That affliction and joy can co-exist, that one can result in the other, is one of the beautiful paradoxical realities of the Christian life.
For people living in a culture of rampant ungodliness, following Jesus is more likely to bring affliction than applause. That much is as true in our own day as it was in Paul’s, as it has been for much of recorded history. But for the follower of Jesus, affliction is the seed of joy.
That affliction and joy can co-exist, that one can result in the other, is one of the beautiful paradoxical realities of the Christian life. So much effort is spent avoiding affliction, and yet the writers of scripture remind us repeatedly that affliction cannot be avoided. What’s more, we are told that affliction is an instrument of sanctification.
Suffering well is a sign of steadfast faith and serves as a vibrant witness to those looking on. If we believe that affliction is an instrument of sanctification, we will cease our efforts to always avoid it and begin instead to rejoice in it, believing the promise that God really does work all things for good.
This blog is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. I have not yet looked deeply into its background, but I like what I’m seeing. For example…
“Maps are necessary, but flawed. (By maps, we mean any abstraction of reality, including descriptions, theories, models, etc.) The problem with a map is not simply that it is an abstraction; we need abstraction… To solve this problem, the mind creates maps of reality in order to understand it, because the only way we can process the complexity of reality is through abstraction. But frequently, we don’t understand our maps or their limits. In fact, we are so reliant on abstraction that we will frequently use an incorrect model simply because we feel any model is preferable to no model.”
“Christianity was not launched in a world of comfort, and it was not designed to flourish in a world of comfort. If the Lord is doing anything in overseeing this season, perhaps it is a refining, a sifting. Things are going to get weirder, more difficult, more trying. Maybe the true church will rise to the surface. And with her, the true pastors.”
“Christians seem disproportionately susceptible to misinformation and conspiracies about COVID-19. That is due, undoubtedly, to the way ideas are packaged in the culture wars in our country. Scientists and their expertise have been lumped together with other academics and left-leaning causes. And all of us are hard-wired to find affinity with the groups we identify with.”
“As we steward the power of our influence through every Facebook post and every retweet, we should remember that we’re not following Jesus’ command to be “wise as serpents” if we’re swayed by the emotional manipulation of a conspiracy theory or a slickly-produced video. And we’re not “harmless as doves” if we spread misinformation or sow confusion in the midst of a global health emergency.”
“Why would anyone find a family unit taking care of its members a “disaster” for feminism? How childish—and frankly un-feminine—has feminism become that it must see childrearing and nurturing a family unit as a step down during a time of crisis? A step down from what? It often seems like it’s mostly feminists who disparage female work and praise so highly the world of corporate and professional success.”
A song for my wife on the occasion of our 25th anniversary. Words and music by me. Words and music for her. Lyrics below…
“I Still Do”
Words & Music by Michael Krahn
Words & Music about Anne Marie Krahn
I remember two fresh kids with our hearts on fire
I remember my brain was buzzing like a hydro wire
And that little white church, and my shiny black boots
I remember the bright spring morning when I said “I do”
And I still do…
I remember we took that flight out to Calgary
I remember loving this land of the maple leaf
And that little green car, and our tiny Banff room
I remember loving every morning waking up to you
And I still do… I still do…
This has not been a long ride…
This has not been a rough ride…
It’s been… windows down and hair blowing in the wind…
It’s been… you sleeping while I drive us up around the bend…
It’s been… eyes open on the road while I hold your hand…
I remember thinking about the future
I remember thinking about the present too
I remember thinking that the present was pretty good…
And I still do…