The Old Rugged Cross

NOTE: I wrote this four months after finding my 19 year old son after he’d taken his own life…

The-Old-Rugged-Cross-By-MidoriEyes-On-DeviantArt

There have been moments these past months that I’ve wanted to give up on God.

I’m simply being honest.

As one who grew up in a violent, alcoholic home, I witnessed more violence as a child than I care to remember.

As a full-time pastor now for 30+ years, I’ve had, on occasion, the unfortunate opportunity to see the very ugly side of what some have otherwise called “Christianity.”

But those pale in comparison to the events of May 13th, 2013, when my world caved in around me.

In light of the pain we suffer on planet earth, what proof is there that there is a God? More than that, what proof is there that that God really loves me?

From their outstanding work, “Name Above All Names,” Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson write,

It is the cross alone that ultimately proves the love of God to us – not the circumstances of our lives.

We must not allow ourselves to be tricked into thinking that if things are going well with us, Then we can be sure of God’s love. For life can often seem dark and painful. Things do not always go well for us.

Rather, we look to the sacrifice of the cross and the proof God gave there of His love. ‘God [demonstrated proof of] His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8)

This is the proof I need. This is the truth I need to hear. This dispels the lies of the enemy.”

This is the unstoppable, indefensible, indisputable love of God in Christ Jesus.

I love you, Nick

Doubting God (it’s ok to doubt)

John the Baptist was described by Jesus, himself, as the greatest prophet to have ever lived. (Luke 7:28)

Yet, it’s John, while suffering in prison and awaiting execution, that asks his friends to go find Jesus and ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (Matthew 11:3)

Author/professor, Andre Resner, rightly stated, “The struggle with God is not a lack of faith; it is faith.”

Does the painful stuff of life sometimes make you wonder about God? If it does – it means you’re perfectly normal. You’re in strong biblical company.

God has no problem shouldering our doubt. Give your doubt to him – every last ounce of it. Peter, an eye-witness and close friend of Jesus, put it this way: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

For Those Who Have Ever Doubted Your Christian Faith

Have you ever, as a born-again Christian, secretly (or publicly) doubted God, or your faith? If so, it means one thing:

You’re normal. 🙂

I heard a wise preacher once say, “Doubt is a parasite of faith.”

British author/scholar, Os Guinness, rightly stated, “If [Christianity] is an examined faith we should be unafraid to doubt. There is no believing without some doubting; and believing is all the stronger for understanding and resolving doubt.”

Need biblical evidence that doubting God is a normal part of your spiritual journey? Here you go:

John the Baptist is the man who baptized Jesus and, upon seeing Jesus that day, exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” “There is no greater prophet that John,” Jesus, himself, affirmed.

This same John, later on in prison for preaching repentance, would ask his closest friends to find Jesus and ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

John doubted.

In an extraordinary passage (and a strong argument for the historical reliability of the gospels), Matthew records the following: “When [his disciples] saw [the risen Christ] they worshiped him; but some doubted.”

Jesus’ own followers doubted.

There is a tender story in Mark’s gospel about a man desperate to see his son healed. When the father questioned Jesus’ ability to heal his son, the broken-hearted man pleaded with Jesus, “Help me overcome my unbelief.”

So, if you’ve ever – for whatever reason – doubted your faith, know you are normal. Then, like the father in Mark’s gospel, take that doubt to Jesus.

I love you all.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick