Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Hidden Smile of God

Reading about believers who have faced trials in their life has pointed me in the direction of God and His plan for me.  The Hidden Smile of God is a book that I am reading by John Piper.  I am reading the free ebook that you can get online here.

This is taken from the Desiring God website:

"John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd suffered in the midst of their kingdom labors. For Bunyan it was prison and danger for preaching the gospel. For Cowper it was life-long depression and suicidal darkness. For Brainerd it was tuberculosis and the "howling darkness" of American forests.
In these three biographies, John Piper explains how their steadfastness through trial sweetened and intensified their song of faith. The stories of how they suffered, how they endured, and how their affliction bore fruit will ignite radical Christian living, God-centered worship, and Christ-exalting mission.
Consider their stories and be encouraged that no labor and no suffering in the path of Christian obedience is ever in vain. As Cowper wrote, 'Behind a frowning providence God hides a smiling face.'"

So far in this book, I have read about John Bunyan. Not only was he in prison for preaching the Gospel, but his entire life was marked with suffering.  Piper does a great job giving a biography of Bunyan and then explaining how affliction worked out for God's good in Bunyan's life and ministry.

"I was made to see that if ever I would suffer rightly,
I must first pass a sentence of death upon everything
that can be properly called a thing of this life,
even to reckon myself, my wife, my children,
my health, my enjoyment, and all, as dead to me,
and myself as dead to them.
The second was, to live upon God that is invisible."

"God is always sufficient for every good work; he is not “served
by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He
Himself gives to all men life and breath and all things” (Acts
17:25). Sometimes his smile is hidden, but his arm is never shortened,
nor his light extinguished. In due season the clouds move,
and the light returns, and we are sustained. As we get older we
learn to trust the inscrutable working of his winds. May these
chapters strengthen you to wait patiently for the Lord in the
seasons of darkness, because behind a frowning providence he
hides a smiling face."  John Piper, "The Hidden Smile of God."

1 comment:

My Life as a Mom said...

Too bad it's not a real book I could borrow!

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