Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

8 06 2007

“The truth of the matter is that all we have to do is live long enough, and we will suffer.” -D.A. Carson

Mark Mullery (our senior pastor) recently gave a message on suffering and God’s sovereignty.  What encouragement it brought me!  You can listen to the message here Sovereign Grace Sermon and clicking on the download sermons tab at the top.  The message was given on May 27th. 

His 5 points were as follows:

1.  Sovereignty prepares you for suffering

2.  Sovereignty comforts you in suffering

3.  Sovereignty enables you to profit from suffering

4.  Sovereignty equips you to comfort those who suffer

5.  Sovereignty and suffering collide at the cross. 

I implore you to listen to the message, especially if you are facing a trial or know of someone walking through a trying time.  This message will help prepare you for Biblically facing trials as well as giving you sound advice in helping others face suffering with a right understanding. 

In light of Joshua and I currently facing infertility we have found much comfort in the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.  And have received much joy as we reflect on the Holy Spirits work in our lives through this time.  Our prayer is much like this one that our dear friend Chrystal sent to me this morning.

“I read in Luke this morning about God the Father and the good gifts He wants to give his children. So, this morning he led me to pray specifically for healing/opening of the womb. I also prayed for this season in your lives to be marked with “steadfast courage” (from the message), contentment and joy so that your souls are comforted by His plans, His will, and all for His glory.”

Oh, that is my prayer.  That this season would be marked with steadfast courage, contentment, and joy.  That our souls are comforted by His plans, His will, and ALL for His glory! 


How does God respond to His rebellious people?

24 11 2006

For this week, I have included the link to the message from Isaiah. There is so much meat here that I can’t do a quick summary.

The title is: Judgement and Hope
Here are the questions that we will be asking in our care groups. I would encourage you to ask the same questions of yourself after listening to the message. I would ask these questions in a the context of community. I don’t think they can all be answered honestly apart from the care of other believers.

1. How would you evaluate your current intake of God’s word? Can you describe one way God has spoken to you through His Word in the past week?

2. Is there an area of your life where you are aware sin may be blinding you? What is one step you can take to gain God’s perspective?

3. Is there a person in your life whom you have been seeking to address about something, yet without success? How can Isaiah 1-5 help you?

4. How does Jesus Christ emerge as the hero of Isaiah 1-5?

Next Week: CJ Mahaney will be preaching a message from Isaiah 53 entitled: “God Crushed His Son”.

The Supreme Attribute of God

12 11 2006

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

-Isaiah 6:1-5 (ESV)

This morning we continued meditating on God who is holy. We learned that the supreme attribute of God is His holiness. Even last week we meditated on the fact that God’s very name is HOLY. When we see that God is holy we understand that we are not. God’s holiness is His separateness, otherness, and absolute moral purity.

Isaiah gazed at the Lord who is holy and broke. “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

If we read on in Isaiah, verses six through seven, we see that God doesn’t leave Isaiah cursed and lost, but makes provision to take away his guilt and to atone for his sin. Sound familiar?

In verses eight through nine Isaiah then answers the call to passionately and faithfully devote himself to God and his will.

Isaiah then eagerly serves God because of the passionate devotion shown to him through the grace given when earlier Isaiah found himself totally lost (undone, broken, and unclean).

As we see God, we know we are broken and lost, but there is hope because God has made provision for us through His Son, Jesus Christ who took away our guilt and atoned for our sin. Glory be to God who is Holy. Father, help us to passionately serve You!

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

-Hebrews 1:3-4 (ESV)


6 11 2006

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
-Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)

Yesterday in church we started a series in the book of Isaiah. Mark (senior pastor) brought us through a survey of the text. We looked at four important places, four important dates, and four important names to keep in mind as we move through the book. The story was summed up with the phrase: “God delivers, trust Him.” We looked at who God is, what hinders our trusting God, and what God promises to those who trust Him. Our banner text was the scripture above.

As the message was preached, Jesus, our Servant King took center stage as our ultimate deliverer; the rescuer of our souls. The following scriptures were shared and have increased my love for and trust in God.

Magnificent, all powerful

“Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.”
-Isaiah 40:21-23 (ESV)

He predetermines

“Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass that you should make fortified cities crash into heaps of ruins.”
-Isaiah 37:26 (ESV)

Who can thwart His plans?

“He has taken away the covering of Judah. In that day you looked to the weapons of the house of the forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water for the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.”
-Isaiah 22:8-11 (ESV)

No partiality in judgment

“Behold the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor. The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered; for the Lord has spoken this word.”
-Isaiah 24:1-3 (ESV)

Absolute victory through Jesus Christ!

“He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”
-Isaiah 25:8 (ESV)

I hope you too are encouraged to put all of your trust in God who created you, rescued you, and who will swallow up death forever.