When It Hurts So Bad You Can’t Stand It

When It Hurts So Bad You Can’t Stand It

When it hurts so bad you can’t stand it, Jesus will ease your pain. He offers comfort, peace, and new purpose to those who take refuge in him. Here’s why.

When it hurts so bad you can’t stand it, know that Jesus shares your pain and offers comfort

Pain is an inescapable part of life. From scraped knees, to traumatic psychological wounds, and deep emotional loss. Jesus suffered all of this and more. He understands what you’re going through. And supports those who lean on him.

He also suffered pain and unjust condemnation. And quietly accepted it as part of his mission.

He was mocked by his accusers and executed in the most brutal manner of the day. The one reserved for the most vile criminals.

And yet, he did so willingly. To take your place and mine. Because we are guilty of sin before God.

He suffered humiliation. Agonizing torture. Excruciating pain. And finally, death. At the hands of people who hated him. But he loved in return. People that wanted to kill him. But he wanted to save.

He died so we can live. And comforts those who turn to him.

When it hurts so bad you can’t stand it, know that Jesus mends broken hearts and offers peace

It’s a natural question when we suffer unjustly: Why, God, did you let that happen? Sometimes it takes years to receive an answer. Sometimes you never do.

The death Jesus suffered doesn’t make sense either. Why, God, did you let your own son die? He never wronged anyone. But compassionately healed. And taught people how to live relationally with one another. How to know and find peace with God.

It’s much more than inner peace. Or lack of conflict. But an incomprehensible peace. Where you are reconciled to God.

And that is the only answer for the death of Jesus. It is our emancipation from sin.

Therefore, Jesus knows the depth of your pain. And heals the brokenhearted.

When it hurts so bad you can’t stand it, know that Jesus offers joy and new purpose

The joy of the Lord strengthens you. It doesn’t replace sorrow or eliminate hurt. But you can experience joy in spite of them.

Because joy is not dependent on circumstances. It sees beyond them and is based on God’s promise of an eternal future. Where there is no more sorrow and no more pain.

However, God’s grace is present in this life too. Because He promises to make things work out for good. When you love and trust Him. And submit to His will.

Of course, none of this is easy. Or comes naturally.

You must act by faith. Believing that Jesus is God. And God is sovereign with an eternal plan that has your best interest in mind.

He is your source of strength. Provides reason for living. And hope for the future. Where all questions are answered. And healing is complete.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and freelance copywriter. He publishes humorous Christian drama, books, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

God’s Equipment For Spiritual Battle: Part One

God’s Equipment For Spiritual Battle: Part One

God’s equipment for spiritual battle is described in the Bible book of Ephesians 6:10-18. It reminds Christ-followers of a real, spiritual enemy. And describes the spiritual armor God provides for battle when he attacks.

Paul begins in V.10 by urging Christ-followers to Be Strong in the Lord. Although, a more literal translation is Be strengthened in the Lord.

In other words, you don’t fight alone! God’s Spirit is with you, empowering you in the fight.

God’s Equipment For Spiritual Battle Fastens On The Belt Of Truth…

Scholars say Paul wrote Ephesians while imprisoned in Rome and likely chained to a Roman soldier, which explains where the analogy comes from. And the first piece of God’s equipment for spiritual battle he describes is the belt of truth.

The RSV Bible translates it having girded your loins with truth gives a better picture of Paul’s meaning. Because common clothing of the day featured flowing robes that had to be gathered up to engage in physical activity. In essence, Paul tells Christ-followers to prepare yourself. Gather up your clothes and tighten on the belt of truth to hold them in place so you’re ready to fight.

But what kind of truth?

The Greek word aletheia, means a reality that is firm, solid, and true. And in this context suggests individual character and integrity.

It represents your core. And where you find balance. Although it’s not your own truth, but is based on God’s truth. Trusting His absolute integrity. And a willingness to stand firm and fight for it.

God’s Equipment For Spiritual Battle Wears A Breast Plate Of Righteousness

Imputed righteousness is an important Christian doctrine. That we’re all sinners, but the perfect righteousness of Jesus is imputed to you when you accept him as Savior and Lord.

And yet, you’re called to strive for righteousness. Imitate the life of Jesus. And demonstrate upright character by living according to God’s law.

However, the emphasis is not on how well you attain personal righteousness, but your devotion to God’s law. And this involves balance. By accepting God’s grace of salvation, knowing you can’t achieve perfect righteousness, but still striving for a life that honors God.

This means guarding your heart by diligently controlling what you let enter and stay. And exercising healthy, spiritual practices that include regularly consuming the Word of God.

God’s Equipment For Spiritual Battle Wears Shoes Given By The Gospel Of Peace

It seems strange that in the middle of a fight, Paul talks about peace. We’re supposed to witness in the middle of combat? And yet, it’s clearly an important part of our mission. After all, sharing the gospel message was in Jesus’ last instructions before ascending to heaven.

Because Jesus is the only path to peace with God. And the hope Peter encourages Christ-followers to readily share.

However, the Greek noun hetoimasia, also means preparation in the sense of a prepared foundation. In other words, the gospel provides a sense of peace that presents firm footing in the battle.

In either case, the gospel of peace is part of God’s protective equipment when the enemy attacks.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Saints According To The Bible

Saints According To The Bible

Saints according to the Bible are not what you think. The hymn, “When The Saints Go Marching In” brings to mind a parade of morally superior people. But the Bible book of Ephesians describes saints another way. Here’s how.

Saints According To The Bible Are Described As Different

From the start, Paul calls his audience “saints.” The Greek word used is hagios which means “to be set apart.”

And Paul uses hagios again in v.4, although this time it’s translated “holy.”

We usually associate saints and holiness with moral virtue in today’s culture. But Paul means something else.

What is it?

Saints According To The Bible Are Described By A Relationship

The Bible consistently discusses what it means to have a relationship with God. In Ephesians 1:5-10, Paul compares it to a family and adoption as sons and daughters of God. The relationship is formed through Jesus Christ who redeems us through his blood.

It’s a radical idea taught only in the Bible. Sainthood is not a superior level of morality or accumulation of good works. But the demonstration of God’s goodness accomplished through Jesus Christ.

And that relationship with Jesus fills saints with the fullness of God.

Saints According To The Bible Are Described As Grace Recipients

Paul elaborates in Ephesians 2:8-10 to clear any confusion. Sainthood is a result of God’s grace. Not something you or I earn or deserve.

But a gift God offers to all who will receive it.

Also described as God’s children, it involves a personal relationship with Jesus for those who respond in faith.

Saints According To The Bible Are Described As Sinners

Most of us admit that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. However, sin is not a popular word in today’s culture. You often hear people apologize for a mistake. But rarely for sin.

And yet, that is exactly what saints do. Admit they are sinners. Confess their sins to Jesus and seek his forgiveness.

It requires humility. And recognition that sin is more serious than a mistake.

Because mistakes are accidental. Something you didn’t intend. But sin is often intentional and can be quite evil. Paul says we’re all guilty of it. But God forgives you when you ask for it and receive Jesus. That’s when you become a saint.

Saints Strive To Imitate Jesus

Paul goes on to discuss saintly conduct. Which he says should imitate Jesus. But wait. Didn’t we just say you don’t earn or deserve it? Why the sudden interest in moral behavior?”

Simple. To express your gratitude for God’s grace and love for Jesus who sacrificed his life for you.

A life that imitates Jesus is set apart from the culture. Not perfectly, of course, because you still sin.

But perhaps in the view of others, a little more Christ-like. Which is what you joyfully pursue, to the glory of God.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and freelance copywriter. He publishes humorous Christian drama, books and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Planning Church Events With High Attendance

Planning Church Events With High Attendance

If you are a pastor or church leader, planning church events is a regular part of what you do.

Fellowship events. Mission events. Seasonal events around Christmas and Easter. And more.

Because you have a mission. A message. And you want to engage as many people as possible.

But planning church events that engage people is a challenge for many reasons.

For example. You’re planning an event during a busy time of year. The event competes against community, school and TV events going on the same time. Or perhaps, there’s not much interest in what your particular event is about.

But there is a secret ingredient in planning church events that fuels high attendance.

It lurks beneath your congregational landscape like a giant underground spring. Awaiting gold mind. Gushing oil field. But just like other speculative ventures, you must prospect for it.

And you can’t always know for sure when you will hit pay dirt. You observe. Evaluate the landscape. Look for signs. Make educated guesses. And finally, pick a spot and dig. Sometimes it’s a dry well. But you might hit a gusher.

And what is the secret ingredient in planning church events that I’m talking about?

Felt needs.

Although felt needs vary specifically from person to person they are generally represented in areas like career, relationships, health, kids, and finances to name a few. Church events planned around these areas often attract interest.

For example, every church study I’ve ever planned on the topic of relationships has drawn a crowd. Especially single adults.

So let’s get psychoanalytical for a moment.

It’s important to understand that felt needs are not always what people really need, but what they think they need.

Of course you know that. So do Advertisers and Marketers. And they exploit it by convincing you that you absolutely do need something… the product/service they’re selling.

Think Beanie Babies, Energy drinks, Pet Rocks, Low Carb Diet, and the Hula Hoop.

Advertisers sold consumers on the idea their lives would improve with these products. People bought it…literally. And pay attention to how advertisers elicit emotion in their ads. Why?

Because when emotions are ramped up, rational decision-making shuts down. People buy on impulse because it feels right and good. Not because it is right or is good.

How many times have you bought something and later asked yourself: What was I thinking? And the answer is, you weren’t. You acted on impulse.

And the biggest area of felt need?

Self-improvement.

It affects every area of our lives and drives how we spend our time and money. Because it’s important to have the right…

• Car
• Clothes
• Hairstyle
• Cell phone
• Breath…

It motivates people that sign-up for church programs and events too. Yes, I know. They should sign-up because they want to engage spiritually, but that’s not the reality.

More likely, they expect or hope to get something from the event. Maybe a spiritual blessing?

So when planning church events, focus your marketing message on benefits. Because you need to convince the reader it will add something positive to their life.

But wait, you say. What about when people serve from altruistic motives?

Even that can be about giving back to feel good about yourself rather than out of sacrificial love.

So keep this in mind when forming your promotional message.

Of course, felt needs can be exactly what they appear on the surface. The person buying exercise equipment simply wants to promote better health. At the same time, felt needs can be symptoms of a deeper problem.

Someone registering for an exercise class struggles with gluttony. And the gluttony is due to anxiety… caused by stress… related to problems at work. I know, don’t over analyze everything.

But the reality is we are complex beings with layers of life experiences-both good and bad- that influence and shape us. So be aware that felt needs can be the symptom you see on the surface and the real issue is buried under layers you have to peel away.

So the next time you’re planning a church event, ask yourself what felt need it addresses. And if attendance skyrockets, it’s likely you hit the mother lode.

The more you make this a conscious part of your planning process, the more success you will achieve in gaining high attendance at your church events.

Want to know more about planning church events that are successful? Check out my book: Elements of Internal Church Marketing.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is a freelance copywriter, published author, playwright and pastor. He publishes drama at www.chiptudor.com, books on Amazon.com, and articles on his blog.

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Lessons From The Christmas Story Shepherds

Lessons From The Christmas Story Shepherds

The Christmas Story Shepherds offer several lessons for us today. Here are four of them from the account in the book of Luke.

The Christmas Story Shepherds Show That God Has Different Values

Sheep were an important resource in this day. As a source of food, clothing and religious sacrifice. So protecting them was important. Unfortunately, however, shepherding was a lowly occupation. Living outside in close company with animals and therefore, considered unclean. Which meant they could not worship at the temple.

So you would normally expect them to be the last ones to learn about the birth of Jesus. But God chose them to be the first.

Why? Because God operates by a different set of values. He starts at the bottom rather than the top. By placing a high value on humility and a low value on pride. And sets aside, social and economic status.

Because in God’s value system, the last will be first and the first will be last

The Christmas Story Shepherds Show The Gospel is Inclusive

The angels made it clear that the good news and great joy was for all people. The Greek word can also be translated all nations.

In other words, Jesus came to save every single person in the entire world. This is what sets the Christmas story apart. It flips the switch when compared to other religions. Rather than man trying to make his way up to God, it’s the only one where God makes his way down to man.

The Christmas Story Shepherds Encourage Us To Fact Check For Ourselves

The Shepherds were visited by a host of angels. Pretty important delivery method in divine messaging. And yet, the Shepherds didn’t just take their word on it. They checked it out for themselves.

It’s a good word for us today. Yes, ultimately the Christmas story and the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be accepted by faith. But faith is not blind or uninformed. You don’t exclude intellect. Turn off your brain. God’s Word is meant to be critically studied. Thoughtfully considered. And carefully examined.

So don’t simply take someone else’s word for it. Read the Bible for yourself. Not just random parts, but the whole thing. Whatever you decide, at least you can say it’s an informed decision.

The Christmas Story Shepherds Encourage Us To Share The Good News

The Shepherds were convinced that this good news was real. All of them, not just one or two. And there was no hesitation. No concern about who to tell. They went home praising God and made known what they were told about the child. And all who heard it wondered.

Two thousand years later and the Christmas story is still relevant. Still good news. Worth sharing. And causes wonder.

And changes every life that responds to it.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is a freelance copywriter, published author, playwright and pastor. He publishes drama at www.chiptudor.com, books on Amazon.com, and articles on his blog.

Join My E-mail List

And I’ll send you my article: Exaggerate to Make Your Presentations Funny. You’ll learn how to punch up your presentations with humor.