There will be an end to these troubles

I cant think of anything of greater help to us than to cling onto God’s promise of an end to suffering  during difficult times. Certainly mental illnesses can be among the hardest things for us to endure, whether we suffer from one ourselves, or it is a loved one. But again we realise that ultimately the solutions the Bible offers us speak to those of us who suffer mental illness and those who don't alike.  Hope is vital.  We must be able to believe that as we spoke about yesterday, Jesus has goo … [Read more...]

An answer to the “Why does God allow Suffering?” question

A few weeks ago now, I posted a surprising answer to the "Why me?" question. In that article I essentially make the point that one reason God allows suffering in our lives is so that we will be able to help others. But there are clearly other reasons, and we will never fully understand. One of the important reasons for us to grasp is expressed by Paul in what some have claimed is the finest chapter in the whole Bible, Romans 8:Behind every bad thing that happens to us, God is at work, … [Read more...]

How God can use 120 people to change the World

Somehow the personal tragedy Rick and Kay Warren face, compounded with the atrocity committed in Boston has brought into renewed focus for me how broken our world is. A viral illness has silenced me for a day or two but I am back now with a vengeance! Truth be told there is a great need for us to consider headlong how we can tackle brokeness of all forms as churches. Today, there is something that I want to say before I get back into my series on Mental Health which so far has included my most … [Read more...]

Can a Christian get depressed?

All over the English speaking world today, as a result of the tragic death of Rick and Kay Warren's son, many will be having conversations about mental illness. I thought I would write a short series of posts reflecting as a Christian psychiatrist on some of the questions people will inevitably ask. Proverbs 15:13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. The first question, today, is incredibly easy to answer. Can a Christian get depressed? The answer … [Read more...]

Rick Warren’s son takes his own life after a lifelong battle with mental illness

The Christian and secular media are reporting the tragic news that Rick Warren's son has taken his own life after a lifelong battle with mental illness.The Warrens will be grieving and in terrible distress right now. Every Christian reading this should please offer a prayer of support on their behalf.At times like these the love of friends and family will be a great support to them, but will not take away the pain. Rick and Kay need the love of Jesus to be especially real to them at this … [Read more...]

A Good Friday Sermon

Other useful Easter resources:Did Jesus rise from the dead? I believe in Jesus: a sermon on the Trinity and the Resurrection A Good Friday Sermon A sermon on Jesus' Resurrection and its implications for us (Romans 4:25)At Jubilee Church I preached yesterday's sermon.  Here are some notes from the sermon with some extra material woven in.Earlier today on Twitter somebody asked why people would wish each other a "happy" Good Friday. It begs the question why we even call the … [Read more...]

Tragedy and the Empty Tomb

Phillip Yancey has written a very moving and helpful piece on untangling profound suffering, and how it actually can point us to a deeper, more profound faith, especially when seen through the lens of Jesus' death and resurrection. Entitled National Tragedy and the Empty Tomb, the whole thing is worthy of you reading it this Easter, but the following paragraph jumped out at me, speaking of Desmond Tutu's reaction to sitting through South Africa's Truth and Reconcilliation Commission … [Read more...]

What Mark Driscoll likes about Joel Osteen

In the middle of an interview about Driscolls new book (which I reviewed here) is a fascinating aside from Driscoll, never one to pull his punches, about America's most prominent pastor, Joel Osteen, who many like to criticise:  "I am aware of the theological differences that exist between our tribe and Pastor Joel. I also know my Reformed brothers like to treat Pastor Joel like a piñata, but there are worse things than being happy and encouraging at a time when the most common prescription m … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving for God’s Family

This post is an extract of a guest post I wrote for my friend Kevin Brown, the pastor of The Perfecting Church. You can read the rest on their site.About a week ago I noticed it again. Over on my blog, out of nowhere once again a particular post sprung up again into my list of ten most popular posts. Actually, this week it shot into second place. This happens regularly about this time of year, and each time I find myself smiling when I notice. It’s almost like God playing a kind of joke on m … [Read more...]

God’s will: all we need even in the darkest times

I've been listening to a really good song part-written by an old blogging friend of mine. Its all about surrendering our wills to a higher cause, that of Christ and his plans for us. You can buy the song on iTunes or read the lyrics here:YOUR WILL (as recorded by Saint Lewis) (c.)2011 - Lewis, Durbin, Gilles, & TuckerI'm leaving my ambitions - I've given up my dreams Surrendered to the plans You laid for me I'm waiting for a greater vision of who I'm meant to be Nothing else … [Read more...]