Tough Bible Quotes

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SELFLESS LOVE. If you have a special person in your life, but you find yourselves arguing, irritated and/or fighting out of the blue… you both need to try to step back and be selfless and think of the other person... with no ego of your own. No ego. We are ALL dealing with our own tough issues. We may keep them to ourselves, but we all have struggles. If you BOTH allow yourselves to step into each others shoes- to have the awareness and respect for each others issues and struggles... that will most likely allow the love that you have for each other to shine through at its brightest. There will be ups and downs- feelings of being under-appreciated for both. It will happen. But let that be the worst that happens. Unity through diversity. That's the greatest love. A selfless love. It’s paradoxical, but you each would get back more than you give out. That's the love that conquers all things that’s mentioned in the Bible. It will be challenging for both of you, but well worth it.
José N. Harris
The wrath of God is never an evil wrath. God gets angry because he loves people like a mother would love her child if someone were to harm it. There is something wrong if the mother never gets angry; it is safe to say that that is the unloving mother.
Criss Jami (Healology)
I've heard it said that grace is God reaching God's hands into the world. And the Bible tells us that we are part of the body of Christ, that if we let the Spirit move through us, we can become the hands of Christ on earth. Hands that heal, bless, unite, and love. I'd like to think God's hands are a bit like Grace's man hands—gentle but big, busy, and tough. God's hands are those of a creator—an artist who molded and shaped the universe out of a void, who hewed matter from nothingness.
Cathleen Falsani (Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace)
All this is to say, if your present community sees your spiritual journey as a problem because you are wandering off their beach blanket, it may be time to find another community. One should never do that impulsively. But if after a time you are sensing that you do not belong, that you are a problem to be corrected rather than a valued member of the community, maybe God is calling you elsewhere and to find for yourself that “they” aren’t so bad after all. That decision is very personal (sometimes involving whole families) and can take some courage to make, but it is worth the risk. One thing is certain: if you stay where you are without any change at all, the pressure to either conform or keep quiet will work in you like a slow-acting poison. And if you go too far down that road, it can be a tough haul coming back from bitterness and resentment—especially for children.
Peter Enns (The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It)
Grace is a dangerous topic because the Bible is a dangerous book. It wrecks people, it offends people, and it’s tough to read from the suburbs.
Preston Sprinkle (Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us)
The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of discipline. We will never have the anointing, the ministry or the revivals of our heroes if we don’t become as disciplined as they were. They went to bed early to get up early to pray, and they fasted for days on end. We shouldn’t just pray to mark it off of our lists or read a few chapters of our Bible each day to keep up with the church Bible reading chart. We must have a deeper purpose for doing these tasks. Discipline without direction is drudgery. In other words, discipline has to have a purpose to drive it each and every day. The price for spiritual change is expensive, but the rewards are far greater. The world’s ways, ideologies, and influence cannot be present in a life dedicated to Jesus because consecration’s purpose is for us to be different from the world. And, for that matter, if we are separate from the world, then sin must not be a part of our lives either. Sin ruins a life of consecration. It would be a shame to believe that holiness is nothing more than rules or guidelines we are to live by. Holiness and consecration flow from a life given to the spiritual disciplines, a life we can only maintain by continuing to seek for Him daily. Your pursuit will never be greater than your disciplines. No man is greater than his prayer life. Even though Jesus requires us to pray, praying is not to be done out of duty, but it is to be done out of delight. A person’s appetite reveals much about their physical health. Our physical appetite can reveal just as much about our spiritual health. Prayer is the dominant discipline in a godly life and it takes a backseat to no other task. Prayer is the guiding force to a life of consecration and spiritual discipline. Self-denial is tough, but self-indulgence is dangerous.
Nathan Whitley (The Lost Art Of Spiritual Disciplines)
the three most important mental skills for success in endurance sports: commitment, confidence, and patience. Taken together, they form what we typically call mental toughness. Mentally tough athletes are hard to beat.
Joe Friel (The Triathlete's Training Bible: The World's Most Comprehensive Training Guide)
In the spring of the next year came a third record, The Las Vegas Story, and this trio of albums, all of which I’d been exposed to in the span of just a few months, became my bible. Living in Ellensburg, it was tough to get information about any underground band, much less one like the Gun Club.
Mark Lanegan (Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir)
The Bible forbids dabbling in those kinds of things.” “You knocked my shield spell down with a freaking baseball bat, man. That thing's tough enough to stop cars, and you're strong enough to drop it with a Louisville Slugger. You can sense 'evil' from people, and that ain't magick?” “Well, no,” he said, but his voice wasn't as confident as it was before.
Ben Reeder (Page of Swords (The Demon's Apprentice, #2))
It’s tough. And yet the Bible makes it very clear that we are to make time for rest. More than just physical rest, we need to take a spiritual and emotional rest from going our own way—literally. Once a week, we are to hit the pause button on life and guard a day of rest for our souls. Guard it fiercely and intentionally — even if the demands on our schedules beg us not to.
Lysa TerKeurst (Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress)
The biblical writers were human like us, and nothing is gained by thinking otherwise. Someone might say, “Well, okay, sure they were human, obviously, but the biblical writers were also inspired, directed by God in what to write, and so not simply ordinary human writers.” I get the point. To see the Bible as inspired by God is certainly the mainstream view in the history of Christianity (and Judaism), but what that means exactly and how it works out in detail have proved to be quite tough nuts to crack. Answers abound (and conflict) and no one has cracked the code, including me. But any explanation of what it means for God to inspire human beings to write things down would need to account for the diverse (not to mention ancient and ambiguous) Bible we have before us. Any explanation that needs to minimize, cover up, or push these self-evident biblical characteristics aside isn’t really an explanation; it’s propaganda.
Peter Enns (How the Bible Actually Works: In Which I Explain How An Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That's Great News)
The last time I’d been unwell, suicidally depressed, whatever you want to call it, the reactions of my friends and family had fallen into several different camps: The Let’s Laugh It Off merchants: Claire was the leading light. They hoped that joking about my state of mind would reduce it to a manageable size. Most likely to say, ‘Feeling any mad urges to fling yourself into the sea?’ The Depression Deniers: they were the ones who took the position that since there was no such thing as depression, nothing could be wrong with me. Once upon a time I’d have belonged in that category myself. A subset of the Deniers was The Tough Love people. Most likely to say, ‘What have you got to be depressed about?’ The It’s All About Me bunch: they were the ones who wailed that I couldn’t kill myself because they’d miss me so much. More often than not, I’d end up comforting them. My sister Anna and her boyfriend, Angelo, flew three thousand miles from New York just so I could dry their tears. Most likely to say, ‘Have you any idea how many people love you?’ The Runaways: lots and lots of people just stopped ringing me. Most of them I didn’t care about, but one or two were important to me. Their absence was down to fear; they were terrified that whatever I had, it was catching. Most likely to say, ‘I feel so helpless … God, is that the time?’ Bronagh – though it hurt me too much at the time to really acknowledge it – was the number one offender. The Woo-Woo crew: i.e. those purveying alternative cures. And actually there were hundreds of them – urging me to do reiki, yoga, homeopathy, bible study, sufi dance, cold showers, meditation, EFT, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy, silent retreats, sweat lodges, felting, fasting, angel channelling or eating only blue food. Everyone had a story about something that had cured their auntie/boss/boyfriend/next-door neighbour. But my sister Rachel was the worst – she had me plagued. Not a day passed that she didn’t send me a link to some swizzer. Followed by a phone call ten minutes later to make sure I’d made an appointment. (And I was so desperate that I even gave plenty of them a go.) Most likely to say, ‘This man’s a miracle worker.’ Followed by: ‘That’s why he’s so expensive. Miracles don’t come cheap.’ There was often cross-pollination between the different groupings. Sometimes the Let’s Laugh It Off merchants teamed up with the Tough Love people to tell me that recovering from depression is ‘simply mind over matter’. You just decide you’re better. (The way you would if you had emphysema.) Or an All About Me would ring a member of the Woo-Woo crew and sob and sob about how selfish I was being and the Woo-Woo crew person would agree because I had refused to cough up two grand for a sweat lodge in Wicklow. Or one of the Runaways would tiptoe back for a sneaky look at me, then commandeer a Denier into launching a two-pronged attack, telling me how well I seemed. And actually that was the worst thing anyone could have done to me, because you can only sound like a self-pitying malingerer if you protest, ‘But I don’t feel well. I feel wretched beyond description.’ Not one person who loved me understood how I’d felt. They hadn’t a clue and I didn’t blame them, because, until it had happened to me, I hadn’t a clue either.
Marian Keyes
Shortly after becoming a Christian, I counseled a woman who was in a closeted lesbian relationship and a member of a Bible-believing church. No one in her church knew. Therefore, no one in her church was praying for her. Therefore, she sought and received no counsel. There was no “bearing one with the other” for her. No confession. No repentance. No healing. No joy in Christ. Just isolation. And shame. And pretense. Someone had sold her the pack of lies that said that God can heal your lying tongue or your broken heart, even cure your cancer if he chooses, but he can’t transform your sexuality. I told her that my heart breaks for her isolation and shame and asked her why she didn’t share her struggle with anyone in her church. She said: “Rosaria, if people in my church really believed that gay people could be transformed by Christ, they wouldn’t talk about us or pray about us in the hateful way that they do.” Christian reader, is this what people say about you when they hear you talk and pray? Do your prayers rise no higher than your prejudice? I think that churches would be places of greater intimacy and growth in Christ if people stopped lying about what we need, what we fear, where we fail, and how we sin. I think that many of us have a hard time believing the God we believe in, when the going gets tough. And I suspect that, instead of seeking counsel and direction from those stronger in the Lord, we retreat into our isolation and shame and let the sin wash over us, defeating us again. Or maybe we muscle through on our pride. Do we really believe that the word of God is a double-edged sword, cutting between the spirit and the soul? Or do we use the word of God as a cue card to commandeer only our external behavior?
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert)
Let me encourage you to start saying positive things about yourself. Maybe you don’t think you’re the most beautiful person on earth, but you can look at the mirror and say to yourself, ‘I really do have a great smile’ or ‘My hair has been looking great!’ You can even use Bible verses to talk to yourself. Based on Philippians 4:13 (NKJV), you can say, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Or you can use Jeremiah 29:11 and say, ‘Things may be a little tough for me right now, but God knows the plans He has for me, and they are good. He is giving me a hope and a future!’ You get to decide what you say to yourself.
Sadie Robertson (Live)
I always seek to provide value in the entertainment that I create, but in addition to that, tithing makes every dollar I earn valuable no matter what, because 10 percent of every dollar is going to someone in need. When the Bible speaks of giving back, it tells the story of farmers who, when harvesting from their orchards, always leave something on the vine for those who have nothing. If you have ten apples, you pick nine and leave one. That's what I do. Ten percent of every dollar I make goes to pay for a shelter to help a woman like my mom escape a man like my dad. Ten percent of every dollar I make goes to helping a kid like my childhood friend Chris stay off the streets. Ten percent of every dollar I make goes to helping students get the kind of scholarship that would have allowed me to follow my dream of going to art school. Because I tithe, everything I do has value.
Terry Crews (Tough: My Journey to True Power)
I'm not the only person who carries a lot of assumptions when I read the Bible, and it can be tough to entertain the idea that the Word of God has different perspectives in it. Biblical apologists spend all their time weaving these different viewpoints into a single frame, in an effort that often looks like squids playing Twister: fascinating, appalling, and hard to follow. We've seen what this approach to history can sow: a destructive oversimplification of the Church's past. Americans treat their national narrative in much this way, too. We simplistically teach a single story in our history classrooms, of brave rebels who left cultures of tyranny and heroically crossed the Atlantic to found a nation built on freedom and justice. When we speak of our national sins, such as the genocide committed on Nation Americans or the brutal, longterm economic extraction of wealth from black bodies via slavery and segregation, we seem to dismiss these troubling matters as things that happened in the remote past but that have been resolved today.
Mike McHargue (Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science)
Life is seldom simple. Growth in God’s grace is a process and not an event. Tough things are not going to turn around overnight because you have entrusted them to the Lord. The Bible is honest in its description of how grave and comprehensive our war with sin is. Individuals, friendships, churches, marriages, and neighborhoods don’t turn around in a moment. The Bible describes the Christian life as a journey that often takes us through the wilderness. You will get tired and confused. You will have moments when you wonder where God is. You will struggle to see God’s promises at work in your life. You will feel that following God has brought you more suffering than blessing. You will go through moments when it seems as if the principles of Scripture don’t work. It will sometimes seem as if the wrong side wins. There will be moments when you feel alone and misunderstood. There will be times when you feel like quitting. This passage is meant to encourage you to be full of hope in the midst of things you don’t fully understand. You don’t have to figure everything out. You do need to know and trust the One who does understand, and who knows exactly what he is doing. Do you look at your life as Paul looked at the
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
I have come to believe that our culture’s popular understanding of these difficult doctrines is often a caricature of what the Bible actually teaches and what mature Christian theology has historically proclaimed. To Laugh At, To Live By What do I mean by a caricature? A caricature is a cartoonlike drawing of a real person, place, or thing. You’ve probably seen them at street fairs, drawings of popular figures like President Obama, Marilyn Monroe, or your aunt Cindy. Caricatures exaggerate some features, distort some features, and oversimplify some features. The result is a humorous cartoon. In one sense, a caricature bears a striking resemblance to the real thing. That picture really does look like President Obama, Marilyn Monroe, or your aunt Cindy. Features unique to the real person are included and even emphasized, so you can tell it’s a cartoon of that person and not someone else. But in another sense, the caricature looks nothing like the real thing. Salient features have been distorted, oversimplified, or blown way out of proportion. President Obama’s ears are way too big. Aunt Cindy’s grin is way too wide. And Marilyn Monroe . . . well, you get the picture. A caricature would never pass for a photograph. If you were to take your driver’s license, remove the photo, and replace it with a caricature, the police officer pulling you over would either laugh . . . or arrest you. Placed next to a photograph, a caricature looks like a humorous, or even hideous, distortion of the real thing. Similarly, our popular caricatures of these tough doctrines do include features of the original. One doesn’t have to look too far in the biblical story to find that hell has flames, holy war has fighting, and judgment brings us face-to-face with God. But in the caricatures, these features are severely exaggerated, distorted, and oversimplified, resulting in a not-so-humorous cartoon that looks nothing like the original. All we have to do is start asking questions: Where do the flames come from, and what are they doing? Who is doing the fighting, and how are they winning? Why does God judge the world, and what basis does he use for judgment? Questions like these help us quickly realize that our popular caricatures of tough biblical doctrines are like cartoons: good for us to laugh at, but not to live by. But the caricature does help us with something important: it draws our attention to parts of God’s story where our understanding is off. If the caricature makes God look like a sadistic torturer, a coldhearted judge, or a greedy génocidaire, it probably means there are details we need to take a closer look at. The caricatures can alert us to parts of the picture where our vision is distorted.
Joshua Ryan Butler (The Skeletons in God's Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War)
Little Nicky heads to the Badlands to see the show for himself. The Western Roads are outside his remit as a U.S. Treasury agent, but he knows the men he wants are its denizens. Standing on the corner of the Great Western and Edinburgh Roads, a sideshow, a carnival of the doped, the beaten, and the crazed. He walks round to the Avenue Haig strip and encounters the playground of Shanghai’s crackpots, cranks, gondoos, and lunatics. He’s accosted constantly: casino touts, hustling pimps, dope dealers; monkeys on chains, dancing dogs, kids turning tumbles, Chinese ‘look see’ boys offering to watch your car. Their numbers rise as the Japs turn the screws on Shanghai ever tighter. Half-crazy American missionaries try to sell him Bibles printed on rice paper—saving souls in the Badlands is one tough beat. The Chinese hawkers do no better with their porno cards of naked dyed blondes, Disney characters in lewd poses, and bare-arsed Chinese girls, all underage. Barkers for the strip shows and porno flicks up the alleyways guarantee genuine French celluloid of the filthiest kind. Beggars abound, near the dealers and bootleggers in the shadows, selling fake heroin pills and bootleg samogon Russian vodka, distilled in alleyways, that just might leave you blind. Off the Avenue Haig, Nicky, making sure of his gun in its shoulder holster, ventures up the side streets and narrow laneways that buzz with the purveyors of cure-all tonics, hawkers of appetite suppressants, male pick-me-ups promising endless virility. Everything is for sale—back-street abortions and unwanted baby girls alongside corn and callus removers, street barbers, and earwax pickers. The stalls of the letter writers for the illiterate are next to the sellers of pills to cure opium addiction. He sees desperate refugees offered spurious Nansen passports, dubious visas for neutral Macao, well-forged letters of transit for Brazil. He could have his fortune told twenty times over (gypsy tarot cards or Chinese bone chuckers? Your choice). He could eat his fill—grilled meat and rice stalls—or he could start a whole new life: end-of-the-worlders and Korean propagandists offer cheap land in Mongolia and Manchukuo.
Paul French (City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai)
If his guilt made him a tyrant before men, it made him like a child before his God. Not a helpless or pleading child, but a petulant one, the type of tough boy who’s known too little love and is quick to blame others for his mistakes.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
caution believers who speak in tongues to evaluate carefully their motivation. Is it for the glory of God, or is it because of pressure from a group? Do you feel that you would be a lesser saint than others if you did not speak in tongues? The Bible urges you to pursue love, not tongues.
Charles F. Stanley (Charles Stanley's Handbook for Christian Living: Biblical Answers to Life's Tough Questions)
It’s important to note that America is not found in Bible prophecy as any major superpower in the end times.
Jeff Kinley (The Prophecy Pros' Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times)
In life, things will seem very tough right before you fully bloom. Always remember, the farmer uses manure for his or her crops to be strong! Very often, it takes a bit crap in life for you to mature! Therefore, do not give up! Keep praying! I know you have been waiting but be strong and courageous in the Lord! No matter what situation you might be facing today, you can live with joy and thanksgiving, resting assured in God's promise to work all things together for your good.
Tony Warrick (Bible Scriptures by Topic: A Quick Reference Guide to Bible Verses)
Throughout our lives, we will often face situations that can be confusing or disturbing. We will also confront tough decisions that can shake our faith. How can we know if our challenges are there to help us grow or if they are signals that we need to make critical changes in our lives? We need the discernment of the Spirit.
Benjamin W. Decker (Meditations on Christ: A 5-Minute Guided Journal for Christians)
The greatness of our God lies in the fact that he is both tough minded and tenderhearted. He has qualities both of austerity and gentleness. The Bible, always clear in stressing both attributes of God, expresses his tough mindedness in his justice and wrath and his tenderheartedness in his love and grace. God has two outstretched arms. One is strong enough to surround us with justice and one is gentle enough to embrace us with grace.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Strength to Love)
When you’re trying to make things happen in your own time . . . We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
Ronald A. Beers (The NLT Bible Promise Book for Tough Times (NLT Bible Promise Books))
But even though Naomi was at her lowest point, Ruth somehow saw a glimmer of hope in her mother-in-law—who had a relationship with the true God. (Remember: People are watching you when you are going through tough times, and even if you feel discouraged they can see how you trust Him.)
J. Lee Grady (Fearless Daughters of the Bible: What You Can Learn from 22 Women Who Challenged Tradition, Fought Injustice and Dared to Lead)
As the late Charles Colson put it, “Our place is on our knees, in the streets helping people in need, winning our neighbors and colleagues to a Christian worldview by speaking the truth in love. We will win the cultural war one house, one block at a time, as God’s people are trained and equipped by the church and then go out and live their faith in the world.” Never before in American history has it been so important to become an active part of a network of other believers for worship, encouragement, instruction, and prayer. Bible studies, prayer groups, and discipleship training of believers to be change-agents in their world. The day of the casual Christian is over. No longer is it possible to drift along, hoping that no tough choices will have to be made. At this point in American history, any moral and spiritual progress will have to be won at great cost. The darker the night, the more important every candle becomes.
Erwin W. Lutzer (Where Do We Go From Here?: Hope and Direction in our Present Crisis)
Those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy!
Ronald A. Beers (The NLT Bible Promise Book for Tough Times (NLT Bible Promise Books))
If counseling is to be restored to the church, affection must be restored to reflection. If counseling is to be restored to the church, delight in God must be restored to doctrines about God. Savoring Christ must be restored to seeing Christ. Tender contrition must be restored to tough conviction. Communication with God must be restored to contending for God.
James MacDonald (Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: Changing Lives with God's Changeless Truth)
CHOOSING CONTENTMENT All that we have comes from God: our spouses, children, families, friends and jobs. That includes our houses, property, furnishings, cars, clothes, family heirlooms and all other personal belongings. God gives us these good gifts for our use and enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with these things, but sometimes our attitudes toward our things can cause problems for us. Throughout history, people have had the desire to get more stuff. But in our culture today, the media shows us how much we don’t have. Because we are exposed to people in different social standings, we can compare what we have to what others have. In previous generations, people compared what they had with their family or neighbors (who probably had similar things); today we have TV shows that portray the lives and belongings of the megarich. When we begin to focus on what others have, we become obsessed with material things. We are tempted to live beyond our means. We become stressed as we work harder and longer in order to buy more stuff. It is easy to wonder why others have more than we do, especially if we’re struggling to keep up with payments on our house, cars and loans. We say, “Other people are just like us, but they have so much more than we do. It’s not fair! Why doesn’t God bless us like he does them? Why should we always have money problems?” Maybe we become upset with our spouse and insist that we should do better than we are doing, or that our children should have the same opportunities that other children have. Jealousy, anger and ambition can eat away at a marriage when we think we should have more than we do. But the stuff we want may not be what God has allotted to us. He has promised that he will provide all that we need but not necessarily all that we want. So one tough spiritual lesson we need to learn as married couples is to shape our wants to match God’s allotment, not the other way around, and to choose, like Paul, to be content whatever our circumstances (see Philippians 4:11). Finding contentment with God’s allotment to us helps ease the stress of getting and spending. It lightens the load of acquiring more and more. And it may help us to grow together as a couple as we learn to enjoy each other’s company without the pressure of reaching for bigger and better toys, vacations, houses or recreational vehicles. When we begin to treasure each other, our hearts will be there also.
Anonymous (NIV, Couples' Devotional Bible)
God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
Ronald A. Beers (The NLT Bible Promise Book for Tough Times (NLT Bible Promise Books))
If we’re honest, we probably admit that those really tough times in our lives—when we were tested right to the edge of our endurance—are the times when we grew the most spiritually.
Ed Strauss (A Hobbit Devotional: Bilbo Baggins and the Bible)
Being part of a great adventure is more than just enjoying new experiences; it can also be sticking to a dull, difficult path when our mind and body scream to run off to the right or left. Great adventures often involve tough choices and lonely stands for what we know to be true. They may require forging on when it would be so much easier to turn back. And adventures often come along at inconvenient times. They can seem more like interruptions than exciting opportunities.
Ed Strauss (A Hobbit Devotional: Bilbo Baggins and the Bible)
Dad and Mom were tough on intellectual ideas they disagreed with, but not on people. Ideas interested Dad, not theology per se. If he was lecturing on art, music, cultural trends, he stuck to the subject. He hated circular arguments that depended on the Bible when used against secular people who didn’t acknowledge biblical authority. He believed that you should argue on a level playing field, where both people stay on common ground. “What’s the point of quoting the Bible to people who don’t believe it’s true?” Dad would say. In
Frank Schaeffer (Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back)
One of my favourite verse in the Christian Bible is the shortest one of all: "Jesus wept." He showed His humanity. He shed messy, unmanly tears. He didn't do it in private. He did it in front of His friends and followers. In front of a crowd. We need to stop hiding our tears and actually share them. It takes a strong person to cry. It takes a stronger person to let others see those tears. We need to be tough enough to be tender, no matter who is watching.
Regina Brett (God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours)
But no matter how tough a filming day can be, I’m grateful, and I look at it as getting paid to have dinner with my family. I am blessed. I’ve also realized, now that I’ve been blessed with a good paycheck, that I think I’m like my dad, and I really don’t care about money so much. It doesn’t make you happy. I had a great childhood, and I never even had my own bedroom. What does make you happy is doing for other people. Whether it’s taking fresh deer meat or ducks to some neighbors in need down the road or flying down to the Dominican Republic to help build an orphanage, it’s people that matter, not money. When I went to the Caribbean with Korie a while back to help build the orphanage, I came with bags full of new Hanes underwear and T-shirts. When I handed out those little packages, worth just a few bucks each, the kids literally fell to the ground, crying with happiness. They were the happiest, funniest little kids, grabbing my beard and smiling big. They have nothing, and some free underwear made them happy. It was a big wake-up call for me as I realized how much I have and how a little inconvenience like the Internet going out can ruin my day. I don’t want to live like that, like the world owes me a comfortable life and I’m not happy unless I have all the conveniences. I want to live a fulfilled life, and I want my kids to live a fulfilled life too. I want more for my kids. I want to show my kids how to have faith in Jesus, how to use the Bible as their guide to life, and when they grow up, I want my kids to change the world. I also want Jess and me to continue to learn how to love each other, and I want us to grow old together and be just like my mom and dad. My idea of happiness is being with my family in a cabin in the woods or at a campout, sitting around a campfire telling stories, roasting marshmallows, and watching the fireflies.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
AMAZING GRACE IS A SWEET SOUND Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 Wherever you look, Christians are being abused—whether it’s the ridicule, marginalization, and stigmatization that Christians receive from the media and liberal elites here, or the torture, imprisonment, beheadings, and slaughter Christians suffer abroad. So-called progressives in the West treat Christians with snobbish contempt. Radical Islamists kill us. In both cases, morality has been turned upside-down. The Bible warns of such crumbling morality in 2 Timothy 3:2. It’s all been prophesized. This passage reveals that people will be lovers of themselves, arrogant, abusive, and wicked. The line separating right from wrong has been blurred by the worldly influences of humanism, secularism, and religious doctrines not based on the Word of God. The outcry of the age is for “tolerance,” yet how tolerant is it for people to attack Christians who simply want to live their lives by biblical principles? The very heart of Christianity is to love our enemies, as tough as that may be. What does that love look like now that so many are labeling us “intolerant”? Our example is found in Jesus. If He showed such amazing strength and mercy in the face of horrendous treatment coming at Him, how can we, being recipients of His mercy, refuse to exercise whatever strength we can muster? We can’t refuse it. The daunting nature of required mercy and grace makes it seem impossible to implement, especially when we see hatred around us. All the more reason to tap into God’s amazing grace and ask Him to show us how. He’ll be delighted to teach us. SWEET FREEDOM IN Action Pray to God for strength and understanding, and for the grace to endure.
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
January 30 Through and Through Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.—Psalm 23:4 The 23rd Psalm is one of the best-known and best-loved passages in the Bible, memorized by millions. We read it and quote it when we seek rest, encouragement, comfort and re-assurance. During a time of special need, I found even deeper meaning as I was reading this familiar passage. I was shocked as verse four (cited above) almost leapt off the page. Look at it again. Mentally underline the word through. The psalmist, David, didn’t write from the valley nor away from the valley. He wrote through the valley. Maybe you’re thinking as I sometimes do, that I would prefer to skip some of the throughs. They can be sad, painful, and challenging. But do you find that these valleys, fires, and waters, are often times of greatest learning, times of deepest understanding? They are affirmations that God is with us. We sense his presence even more keenly. If you are experiencing one of these valleys, rivers, waters or fires can you stop and thank God that He is with you in this difficult time? Take time to read Isaiah43:1-5 to hear God’s words to Israel. Be encouraged as you read when you pass through the waters; rivers; fire. Heavenly Father, how I thank You for Your Word, assuring us that You are with us through our tough times. I ask that You make Your presence very real to each person reading these words.
The writers of (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
Once we learn the promises, we have an obligation to lead others to show them how to be successful at sowing and reaping. Integrity is in short supply. People don’t always do what they say they will do. Sometimes we are tempted to project that onto God. We treat Him as if He were a man who may or may not keep His promises. However, the bible tells us, God is not a man that He should lie. Yet some of us approach His promises with the attitude, “maybe God will and maybe God won’t.” Anything you value, you protect. Here’s a tough question, Do you value God’s promises and are you thankful for the promises He’s already kept?
Lynn R. Davis (Sow Much More, A Personal Testimony (An Inspirational True Short Story))
We are to be tough and focused like soldiers, to compete according to the rules like athletes, and to work hard like farmers.
Stephen Arterburn (Every Man's Bible NLT)
We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone out amid the blackness; we have been in tough battles, but over our head He has held high the shield of our defense. We have gone through many trials but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is that He who has been with us in six troubles will not forsake us in the seventh. What we have known of our faithful God proves that He will keep us to the end. Let us not, then, reason contrary to the evidence. How can we ever be so ungenerous as to doubt our God?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
There are two parts to every goal you set out to achieve: the journey to the goal and the accomplishment of the goal itself. The journey is when you learn, innovate, attempt, and put yourself through tough situations for the first time. This is where real growth takes place. (Sometimes accomplishing a goal gives you less satisfaction and pleasure than the smaller successes that preceded it.) If you don’t quite reach your goal, that’s okay too. The journey makes the concept of failure a gray area because you’ll be putting yourself through changes that will leave you with more knowledge on how to succeed than when you first started. You can “fail” all your life, yet accomplish more than those who never tried.
Roosh V. (Bang: The Most Infamous Pickup Book In The World)
It is important to know the blessings and to rely on God’s promises. Please don’t misunderstand my point. But the blessings and promises of God in the Bible emerge from a real life’s story that also knows that we live in a broken world and some days are tough. The stories of real lives in the Bible know that we are surrounded by hurting people for whom Psalm 22:1 echoes their normal day.
Scot McKnight (The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible)
February 16 A Love both Tough and Tender God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.—Psalm 68:6 This beautiful passage holds three keys on how God deals with His creation. The first is an image of God constructing a home for each of us. Not only has he given us a dwelling in heaven, but the Bible says that He gives us families right here. Our own expectations can keep us from recognizing this gift. God has given us more than blood relatives; He has given us relatives by His blood. If we feel displaced, we should look around for the family that we have been failing to see. The second phrase tells us that he leads forth the prisoners with singing. God has designed abundant life for us and sent His Son to set us free (John 10:10, 8:36). He has given us the gift of song to celebrate our freedom. We return the gift by praising his name. We are encouraged by song when the world around us is harsh and lonely. The third word picture is that of a sun-scorched land. Obedient sheep follow their shepherd into abundance. The rebellious sheep insist that Jesus is unworthy to lead, nibbling instead at whatever leftovers he or she can find. God’s ultimate goal is that all His sheep would come into His fold (2 Peter 3:9), but He allows us independence. If your life is barren right now, why not turn around and seek the excellent grazing land that God has set aside for you? God also wants us to thrive for His glory. He is tender enough to meet our needs and give us families, tough enough to break the chains that bind us, and gracious enough to let us wander until we recognize our need for Him. Lord, thank You for Your great love and wisdom. You are so good! Please teach me to be grateful, and let me never forget that Your plans are always better than mine.
The writers of (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
For years I painted a beautiful picture of my homeland. I smudged the bigotry, ostracism, and narrow-mindedness of the Bible Belt and brightened it with colorful glasses of sweet tea, fresh, country hillsides, and southern hospitality. I erased the whiskey, the vitamin force-feeding, and the screaming fights that sent me crying and fleeing. I replaced them with sketches of a loving daddy who charitably tolerated me. I plastered tough love atop emotional indifference and neglect. I painted Mom with the unconditional nurturing that would wash away with the first light rainfall.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
The good news is when we do finally throw our hands up, fall on our knees and cry out for help, He is always there. You just have to get to the point where you can trust the concept. That means having faith. This is particularly hard for us because trust doesn’t come easy if at all. What if we trust and nothing changes? That could happen. The tough part about recognizing a higher power is He uses His own timeline, not yours. Many people in the Bible believed for things their whole lives and died without ever seeing them come to pass. Yet they never stopped having faith; eventually, all they believed for did occur - in God’s perfect timing.
Jeanette Elisabeth Menter (You're Not Crazy - You're Codependent.)
Now, emphatically, be warned that to lead in this effort you must be tough-minded (thick skinned). If you try to change things constructively in the social sciences or try to reconcile conflicts, rather than take sides, you’ll be attacked through character assassination and every other means of skullduggery not excluding physical assault. It is inevitable and inescapable. It will disgust you to the point of befuddlement and, at times, rage. That beautiful beatitude in the Bible should be changed to read: Blessed are the peacemakers in heaven; because on Earth, they shall catch hell. Nonetheless, I’ll stress that the time is finally right, on our planet, for the expansive light of true civilization. Well-informed voices both prophesying and forcing that maturation, suddenly, are being heard everywhere.
Robert Humphrey (Values For A New Millennium: Activating the Natural Law to: Reduce Violence, Revitalize Our Schools, and Promote Cross-Cultural Harmony)
William Lane Craig (A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible)
How can we, as Christians, stand firm when our faith is challenged intellectually? We can do this by learning to love the Lord our God with all our minds; by asking tough questions about God and the Bible and finding good, reasonable answers to those questions; by learning how to properly interpret the Bible in its context and according to its culture...and by understanding that all truth discovered by humans will ultimately reveal the creator of all truth.
Michael G. Strauss
Darwin's theory of evolution was simple, beautiful, majestic and awe-inspiring. But because it contradicts the allegorical babblings of a bunch of made-up old books, it's been under attack since day one. That's just tough luck for Darwin. If the Bible had contained a passage that claimed gravity is caused by God pulling objects toward the ground with magic invisible threads, we'd still be debating Newton with idiots too.
Charlie Brooker
If Christians hope to offer the world a credible solution to toxic behavior in men, they must demonstrate that Christianity has the power to address it first of all among those within the church’s own orbit of influence. The Bible calls men to be both tough and tender, both courageous and caring. Men who know they are made in God’s image can
Nancy R. Pearcey (The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes)
Try opening it.” He was doing that as she spoke, gently twisting the acorn in its cup without any success. It didn’t unscrew, so he tried harder, and then tried to pull it, but that didn’t work either. “Try twisting the other way,” said Asta. “That would just do it up tighter,” he said, but he tried, and it worked. The thread was the opposite way. “I never seen that before,” said Malcolm. “Strange.” So neatly and finely made were the threads that he had to turn it a dozen times before the two parts fell open. There was a piece of paper inside, folded up as small as it could go: that very thin kind of paper that Bibles were printed on. Malcolm and Asta looked at each other. “This is someone else’s secret,” he said. “We ought not to read it.” He opened it all the same, very carefully so as not to tear the delicate paper, but it wasn’t delicate at all: it was tough. “Anyone might have found it,” said Asta. “He’s lucky it was us.” “Luckyish,” said Malcolm. “Anyway, he’s lucky he hadn’t got it on him when he was arrested.” Written on the paper in black ink with a very fine pen were the words: We would like you to turn your attention next to another matter. You will be aware that the existence of a Rusakov field implies the existence of a related particle, but so far such a particle has eluded us. When we try measuring one way, our substance evades it and seems to prefer another, but when we try a different way, we have no more success. A suggestion from Tokojima, although rejected out of hand by most official bodies, seems to us to hold some promise, and we would like you to inquire through the alethiometer about any connection you can discover between the Rusakov field and the phenomenon unofficially called Dust. We do not have to remind you of the danger should this research attract the attention of the other side, but please be aware that they are themselves beginning a major program of inquiry into this subject. Tread carefully. “What does it mean?” said Asta. “Something to do with a field. Like a magnetic field, I s’pose. They sound like experimental theologians.” “What d’you think they mean by ‘the other side’?” “The CCD. Bound to be, since it was them chasing the man.
Philip Pullman (La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1))