All posts tagged: suffer

Can You Trust God’s Ultimate Plan?

At Southern Hills, we are making our way through the first six chapters of Daniel. So far, we have been taught about God’s sovereignty, King Nebuchadnezzar’s (“King Neb” as I will call him) pride and anger, Daniel’s faithfulness to God, and more. It is interesting to note at the end of chapter two King Neb is praising the LORD, God of Israel. Then, Daniel 3 begins with King Neb fashioning an idol made of gold. And this idol is huge! Once the idol is finished, King Neb demands everyone bow down and worship it. Whoever refuses will meet death by fire. As you can imagine, people worshiped the idol—just as the King had commanded. Everyone except for 3 men—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. As you may know, these men refused to bow down to King Neb’s idol and were thrown into the furnace. But they lived! Let’s consider the conversation place between King Neb and the three Hebrews. King Neb said: “But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery …

Meditating on the Goodness of God

Over the past few years, I have been greatly influenced and impacted by corporate worship through song. Whether it be with my church body, other believers at a conference, in the car by myself, or in the living room with my wife, I have come to love singing songs to the Lord. Psalm 96:1-2 says, “Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.” This Sunday, November 5, we’re singing a new song! We’ll also be singing a song that has become one of my favorites— King of My Heart. Through this song, we meditate on the goodness of our God. We meditate on the fact that God is our provider and sustainer— we are utterly dependent upon Him. I particularly like the bridge of this song, which repeats, “You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down.” These are such sweet words to meditate on if we truly understand them. These words are like honey to our …

Who Do You Think Is In Control?

When I was 18, fresh out of high school entering college, I thought I had my whole life planned out. I was going to go to the University of West Georgia, save a little bit of money, transfer after two years, and go to the University of Georgia.  I’d get a business degree, go live in Atlanta, and work for a financial corporation. That was the plan and I thought I was in control. God had a different plan. God broke me down and basically said, “Dude, what do you think you control?” I wrestled with that question, thinking I controlled everything, “This is my life and I can take it wherever I want.”   Scripture says this type of thinking is idolatry in my own self. I believed I was in control, that I was the god of my life, but that was not the case. Paul shows us in Ephesians 3:1, that Christ is in control: When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you …

The Purpose of Our Suffering

Joseph’s story in the Bible seems odd (see Genesis 37-50). If Joseph was one of God’s chosen instruments, why would God let his brothers sell him into slavery? Why would God let Joseph be wrongfully imprisoned? We usually like to blame this type of suffering on sin. The Bible paints Joseph as a righteous man, and we are not given reason to believe that his sufferings resulted from personal sin. So, what are we to make of Joseph’s story?  Through Joseph’s suffering, at the hand of his murderous brothers, the line of Judah was preserved. In Genesis 45:8, Joseph says to his brothers, “So it was God who sent me here, not you!” God’s plan for Joseph included many trials. However, these trials were neither tests nor punishments. The trials were designed by God to fulfill prophecy and ultimately bring Jesus Christ into the world through Judah’s lineage, one of Joseph’s brothers. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this …