Faith, God, love -

"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8) "God is love." This sentence has been quoted over and over again, but have we ever considered what this actually means? Since God is love, the very essence of His being is love. If we do not love, we do not know God, for we cannot know God without receiving His love. We may know many things about God, but that does not prove that we know Him. Loving others is the proof that we know Him. This love is not the love that...

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Have you ever had a drive home that didn’t turn out like you planned? When I was a junior in high school, my cousin, Barbi, and I, drove home together following cheerleading practice. As always, that day was a “never-a-dull-moment-with-my-cuz” day. As I drove along a country road toward her home, Barbi spontaneously and enthusiastically shouted, “Hey! Let’s trade places!” When she started climbing on my shoulders like we were doing a cheerleading stunt, I knew that she had no intention of waiting for me to stop the car before she pushed me out of the driver’s seat. Why did...

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faithful followers, god, love -

Many people, probably even many Christians, think God's love is unconditional. As God extends his love to all people without distinction, it is true. Many have bought into the sentimental notion of unconditional love evidenced in the old popular song, "Though it makes him sad to see the way we live, he'll always say, 'I forgive.' " This is fuzzy romanticism and cheap grace, not the good news of Jesus Christ. Is unconditional love the loftiest form of love? Consider three cases: A mother is having a test of wills with her two-year-old. The young boy wants to continue playing,...

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The last year has been one of the most confusing, troubling, and heartbreaking years for many Christians in America, especially for younger believers. It has felt at times like every new day has brought its own dark wave of reasons to be discouraged or to despair. Ask yourself some of these questions: Does your heart break over the racial tensions in our nation?Are you fearful about the threat of war?Do you grieve over the behavior of our president?Have you followed the devastation from the hurricanes or wildfires? Have you lost a loved one in the last year?Is your family facing...

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