See yourself as a vessel. You have to pour out the things you cling to, in order to create space for the Lord to pour His blessings into your life. It’s not that you want too much, it’s that you’re settling for far too little.Unka Glen (unkaglen.tumblr.com)
A faith without some doubts is like a human body with no antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.Timothy Keller (via jspark3000)
There are days or weeks or even months when I read the Bible and there are no grand epiphanies.
There are whole seasons of Sundays when I sing praise and feel nothing.
There are times of prayer where the silence kills me.
There are great Christian books and podcasts that I eat up which don’t budge my spiritual life.
There are too many times when I doubt the very existence of God and the sending of His Son. It can all feel like a crazy lie.
I’m probably being too honest — but I’ve found that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
It’s in those times that I ask myself, “Am I out of love with God somehow? Am I losing my faith here? How do I get back to where I used to be?”
But I keep reading my Bible. I keep singing on Sundays. I keep praying. I soak in books and sermons. I serve. I enjoy the company of mature Christians. I enjoy the fellowship of the broken.
And you know what? Sometimes the clouds part and God comes through and His love squeezes my heart and I fall to my knees remembering how good He is. Then I read Scripture and can’t stop weeping and I turn on Christian songs in my car full blast and sing loud enough to scare the traffic. I serve with shaking hands and get convicted by those sermons and soak in God’s goodness all over again.
So I’ve learned over time: I wasn’t really out of love with God. I’m just a fragile human being who changes as much as the weather. I was setting a ridiculous standard for myself that can’t be defined by self-pressuring parameters. I was tricked by the enemy into judging my flesh. My faith is based on His grace and not my feelings. And I think I need to relax.J.S. from this post (via jspark3000)
A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it. So, dear Sir, I can’t give you any advice but this: to go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to, the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and must find everything in himself and in Nature, to whom his whole life is devoted.Rainer Maria Rilke to Franz Xaver Kappus, Paris, February 17, 1903 (via timothybriner)
Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.C.S. Lewis (via primavalia)
The question in relationships is not ‘does this person deserve better than me?’ Of course they do, their father is God. The question is ‘Am I willing to work to be worthy of this person?’Jed Brewer on episode 54 of the Say That podcast.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.2 Corinthians 1:3-11
People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you are fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it.Elizabeth Gilbert (via blaqmagic)
In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.Romans 4: 18-21
There are no shortcuts to authentic love. You cannot say “I love you, but I am only willing to love you this much!” You cannot say you love me if you have written hundreds of conditions into your heart. “I will only love you if times are good. I will only love you if blessings are unmistakably abundant. I will only love you if life is easy. I will only love you when the course of life runs smooth.” That is not love. Stop bargaining your way into loving me. Stop giving me only your excesses. Stop giving me only your crumbs.An excerpt from a good friend’s letter to (Elisa) with her conversation with God
It’s simple, really.
‘There is only one thing needful’—
To sit at the feet of Jesus.
And yet so easily we’re turned aside
By things that matter less—
By things that matter not at all.
We bend beneath the weight of burdens
We were never asked to bear
We fill our lives so full
We cannot hear the voice
Of Him who loves us,
Who whispers to our weary souls,
‘Come to me, and I will give you rest.’
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.Rabindranath Tagore
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.1 Peter 4: 12-13