My thanks to Erik Kowalker this: For those of you not familiar with the background of this famous hymn “It is well with my soul” by Horatio Spafford, take the next three minutes to listen and view the severely traumatic events that led Spafford to pen this influential hymn in 1873 that has stood the test of time. May God bring this powerful hymn to your remembrance when difficult seasons in your Christian walk come your way.
Changed by the cross
(HT: Rick Ianniello)
The Hopeless Dawn
My thanks to Ray Ortlund for posting this encouraging piece: “The Hopeless Dawn” by Frank Bramley shows a young widow, who has just found out that her husband was lost at sea, being comforted by her godly mother-in-law. Notice the altar-like table, suggesting the Lord’s Supper. Notice the big open Bible on the seat by the window. The two suffering women are not alone. Christ is there. Sooner or later every one of us is confronted with a hopeless dawn. Hopeless, as someone or something important to us is taken away forever. A dawn, because that very moment of overwhelming loss is the beginning of a new era. Christ is there. I have met many men, in their 50s like me, who have simply lived long enough to get body-slammed by life in some unforeseeable, major way. Divorce, cancer, their business stolen out from underneath them, sued, a wayward child breaking their heart, and so forth. Previous successes make no
“Christian hope is not about wishing things will get better. It is not about hoping that emptiness will go away, meaning return, and life will be stripped of its uncertainties, aches, and anxieties. Nor does it have anything to do with techniques for improving fallen human life, be those therapeutic, spiritual, or even religious. Hope has to do with the knowledge of ‘the age to come.’ This redemption is already penetrating ‘this age.’ The sin, death, meaninglessness of the one age are being transformed by the righteousness, life, and meaning of the other. What has emptied out life, what has scarred and blackened it, is being displaced by what is rejuvenating and transforming it. More than that, hope is hope because it knows it has become part of a realm, a kingdom, that endures. It knows that evil is doomed, that it will be banished. This kind of hope has left behind it the ship of ‘this age,’ which is
Resolutions for [good/godly] mental health
From James Grant: I remember reading John Piper’s book The Pleasures of God and the list of 10 resolutions from Clyde Kilby on how to benefit your soul and mental health. Justin Buzzard posted them this week, and it was a helpful reminder. John Piper writes about Kilby, “He pled with us to stop seeking mental health in the mirror of self-analysis, but instead to drink in the remedies of God in nature.” Here are the resolutions: 1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me. 2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Reasons Believers in Christ Need Not Be Afraid
Adrian Warnock pointed me in the direction of this encouraging piece from John Piper: 1. We will not die apart from God’s gracious decree for his children. James 4:14-15 “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” Matthew 10:29-30 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” (See Job 1:21;1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7) 2. Curses and divination do not hold sway against God’s people. Numbers 23:23 “There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel.” 3. The plans
“God is plotting for your joy”
The Lesson of the Book of Ruth – John Piper Here’s what I would suggest as the main lesson: the life of the godly is not a straight line to glory, but they do get there. The life of the godly is not an Interstate through Nebraska, but a state road through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. There are rock slides and precipices and dark mists and bears and slippery curves and hairpin turns that make you go backwards in order to go forwards. But all along this hazardous, twisted road that doesn’t let you see very far ahead there are frequent signs that say, “The best is yet to come.” And at the bottom right corner written with an unmistakable hand are the words, “As I live, says the Lord!” The book of Ruth is one of those signs for you to read. It was written and it has been preached to give you some midsummer encouragement and
Steve Curtis Chapman on Good Morning America
(HT: Justin Taylor)