Hope for the Grieving

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (v. 1) Horatio Spafford was a lawyer in Chicago in the middle of the 19th century. An elder in his church and friends with evangelist D. L. Moody, Spafford and his family had endured a difficult year in 1871, losing their young son to Scarlet Fever and surviving the Great Fire of Chicago. Two years later, Spafford, his wife Anna, and their four daughters decided …

Hope for the Small Stuff

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: 1 Peter 5:1-7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (v. 7) In college, I was part of a vibrant campus ministry. We would meet Wednesdays, spend time in worship, share prayer requests, listen to a speaker, and then indulge in cheap refreshments and rich conversation. One time, I brought a guest whose background was very different from our group’s casual style of Christianity. During the sharing time, I could tell he was becoming agitated. …

Hope for Inadequacy

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Isaiah 40:29-31 They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength. (v. 31) One of the common issues discussed among college faculty is what’s known as impostor syndrome. Scholars who have attained the highest level in their fields nevertheless find themselves feeling inadequate, doubting their abilities, fearing that the world will one day realize that they are a fraud. Instead of resting in their hard-earned success, many live with a restlessness that won’t allow them peace. In Judges …

Hope for the Afflicted

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Genesis 41:46-57 The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (v. 52) Do you know the inspirational story behind Saint Patrick’s Day? Raised in Britain amidst tremendous affluence, Patrick was kidnapped as a teenager and sold into slavery in the neighboring nation of Ireland. After six difficult years, Patrick finally escaped and was reunited with his family. You would think he would want nothing to do with …

Hope for the Outmatched

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: 1 Samuel 17:41-50 For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand. (v. 47) In the Disney classic The Lion King, there is a scene where Simba, the young heir to the throne, is tricked into exploring a dangerous graveyard. Three hyenas arrive on the scene, ready to attack Simba and his friend Nala. Simba, outmatched and outnumbered, tries to protect Nala with his fiercest roar, but his youthful attempt only elicits mocking laughter …

Hope for the Meek

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Matthew 5:1-12 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (v. 5) Bruce Lee was a legendary figure. A phenomenal martial artist and actor, Lee used his significant influence to challenge prevailing stereotypes about Asian culture, especially in media representations. His physical capabilities and fitness regimen were famous, to the point where his name is synonymous with fighting. However, according to his friends, when strangers would approach Lee in public and challenge him to a fight, Lee’s …