Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 As we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (v. 5) Years ago, my wife noticed a peculiar phenomenon. Every time I got in line at the grocery store, a fast-food restaurant, or a border crossing, that line would grind to a halt. We tested her […]


Read: John 14:23-27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. (v. 27) In a 2021 interview with Vanity Fair magazine, actress Jennifer Lawrence disclosed that a recent period of overwork and burnout had been driven by a preoccupation with pleasing people. Lawrence says, “I reached a point where people were not pleased […]


Read: James 1:2-5, 16-18 Count it all joy . . . when you meet trials of various kinds. (v. 2) During my early years as a pastor, I led a retirees’ Bible study of the book of James. When we reached James 1:2, one of the participants interrupted. He said, indignantly, “It sounds like James is saying we should […]


Read: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (v. 7) First Corinthians 13 is most often associated with weddings. It seems the perfect passage to pair with a celebration of romantic love. The irony is that Paul’s famous “love” chapter is not about romantic love at all. […]

Signs of Life

Read: Galatians 5:22-25 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (vv. 22-23) Actors are sometimes required to undergo significant physical changes for roles in film and television. It has become fashionable for celebrities to post photos of their “body transformations” on social media. The signs of a radical […]

More than Conquerors

Read: Romans 8:35-39 In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (v. 37) On social media, I’ve observed a common trend. When someone disagrees with a post or headline on a news story, the comments quickly devolve into aggression and insults. They want to be winners, fighters, conquerors. The apostle […]

Who Can Be Against Us?

Read: Romans 8:31-34 If God is for us, who can be against us? (v. 31) During elementary school, I was often afraid of bigger students. One particular student caused me significant fear: an older boy who was loud, unpredictable, and aggressive. But one day we were teamed up together in a playground game. He went from […]

Ongoing Education for Iranian Christians

Words of Hope’s Persian discipleship classes exist to give Iranian believers a safe space to grow in their faith alongside other Christians. The conferences also provide training for lay pastors. While churches are closed officially inside of Iran, many house churches meet together in secret.  As the Iranian government persecutes church gatherings, it definitely does […]

All Things for Good

Read: Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good. (v. 28) The Christian doctrine of providence could be called “the best of doctrines; the worst of doctrines”. The Heidelberg Catechism defines providence as “The almighty and ever present power of God by which God upholds, as with […]