Suffering

When the World Sends You Garbage, Send Back Music

Cateura is a small slum in Paraguay, South America, built on a rubbish tip. Desperately poor, its villagers eke out a living by recycling and selling whatever they can find in the garbage. But from these unpromising conditions something beautiful has emerged. And it holds an important lesson for you and me. More…

I’m Suffering. Is God Punishing Me?

Image of man with head in his hands, by Eflon,

Ever since writing Resurrection Year I’ve received hundreds of emails from people sharing their broken dreams and heartaches. In some, I’ve noticed a subtle belief that their trials are divine retribution of some kind—a punishment for their mistakes or wrongs. If you’ve ever felt the same, you’re not alone. But the feeling needs to be challenged. More…

Hate Will Not Have the Final Say. A Note of Hope in a Tragic Week

British MP Jo Cox’s murder yesterday sent the nation into shock, halted the EU referendum campaign, and sparked spontaneous vigils last night. It came just days after another history-making tragedy, the Orlando shooting. The loss of a young wife, mother, politician and humanitarian, applauded by all as a woman of astounding compassion, and those lost or injured in Orlando, can leave us questioning the existence of a good and loving God. Here is the message I shared on BBC Radio 2 this morning. In the end, hate will not have the final say. More…

050 How to Turn Pain into Strength

Researchers into resilience say we bounce back from adversity better when we can turn our weakness into strength and our pain into power. It’s a nice thought, but how can it happen? Here are four ways I’ve seen God do it by seeing pain as a challenge to be fulfilled, a gift to be embraced, a story to be shared, leading to a tribe to be served. More…

036 The Problem with Kitsch Jesus

You’ll find him in Christian bookstores, on ‘Christian art’ sites and all over Facebook. He may hang on your friend’s lounge room wall, or even on your own. He is kitsch Jesus. But while he may remind us of how sweet and gentle he is, kitsch Jesus has a problem. Here he is in pictorial form. More…

Can You See all the Broken Beauty? (30 Photos)

Merryn and I have just returned from a holiday to southern Italy. It was a trip filled with both beauty and decay. Yet even in the decay a subtle beauty was found – a ‘broken beauty’ which can help us see our own lives in a new way. Here are 30 photographs to show you what I mean. More…

A Little Word Called Why

“Why?… is a little word that describes a bottomless abyss full of unanswered questions…” This guest post, from a reader of Resurrection Year, is a beautiful hope-filled poem about seeing God’s hidden place behind our suffering. More…

022 After the Wilderness, a New Beginning [Podcast]

Can anything good come out of painful ‘wilderness’ experiences like grief, unwanted singleness, infertility or failure? I believe so. In this talk I explore how God makes the wilderness a place of surprising revelation, provision and discovery. More…

‘I Needed this Book’ John Smith on Resurrection Year

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from John Smith, the radical Australian minister, speaker and God’s Squad motorcycle club founder. He told me my book Resurrection Year had moved him deeply. I asked him to put his feelings into words. More…

004 Why Does God Hide? [Podcast]

Why is God invisible? Why doesn’t he ‘appear’ in front of us? Even when he does appear, he comes disguised as a pillar of cloud, a whisper, or a burning bush, and even Jesus – God in human form – wasn’t instantly recognisable after his resurrection. So why does God so love to hide? In short, God hides so we will seek him. More…