April 02, 2007

I've Finished Reading "Suffering And The Sovereignty of God"

And what a book it is. If you haven't become familiar with John Piper and his teachings, you need to do so for the good of your soul. This book is actually a series of messages delivered at a Desiring God National Conference a few years ago and the messages were just compiled into book format with some really nice additional content that is helpful.

Have you ever struggled in life when you've gone through hard times and suffering. Have you ever thought of giving up on your faith. Has God ever felt so distant you didn't know if he was there. If that's the case, then I think this book would be nourishment to your soul. It's an easy read (205 pages) with some AWESOME appendices. Don't miss reading those.

To give you a flavor of what you'll get in the book, I'm including a poem and a hymn that a couple of the speakers used in their messages. I hope they are as helpful to you as they were to me.

"I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.
He said, My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.
---Martha Snell Nicholson
And the hymn....
How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent Word
What more can he say than to you he has said
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed
for I am your God, and will still give you aid;
I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call you to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
and sanctify to you your deepest distress.
When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply;
the flame shall not hurt you, I only design
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.
E'en down to old age all my people shall prove
my sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
and when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.
The soul that one Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake.

It's good stuff. God honoring, Christ exalting, soul nourishing words. Add this one to your library and add it's transforming power to your soul.

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