A Song for the Suffering (with John Piper)

A Christian’s suffering is never meaningless.

Shane Barnard understands this truth. After the untimely death of his father, he and his family desperately looked to God for comfort. They clung to God’s word, and in the deepest moments of grief, they were led to worship. The song below, “Though You Slay Me,” was born in that experience.

Job lived this song. The Psalms plead this song. And John Piper has preached the message of this song throughout his ministry. Because of God’s sovereign care for you, every pain in this life is producing a glory for you that will last forever.

The audio excerpt comes from John Piper’s message, “Do Not Lose Heart” (2013), which is available for streaming and download. Also, Shane & Shane will be leading a “Night of Worship” at our upcoming National Conference September 27–29 in Minneapolis. Learn more information.


I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say you do it all in love
That I might know you in your suffering

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still more than I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

[Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.

I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen.

When your mom dies, when your kid dies, when you’ve got cancer at 40, when a car careens into the sidewalk and takes her out, don’t say, “That’s meaningless!” It’s not. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory.

Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.]

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Marshall Segal (@MarshallSegal) is executive assistant to John Piper, a recent graduate of Bethlehem Seminary in Minneapolis, and author of Single, Satisfied, and Sent: Mission for the Not-Yet Married.