How to Grieve 

There are recovery programs for people grieving the loss of a parent, sibling, or spouse. You can buy books on how to cope with the death of a beloved pet or work through the anguish of a miscarriage. We speak openly with one another about the bereavement that can accompany a layoff, a move, a diagnosis, or a dream deferred. But no one really teaches you how to grieve the loss of your faith. You’re on your own for that.

Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday   

The Paradox of Emotions

“A desire (or emotion) is turned not to itself but to its object. Not only that, but it owes all its character to its object.. It is the object which makes the desire harsh or sweet, coarse or choice, ‘high’ or ‘low.’ It is the object that makes the desire itself desirable or hateful.”

Those words were penned by CS Lewis.

In other words, if you want to love your wife then concentrate--not on love--but on her.

If you wish more faith in God, do not concentrate on faith. Focus on God.

Stephen Goforth

Betting on Those We Love

The year is 1995. Jeff Bezos launches an online bookstore out of his garage in his Bellevue, Washington. His parents sink a substantial portion of their life savings into the effort. "We weren't betting on the Internet," his mother would later say. "We were betting on Jeff." By the end of the decade, Jeff's parents are billionaires, thanks to the success of Amazon.

It doesn't always work out this way, but is betting on those we love ever a misplaced wager? There are many ways besides money that we can show them through our action we are on their side and are rooting for them.

a Sickness unto Death

Man begins as an it. He is to become an I.  The fact that he is not necessarily so is the source of man's misery. Sin leads to a disrelationship, a separation of man from himself called despair. Kiekegaard says this disrelationship of the self to the self, this despair, this spiritual sickness unto death reveals not only man's separation from himself.. but his separation from God. To be rid of the despair, one must, choose it. A man will be enabled to overcome if he recognizes the sickness, accepts it, and through an act of his own free will, makes a leap of faith past it. The cure is to choose the good, to choose one's self, Kierkegaard tells us. It is in the act of becoming one's self, man moves from an it to an I.

Stephen Goforth

Staying Power

Faith supplies staying power. It contains dynamic to keep one going when the going is hard. Anybody can keep going when the going is good, but some extra ingredient is needed to enable you to keep fighting when it seems that everything is against you.

You may counter, "But you don’t know my circumstances. I am in a different situation than anybody else and I am as far down as a human being can get.

In that case you are fortunate, for if you are as far down as you can get there is no further down you can go. There is only one direction you can take from this position, and that is up. So your situation is quite encouraging. However, I caution you not to take the attitude that you are in a situation in which nobody has ever been before. There is no such situation.

Practically speaking, there are only a few human stories and they have all been enacted previously. This is a fact that you must never forget – there are people who have overcome every conceivable difficult situation, even the one in which you now find yourself and which to you seems utterly hopeless. So did it seem to some others, but they found an out, a way up, a path over, a pass through.

Norman Vincent Peale,  The Power of Positive Thinking