Every Test and Every Temptation

Life is full of difficult circumstances. Life inevitably involves circumstances that we would never have chosen on our own. Yet, the Bible assures, God does not work his grace in his people despite circumstances, but right through the middle of them. As we look at life’s difficult circumstances, we can sometimes be confused about what this thing is and what it is meant to accomplish. The Bible tells us that there are at least two categories of difficult circumstances: There …

5 Reasons to Rejoice in Persecution

When I was growing up and still living with my parents, my family supported ministries based in the USSR, and on our fridge we had a big poster covered in photographs of Russian pastors who were imprisoned or endangered because of their faith. Every night in our devotions we would pray for one of them, that God would bless and protect him. Meanwhile we lived in middle-class suburbia in Toronto. We freely told our neighbors about Jesus, we went to …

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Lessons Learned Through Tears

Suffering is inevitable in this world. When we ourselves are so full of sin and are living in a world scarred by sin, it would be surprising if we were to escape all suffering. But there is hope. I trust you will be encouraged by this amazing bit of writing from Theodore Cuyler, drawn from God’s Light on Dark Clouds. I have noticed that the deaf often have an unusual quickness of eyesight; the blind are often gifted with an …

Suffering and Glory

Here we are at the very end of another Christian classic. As of today we’ve come to the thirteenth and final chapter of John Stott’s classic work The Cross of Christ. He closes the book with a chapter titled “Suffering and Glory.” Suffering & Glory “The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith, and has been in every generation. Its distribution and degree appear to be entirely random and therefore unfair. Sensitive spirits ask …

One of God’s Purposes in Suffering

The more I grow in my knowledge of the Lord (by his grace) the more I see the utter centrality of the church, the local church, in his plan for his people. The more I learn of him, the more I see what a jewel the church is–what a blessing, what an honor it is to be part of something so amazing, so other-worldly. This is something that has been brought home to me in recent years primarily by the …

A La Carte (12/8)

Yesterday was the first day in 8 or 9 years that I spent a work day in an office away from home. This new role at my church will be keeping me out of the house at least a couple of days a week. I have to say that I quite liked it, though it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to. Trusting God – Jerry Bridges’ Trusting God is free for Kindle for the next few …

The God Who Gives Strength as Needed: An Interview with Terry Stauffer

On September 28, 2008, I was shocked to read these words on the blog of Terry Stauffer, a man I had met at a couple of conferences and who has long been a reader and commenter at my blog: “Last night at about 4:45 our precious 14 year-old daughter Emily was attacked and killed as she was out for a walk. We don’t know a lot of details, but we know that two young men came upon the scene right …

Glorifying God in Trials

Today’s post comes courtesy of my good friend Ryan who offers some reflections on glorifying God through life’s trials. He wrote this article yesterday. ***** I am writing this from the waiting area at the Trillium Hospital in Toronto, while my beautiful wife is undergoing a procedure to help bring closure to the miscarriage we first learned about last week. While this isn’t our first miscarriage, it is the first since the healthy births of our two children, and was …

A La Carte (01/16)

Monday January 16, 2006 Wow: A dollhouse maker has created quite an amazing replica of Bag End, the home of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Emergent: Ed Stetzer writes an article entitled “Understanding The Emerging Church.” He covers it under three headings: Relevants, Reconstructionists, Revisionists. Quote: “Many nonbelievers know only two kinds of Christians: those who speak the truth without grace and those who are very nice but never share the truth. What they need to see is a third type …

Desiring God Conference – Session Three

After a sleep which was far too short (Doug likes to talk), we wandered downtown Minneapolis for a while before finally finding a place to eat breakfast. Having done that, we returned to the convention center and I was privileged to meet readers Jack,Boyd, Dave, Andrew and Marc as well as John Piper who let us know that he appreciates our efforts in blogging the conference. Day two began with another powerful time of worship. The music ranged from contemporary …