Paul Madson

THOUGHTS, QUOTES & REFLECTIONS

Month: May 2018

Hope in the Dark: Encouragement in Times of Suffering

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

“For I consider that our present sufferingsare not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18 NIV84)

“God is in the business of turning rough coals into diamonds through pressure. When we suffer, it is a God-given opportunity to become more like the One who suffered most.” (Randy Alcorn)

“Is there nothing to sing about today? Then borrow a song from tomorrow; sing of what is yet to be. Is this world dreary? Then think of the next.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“Do not be anxious about what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.” (St. Francis de Sales)

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” (Corrie ten Boom)

“Christ followers contract malaria, bury children, and battle addictions, and as a result, face fears. It’s not the absence of storms that sets us apart. It’s whom we discover in the storm: an unstirred Christ.” (Max Lucado)

“There is an old proverb which says, ‘Never cross a bridge before you come to it.’ How many Christians are filled with sorrow on account of imaginary troubles! Many timid Christians have a trouble manufactory in their own houses; they sit from morning to night endeavoring to make trouble for themselves. We have quite enough real trials to bear; and if we make any more of our own, we have no promise that God will give us grace to bear our self-made sorrows. How unwise are those people who crowd a whole year’s troubles into a single day!” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“God’s promises are like the stars; the darker the night, the brighter they shine.” (David Nicholas)

“Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NASB)

“God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never slips, acts with a hand that never fails.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” (Job 13:15 NASB)

“We’re called to love him even when we feel abandoned.

We’re called to look for him even in the midst of the darkness.

We’re called to worship him even through our tears.”

 (Pete Wilson)

“But He knows the way I take;

When He has tried me,

I shall come forth as gold.

My foot has held fast to His path

I have kept His way and not turned aside

I have not departed from the command of His lips

I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”

(Job 23:10-12 NASB)

“When we allow God to be exalted in our difficulties we are in the perfect place to smell the fragrance of His Presence.” (A.W. Tozer)

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31, 37-39 ESV)

A Few Thoughts for Pastors and Leaders

Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt

When asked to describe what is the “heresy of modernity,” J.I. Packer described it this way:

“The belief that…
the newer is the truer,
only what is recent is decent,
every shift of ground is a step forward,
and every latest word must be hailed as the last word on its subject.”

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” (Jim Elliot)

“Good preaching should both…

  • sting and sing, 
  • wound and heal, 
  • convict and comfort.

Much preaching today is only focused on the ‘sing, heal and comfort’ part and is therefore not presenting the ‘whole counsel’ of God’s Word.” (D. A. Carson)

“A public man, though he is necessarily available at many times, must learn to hide. If he is always available, he is not worth enough when he is available.” (Elton Trueblood)

“I use the word routine because it is rarely the spectacular that makes us successful, but simply the regularongoing faithful cadence of our lives in terms of our commitment to Him in the routines of our existence.” 
(Joseph Stowell, from Shepherding the Church into the 21st Century)

“I have done less waiting than working, and my works would have been better had I waited more. But I have enjoyed God’s incomparable companionship. I have walked the world with God as my friend.” (Carl F.H. Henry)

“The most important thing I will do today is pray.”

“God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. The man who will know God must give time to Him.” (A.W. Tozer)

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“You cannot impart what you do not possess.” (Howard Hendricks)

“The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.”

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” (John Wesley)

“I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Fly this banner over every wound and regret: ‘Satan meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.’“ (Genesis 50:20) (John Piper)

“Give me 100 men that hate nothing but sin, and love nothing but Jesus Christ, and we’ll shake England for God.” (John Wesley) 

“I was amazed once to hear a seminary graduate say how adequate he felt for the ministry after his years of schooling. This was supposed to be a compliment to the school. The reason this amazed me is that the greatest theologian and missionary and pastor who ever lived [referring to the Apostle Paul] cried out, “Who is sufficient [or adequate] for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16). Not because he was a bungler, but because the magnificent calling of emitting the fragrance of eternal life for some and eternal death for others was a weight he could scarcely bear. A pastor who feels competent in himself to produce eternal fruit – which is the only kind that matters – knows neither God nor himself. A pastor who does not know the rhythm of desperation and deliverance must have his sights only on what man can achieve…the proper goals of the life of a pastor are unquestionably beyond our reach. The changes we long for in the hearts of our people can happen only by a sovereign work of grace.” (John Piper from Brothers, We Are Not Professionals)

One final note – here is an excellent article recently written for pastors by Kevin DeYoung at TGC: “A Needed Reminder on Monday Morning”

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