Recommended Resources: February 22, 2021

STORY
Author:
Ministry:
Date: February 22, 2021

Book Recommendation from a Pastor
“When Pain is Real and God Seems Silent” by Ligon Duncan
Recommendation by Pastor Eufemio Magsombol, Jr.

What do we do when God seems silent during times of suffering and isolation? How do we relate with God when we’re left with unanswered prayers? In his book, “When Pain Is Real and God Seems Silent,” Ligon Duncan encourages us to find hope in the laments of Psalms 88 and 89. In them we find truths that help us to see that the immense hardships that the Lord allows in our lives are not contrary to His sovereignty but are rather opportunities to trust in Him and to come through the darkness with greater faith.

I encourage you to check out When Pain Is Real and God Seems Silent if you’re looking for a concise and accessible resource on finding hope in the Lord during severe trials and suffering. Here are a few highlights:

“Many times in the Christian life, God answers our cries, ‘Why O Lord?’ not by explaining His providence but by giving us a deeper understanding of His person. In other words, when we cry, ‘Lord, why are you doing this?’ he often answers by saying, ‘Let me show you who I am.’ And if you see Him, He will be enough.”

“We are poor interpreters of God’s providence. While we may not understand what God is doing, we can always trust who He is. We must never interpret God’s character by our circumstances. We must instead interpret our circumstances by God’s character.”

“Scripture teaches that your troubles don’t belong to you alone. God placed psalms of lament, like this one, in Scripture so that we could all learn how to cry to the Lord in our sadness and grief together. Psalms like this one teach us to share in one another’s suffering and to bear one another’s burdens.”

“Have you ever wondered what God wants out of your salvation? Short answer: you. God has bound himself to you in His covenant of grace… he brought us into fellowship with Himself. He makes us His friends, objects of his special love… If anything should sustain us in suffering, it is God’s covenant of grace. In the midst of sorrow and suffering, the covenant of grace reminds us that God has redeemed us to draw us near and say, ‘I want you as my inheritance.’”

“When we embrace God’s sovereignty, we can stare down the worst of suffering, the obscenities of sin, and the greatest wickedness in this fallen world and still confess with the hymn writer, ‘Whate’er my God ordains is right.’… We can dig in our nails and hang on even in the worst sorrow and pain because we know that God, the God who chose us and entered into covenant with us, is sovereign over all.”

 

Articles

10 Things You Should Know about Love

To complement Sunday’s message, as gospel-centered people, the love of God should be central to our relationships with others, especially our families.

Burn Long Not Just Hot

“Passion for Christ is not exclusively burning hot; it’s also burning long. The endurance of a long, warm flame is a virtue too easily undervalued.” One of the most important parts of running the race is simply running. Praise God for the endurance He supplies.

Church Small Talk Was More Important Than I Thought

Don’t diminish the significance of small talk. These conversations can build trust into a relationship so when deeper matters come along, a relationship is robust enough to admonish and encourage one another.

Self-Talk and Sanctification

Whether we realize it or not, we are often talking to ourselves. We need to ensure even this is redeemed and shaped by God’s Word. Preach the gospel and His truth to yourself.

The Gift Giver’s Joy

The joy of God in the gifts He gives reassures our hearts. He does not bring anything into our life that isn’t for our good. We can rejoice in His sovereignty, wisdom, and generosity and then mirror it in our joyful living.

There Is Only Ever Today

Heaven is our home, because God is there. The Bible calls us exiles, sojourners, and citizens of God’s kingdom. May that inform our minds and create longing in our heart. If God prepares us a place, are we preparing ourselves for it?

Living By the Book | Psalm 119:1-8

We are to be people of God’s book. From the first eight verses of Psalm 119, H.B. Charles extracts ways we can hold the Scriptures close to our heart and put it into practice.

 

Music

Lovingkindness [Official Lyric Video] – Matt Redman, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Keith & Kristyn Getty

A collaboration that focuses upon God’s grace and lovingkindness. May this encourage you to go through your day rehearsing the attributes and goodness of God.

Sara Groves – He’s Always Been Faithful

This song highlights God’s relentless faithfulness. When things are going well or life is hard, we can press on knowing God is ever faithful.

 

Miscellaneous

The Gospel – Ordinary Folk

Christianity Explored commissioned this design studio to put together a gospel presentation video. This is a good and succinct way to share the good news of Jesus Christ. 

Stories from Saints, Sufferers, & Sinners – Episode 2: Rona

You might have heard the adage, “saints, suffers, and sinners,” as a way to explain our identity as Christians in this fallen world. In this podcast, Rona Babb shares her testimony on how this has been evident in her experience and impacted her life.