The suffering of the utterly innocent and infinitely holy Son of God in the place of utterly undeserving sinners to bring us to everlasting joy is the greatest display of the glory of God’s grace that ever was, or ever could be.
This was the moment — Good Friday — for which everything in the universe was planned. In conceiving a universe in which to display the glory of His grace, God did not choose plan B. There could be no greater display of the glory of the grace of God than what happened at Calvary. Everything leading to it and everything flowing from it is explained by it, including all the suffering in the world.
Suffering and the Sovereignity of God, (2006, p.82)
In the academic classroom and in the apologetics discussion, the agency of Satan in our suffering may lift a little of the burden of God’s sovereignty for some; but for others, like Job, there is more security and more relief and more hope and more support and more glorious truth in despising Satan’s hateful hand and looking straight past him to God for the cause and for His mercy.
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (2006, p.23)
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
1 Peter 5:8-9
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure;
One little word will fell him.
“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (1529)
as quoted in Suffering and the Soverignty of God (2006, p.20)
read on 6-16-08
Against the overwhelming weight and seriousness of the Bible, much of the church is choosing, at this very moment, to become more light and shallow and entertainment-oriented, and therefore successful in its irrelevance to massive suffering and evil. The popular God of fun-church is simply too small and too affable to hold a hurricane in His hand.
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (2006, p. 18 )
When people are dying around you, your purpose becomes crystal clear, and you live recklessly for it.
–A pastor in a country where the church is facing great persecution
from an email
Light candle one, and count the cost;
And ponder everything we’ve lost.
And let us bow before the throne
Of God, who gives and takes his own,
And promises, whatever toll
He takes, to satisfy our soul.
Come learn the lesson of the rod:
The treasure that we have in God.
He is not poor nor much enticed
Who loses everything but Christ
This candle two gives little light,
And does not make the darkness bright.
But keep it lit and you will find:
Far better this than being blind.
One little flame when all is night,
Proves there is such a thing as light.
One answered prayer when all is gone,
Will give you hope to wait for dawn.
Come let us make with candle three
An advent warning by the sea —
A signal where the sailors cling
To life through reefs of suffering,
And need the blast of light and bell:
Beware, what here beneath may dwell.
Beware of subtle, shrewd assaults,
A half-truth can be wholly false.
Beware of wisdom made in schools,
And proverbs in the mouth of fools.
Beware of claims that rise too tall:
“the upright stand and wicked fall”
Beware the thought that all is vain,
In time God’s wisdom will be plain.
Behold the light of candle four:
What we have lost God will restore
When he is finished with his art,
The silent worship of our heart.
When God creates a humble hush,
And makes Leviathan his brush,
It won’t be long until the rod
Becomes the tender kiss of God.
final stanzas of each of his 4 poems about Job