Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting

28Jan/08Off

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

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21Jan/08Off

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):
http://www.tenth.org/fileadmin/files_for_download/Pdf_articles/000507_JMB.pdf

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14Jan/08Off

HOPE – FOR THOSE WHO FEEL NO HOPE

"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."

HOPE – FOR THOSE WHO FEEL NO HOPE
- Wings of Madness message board

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3Jan/08Off

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

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