WHY DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL TO EXIST?

Illustration from Foster Shannon’s Book, “The Scroll With Seven Seals”: http://www.gogreenleaf.com/the-scroll-with-seven-seals-what-the-book-of-revelation-really-says/

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

One of the questions asked by both believers and unbelievers is, “Why does God allow evil to exist?” We approach the subject of evil with humility. We recognize hat there are multitudes of factors that are beyond our understanding. The arguments from atheists and others go something like this:

  1. A good God would destroy evil.
  2. An all powerful God could destroy evil.
  3. Evil is not destroyed. Therefore God cannot be good, nor can he be all-powerful.

If we insist that God must not allow evil, then He should never allow inconveniences or disappointments. Neither would He allow warfare and disease. Should He not always protect us from traffic accidents and arguments? Should He not be responsible to see that in marriage, we never have a disagreement? If God is good, is it right for Him to deny us any pleasure? How is it that people can blame God for the bad things that occur, yet not be willing to praise Him for the good things that He pours out upon us? Are the atheists sulking, because God cannot be treated as if he were Aladdin’s genie?

God is not our enemy! We commit all kinds of sin, and then we ask why does not God do something about it? The answer is that God teaches us in the Scriptures regarding the kind of life that we should live. Through the new birth, He enables us to live virtuous lives. Reckoning with our sin and our inability to save ourselves, God is calling us to trust in Him for our salvation.

Where does the critic get the moral authority to sit in judgment upon God? Does our behavior throughout history, confirm us as wise and competent judges? Our troubles as human beings are the consequences of our own wrongs and sins. We fight wars. We steal from one another. We murder people whom we hate, or from whom we would take their possessions. Our primary enemy is not society; it is ourselves. We commit sins of all kinds, and then we ask why does God not do something about it? The answer is that God teaches us in the Scriptures regarding the kind of life that we should live. Through the new birth, God enables us to live virtuous lives. Reckoning with our sin and our inability to save ourselves, God is calling us to trust in him for our salvation:

“And there is salivation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts :12)

We live in a world that is in turmoil. We see it in the violence in the streets in many American cities; in the killing that continues in Syria and Iraq, with little hope of resolve. We see it in the governing regime in North Korea. We see it in the city of Chicago with a murder rate that is out of control, much of it blacks killing blacks.

Our future and our hope is with our Savior. He is our teacher. He is our helper. He is the God who will save us. “The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom then shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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There IS Gain With Pain

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Mark 2:  The paralyzed man being let down through the roof in front of Jesus.

Mark 2: The paralyzed man being let down through the roof in front of Jesus.

The knee replacement surgery, which I experienced on the 10th of January, and the accompanying slowness of recovery and pain has caused me to reflect again on what the Bible has to say about temptation, difficulties, and trials. The Bible makes it plain that all people will suffer in one manner or another, and that the end result can be beneficial. Suffering takes many forms: disappointment, failure, illness, financial losses, mistreatment by others, etc. The experiences of the unbelieving are not necessarily beneficial, but the difficulties of life can lead the believing to draw closer to their Lord. “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:6,7)

One of the greatest of Christians, the apostle Paul, suffered from a thorn in the flesh. We do not know what it was, but it must have been severe, otherwise he would not have mentioned it. In II Corinthians, chapter 12, he tells of a special blessing; being caught up in the spirit to Heaven and experiencing marvelous things. But our Lord must keep the lives of even the best of Christians in balance. Thus, Paul writes,

“to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.”

God’s purpose for us is that we may grow in his grace:

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (II Corinthians 3:18)

Why do we need to be tested? As we look to the scriptures, we find good reasons:

1. To keep us from being conceited. Conceit is overweening self-esteem; having an excessively fine opinion of one’s self. All of us have gifts and abilities, and in some areas find ourselves more able than others. It is all too easy for us to think that we are not only more gifted and skilled–but that we are superior to others.

“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others as better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

2. That we may never forget our need of God and draw near to him.

“For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

3. That sanctification, our growth in grace, may continue as we reckon with factors in our lives that do not belong.

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Our conclusion: Temptations, illnesses, disappointments will come. Some of our suffering, we bring on ourselves through our own sins, carelessness and bad decisions, but much of it comes from the world, the times in which we live. We are to draw near to God for comfort and strength; to seek his will; and to reckon with our faults

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” (Psalm 118:5)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

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Dealing With Disappointments

disappointmentby Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Disappointment is endemic. There is hardly a day that goes by that we do not have some disappointments. For the cook: the cake or the casserole did not turn out as expected. It may even have been a disaster! The loss of a family member or a friend can bring severe disappointment. We can even be disappointed when our football or baseball team loses. We can be disappointed with ourselves when we make mistakes, that we thought we could avoid.

Some disappointments are relatively easy to get over. “Well, the Dodgers lost, but maybe they will win tomorrow.” When we make mistakes, we can learn from them, and be more careful in the future. When we lose a husband or wife or child or parent or close friend the disappointment can be devastating. Serious financial loss can shake our confidence, cause us to question ourselves, and to sink into a pool of despond.

God knows our disappointments, and he wants to deliver us from them. The Psalms were written, in part at least, to recognize our disappointments and to lead us out of them. Again, disappointments and discouragements are a common experience. They can lead us to correct faults, to avoid certain mistakes in the future. They can help us to recognize how important friends and family are to us.

Ultimately, and hopefully sooner and not later, we find comfort in our Savior because we know that God made us in his image. We know that he gives us gifts that we can use for our wellbeing and for the wellbeing of others. God has a purpose for every one of our lives. If we will confess our sins to him, we will always find forgiveness. “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for our only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1,2) If we continue to beat ourselves up—it is because we have not taken him at his word!

We all experience sorrow—but our Lord gives us hope. If we trust in him, we are not alone. We have our Savior to help us and guide us. We cannot avoid disappointments and discouragements, but we must expect to be delivered from them. It is of no use to continue to feel sorry for ourselves or to use our hurts as an excuse for continuing despond. Consider the words of our Savior: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Remember: We are created in the image of God. God loves you and desires the very best for you. He has given us the Bible to teach us, the Church to help us, family and friends to encourage us. And he gives us absolutely certain promises for the future, if we will give ourselves to him.

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF DECISIONS

By Dr.Foster H. Shannon

TheThinker, by Rodin

Almost all of the decisions that we make affect someone. We live in a sea of decisions that were made before we were born! The decision of Eve to allow herself to be beguiled by the devil and then Adam’s decision to  follow her in disobedience of God has impacted the human race ever since. We are affected in our daily lives by thousands of decisions made before we were alive: where our parents chose to live, what work they engaged in, our ancestors that decided to make North America/the United States their home, perhaps.

The counselors of King George III who urged him to bear down on the Colonies; the decision of King George III to impress his will on the American colonists with armed force. George Washington and the founders of our nation—all impact where we are today. We may ask why are we where we are; why did this happen? The answer, at least in part, is that thousands of decisions made by others over hundreds of years have brought us to this place.

I remember our visit to Lebanon in 1973 and to Israel and to many countries in the eastern Mediterranean. Things were much better at that time than they are now. As we traveled the roads in Lebanon, I observed many good cars severely damaged left by the side of the road (Mercedes seemed to be in abundance). I asked, what was going on to cause so many accidents? I was told that many of these people are Muslims and believe that Allah has determined everything. Why be conscientious about your driving?

“Whatever will be will be.” We call this determinism.

Many believe in a determinism that rules out free will. Indeed, a lot of things have been determined for us, but our choices and decisions are important. The Bible recognizes free will and human responsibility. The Bible speaks of choices:

Joshua 24:11: “And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”<br/ >
John 3:19:” And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” <br/ >
Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”<br/ >

I acknowledge, that when I speak of my salvation in Jesus Christ, I give the credit to God. But there must be some response. We are called upon to believe and obey. We remember that virtually every decision we make will have an impact upon others. If a person never reads the Bible, does not attend church, curses in the name of the Lord and savors bitterness in his life—he has made a series of decisions that will keep him forever alienated from God. And those decisions impact the lives of other people!

Again and again we are called to believe in the word of God, to believe in Jesus Christ, and to honor our Lord by the way that we speak and live—and thereby find life.

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

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Are you Politically Correct?

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

These are days when the winds are blowing against those who have a high view of scripture. We are required to swim upstream against the current. We do not believe that any group of people should be reviled or despised because of the color of their skins, their language, their location or cultural practices that are different from ours. But we believe that there is both right and wrong. “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God.” (III John 11). We are blessed to have the Ten Commandments and the other moral laws that accompany them; the teachings of Jesus; the counsel of the whole Bible. An atmosphere of political correctness is suffocating intellectual dialogue in the United States. Many have grown so discouraged that they are reluctant to offer their opinion on any import topic. Christians are expected to keep their mouths shut regarding their beliefs.

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson is the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He came to the attention of many because at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year he gave a bold and courageous address of his beliefs. He was recently invited to give the annual Commencement Address for the students at John Hopkins University. A group of students have petitioned that he be banned because he has beliefs that they disagree with! Are not universities to be places where many points of view can be considered, and people are allowed to make up their own minds?

Much of the media in America today is carrying on a blitzkrieg—a hurricane of frenzy that all should consider those who engage in homosexual practice as noble, exceptional, to be especially worthy of respect. Our leading newspapers present article, after article, after article, promoting a homosexual lifestyle and homosexual marriage—and they expect all of us to go along with it. We can be gracious, we can be loving, we can be thoughtful, we can be considerate (as we should)—but we cannot depart from what we know the Bible teaches. The Christian community is going through difficult times. Too many are finding it easier to “throw in the towel” and go along with what is temporarily popular today. We do not like the way the winds are blowing right now, but we should not be surprised. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”(IPeter 4:12,13)

In spite of the fact that some deny it—the scriptures teach that homosexual practice is wrong, just as fornication and adultery are wrong. Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins—not to glorify them—or to teach us that they don’t matter.

Jesus has taught us that we can reject and despise sin without rejecting and despising the sinner. There are times when we are called to be courageous. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you whenever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

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A Christian’s Response to THE FISCAL CLIFF

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

cliff-for-blog2013

“How did we get into this situation?” (cartoon by Ruth Elliott)

Well, we have just gone off the fiscal cliff and the consequences have not been as some have predicted! As Christians we are challenged to be helpfully involved in the society of which we are a part.

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”(Jeremiah 29:7)

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” (I Timothy 2:1,2)

As we might expect, God is looking out for us. He wants things to go well
for all peoples in all cities, counties, states, and nations! We find that goodness,
which he desires for us, in his teachings and instructions. God seeks to be of help;
he does not want us to walk into harm. Indeed, he warns us against harming
ourselves.
We have been reminded in the past few years that most politicians have one
thing in mind, and that is being reelected, reelected and reelected! They seek
to please their constituents by getting things for them from the general treasuries.
They raise the funds to do this through taxation, and if they cannot get enough
money through the revenues that taxes produce—then, they borrow the money to
placate us, and let future generations worry about the consequences. I remember
the statement of John F. Kennedy in 1960, “Ask not what your country can do for
you, but ask what you can do for your country.”
What has happened to that
spirit?
As we are concerned about the financial health of our nation and the states,
we need to follow some basic biblical principles:

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this
is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others
better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own
interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3,4)

Many of our politicians are teaching us to seek our own welfare and give it
top priority. If we are not careful, we will become like pigs nuzzling each other out
at the trough (if that has not already occurred). As Christians, we should be
motivated to seek the welfare of our cities, states, and nation. When something
comes our way that is to our benefit, we should ask if this is also to the benefit of
the nation as a whole. We may believe in separation of church and state (if we
properly understand what that means)—but surely we do not mean separation
from the high ethical and moral teachings that the Bible gives to us.

Foster H. Shannon

Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments by typing the address below into your mail program:

I applogize for the inconvenience, but this helps us avoid spammers! Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

What do you do when things don’t go well?

 by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

What do you do when things do not go well?  You have a big day ahead of you, and you don’t feel well and you don’t want to do anything!  You have made careful plans for your day, and there are at least six unexpected events that delay you and distract you.  You have an appointment to make and forget about it—or someone has an appointment to see you and they fail to come.  You promise to do something for another, and you run out of time and it is not done.  Someone makes a promise to you and fails to fulfill it.  Or you read the morning news and wonder who will help us out of the messes that we are in?

READ Psalm 77

The psalmist is hurting.  He prays to God, and he is not sure that he is being heard.  When he looks out at the day he sees  trouble, and he finds no comfort.  He thinks of God, but he is so troubled that he cannot speak.   He remembers better days.  He feels that God is against him.  In a way he is asking if he has missed the train of faith and trust in God.  Then in verse 10 he wakes up.

He recognizes that the problem is not God—but his grief. Out of that realization regarding himself, he finds the resolution:  verses 11 and 12, “I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; yea, I will remember thy wonders of old.  I will meditate on all thy work, and muse on thy mighty deeds.  Thy Way, O God, is holy.  What god is great like our God?”  The psalmist’s plight and resolution remind me of two passages in the New Testament.  “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”  (Matthew 6:33)  “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set you minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  (Colossians 3:1,2)

The conclusions come to the Psalmist.  “Your way is holy.”  (perfect) There is none other like You.  You are the God who works wonders and redeems your people.  Our God is always to be first in  our hearts!  Our Savior is always there to help us.

This psalm should remind us of those practices that will help us:

  • Turning our attention from ourselves to God
  • Reading the Bible daily
  • Being pro active for the Lord; engaging in his service; helping someone else 
Foster H. Shannon

Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments by typing the address below into your mail program:

I applogize for the inconvenience, but this helps us avoid spammers! Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

Lance Armstrong: The Truth about Lying

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Every violation of truth is a stab at the health of human society.” ~Emerson

Lance Armstrong, winner of seven Tour de France Titles, celebrated as an
exceptional and stellar athlete, has for years been accused of doping with a number
of stimulating drugs to achieve maximum performance. Until last week he has
denied any use of performance enhancing drugs, and has virulently attacked those
who accused him of “doping”. It is a sad scene. Much, perhaps everything, that he
has gained has been lost. The adulation and respect that had been bestowed upon
him is gone. One wonders how much he would have gained—and how little lost had
he refused to use the illicit drugs, and had he been completely honest.

Lance Armstrong’s fall from fame and success raises a latent issue that has
been boiling underneath the surface for a long time. How widespread is lying, how
much is lying an accepted part of our culture, and how many people care little when
they resort to lying? Do not many argue that lying is acceptable if it is to protect
one’s reputation? How many of our politicians lie to us to attain or keep a coveted
position?

Why should we avoid lying? Why should we be assiduous in telling the truth?
The basic reason is because lying is a sin and offensive to almighty God. John
8:31,32, “Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, if you continue in
my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will
make you free.” John 8:44b, “ When [the devil] lies he speaks according to his
own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Revelation 21:8, But as for the
cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers,
idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and
brimstone, which is the second death.” We must add that there is not one of these
sins that cannot be forgiven, if one believes in the Savior and confesses the sin to
him!

It has been said that truth is the coin of the realm. We cannot have
justice without truth. We cannot achieve wholesome and happy families without
truth. Governments must depend upon the truth to achieve justice and
righteousness. Truth is essential in personal relations if there is to be trust. The
most careful adherence to the truth was essential to the Mar’s Rover, “Curiosity”,
successfully landing and completing its mission. Any malfunction would bring
disaster. Truth is essential to the preparing of wholesome foods and building good
automobiles.

Deliberate or casual lying is not only counterproductive and damaging, it is
wrong.

Foster H. Shannon

Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments by typing the address below into your mail program:

I applogize for the inconvenience, but this helps us avoid spammers! Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

HOW TO HANDLE DISCOURAGEMENT

by Foster Shannon

Pastor, Educator, Writer, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Sports Fan

 

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never…” Winston Churchill

All of us get discouraged at times. Are you looking forward to the new year with confidence and hope—or with discouragement? At some times discouragement is hard to avoid, but some people allow themselves to get deeply discouraged, and end up in a slough of despond.

Common causes of discouragement:

  • Your investments do not pan out
  • Your hopes for your children are not realized
  • 
You lose your job
  • You don’t feel good
  • You have been criticized
  • Things don’t work out
  • Someone that you have looked up to—disappoints you

We need to recognize that though discouragement is normal—we should not entertain it! Discouragement can result when we attempt something and fail. Discouragement inclines you to quit—to give up. Discouragement comes when someone talks you out of something that you thought would be good to do. (“Some people die with the music still in them”) Discouragement comes when we recognize that our abilities are not up to the challenge. Excessive expectations can lead to discouragement. We need to recognize that some things may be beyond our reach. Excessive desires can lead to discouragement

Many people, both Christian and non-Christian look out at a world that is violent, evil, hateful, selfish—and ask why does God not do something about it? We may question God’s authority. We even begin to blame God for our misfortune. Discouragement can lead to rebellion against God: “He let me down. He did not help me.” We blame others for the plight that we are in. Disappointment can lead to Discouragement to Despair to Bitterness—and even Hatred. Despair: to lose or abandon hope; to become hopeless; to lose faith. We must not take the path of despair. There are many things that we can be afraid of. Fear is normal. Through faith and determination we overcome fear. Moby Dick, Starbuck, the chief mate of the Pequod: “I will have no man in my boat,” said Starbuck, “who is not afraid of a whale.”

God helps us. Some of us may be too finely tuned. We may expect too much, and find disappointed and discouragement. We can be hard on ourselves—expecting or desiring too much.

Psalm 62:1,2, “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved.”

I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

II Corinthians 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Foster H. Shannon

 

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Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.