Ashley Irwin was slightly amused and slightly alarmed when her young son, Wyatt, asked her to pull down his Marvel-themed Duffel bag. “I’ve got a big trip tomorrow,” he said. At first, Ashley thought her son was talking about church, since this all took place on a Saturday night. But Wyatt had a bigger goal in mind—a higher destination. “I’m going to heaven,” he told his … [Read more...] about Do Children Go to Heaven? What Happens to the Souls of Little Ones When They Die
Receive Bible-based answers to questions regarding fear, backsliding, prodigals, death, sickness, unemployment and modern sources of stress.
When an earthquake rocked northwest Syria on February 6, the country was already in ruins, experiencing an epic humanitarian and economic crisis. Of the 4.5 million people living in the region, 4.1 million people were already in need of assistance. Then, the ground violently shook... It’s difficult not to wonder why God allowed this natural disaster to occur. In a land … [Read more...] about What Do Devastating Natural Disasters Say About God?
Often, the hard issues we face are due to circumstances beyond our control. Case in point: flooding disasters in Florida, across the North-central U.S., and California ... These tragedies, pulled from the headlines, affect many people and communities at once. But if I were to sit down across from you and ask, “What difficult circumstances are you facing today?” —I have no … [Read more...] about Why Is Life So Hard?
America loves game shows, especially when the price is right. Game shows started in 1938 during the golden age of radio with the broadcast of “Spelling Bee.” In 1940, “Truth or Consequences” began on radio and soon jumped to television. As TVs became household fixtures, game shows filled the daylight hours, allowing advertisers to hawk soaps and cigarettes to homemakers. In … [Read more...] about The Satisfyingly Simple Answer to the World's Problems
Perhaps you’re not where you want to be. You’re reading this in a hospital bed, or in a prison or halfway house, or in a distant city far from family. Maybe you’ve had to move out of the home you loved or away from the town where you grew up. You might be reading this in a dormitory room, feeling lonelier than you’ve ever felt in your life. We’re not always in our ideal … [Read more...] about God Is in the Room—Right Now
Perhaps you’ve had a crisis loom in your life that you couldn’t understand—an illness, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one. It was a complete shock to your spiritual system, not something you were prepared for. At first, you prayed, read your Bible, and tried to remain faithful to God. But in time, your faith began to wane. Where was God? Why wasn’t He healing you... … [Read more...] about Finding Courage in God's Love for Us
Something is changing in the Western world. Increasingly, police departments find themselves disparaged and defunded. Politicians curb law enforcement budgets, and prosecutors release criminals who end up rearrested the next day. Open borders make it difficult to control human smugglers, sex traffickers, and dangerous drugs. We never know what will provoke rioting in our … [Read more...] about Living the Golden Rule in a Tarnished Culture
In the past 3,400 years, the world has been at peace less than ten percent of the time—about 268 years total. It would be easy to point the finger at Almighty God, but the problem lies in the human heart. Although God has the power to prevent bad things from happening, He created us with the ability to choose right from wrong. It is our own choices that have led to heartache … [Read more...] about Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
As a child, where did you go for answers? As a teenager, who was your “go-to” person? In your career now, do you have a mentor who helps you find the answers you seek? When Moses didn’t know what to do with the Israelites in the wilderness, his father-in-law, Jethro, told him how to organize the people into a functioning nation (Exodus 18). When David became the king of … [Read more...] about Trusting God When Your Prayers Aren’t Answered
Inner peace seems illusive at times. The consistent overflow of information and entertainment that bombards us, added to the fast-paced lifestyles we are pressured to lead, can put us on the edge of our sanity and keep us there. While we are living in this zone, it’s usually not a question of whether we are praying but how we are praying. How to Pray for Peace … [Read more...] about 7 Prayers for Inner Peace
Q My spouse died last year. I’m not close to wanting a relationship, but I wonder how I will ever have a loving relationship again. A People face different kinds of loneliness. But when we lose a loved one, it touches the very core of our lives. I don't have to tell you that survivors of death, divorce, and estrangement experience the most intense form of loneliness … [Read more...] about Hope & Help for Christians After Losing a Spouse
One young, single woman quit her job in the city and moved back to her small hometown, abandoning her career, and leaving a place of service in the church she had joined. When asked why, she replied, “I just got tired of eating supper alone.” No one is immune to it. Even one of the most brilliant men who ever lived, Albert Einstein, complained, “It is strange to be known so … [Read more...] about 3 Ways to Overcome Loneliness for Christians
Temptation is a fork in the road. It is choosing which road to travel: the high one or the low one. Wouldn’t life be easier if there were no forks, no decisions to make—if the road were simply a straight and narrow path? But the Bible gives us no magical formulas for that kind of life. It assures us that we will come to those forks regularly, and we must choose where to … [Read more...] about 20 Verses for Overcoming Temptation
For nearly three minutes on every space flight reentry, heat and disruption cause a communication blackout. But because of in-flight damage, Apollo 13’s famed re-entry extended to more than four minutes. As the three-minute mark came and went, NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston began trying to reestablish radio contact, fearing the worst: “Odyssey, this is … [Read more...] about Experiencing God's Presence in the Midst of Darkness
How do spiritual drains develop in the life of a believer? Spiritual power does not vanish overnight. It is a gradual process that worsens over time as we establish patterns of behavior that grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. This can happen in a variety of ways, but today we will examine four common leaks: 1. The drain of negative influence. Our relationships will lead us … [Read more...] about 4 Reasons You Feel Spiritually Drained and Ways to Avoid Them
The verses we’ll look at today address eight of God’s promises. Would you like to experience more of God’s love? Or His peace? Perhaps you are hoping for His deliverance. If you are short on time, you can jump to a particular topic: God's abundance God's deliverance God's goodness God's guidance God's love God's peace God's presence God's strength Corrie ten Boom used to … [Read more...] about 18 Bible Verses for Overcoming Anxiety and Stress
Most parents understand the value of the occasional “No.” When our children were younger, Donna and I said “Yes” whenever we could, but there were times when the wisest response was “No.” The dangers of the world demand it. What if your child wants to spend the night with a family about whom you know nothing? What if they want to play in an unsafe area or near a busy street? … [Read more...] about This Might Be the Reason God Tells You “No”
Life has a funny way of twisting, turning, and taking us on a path we could never anticipate. Sometimes the surprises are wonderful. Other times they are absolutely devastating. They can upend the vision we had for our life, and the shock and grief of unwanted change can leave us feeling as if we no longer have a purpose. Such was the case for Joni Eareckson Tada. In an … [Read more...] about Finding Your Purpose Through Pain: The Story of Joni Eareckson Tada
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? 1. Problems bring great opportunities. 2. Problems promote spiritual maturity. 3. Problems prove integrity. 4. Problems produce dependency. 5. Problems prepare our hearts for ministry. The setting is the peak of the Cold War. America and an unnamed superpower have both developed a new technology called miniaturization, … [Read more...] about 5 Surprising Reasons God Allows Adversity
Every four years, the world holds its breath while America chooses a President. The decision, coming at the end of hard-fought campaigns, influences the destiny of history. Perhaps only those closest to the candidates understand the strain of the race. The pressures of running for President must be nearly as great as the stresses of office once elected. When Woodrow … [Read more...] about 3 Lessons Christians Can Learn From the Election
Americans spent $9 billion on Halloween in 2018 with more than a third of that spending allocated to costumes. Top costumes for adults included witches, vampires, zombies, pirates, and Avengers characters. Children dressed as princesses, superheroes, Batman, Star Wars characters, and witches.1 Did you notice the costume that appears on both lists? Witches. With its … [Read more...] about 4 Strategies for Confronting Spiritual Darkness on Halloween
Every day at Turning Point, we receive stacks of letters from our readers and listeners, and we take each one seriously. I’m grateful our friends around the world feel they can confide in our counsel and prayers. A large number of these letters are written with tears as people grapple with death, dying, and the loss of loved ones. Some readers have lost the dearest person on … [Read more...] about 3 Biblical Truths for Handling Grief
Job’s friends were true encouragers for one week—they sat with him; they wept with him; and most importantly, they remained silent. But once they began to speak, they became Job’s great discouragers. They responded to Job’s words, but they failed to see his pain or to recognize suffering as a potential part of God’s plan. They assumed Job’s sin, never acknowledging the … [Read more...] about How Not to Encourage Your Friends—A Lesson From Job’s Friends
It is, perhaps, the most intimidating part of supporting a friend who has lost a loved one: What do we say to them? “I’m sorry” often feels overused and empty. “They’re in a better place now” is vague and potentially misleading. It is hard to see someone we love in the grip of loss and not know how to encourage them through it. It is hard for us to experience that sort of … [Read more...] about The Loss of a Loved One: Moving From Grief to Hope
Where can we go during times of trouble? One answer is Zahara de la Sierra in the Cádiz province of southern Spain. Originally built as a castle and fortress in the Andalusian Mountains, Zahara has endured as a place of refuge and security for nearly a thousand years. The town was founded as an outpost for the Moors of the Maghreb; its location between the cities of … [Read more...] about Why COVID? Finding Shelter in God During Times of Crisis
Every year Memorial Day comes and goes and is often marked by parades, backyard picnics and the onset of warm summer days. But this Memorial Day, the pageantry will be limited with many of us around the United States still sheltering in place. Nevertheless, I want to remind Americans that it is still a day to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of those who have made us … [Read more...] about Celebrating Memorial Day in the Wake of COVID-19
How do we pray when we’re facing a crisis like COVID-19? There isn’t a set formula or “right” way to do it. God knows what we need before we ask, and He’s more concerned with the condition of our heart than the words we speak. James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” If we are sincere in our faith and our petition, God will hear us and … [Read more...] about A Prayer for Facing the Coronavirus
The typical image of Easter is a pretty spring morning in the best matching pastel outfits mom could find, all while celebrating our Savior’s resurrection and hunting for eggs later that afternoon. This year, everyone from all walks of life has been finding a new normal, one where the phrase “social distancing” defines every decision. In this new normal, churches have … [Read more...] about The Resurrection Is Good News—Even in Hard Times
Attitude can mean the difference between victory and defeat in whatever struggle we’re facing. Morale is half the battle, as historian Robert Mackay writes in his book by that title: Half the Battle: Civilian Morale in Britain During the Second World War. According to Mackay, from the outset of World War II, the British Ministry of Information and its partnering agencies … [Read more...] about Facing Coronavirus With Courage, Cheerfulness, and Resolution
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has created an unprecedented crisis in our nation and the world. For the first time in my lifetime, major events and activities have been canceled to stem the tide of a lethal virus. Schools at all levels are either closed for a time or have transitioned to online learning. Broadway theaters have gone dark. Professional sporting events have been … [Read more...] about Facing the Coronavirus: 6 Strategies for Christians
Our world is embroiled in a war against an invisible enemy known as COVID-19. And every war needs a good PR department. Public relations on the home front affect the results on the battlefront and can spell the difference between victory and defeat. That’s why England’s government established the Ministry of Information (MOI) on September 4, 1939, a scant day after Britain’s … [Read more...] about Facing Coronavirus: Keep Calm and Carry On
When we go to the doctor, we want to hear two things: (1) “I know what is wrong with you,” and (2) “I know how to fix it.” But what if the doctor said one more thing? Imagine how you would feel if he added, “Let me introduce you to folks who have already been through this. They’ll encourage you.” That would be even better! Today we are living in a similar situation. Our … [Read more...] about Living Confidently in Uncertain Times
I’m often asked about the tone of our national discourse. Not since the Civil War, people tell me, has our nation been so divided. Well, I remember the riots of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and I’m not sure how to compare the social temperature of various generations. But I’m as troubled as anyone about today’s angry rhetoric, divisive speech, racial unrest, and cultural … [Read more...] about A Biblical Checklist for Difficult Conversations
We all encounter difficult seasons and circumstances in our life. Perhaps the desires of our heart long to be fulfilled. Perhaps we are struggling through family or financial difficulties. Perhaps we’ve been confronted with a sudden loss or diagnosis that has shaken our world to its core. When we face difficult times, how do we hold on to hope? King David knew a … [Read more...] about 5 Psalms for Hope in Hard Times
Moses was a murderer. David was the youngest of eight brothers. Gideon hid from his enemies. Paul persecuted Christians. Thomas was a doubter. God uses unlikely candidates to build His kingdom, and Scripture is filled with examples. In modern times, William Carey (1761-1834), a poor Englishman with almost no formal education, started a revolution in international missions … [Read more...] about How to Overcome Adversity and Grow Spiritually
Samson was betrayed by a beautiful woman. David was hunted by Saul and eventually by his own son. Job lost his family and fortune. All but one of the disciples were martyred. It’s no secret: God’s people experience pain and hardship. How can we be at peace when our world is crashing in around us? The Bible offers wisdom that has the power to steady us in any … [Read more...] about Daily Scriptures for Finding Inner Peace
Our pain is real. Even a quick look at the Bible bears witness to the fact that we aren’t the first to walk down the difficult roads of disappointment, persecution, and bitterness. In God’s Word, we find hope for stormy times. Whenever I have suffered, the psalms have been a source of strength and healing. Are you facing a bend in the road? An unexpected diagnosis? A … [Read more...] about Why Does God Allow Suffering?
Perhaps the only thing worse than experiencing adversity firsthand is watching a loved one go through difficulties. What can you do? What should you say? Should you say anything at all? Each circumstance requires sensitivity and prayer. There are no easy answers, but God’s Word provides reliable advice for every situation. Here are a few pointers to get you … [Read more...] about 7 Biblical Answers for Dealing With Adversity
A Case for Simple Faith Jesus told a story about a wayward son who wasted his inheritance on wild living and ended up destitute. Filled with guilt and shame, the young man returned to his father’s house in hopes of working as a servant—he didn’t dare believe he could return as a son. When the boy arrived home, his father rushed to greet him, threw his arms around him, and … [Read more...] about Is Faith Enough?
Advice columnist, Ann Landers, when asked if there was a common denominator among the thousands of letters that came to her, said that the great overriding theme of all the letters was fear—fear of nearly everything imaginable until the problem became, for countless readers, a fear of life itself. Yet Proverbs 3:25-26 commands, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of … [Read more...] about The Bible’s Powerful 3-Step Process for Banishing Worry and Fear
4 Aspects of God’s Faithfulness Every Christian Should Remember In case of emergency—break glass. No doubt you’ve seen signs bearing these words. Painted bright red, they stand out from their surroundings to grab our attention, offering a lifeline when disaster strikes. Whether it’s a means of turning off the gas line or accessing an AED or activating an alarm, emergency … [Read more...] about When You Feel Discouraged … Do THIS Immediately
Walking the Persistent Christian Journey The Christian life is a journey of persistence and endurance. Each morning when we wake up, we have no idea what the day will bring—a flat tire, a troubling phone call, a medical diagnosis. The question isn’t whether we’ll have trouble but when and how. Following the example of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica, we … [Read more...] about 5 Biblical Strategies for When Life Is Hard
Paul Jergan’s bend in the road came in the middle of the night, May 1, 2001, when he was jolted from bed by the ringing of the phone. Half-asleep, groping in the darkness for the phone, he muttered a groggy “hello.” A half-second later he was fully alert. It was the emergency room of a distant hospital. Paul’s son, Travis, a university student in another state, was in critical … [Read more...] about 4 Ways to Meet God in Hard Times
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7 In her book The New Spirit-Controlled Woman, Beverly LaHaye wrote about a friend of hers who was very fearful and introverted. The woman’s friends didn’t realize her inner turmoil, for she hid it and rarely spoke of it. But one day this woman simply fell apart and confessed … [Read more...] about Don’t Be Afraid: Getting Rid of Crippling Fear
He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.Micah 7:19 If you were asked to share your life story, which events and moments would you include? The experiences we remember with the greatest clarity are those with the strongest emotions attached to them: the overcoming of obstacles, the losses that … [Read more...] about Defining Moments: Have You Allowed God to Free You From Your Shame?
For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.Philippians 2:13 One of the hardest, but most important, lessons for children and young people to learn is to view hardships in light of their purpose and outcome. Most children don’t like to practice scales on the piano, but they love a superior rating at the recital. Most young athletes don’t … [Read more...] about Daily Doxology: Why It’s Important to Praise God in Hard Times
What can I do to overcome my fears? You have to tell it to Jesus. Tell the Lord your fears. When you acknowledge the reliability of the One who is in charge of your life and then admit your fear, you need to appropriate the power that He has promised to give you. “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.… And the Lord hears and delivers … [Read more...] about 4 Ways to Have Courage and Overcome Fear
What advice would you give these people? SITUATION 1: In World War II, a patrol of Soviet soldiers captures a German woman who was foraging for food for her three children. Her husband is already in a POW camp in England, and she is taken to a POW camp in Russia. When her husband returns to Germany, he locates their children but is unable to find his wife. The wife, interred … [Read more...] about Why Your Circumstances Don’t Define Your Spiritual Growth
For four days last July, my hometown of San Diego was invaded by thousands of superheroes, zombies, vampires, science fiction characters, comic book characters, other “characters” I don’t know how to describe, and loads of actors who have portrayed these characters on television and in film. Well, the characters themselves didn’t appear since they’re all imaginary. But … [Read more...] about What Does It Mean to Rejoice Always?
Let’s do a little geology to get started: The surface of the earth is made of giant plates (the Pacific Plate, the North American Plate, the South American Plate, the African, Arabian, Eurasian, Indian Plates—and so on). These plates that form the earth’s crust sit atop the mantle, which is semi-molten—a thick liquid, if you will. Hard plates, sitting atop a molten foundation, … [Read more...] about Finding Faults: How to Avoid Spiritual Earthquakes