Category Archives: Suffering

“Our Father refreshes us on the journey” by C.S. Lewis

“The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy.

It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency.

Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”

–C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1940/1996), 103.

Leave a comment

Filed under C.S. Lewis, Christian Theology, God the Father, Jesus Christ, Providence, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification, Suffering

“The priceless merit of His sufferings” by J.C. Ryle

“We must not be content with a vague general belief, that Christ’s sufferings on the cross were vicarious. We are intended to see this truth in every part of His passion.

We may follow Him all through, from the bar of Pilate, to the minute of His death, and see Him at every step as our mighty Substitute, our Representative, our Head, our Surety, our Proxy, the Divine Friend who undertook to stand in our stead, and by the priceless merit of His sufferings, to purchase our redemption.

Was He scourged? It was that ‘through His stripes we might be healed.’

Was He condemned, though innocent? It was that we might be acquitted though guilty.

Did He wear a crown of thorns? It was that we might wear the crown of glory.

Was He stripped of His raiment? It was that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness.

Was He mocked and reviled? It was that we might be honored and blessed.

Was He reckoned a malefactor, and numbered among transgressors? It was that we might be reckoned innocent, and justified from all sin.

Was He declared unable to save Himself? It was that He might be able to save others to the uttermost.

Did He die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful of deaths? It was that we might live forevermore, and be exalted to the highest glory.

Let us ponder these things well. They are worth remembering.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1856/2012), 314. Ryle is commenting on Matthew 27:45-56.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, J.C. Ryle, Jesus Christ, Passover, Pierced For Our Transgressions, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, salvation, Suffering, The Gospel

“Let us delight in the knowledge of Christ crucified” by Stephen Charnock

“Let us delight in the knowledge of Christ crucified, and be often in the thoughts and study of Him. Study Christ, not only as living, but dying; not as breathing in our air, but suffering in our stead; know Him as a victim, which is the way to know Him as a conqueror.

Christ as crucified is the great object of faith. All the passages of His life, from His nativity to His death, are passed over in the Creed without reciting, because, though they are things to be believed, yet the belief of them is not sufficient without the belief of the cross: in that alone was our redemption wrought.

Had He only lived, He had not been a Saviour. If our faith stop in His life, and do not fasten upon His blood, it will not be a justifying faith.

His miracles, which prepared the world for His doctrine, His holiness, which fitted Himself for His suffering, had been insufficient for as without the addition of the cross.

Without the cross, we had been under the demerit of our crimes, the venom of our natures, the slavery of our sins, and the tyranny of the devil; without the cross, we should forever have had God for our enemy, and Satan for our executioner; without the cross, we had lain groaning under the punishment of our transgressions, and despaired of any smile from heaven.

It was this death which as a sacrifice appeased God, and as a price redeemed us. Nothing is so strong to encourage us, nothing so powerful to purify us. How can we be without thinking of it!

The world we live in had fallen upon our heads, had it not been upheld by the pillar of the cross, had not Christ stepped in and promised a satisfaction for the sin of man.

By this all things consist. Not a blessing we enjoy but may put us in mind of it. They were all forfeited by our sins, but merited by his precious blood.

If we study it well, we shall be sensible how God hated sin and loved a world; how much he would part with to restore a fallen creature. He showed an irresistible love to us.”

–Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of Christ Crucified,” The Works of Stephen Charnock, Volume 4 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1865/2010), 4: 504.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Christology, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Pierced For Our Transgressions, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Stephen Charnock, Suffering, The Gospel, Worship

“All our tears wiped away” by John Newton

“Accept this hasty line as a token my sympathy.

May the Lord bless you both.

And may we all so weep as becomes those who expect, ere long, to have all our tears wiped away.”

–John Newton, Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., Ed. Grant Gordon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 187.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Hope, Jesus Christ, John Newton, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Suffering, The Gospel

“He is completely unlike us in every way” by Paul David Tripp

“Our hope is not found in understanding why God allowed suffering into our lives.

Our hope is not found in the belief that somehow we will tough our way through.

Our hope is not found in doctors, lawyers, pastors, family, or friends.

Our hope is not found in our resilience or ingenuity.

Our hope is not found in ideas or things.

Though we may look to all those for temporary help, ultimately our hope rests in the faithful and gracious presence of the Lord with us.

He is not weakened by what weakens us.

He is not confused by what confuses us.

He does not suffer from the mood swings that afflict us.

He is not afraid like we are.

He never makes a bad decision.

He never finds Himself out of control.

He never wants to take back His words.

He never regrets the way He’s behaved.

He never responds impulsively.

His choices are never driven by anxiety.

He never dreads the next day.

He never wants to give up.

He is never frustrated by an inability to make a difference.

He is with us, but the reason this is so wonderfully comforting is that He is completely unlike us in every way.

He is limitless in power, He has authority over everything, He is perfect in every way, He dwells with us, and He assures us that He’s not leaving.”

–Paul David Tripp, Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018), 147-148.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Faith, Hope, Jesus Christ, Paul David Tripp, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Suffering, The Gospel

“Strengthen Your servants to boldly declare Your name” by Columba (A.D. 521-597)

“O Lord,

Holy and true,
Who opens and none can shut,
As You have set before Your church an open door,
Strengthen Your servants to boldly enter in
And to declare Your name,
That they who oppose may yet come to worship
And may know that You love Your church.

Grant to Your people patience to keep Your Word,
And keep them from the hour of trial which is coming
Upon the whole world to try them who dwell on the earth,
And encourage all Christians in every land
To hold fast that which You have given,
That the crown of glory be not taken away,
But that having overcome, they may stand before You
As pillars in the temple of God
And bear the name of the heavenly city
And Your own new name, O Christ our God.

Father, we commend to You all who are joined to us
By natural bonds of love;
The little children dear to our hearts,
And all who for our sakes daily deny themselves.
May all our kindred,
Having Your Holy Spirit as their helper,
Be at peace and have unfeigned love among themselves.
And grant them, O Lord, not only what is sufficient to supply
The needs of this present life but also the good
And eternal gifts that are laid up for them who do Your commandments
Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.”

–Columba, as quoted in Sinclair Ferguson, Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings For Advent(Epsom, U.K.: Good Book Company, 2018), 155-156.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advent, Christian Theology, Christology, Church Fathers, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Missions, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sinclair Ferguson, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel

“The hardest promise the Father ever made” by Sinclair Ferguson

“The cross and the empty tomb tell us something. They prove that all of God’s promises can be trusted.

For the promise that His Son would suffer in our place (Isaiah 53:4-6) was surely the hardest promise the Father ever made. And He kept it. In fact, says Paul, ‘all the promises of God find their Yes in Him (2 Corinthians 1:20)’.

What does God promise to you this Christmas and beyond?

He promises to forgive all your sins when you turn from them.

He promises always to hear you when you call to Him.

He promises only to work for your good.

He promises to walk alongside you through all the hard times, and bring you safely into His presence in heaven.

If you love Him, you will trust Him.

How? By remembering that God has already kept His hardest-to-keep promise in Christ— from His makeshift cradle to His empty grave.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings For Advent (Epsom, U.K.: Good Book Company, 2018), 101.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advent, Christian Theology, Christology, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sinclair Ferguson, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel