'God doesn’t call his people “worms” because he despises them, or because they are less than human. He identifies them as worms here because they recognized themselves to be weak, pitiable, and trampled underfoot by the world. Throughout the chapter he says, in effect, “Though you are as worms, I am still your God. I will redeem you, and through me you will be more than conquerors!” And this is, in one way or another, always the case for the Christian. Even though we are the people of the Most High God, we are derided by the world as foolish and weak, persecuted by our enemies as worthless and loathsome, afflicted by circumstances beyond our control, and on top of all that we hear the voice of the Liar saying, “You are forgotten at best, and forsaken at worst. You will lose, right here. You are done.” I have met with too many believers who get to this place and rightly believe “I simply can’t do this anymore,” but wronglyconclude that there is no hope. There is hope because God also speaks. He speaks words of assurance to us in Jesus, that through the darkness of a painful life the gospel will shine brightly, and in your weakness his grace will supply you will everything you need to persevere, and in the end his righteousness will be manifested.'
'Think back with me to the beginning chapters of Exodus where we learn that Israel is in bondage to Egypt. Remember, the Mosaic law has not yet been given. What comes first then is not the law but redemption. God delivers his people and redeems them, setting them apart. “Their redemption,” says Schreiner, “is an act of divine grace and cannot be ascribed to the obedience of Israel. The Lord did not choose Israel because of her righteousness, for nothing inherent in Israel commended her as a nation before the Lord” (25). All of this, of course, is obvious when one reads Deuteronomy 9:4-5 where Yahweh specifically says it is NOT because of Israel’s righteousness and uprightness of heart that they are redeemed. Israel is warned that they are not to think that their redemption and election was due to their own righteousness. Schreiner concludes, “Since the Lord did not bring Israel into the land because of her accomplishments but despite them, it is clear that Israel was saved by virtue of God’s mercy” (25).'
So far, WHI's series includes answers to common questions about Christianity (and some outright objections) such as 'How can I know that God exists?', 'How can I know that the Bible is true?', 'How can God exist when there is so much pain and evil in the world?', 'I think all paths lead to God', and 'How can Jesus be the only way?'. While a blog post is almost never definitive, the whole series is still great and should be mandatory reading. Does it sound like I'm a fan of these posts? Yes? Good. Read them. -SEAN
'It seems to be a foregone conclusion in our culture that preventing suffering is the highest goal, but I think we lose sight of the fact that sometimes in our lives the greatest blessings come to us after we have gone through the greatest suffering. I was advised to terminate with two of my ARPKD daughters after their 20 week ultrasounds. The following weeks, months, and years have been difficult and even terrifying, but I am so glad that I did not follow my doctors’ advice. Yes, my daughters have suffered to some degree (though I know not as much as many other ARPKD kids do), but their pain and tears have grown them into strong little girls who do not take life or health for granted, and who know how to be thankful for the little things in life. They are more mature, more wise, more grateful, more loving, than so many other children their age who have always had “perfect” lives.'
'One of the most read articles ever at Yeshua in Context is “A Gospel Proficiency Test.” But here is an even simpler test and if you don’t know the answer, then you have the common disease of Gospel Attention Deficit Disorder. This disease often occurs in religious communities where favorite passages are read and sermonized irregularly and without attention to context, comparisons with parallel passages, and so on. It results from a lack of two things: (1) consistent, habitual reading of the Bible and especially the gospels and (2) taking the time to check the parallels when you read a gospel story. Here is the test: How did Peter first meet Yeshua? I will give the wrong answer in the comments and the right answer in the comments, so see below.'