Besides the Bible, When I Don’t Desire God is the most life-changing book I’ve read. I use “life-changing” carefully and intentionally. It has changed the way I go about my day-to-day life more than any other book written by men.
As I read this book, I desperately wanted my life to radiate with joy in God. And as Jesus told his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). So, the joy of Jesus comes into our lives and gives us fullness of joy through his word, “these things I have spoken to you.”
Gather Extended Portions
Therefore, Piper highlights “The Worth of God’s Word in the Fight for Joy” (chapter 7) and then t…
Last year on December 14, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, twenty first-graders and six educators were killed by Adam Lanza, who then shot himself. This Saturday marks one year.
Most of these wounds are still open. Even where the gaping gash is closed, the surrounding flesh is so tender that the slightest bump brings tears. And in this, these empty arms represent millions.
For many of us, the wounds stay tender to the end of life. My mother’s death 39 years ago this week can easily bring tears to my eyes. The wound is healed. I don’t look at the scar very often. But the flesh is tender, and the right touch presses sweet tears from the eyes.
Mark Your Calendar
1. The desire for the Christian faith to be free from the word of God in mood, methods, morals, or message.
For many of us happily immersed in the world of conservative evangelicalism, liberalism is a highly suspect word. Strictly speaking, though, liberalism (the desire for freedom or liberation) is amoral. That is, the morality of freedom is entirely contingent upon the subject from whom we desire to be liberated.
To be free from sin, from injustice, the tyranny of the devil or to seek to assist others in their liberation from such is a noble quest. We want to be liberal there. But the desire to be free from the Word of God (whether written or incarnate), lays bare the e…
I’m still thinking about Ronnie Smith’s death in Libya, followed by Christians and the mainstream media alike.
Two days before he died, my mind turned, at it so often does, to the reasons for suffering. This time the thoughts were triggered by the difference between suffering that refines in this life and suffering that leads to death.
Suffering That Refines
Often, when counseling people who are walking through suffering, I lean on Bible passages that describe the effects of suffering in this life — passages like, James 1:2–4.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness hav…
If you know Calvinists, you probably know some bad ones. The stereotypes aren’t fair, but they don’t come out of nowhere. Calvinists are “cold,” “heady,” and “condescending.” They think they have it all figured out and everyone else is blind, slow, or stubborn. They’re so lost in their books, they’re not interested in the needs around them. And they’ve somehow misplaced Christ, but are quite content to follow John Calvin. Unfair, but not uncommon enough either.
But what if there’s another side to Calvinism — a real side, with flesh and love and humility and a living, breathing passion for Jesus? We’re not doubting you’ve had bad experiences with so-called Calvinists, but whether t…
More than seventy-five years after J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, the glory and majesty of Middle-earth continues to draw millions of readers, and more recently, moviegoers. This week, theaters prepare for Friday’s opening of the acclaimed new movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Partly, Tolkien’s enduring popularity can be explained by the way he artfully touches the greatest themes of our collective experience of this world. Tolkien draws on themes of glory and majesty and kingship — intangible and abstract realities not easy to tap in art — and deeply embeds those themes into Middle-earth.
On a massive scale in The Lord of the Rings, and on a smaller, but no less significant, sc…
Suffering. Evil. Death. All of us experience them. They consume the lives of our precious loved ones — sometimes in unspeakably horrible ways. They bend us to the ground and produce tearful groanings too deep for words.
Jesus was not immune from these realities. Nor were those who found themselves caught in the cosmic crossfire surrounding the Incarnation. In Bethlehem, babies were killed because Jesus was born.
Reading what is perhaps his most loved story, The Innkeeper, Pastor John has us look into the face of tragedy, as experienced by Herod’s brutal slaughter of little boys. Then he turns us toward the shining face of hope. If we have the eyes of faith to see it, the sting of futility …
For Lyle Dorsett, it was the sudden loss of his ten-year-old daughter Erica. She came down sick one night, and she died the next morning.
Years later, Dorsett and his wife Mary still are healing. Losing a child is a long, painful journey. There have been times, Dorsett says, when he’s thought, God, if I were in charge, I wouldn’t have done it this way. But his ways are higher than ours — and he doesn’t leave his children without a wealth of resources for comfort, even and especially when the path of pain is long and dark.
The Different Ways We Suffer
The Dorsetts found no silver bullets for lessening the loss, but they did find a God with broad enough shoulders, and tender enough hands, t…
Bethlehem was, is, and likely always will be, just a small town — a small town steeped in ancient history.
In the first century, the historical marker at the center of town — if they posted such historical markers — would have commemorated it as the birthplace of the mighty giant killer, King David. The cherished son of Bethlehem put the town on the map 1,000 years earlier, and perhaps, perhaps, one day the village on top of the quiet hill will pull off the feat again. Dusty scrolls left by ancient prophets told of such a thing (Micah 5:2).
But tonight, silence.
The prophecies are distant memories. All is now hushed and quiet, the hope of a king only a memory muffled by the pressing prior…
Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday. He was 33. He was a husband and father. The leaders of his home church have given me permission to respond to his death publicly and carefully. You can read the fuller story at World or in the mainstream media.
One of the reasons I want to respond is because Ronnie wrote to us at Desiring God last year and told us that one of my messages was significant in leading him and his family to Libya.
Now Anita is a widow, and his son Hosea has lost his father.
Weep with Those Who Weep
How do I feel about sharing in the cause of his going to his death?
I came to tears this morning praying for Anita and Hosea. Weep with those who w…