• A Refuge for the Weary Soul Article by Robert Rayburn

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    The sufferings of our Lord and Savior were the penalty He bore for our sins. But those same trials and sorrows served another purpose. Living a very difficult life prepared our perfect Savior to be a better help to us in our temptations and trials than otherwise He could have been. Much as we may struggle to understand this, it is what the Bible teaches. We read in Hebrews 2:18: “For because he himself has suffered…he is able to help….” and again in 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, … View Resource

  • Turning Evil on Its Head Article by Joni Eareckson Tada

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    Ask my husband; I am no theologian. I’ve never read Calvin’s Institutes all the way through, nor do I know Greek or Hebrew. But years ago, when I snapped my neck under the weight of a dive into shallow water, permanent and total paralysis smashed me up against the study of God. Up until then, I was content to wade ankle-deep in the things of God, but when a severed spinal cord left my body limp and useless, I was hoisted into a dark, bottomless ocean. In the wee, sleepless hours of my early injury, I wrestled against my Reformed … View Resource

  • What’s the Problem? Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that evil exists. You don’t even have to be a theologian to know that evil exists. All that is necessary for you to know that evil exists is to exist. In this fallen world, we are bombarded with evil from every side — not only the evil of this world but the evil within our own hearts as well, and that is where the real problem exists. As fallen creatures who exist in this fallen world of sin and misery, we do not reflect the light of God’s glory as … View Resource

  • Why Do We Suffer? Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2005

    Throughout my life I have always been a voracious reader. I can remember being enamored by books at a very young age and becoming excited during my preschool years as I was first taught to read. Even today, hardly a day goes past when I am not reading something, whether it be a magazine, a newspaper, or any other kind of print media. In addition, I usually am reading one or more books on a variety of topics. Since high school I have been particularly enamored by theological literature. Reading the great theologians of the past and the present helps … View Resource

  • Participating in Suffering Article by Mark Dever

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2005

    The bell rang, and as I left the classroom a young man in the class pulled me over to ask me to pray for his grandmother who was very sick in the hospital. Though shocked, I happily complied. Minutes before, when the teacher had been out of the room, the young man had led the class in making fun of me for being a Christian. I was a fairly young Christian and didn’t enjoy the experience. You can imagine how that added to my surprise when he pulled me over and asked me to pray for his grandmother. It was … View Resource

  • Unquenchable Joy Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2005

    Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2). Was James a masochist? “When you face trials, do it with joy.” Who gets their kicks out of suffering? This is an emotional anomaly. And he was not speaking of “Adversity Lite” — these were the heavy burdens that developed the spiritual character of endurance. Joy is not a natural reaction to hardship. I have a brave friend who, in the last year, has endured cancer surgery and the toxic treatments that are meant to … View Resource

  • No Pain, No Gain Article by Mark Dever

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2005

    Sometimes Scripture is just not obviously true. It is certainly true. Scripture is always true. Sometimes, however, Scripture is just not obviously true to us. At the beginning of James’ letter, we are told that we should “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2 NASB). Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that this is not obvious to us. As Christians, so much of the Bible is so clearly true. We know that God made the heavens and the earth, and that the heavens tell of the glory of God. When my family … View Resource

  • Patience in Suffering Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2004

    I hate pain. I try to avoid suffering, and I don’t go out of my way to look for affliction. But pain, suffering, and affliction find me. They find all of us. If you are free of these things, brace yourself and be patient. All you have to do is live long enough. Suffering and affliction are human conditions. And when suffering and affliction come, be patient, remembering that God is sovereign. And thank God that He is sovereign over suffering, using affliction first for His glory and secondarily for our good. But that doesn’t mean we have to like … View Resource