Sorrow in the lives of Christians is to be used by God for His glory. But in order for that to happen, the Christian in trials needs strength and faith to cope. This book is a tonic, as it outlines the faith and courage of three Christians who struggled greatly. More important, Piper gives context and meaning to their suffering as he tells their stories. I found great comfort in this book many years ago. As a pastor, I recently bought several more copies of this to give away to people going through trials. Just two days a go, one of those people thanked me on the phone. He is going through a difficult divorce and trying to figure out why life hurts so much. He was grateful for the encouragement he received from this book.
The second of Piper's The Swans are Not Silent series, this book was the most difficult to read because of the subject it dealt with - suffering. Piper selected three great men of the faith, known for their devotion to the Lord and their godly walk and let the reader peak behind the curtains of their lives - and the suffering, depression, attempted suicide and struggles of these three men was very distressing. Yet, even as Bunyan face his twelve years in prison for preaching the gospel, he saw his struggles actually ordained and orchestrated by God for His own glory; a view that both Cowper and Brainerd shared regarding their own hardships and turmoil.
In a country where suffering is avoided at all costs and seen by many as spiritual weakness, the lives of Bunyan, Cowper and Brainerd shout a different story about the sovereign hand of God in the lives of His children. 1 Peter chapter 4 tells us that we should not consider suffering strange, but rather as a sign that the...
If you have not noticed God Smiling, this is the book.
I survived his laughter all thru my police career with NOPD.
We read their stories and wonder how they endured. How does one survive twelve years in a dank prison cell? How does one survive month after month of a depression so debilitating that death seems the only hope? How does one endure tuberculosis? Or cancer, or emptiness, or death, or loneliness, or divorce? Whatever the trial may be, how does one endure without the soul shriveling up and blowing away with the breeze?
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