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The surprise found in suffering.

One of the most upside-down, seemingly contradictory things about hope is that it is born by its polar opposite. It comes when we are facing hopeless situations. The Bible states: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom 5:3-5)....

When challenges force you to listen to God.

On the day of the surgery, my friend Jeff picked me up. We drove through the pre-dawn quiet to the USC Keck Hospital. Los Angeles–the massive, over-crowded metropolis–would wake up soon. As we drove, mostly in silence, down the freeway into this City of Angels, I could almost feel those spiritual guardians moving alongside me. Despite my underlying anxiety, I could sense a larger presence surrounding me. I walked into the hospital feeling relatively fine. Other than the earache, I had the health of a twenty-something, as I had been told....

The truth about getting what you deserve.

People love to point fingers at others and at themselves. Of course, it’s the nature of the dark spirits of the universe to stir up blame. The Bible describes Satan as, “… the accuser of our brethren… he who accuses them before our God day and night” (Rev 12:10). Accusation goes hand-in-glove with condemnation. But when Jesus healed the blind man—who the disciples believed was blind because he or his parents had sinned—he condemned false condemnation (John 9:1-11). The finger of shame and guilt no longer pointed....