When Bad Things Happen to God’s People

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Encouragement

A Meditation on 1 Peter 1:3-12.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, KJV

Have you ever heard anyone declare, “Life stinks!”? The Scripture says life is “perishable” (1 Corinthians 15:42, NASB). Perishable things spoil and in spoiling, can stink, the smell of rotted chicken or cauliflower being proof to the point. Even for Christians, life can become messy. Because sometimes we desire to use God rather than worship Him, we tend to doubt Him when life begins to spoil. Why me, God? This becomes the question many ask when they unexpectedly crash into the wall of hard times.


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A Charge to Keep

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Encouragement

Paul to Timothy: a pastor’s job description.

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2, KJV

A standard joke about pastors is that they have the easiest job in the world—they only work an hour a week on Sundays! However, for those inside the ministry, who daily face the emotional, mental and spiritual stress that God’s calling places upon them and their families, it is no joke. There are people to counsel, meetings to attend, hospital calls to make, funerals to conduct, administrative duties to attend, and sermons and Bible studies to prepare. Incessantly, the beat goes on. God’s high calling oft times extracts a high price on those involved in local church ministry, which is why quitting the ministry in these times has become epidemic amongst pastors. In local church ministry, the stay of youth pastors can be measured in months and senior pastors in a few years.


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No Turning Back

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Encouragement

Faith that Finishes: On the Meaning of Faith in Hebrews 11.

"The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). Thus Martin Luther understood the Bible’s teaching about how people can overcome their sin and become right with God. Justification as we understand it does not come to us by any merit that we earn or possess, but rather "through faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 2:16). Salvation comes to us by faith . . . by faith and by faith.

Therefore when reading Hebrews 11, the greatest chapter on faith in the Bible, we see the recurrent phrase "by faith" (it occurs at least twenty times in the chapter and its context) and tend to assign the justification meaning of the Apostle Paul to it. We assume that "by faith" the Preacher (that is who we shall call the author of Hebrews) has in mind how Enoch, Abel, Moses, Abraham, Sarah and others were declared right with God. That however, may not be the meaning of the phrase.


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Shall the Just Live by Their Feelings?

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Encouragement

Learning to Obey when God Feels Far Away.

The fall harvest revival had come. The preacher prayed. The choir sang: "God is still moving. I can feel Him in my soul." One choir member raised her hands and shouted, "Hallelujah, God have mercy," to which the congregation responded, "Praise the Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus!"[1]


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