• Coaching and the Suffering Christian Article by Joe Holland

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2014 | Hebrews 12

    I have spent my life being coached or coaching. I’ve played most of the major sports and some of the more unusual ones as well. I’ve learned that coaches face one major perennial challenge. It is the difficulty of motivating your athletes when pain and fatigue are urging them to quit. I’ve found that there are three basic coaching styles that seek to answer this challenge. The first coaching style asserts that true athletes don’t feel pain. It simply doesn’t exist; it is a figment of the imagination. This is the mind-over-matter rationale. Pain isn’t a challenge; or, it isn’t … View Resource

  • Dealing with Doubt Article by Randy Alcorn

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2014 | Romans 10

    In times of doubt, difficulty, and trials, our fundamental beliefs about God and our faith are revealed. So how can Christians find faith in the midst of doubt? How can they trust God’s plan when their lives seem out of His control, and prayers seem to go unanswered or, as it sometimes feels, even unheard? If you or someone you love has been there, these questions may be far more personal than theoretical. You might ask questions like these: Is God good? Is He sovereign? Does He care? When we’re assailed by trials, we need perspective for our minds and … View Resource

  • The Church: Your Story Article by Joe Holland

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2014 | Matthew 16

    Why is this happening to me? What is my purpose in this life? If God is so powerful, then why does He allow me to be treated this way by people who are opposed to Him? Will God ever give me victory over this particular sin? These are the types of questions that pepper the ordinary Christian life. Christians want an explanation from God for their current suffering and a steadfast promise that their own life will turn out well. Christians know that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28), but it is one … View Resource

  • Count It All Joy Article by Scott Devor

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Just a few days after the death of his wife, Idelette, John Calvin wrote these words expressing the depths of his suffering: “The death of my wife has been exceedingly painful to me … . I have been bereaved of the best companion of my life.” I have suffered much less than others, but even to the degree to which I have experienced suffering, I still find these words of James some of the most arresting in scripture: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). When trials arise, my first … View Resource

  • A Purpose in the Pain: An Interview with Joni Eareckson Tada Article by Joni Eareckson Tada

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Tabletalk: For our readers who are unfamiliar with your story, would you share how you became quadriplegic? Joni Eareckson Tada: For years, I was one of those who insisted, “Handicaps happen to other people, not me.” But all that changed on a hot July afternoon in 1967 when my sister Kathy and I went to a beach on the Chesapeake Bay for a swim. The water was murky, and I didn’t bother to check the depth when I hoisted myself onto a raft anchored offshore. I dove in and instantly felt my head hit something hard — my neck … View Resource

  • Loving Our Enemies Article by Patrick Sookhdeo

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    A Pakistani Christian woman is sentenced to death for defiling the name of Muhammad. A suicide bomber outside a church in Egypt kills twenty-one people and wounds many more. An attack on a church in northern Nigeria by a thirty-strong Muslim mob armed with guns, knives, and petrol bombs leaves five people dead. These incidents all happened in the last few months and are sadly typical of the plight of Christians across the Muslim world today. Many of our brothers and sisters live in constant danger of physical assault, imprisonment, and even murder and execution simply because of their faith … View Resource

  • A Pastor’s Reflection Article by Charles Drew

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    What do you do when the world falls apart? When the planes struck, I was in my office overlooking Columbia University on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, eight miles north of Ground Zero. I listened helplessly to news reports and to the sound of sirens as rescue workers raced beneath my window on the way to the scene. It wasn’t long before a deadly odor began to fill the air. Over the next thirty-six hours, New York felt increasingly like a city under siege. Transportation shut down (I had to walk across Manhattan that evening to see a friend … View Resource

  • Human Trafficking in God’s World Article by Justin Holcomb

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011

    Genesis 3 records the terrible day when humanity fell into sin and shalom was violated. This was a moment of cosmic treason, when Adam and Eve violated their relationship with God by rebelling against His command and fell into the severe ignobility we all experience. The entrance of sin wrecked the order and goodness of God’s world; it was the disintegration of peace. Sin inverted love for God, which in turn became idolatry, and inverted love for neighbor, which became exploitation of others. One clear way this exploitation of others takes place is human trafficking. Trafficking is modern-day slavery and … View Resource

  • It Can’t Get No Worse? Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2010

    In 1967, the Beatles released their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. One of the classic songs on that album is titled “Getting Better.” Many people are familiar with the catchy, upbeat chorus: “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time.” It’s been used many times in television and radio advertisements. Those who have listened to the entire song know that there are also some dark undertones in parts of the song. John Lennon added the verse: “I used to be cruel to my woman. I beat her and kept her apart from the … View Resource

  • Pain: God’s Megaphone Article by Alistair Begg

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    For sixty years, successive generations have been helped by what C.S. Lewis wrote on the subject of pain and suffering. The sustained benefit is due in large measure to the fact that he brought to the “problem” a solid dose of Christian realism. This medicine may be more important now than ever. It is not uncommon to watch as television preachers inform their audiences that God “does not want you to be sick.” It is hard to imagine such an assertion proving to be an encouragement to the wheel-chair bound, long-term sufferer of multiple sclerosis. At best, such preachers are … View Resource

  • An Infallible Map Article by Kevin Struyk

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    I enjoy looking at maps. Not only are they helpful tools to navigate unfamiliar territory, they also provide a unique “big-picture” view from an omniscient vantage point. Do you ever wish there was a map available to show where your life was going? I do. Will my life be like traveling on a curvy road on the edge of a high mountain with no guardrail? Will it be like cruising a straight highway through the plains of Iowa? Will it be a scenic route? Will I ever run into a dead end?  The future is unknown to us. Tomorrow your life … View Resource

  • Present Suffering and Future Glory Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    My friends and I often have discussions in which we try to understand why people ever settled in the great state of Florida. Please do not get me wrong, I have a deep affection for the Sunshine State, largely because I have lived in Florida all of my life. But it is difficult for me to grasp how men and women survived the summers here when people began moving into the state en masse during the 1800s. There was no air-conditioning back then, and the summers here can be brutal, largely because of the humidity. These settlers did not have … View Resource

  • Perseverance in the Face of Persecution Article by C. FitzSimons Allison

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    Gilbert Meilaender is a truly heroic figure. I would like to share my admiration for him with others as an encouragement to persevere in the face of persecution. Meilaender is an internationally known ethicist and one of a group of eminent students belonging to the Ramsey Colloquium, named for the Princeton scholar, Paul Ramsey. These are among the most distinguished scholars of their generation. A careful, pastorally sensitive, contemporary statement regarding the church’s teaching on homosexuality was published by this colloquium. As a result, many of them were harassed and treated with inexcusable persecution on campuses, including Oberlin, the University … View Resource

  • The Faithful Endurance of Suffering Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    Pharaoh begins having disturbing dreams, and not one of his magicians or wise men is able to interpret them. The chief cupbearer suddenly remembers the accuracy of Joseph’s interpretation of his dream, and Joseph is brought before the pharaoh. Joseph gives all of the glory to God for the ability to interpret dreams and proceeds to explain the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream. He reveals that after seven years of plenty there will be seven years of severe famine. Because of the wisdom and ability that Joseph demonstrates he is exalted by Pharaoh to a position of authority in Egypt second … View Resource

  • Bound to Come Some Trouble Article by Chris Larson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2007

    We Reformed types have it good. I mean, really good. Call it the doctrines of grace or historic Christian faith or even the C-word (Calvinism) and you have to admit that sinners such as us have received something amazing. The Bible teaches us to cling to the exhilarating truth that God is powerfully sovereign over everything. One contemporary theologian known to the readers of Tabletalk has even dared to claim that there is not one maverick molecule outside of God’s domain. What about suffering? Do you ever wonder how an atheist and a Christian might differ on their response? One denies … View Resource