Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Mystery of Iniquity

Right Now Counts Forever by R.C. Sproul

One thing we know for sure is that evil does exist. It exists, if nowhere else, in us and in our behavior. We know that the force of evil is extraordinary and brings great pain and suffering into the world. We also know that God is sovereign over it and in His sovereignty will not allow evil to have the last word. Evil always and ever serves the ultimate best interest of God Himself.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Book: Suffering and the Goodness of God

Suffering and the Goodness of God (Theology in Community)

Suffering and the Goodness of God presents biblical truths concerning suffering and challenges believers to promote justice and to emulate God’s grace as they minister to others.

Famine. Sickness. Terrorist Attacks. Natural disasters.

Each day horrific scenes of suffering are streamed before us through television, the Internet, and newspapers. Believers are taught that God is good, and they believe this truth. Yet when they are faced with suffering and hardships, the one question believers most often asked is, Why?

Suffering and the Goodness of God brings insight to many contemporary concerns of suffering by outlining Old and New Testament truths and tackling difficult questions concerning God’s sovereignty, human freedom, and the nature of evil.

Suffering and the Goodness of God offers believers biblical truths concerning suffering and then challenges them to promote justice in the harsh, unsure world around them and to emulate God’s grace as they minister to those who are suffering.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Power and Priority of the Word

We all know that life is filled with painful, heart wrenching experiences. Sometimes these experiences are spread out and sometimes they occur concurrently. The question is never ‘if’ but ‘when’ we think of pain and suffering. After all, we live in a cursed world.


Maturity does not happen overnight. It takes time. However, when folks are built up in, sustained by, and clinging to the Word of God they are mountains in the church of God. They stand with confident assurance in the steadfast love of the Lord God.

--Irish Calvinist Blog

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quote by Richard Baxter

He never brings them (the saints) into so low a condition that he does not leave them more cause of joy than sorrow.

-- Richard Baxter

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Have A Nice Day"

'Have a nice day' is like a threat to an Irish person. I'll have whatever kind of day I want. You mind your own business.

--Tommy Tiernan, Comedian, on how often he hears this phrase in the U.S.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Redeemer Is Faithful And True

by Steven Curtis Chapman

As I look back on the road I've travelled,
I see so many times He carried me through;
And if there's one thing that I've learned in my life,
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do,
And every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My heart rejoices when I read the promise
'There is a place I am preparing for you.'
I know someday I'll see my Lord face to face,
'Cause my Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

And in every situation He has proved His love to me;
When I lack the understanding, He gives more grace to me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hosea 2:14-23

"But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
15 I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble* into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
16 When that day comes," says the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband'
instead of 'my master.'*
17 O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips,
and you will never mention them again.
18 On that day I will make a covenant
with all the wild animals and the birds of the sky
and the animals that scurry along the ground
so they will not harm you.
I will remove all weapons of war from the land,
all swords and bows,
so you can live unafraid
in peace and safety.
19 I will make you my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
20 I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the LORD.

21 "In that day, I will answer,"
says the LORD.
"I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds.
And the sky will answer the earth with rain.
22 Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries
of the grain, the grapevines, and the olive trees.
And they in turn will answer,
'Jezreel'—'God plants!'
23 At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites
and raise them for myself.
I will show love
to those I called 'Not loved.'*
And to those I called 'Not my people,'*
I will say, 'Now you are my people.'
And they will reply, 'You are our God!'"

Monday, August 25, 2008

When God Won't Heal

When God Won't Heal by Melissa Morgan, byFaith magazine

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…

Restore me to liberty,
And enable me so to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

a welcome burden

a welcome burden

'For the first time since his illness, I began to fathom that our prayers for his healthy return might not be answered. Of course, that was not all we prayed for. We prayed for God’s will. And there were probably things we had not the imagination to pray for, that were silently underway. I prayed again today with dad’s swollen hand pressed between my gloved ones, “Thy will be done.” And I was for the first time in this ordeal content to accept it.'

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Little Is Much

Little Is Much

What is the measure of a life well lived
If all I can offer seems too small to give
This is a song for the weaker, the poorer
And so-called failures

Little is much when God's in it
And no one can fathom the plans He holds
Little is much when God's in it
He changes the world with the seeds we sow
Little is much, little is much

Who feels tired and under-qualified
Who feels deserted, and hung out to dry
This is a song for the broken, the beat-up
And so-called losers

Consider a Kingdom in the smallest seed
Consider that giants fall to stones and slings
Consider a child in a manger
Consider the story isn't over
What can be done with what you still have

--Downhere, Wide Eyed and Mystified

Download the album for free.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Psalm 10:17

Psalm 10:17 ESV
O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't Waste Your Cancer

This article can be applied to any type of affliction or suffering. It's included in the book Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. It was my favorite chapter. I found that it's online. I hope it's helpful.
Don't Waste Your Cancer

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Spurgeon on Suffering

Please see the section related to Spurgeon:
Transparency: ...and more good... (part 2 of 3)
and follow the links if you have time. They are well worth reading.

Here is a quote from Spurgeon:
Is not this the reason why God’s servants are made to pass through so many trials, that they may really learn many truths not otherwise to be apprehended? Do we learn much in sunny weather? Do we not profit most in stormy times? Have you not found it so — that your sick-bed — your bereavement — your depression of spirit, has instructed you in many matters which tranquillity and delight have never whispered to you? I suppose we ought: to learn as much by joy as by sorrow, and I hope that many of my Lord’s better servants do so; but, alas! others of us do not; affliction has to be called in to whip the lesson into us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How firm a foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
to you that for refuge to Jesus have fled?

"Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed!
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell shall endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake."

--Anonymous or at­trib­ut­ed var­i­ous­ly to John Keene, Kirk­ham, and John Keith

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Psalm 119:92

If your revelation hadn't delighted me so,
I would have given up when the hard times came.
Psalm 119:92 (The Message)

Monday, April 7, 2008


"Just as God has used David's prayer of confession and repentance of his adultery in Pslam 51 to minister to His people down through the centuries, so God has used Job's struggles with doubt about the goodness of God to minister to His people.


Though we don't want to be critical of Job, we do want to learn from him about the sinfulness of asking a demanding 'why?' of God.

But though we should never ask a demanding 'why?' we may and should ask God to enable us to understand what He may be teaching us through a particular experience. But even here we must be careful that we are not seeking to satisfy our souls by finding some spiritual 'good' in the adversity. Rather we must trust God that He is working in the experience for our good, even when we see no beneficial results. We must learn to trust God when He doesn't tell us why, when we don't understand what He is doing."

--Jerry Bridges, Trusting God

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Romans 8:28
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Vow

The Vow
When Dave Kendall promised to love Diana 'in sickness and in health,' he meant it

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

The sovereignty of God is the one impregnable rock to which the suffering human heart must cling. The circumstances surrounding our lives are no accident: they may be the work of evil, but that evil is held firmly within the mighty hand of our sovereign God....All evil is subject to Him, and evil cannot touch His children unless He permits it. God is the Lord of human history and of the personal history of every member of His redeemed family.

--Margaret Clarkson, Grace Grows Best in Winter (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1984), pages 40-41

Monday, March 10, 2008

Seeing Him through suffering

This post at Pyromaniacs (don't let the name scare you) may be a little brusk but it offers some good commentary on Job.
I'm Down

Monday, March 3, 2008

Psalm 119:50, Colossians 1:11b-12

This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life. Psalm 119:50 NRSV

may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Colossians 1:11b-12 NRSV

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008


Strengthen me by the grace of Your holy spirit, O God. Give me the power to be strengthened inwardly and to empty my heart of all vain care and anxiety, so that I may not be drawn away by many desires, whether for precious things or mean ones. Let me look upon everything as passing, and upon myself as soon to pass away with them, because there is nothing lasting under the sun, where all is vanity and affliction of spirit. How wise is he who thinks thus!

Give me, Lord, heavenly wisdom to learn above all else to seek and find You, to enjoy and love You more than anything, and to consider other things as they are, as Your wisdom has ordered them. Grant me prudence to avoid the flatterer and to bear patiently with him who disagrees with me. For it is great wisdom not to be moved by the sound of words, nor to give ear to the wicked, flattering siren. Then, I shall walk safely in the way I have begun.
--Thomas à Kempis - The Imitation of Christ

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Power of the Cross of Christ

"Remember, he [the thief on the cross] was crucified. It was a crucified man trusting in a crucified Christ. Oh, when our frame is racked with torture, when the tenderest nerves are pained, when our body is hung up to die by we know not what great length of torment, then to forget the present and live in the future is a grand achievement of faith! While dying, to turn your eye to another dying at your side and trust your soul with Him is very marvelous faith."
- Charles Spurgeon, The Power of the Cross of Christ

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Blessing of Unanswered Prayers

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

— Unknown Confederate soldier

Monday, January 21, 2008

Testimony of James Boice

As mentioned in the book Praying Backwards by Brian Chapell:
"The last time noted pastor and author James Montgomery Boice addressed his congregation before succumbing to cancer, he spoke of the trust that healing prayer includes."

If I were to reflect on what goes on theologically here, there are two things I would stress. One is the sovereignty of God. That’s not novel. We have talked about the sovereignty of God here forever. God is in charge. When things like this come into our lives, they are not accidental. It’s not as if God somehow forgot what was going on, and something bad slipped by. It’s not the answer that Harold Kushner gave in his book, Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. God does everything according to his will. We’ve always said that.

But what I’ve been impressed with mostly is something in addition to that. It’s possible, isn’t it, to conceive of God as sovereign and yet indifferent? God’s in charge, but he doesn’t care. But it’s not that. God is not only the one who is in charge; God is also good. Everything he does is good. And what Romans 12, verses1 and 2, says is that we have the opportunity by the renewal of our minds—that is, how we think about these things—actually to prove what God’s will is. And then it says, "His good, pleasing, and perfect will." Is that good, pleasing, and perfect to God? Yes, of course, but the point of it is that it’s good, pleasing, and perfect to us. If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you’d change it, you’d make it worse. It wouldn’t be as good. So that’s the way we want to accept it and move forward, and who knows what God will do?

Read the whole article (PDF file):

Monday, January 14, 2008


"This poem and the piece at the beginning are intended as an encouragement for those for whom the feeling of hope is a real struggle."

- Wings of Madness message board

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Living the Cross Centered Life

"It's a fallen world, and there fore we will all suffer. So we must prepare, because the ideal time to be educated about suffering is never in the midst of it. We need to be trained prior to suffering so that we may be fully sustained in suffering.
C.J. Mahaney, Living the Cross Centered Life