Ask Your Preacher
How do I take comfort from God when my two adult children are suffering with drug addiction? I have two sons who are throwing their lives away by way of drug addiction. The youngest is in our county jail waiting to go back to prison. My oldest is in Chicago Cook county jail awaiting a charge there. I am constantly fearful for their lives. If they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, how can I ever have peace? I see their self-destructive behavior, and I feel helpless. I feel guilty as well. Please, any advice would be helpful. I must confess, I have been baptized but do not currently attend church. I believe that may be the first step to helping me. Sometimes, I read Scripture that helps give me strength, but lately, I feel lost. Thank you for any help you may give me.
Dear Heart-Sick Mother,
We are so sorry for your grief and suffering. How you feel is completely normal, and in fact, you might take comfort in reading one of our questions, "A Mother's Grief", written in by a mother who had similar sorrows from her grown children.
You asked us what you can do to take comfort in God... and you are right; going back to church is a big part of that. God tells us that assembling with a faithful church encourages and strengthens us (Heb 10:24-25). You can't change the past, and you can't live your sons' lives for them. This is your reality now, and the best thing you can do for yourself (and for them) is to put your life on the right path. We would be happy to help you find some wonderful, faithful congregations in your area if you'd like. Not all churches are faithful, but we can help get you in contact with one that will help you draw near to God and heal. Just e-mail us at email@example.com.
Where in the Bible does God say to protect Israel?
Dear Hebrew Helper,
Christians aren’t told to protect Israel – they may be America’s national ally, but biblically, Christians have no closer ties to Israelis than they do to the rest of mankind. Under the Old Testament, the Jewish people were God’s nation (Deut 7:6). The Jewish nation was warned that if they rejected God’s Son, they would be rejecting God, and God would make a new nation out of those who believed in Christ (Jesus explained this to the Jews in the parable of the vineyard – Lk 20:9-19). The vast majority of Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, and therefore, they never became a part of Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus’ chosen people are those that love Him and keep His commandments (Jhn 14:15). The Jewish people rejected God because they decided to keep their traditions instead of accepting God’s Son (Mk 7:9).
What do I do when life is hard and I want to turn to God, but I don't really know how?
Making Every Effort
Dear Making Every Effort,
Rom 12:1-2 says that we renew our minds when we begin to mold our lives to imitate our Lord. The more we change our behavior to match the Bible, the more our mind begins to match our new lifestyle. There is an old saying: “Fake it to make it”. When we begin to act the way we ought, our minds and characters begin to match our new behavior. Positive thinking begins with positive life choices. Sometimes the greatest act of Christian faith is to endure through the pain of trials until you get to the other side (1 Cor 10:13). Endurance is a Christian virtue (Jas 5:11). Sometimes all you can do is simply put one foot in front of the other, keep God’s commands, and it will be counted as faith (Rom 10:17).
If Jesus paid for our sins, why do we have to pay for them again? And where can I find it at in the Bible?
Dear Second Chances,
Sin has both spiritual and physical consequences. The spiritual consequence of sin is eternal death unless we are forgiven in Christ (Rom 6:23). The physical consequences of sin still remain after forgiveness. God says that we reap what we sow (Gal 6:7). When we behave immorally toward a woman, lose our temper, mistreat others, are bad examples for our children, etc. – there are consequences to those choices. God does offer forgiveness if we place our faith in Him (read “What Must I Do To Be Saved” for more details), but that forgiveness doesn’t remove the consequences of sin in this life. David sinned when he committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:2-4); God forgave David of the sin when David repented (2 Sam 12:13), but David’s child still died as a consequence of that sin (2 Sam 12:14).
In Christ, we don’t have to pay for the eternal consequences of our sins, but we do still have to pay for the physical ones.
Does God bless everyone with a wife?
There are no guarantees regarding marriage. In a fallen world full of sin, all sorts of tragic things happen… including people living without helpmeets even though they desperately want them. God offers us comfort in that we can seek Him and His help through prayer (Jas 5:16-18). God even says that there are advantages to being single, and that our single years can be our most productive spiritually (1 Cor 7:32-34). Take heart that the Lord watches over those that are His (Jhn 10:14), and you will never be tempted beyond what you are able (1 Cor 10:13). We can’t guarantee that you will have a wife, but we can tell you that in almost all cases, the right person comes along at the right time.