Wednesday, August 17, 2005 

Spurgeon Sermon

The sermon I cited yesterday included this perspective on suffering from Charles Spurgeon:
"It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an
affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his
hand, that my trials were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his
arrangement of their weight and quantity"
This is certainly the perspective Job offers as we see God place limits on Satan's affliction. And, at the same time we see Job attribute the suffering he received from Satan to God's hand. And, for Job and Spurgeon, it proved comforting.

Monday, August 15, 2005 

Charles Spurgeon: Preaching Through Adversity

This is one of my favorite sermons on adversity. It is specific to preachers, but the insights can be valuable for anyone.

Charles Spurgeon: Preaching Through Adversity

Saturday, August 06, 2005 

God Moves in a Mysterious Way -- by William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Friday, August 05, 2005 

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

101 More Hymn Stories carries this account of the writing of the classic hymn 'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus:

In 1875, the author Louisa Stead married Mr. Stead and to this union was born a daughter, Lily. When the child was four years of age, the family decided one day to enjoy the sunny beach at Long Island Sound, New York. While eating their picnic lunch, they suddenly heard cries of help and spotted a drowning boy in the sea. Mr. Stead charged into the water. As often happens, however, the struggling boy pulled his rescuer under the water with him, and both drowned before the terrified eyes of wife and daughter. Out of her "why?" struggle with God during the ensuing days flowed these meaningful words from the soul of Louisa Stead:
'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word; Just to rest
upon His promise; just to know, 'Thus saith the Lord.'

I would have guessed these words were written in a parlor, being waited on by a servant while being fanned by an adoring son or daughter, without a care in the world. No, they were written in the deepest grief. Why is that?

Where is the comfort? In the simplicity of taking God at his word and the confidence in the character of God, knowing that 'thus saith the Lord,' means his decree for his glory and our good.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

David Livingstone was a pioneer missionary to Africa. He took the gospel to the interior of Africa and was instrumental in ending slave trade. Marvin Olasky in World Magazine says this:

Livingstone also suffered personally: He was often apart from his wife until they could stand the separation no more, at which point she came inland with him and soon died of malaria. He mourned her deeply but wrote, "There is a Ruler above, and His Providence guides all things. He is our Friend, and has plenty of work for all His people to do. . . such a blessing and a privilege to be led into His work instead of into the service of the hard taskmasters -- the Devil and sin."