Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting


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

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Piper and the Purpose of Suffering

Piper and the Purpose of Suffering

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"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.

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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

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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

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"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

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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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  1. Schizophrenia -- Do You Hear What I Hear?
  2. Multiple Personality Disorder -- We Three Kings Disoriented Are
  3. Dementia -- Was I Going To Be Home for Christmas?
  4. Narcissistic -- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
  5. Manic -- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and...
  6. Paranoid -- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me
  7. Borderline Personality Disorder -- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire
  8. Personality Disorder -- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why
  9. Attention Deficit Disorder -- Silent Night, Holy Oooh look at the Nativity, Can I have a chocolate, Why is Santa's suit red?
  10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder -- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle, Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
    Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle...
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Be Still, My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Ka­tha­ri­na A. von Schle­gel, in Neue Samm­lung Geist­lich­er Lied­er, 1752 (Stille, meine Wille, dein Je­sus hilft sie­gen); trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Jane L. Borth­wick in Hymns from the Land of Lu­ther, 1855.

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"But what kept me going more than anything else was my confidence in the character of God."
--Ravi Zacharias quoting Charles Cooper

We absolutely must read and study the Bible in order to know God's character and take refuge in Him.

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When we pin our hopes on the fulfillment of our desires, we fall into the trap of wishful waiting... We can't know if our desires will be fulfilled or not.

Even if we could, we set ourselves up for disappointment when our focus is on the prize instead of on God....

When our hope is in God alone, He becomes our prize.

Jennifer Rothschild, Lessons I Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

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The book of Job is therefore both the most frustrating and enlightening treatment of unanswered prayer in the Bible, because God's solution to so much misery is merely and ultimately to reveal His greatness.
Pete Grieg, God On Mute

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"Surprisingly, the Bible reveals that Jesus--even Jesus--suffered the silence of unanswered prayer."
Pete Grieg, God On Mute

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"Blessed are the Poor in Spirit"

by Thomas Watson

"He that is poor in spirit is lowly in heart. Rich men are commonly proud and scornful, but the poor are submissive. The poor in spirit roll themselves in the dust in the sense of their unworthiness. 'I abhor myself in dust' (Job 42:6). He that is poor in spirit looks at another's excellencies and his own infirmities. He denies not only his sins but his duties.

The more grace he has, the more humble he is, because he now sees himself a greater debtor to God. If he can do any duty, he acknowledges it is Christ's strength more than his own. As the ship gets to the haven more by the benefit of the wind than the sail, so when a Christian makes swift progress, it is more by wind of God's Spirit than the sail of his own endeavour. The poor in spirit, when he acts most like a saint, confesses himself to be 'the chief of sinners'. He blushes more at the defect of his graces than others do at the excess of their sins. He dares not say he has prayed or wept. He lives, yet not he, but Christ lives in him. He labours, yet not he, but the grace of God."

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' is not merely an attitude—it is also the response to God's specific promises. In Abraham's case, his faith answers the divine word, "So shall your offspring be. " Faith is not content-less humility that places our hope in a higher power. No, in faith we answer the divine word and its specific verbal content. God speaks, and we believe in him in response to his word.'
--Simon Gathercole

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From Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild
'I once saw a bumper sticker that said "God is my co-pilot." That sounds spiritual, but it isn't true. The truth is that on our faith journey, God is the Pilot, and we must follow, not co-lead.'

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From Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild

Sometimes God delivers us through the thorns instead of from the thorns. Why? So His grace can grow there. So His strength can sustain us there. And so we can learn how to travel in tandem with Him.

2 Corinthians 12:7-12
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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"A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people's worries and fears."
--Tony Snow

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In the book Spiritual Depression he D. Martin Lloyd-Jones talks about Philippians 4:6-7 and how we need to come to Him in prayer and petition. Not just petition. That was somewhat enlightening. We need to come to Him praising Him for who He is, knowing who He is and then ask for what we need along with thanksgiving for what He has already given us.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

\ / Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

Saturday, October 7, 2006


"Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?"
-- Numbers 11:11

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our
faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of
fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the
diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can
only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the
business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's
faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits
are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A
faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though he slay me, yet
will I trust in him," is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his
servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces
of his people, which are his own handiwork. When "tribulation worketh
patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope," the Lord is
honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of
the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the
grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet
perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the
warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and
power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which
his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend
also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to
bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in
heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth?
Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after
toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of
the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question
with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day

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