Posts by Matthew Holst

 

Every single day, Christians are confronted with a barrage of competing messages. One cannot drive down the nterstate without being assaulted with numerous billboard messages–-political, commercial and even sexual. Visual messaging is the manner in which society has chiefly chosen to communicate. Perhaps one of the greatest confrontations we face, is when the Word of God and Providence appear to collide--when circumstances appear to contradict God’s promise, or when what we see collides with what we believe.

 

Prayer is a spiritual discipline which is, in equal measure, both difficult and rewarding. Our struggles are surpassed by the blessings we derive from God’s love in answering our prayers. Yet prayer remains difficult.

 

If there is a manifesto of kingdom life, it is found in graces wrought in individuals by the Holy Spirit. This manifesto--a Christian manifesto, a Kingdom manifesto--is called the Beatitudes.

 

H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel, The War of the Worlds opens with these words: "No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied… With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs … Yet across the gulf of space… intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” This is an apt description of the threat faced by many Christians in the 21st century, especially concerning the area of sexual morality and sin.

 

The suffering that we endure in this life is not in spite of God's love, but because of it. It is not out of God’s control, but firmly part of His plan. He is giving us all that we need, rather than giving us what we desire in order that we might see our Savior in all His glorious rage, vanquishing our enemies one by one, even death itself. May God grant us grace to see the “the Glory of God,"  in order that "the Son of God may be glorified” in and through our sufferings.