Category Archives: Christianity

Peace in the Pain by His Presence

I love this picture. Just look at the girl’s smile. Can you imagine laying there in a hospital bed and into the room walks Queen Elizabeth?

The Queen’s presence didn’t take away the suffering she is experiencing as a victim of the Manchester terrorist attack, but don’t you know in that moment it was a little lessened? All of the pain, the questions and anger, for a time set aside as the girl and her mom are filled with delight by this unexpected guest.

It’s a beautiful picture of who Jesus is for us. In the midst of our pain and suffering, the sin and sadness of this world he shows up. But unlike any human, he knows exactly what it is like to experience everything we go through.

As written in a chapter of my new book*, in order for Jesus to bring salvation to the world he had to become the pefect sacrifice. But do you know how he was made perfect? Through suffering! Not just on the cross, but his entire earthly life.

Therefore, he knows what it’s like to experience all the emotions that we do. He was mistreated,  mocked, dismissed, ignored, gossiped about, persecuted, rejected, hurt by those he loved. He felt anger, sadness and loneliness. And he begged the Father to do it another way (“let his cup pass before me”), but there was no other way to atone for our sins and to make us sons and daughters of the King.

So Jesus did what was necessary and because he did, he not only is able to make the great identity exchange with us but he can identify with us and draw near. His presence is not always as visible as Queen Elizabeth standing three feet from the girl’s bedside. But throughout Scripture we read verses like these reminding us that he is near:

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).”

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).”

“(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19).”

Jesus is that better hope. And because of him we are never without hope. Things now are not how they should be and until all things are made new, we will suffer. But he doesn’t leave us to navigate the brokenness of this world alone. No matter what our suffering -because of nothing of our own doing (what seems unfair) or because of all of our doing (our sin) – he meets us with grace.

By this grace, when we are met by his presence (like the girl with Queen Elizabeth) even for just a moment all of our worries, burdens, hurts and pain are lessened. He comes to break through the darkness and gives himself – our perfect peace.

Now Lord Jesus, help us to believe better and to know this is true.

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Feel Him Prostate in the garden
On the ground your Maker lies
On the bloody tree, behold him
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo, the incarnate God ascended
Pleads the merit of his blood
Venture on him, venture wholly
Let no other trust intrude

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

*Face Time comes out on May 29th. To order your copy, click here.

Face Time Podcast Episode 004: Affirmed in Christ Alone with Kelsey Glover

One week from today until the release of  my new book, Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World! So this is the concluding podcast of my mini-series. Have you enjoyed listening? I hope so!

With each recording, my goal was for the truth of who Jesus is to be heard. For it is foundational to freeing us from the lies of Satan and our selfie world that beg us to believe worth is found in something other than Christ. As you will hear from today’s guest, Kelsey Glover  (a recent Oklahoma State University graduate and youth ministry intern), none of the false sources we turn to – whether it be seeking affirmation from guys (or other people), our appearance or performance – are big enough or valuable enough to give us a secure identity. Hoping in anything but Christ will leave us empty.

To that end, she and I hit on the inexaustible topics of identity, idolatry, shame, redemption and boundaries in everyday living kind of ways, so don’t miss the truth she shares. In case you missed one of the other three recordings, I have posted each link at the bottom of the page.

Thank you, Kelsey, for your willingness to share your brokenness as  a testimony to the glory of God’s goodness and grace!

Show Notes:

  • Interested in the youth mininstry where Kelsey serves? Go to: Henderson Hill Baptist Church.
  • Scripture references mentioned: 1 Peter 2:9, Genesis 21:8-21 (story of Hagar), Romans 8:1, Matthew 5:29
Kelsey Glover is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State where she got her degree in Management Information Systems and Marketing with a minor in Religious Studies. Kelsey’s heart and desire is to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9) for all the days the Lord allots.
Want to go back to listen to previous podcasts?
Episode 001: Martha Kate Stainsby on Trying to be Good Enough
Episode 002: Mary Carlisle Crehore on Striving for Perfection
Episode 003: Kendal Conner on Creating a Gospel Grid for our Teens

Order your copy of Face Time HERE.

Face Time Podcast Episode 003: Creating a Gospel Grid for our Teens with Kendal Conner

Joining me for the third Face Time podcast is Kendal Conner, Student Ministry Girls’ Associate at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Kendal and I are both contributors to the Rooted Ministry blog, which is how we got acquainted. I then learned she and my daughter already knew each other. The more I talk to her and read what she writes, the more thankful I am for her voice and ministry in the lives of girls.

In the podcast you will hear how she seeks to help teens uncover the root issues going on underneath their behavior, emotions and attitudes.  And why it’s so important we all do the same with ourselves. Whatever we worship, whatever we desire most, whatever we long for or turn to looking for worth is what drives all we do. So until we peel back the layers to uncover what is going on at the heart-level, our soul will know no rest. When we do see the false ways we try to secure life and fill the “soul hole,” it is there and then the gospel can be applied specifically. I hope you’ll listen in as I trust her words will benefit you no matter what life stage you are in.

Thank you, Kendal, for imparting your wisdom!

Show Notes:

  • Interested in the youth mininstry where Kendal serves? Go to: Henderson Hill Baptist Church.
  • To learn more about Rooted Ministry as a gospel-centered resource for youth pastors and parents, click HERE.
  • Scripture references: Romans 5:8 and Hebrews 4:14-16*
Kendal currently serves as the Student Ministry Girls’ Associate at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Kendal received her BA from Union University in Public Relations. After graduation, she served 2 years overseas in Central Asia. She has spent the last 5 years working within parachurch youth and outreach ministries before moving to Oklahoma.

 

*Face Time Chapter 3: “The One who Faced Our Mess” addresses more fully what was hit on about Jesus identifying with us. Pre-order you book copy: HERE.

Did you miss one of the previous podcast? Here are the links:
Episode 001: Trying to be Good Enough with Martha Kate Stainsby
Episode 002: Striving for Perfection with Mary Carlisle Crehore