Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst. — William Jenkyn

Are the godly really bettered?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28 ESV)

(Thank you to my sweet sister Arlene for pointing to the Jenkyn quote)

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Disability usually doesn’t make much sense.  We can’t see God’s purposes in the moment.

Which is why I especially appreciated this word from my friend and president of Desiring God, Jon Bloom, as he explored Jesus’ words to Peter: What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand (John 13:7 ESV).

Our understanding his purposes in a particular providence tends to be not as important to God as our trust in his character. So together let’s continue to “trust in the Lord with all [our] heart, and…not lean on [our] own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Because one day we will understand. And we will, with great joy, proclaim, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works” (Psalm 145:17).

Jon Bloom, What I Am Doing You Do Not Understand Nowposted October 26, 2012.

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God in His grace and wisdom saw it fitting to take away my arm strength and ability. If God means this disability for my good then I can trust him even though it hurts. My arms physically hurt and it hurts me when I can’t dance around with my daughters or playfully wrestle with my son. At times I am tempted to discouragement about the long-term impact that my disability has on my children. This is all the more reason that I must trust that God did not design my disability to harm me or my children.

My disability instead highlights God’s superior ability. God is our Provider and Father. I may not be able to physically tend to my children’s needs or defend them against physical threats. But God can and he does.

Dave Furman, The Struggles and Hopes of a Disabled Dad, posted October 26, 2012.

Please, do yourself a favor and read the entire article.  And then be amazed at what God has done.

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Sorrows? Run to Jesus!

Of course, these are hard things to contemplate, both the memory of sorrows past as well as the prospect of pains that may yet lie in our future. . . Have past sorrows shackled you like so many cold, heavy chains? Christian, child of God, throw them off. Cry out to Christ, ‘Set me free!’ Run to him with all the sorrows you have ever known. They will not be too much for him to handle. Run to him, and keep running until you meet him in the world to come. Like Bunyan’s pilgrim, run and cry, ‘Life! life! eternal life!’

Paul Wolfe, Setting Our Sights on Heaven: Why It’s Hard and Why It’s Worth It, p. 105.

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Dianne was reading Dr. Grudem’s Systematic Theology and shared another insight about how the paralyzed man in Luke 5 points us to Jesus as God (paragraph formatting and emphases in bold are mine; all others are by the author):

God keeps all created things existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them.

Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Christ is “upholding the universe by his word of power.” The Greek word translated “upholding” is phero, “carry, bear.” This is commonly used in the New Testament for carrying something from one place to another, such as bringing a paralyzed man on a bed to Jesus (Luke 5:18). . .

It does not mean simply “sustain,” but has the sense of active, purposeful control over the thing being carried from one place to another. In Hebrews 1:3, the use of the present participle indicates that Jesus is “continually carrying all things” in the universe by the word of power.

Christ is actively involved in the work of providence.

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 316.

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Bob Glenn gave a great devotional from Matthew 21 at the Desiring God National Conference on Sunday.  I’ll link to it and comment on it when it is available online.

During his devotional he referenced the ‘great book’ written by Paul Miller on prayer.  I completely agree, and not just because he is also the father of a child with a disability (paragraph formatting mine):

What do I lose when I have a praying life?

Control. Independence.

What do I gain?

Friendship with God. A quiet heart. The living work of God in the hearts of those I love. The ability to roll back the tide of evil.

Essentially, I lose my kingdom and get his. I move from being an independent player to a dependent lover.

I move from being an orphan to a child of God.

Miller, Paul (2009-05-15). A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World (Kindle Locations 1664-1667). NavPress. Kindle Edition.

Paul Miller’s conference message at the 2011 Desiring God Conference for Pastors can be found here.

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Why come to or watch The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability on November 8?

To hear from a man who lives with chronic pain and talks about God like this:

(If) we are Christians, then we can be sure beyond all doubt that God is causing all things—including all of our suffering at the hands of evil persons—to work together for good because he has called us according to his purpose (see Rom. 8:28). We can be sure that even the worst of our suffering will someday be revealed to be an integral part of “all the good that is ours in Christ” (Philem. 6, RSV). For God has promised this. And God’s promises are as deeds already done.

Mark Talbot, “’All the Good That Is Ours in Christ’: Seeing God’s Gracious Hand in the Hurts Others Do to Us,” in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. Edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor, p. 72.

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During his sermon on sin, Pastor Jason referenced Joni Eareckson Tada and that her excitement about heaven is focused on more than having freedom from her pain and disabilities.

This isn’t exactly what he quoted (I’m sure she’s said it many times in many different ways!), but it is close:

You know a lot of people assume—me being a quadriplegic for 45 years—they’ll assume that I am most looking forward to getting a new body in heaven, and surely I am. It’s going to be a great thing to be relieved of pain…and to be able to walk again, run, jump, dance, kick. But I think what I’m most looking forward to is getting a new heart—a heart free of sin, worry, fear, doubt, anxiety.

Joni Eareckson Tada interview with Karen Gushta, Truth in Action Ministries, June 8, 2012.

Amen, Joni!  We will be free in ways that are completely foreign to us today!

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Whatever is wrong in our life, we are given an unshakable conviction that our Witness is in heaven. We know that Christ is our Intercessor, a Friend to whom we can pour out our tears to God. We know that Jesus, our Elder Brother, is pleading on our behalf as a man pleads for his friend.

Michael Horton, A Place for Weakness, p. 128.

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I very nearly stood up and cheered when Pastor John said this more than two years ago.  But I think I was crying too hard, with joy:

So my aim in this message is modest and, I think, explosive, if the church really took hold of it and lived it.

The message is that God knits all the children together in their mothers’ wombs, and they are all—all of them of every degree of ability—conceived for the purpose of displaying the glory of God.

John Piper, Born Blind for the Glory of God, preached on January 24, 2010.

That sermon can also be found in this free ebook, Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of Godalong with other sermons and some interviews Pastor John and I did last year.

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