Category Archives: God’s immutability

question and answer


The Question:

I’m only a man. Who am I
That I should approach your throne?
What hope is there that you will listen
to me, God of power unknown?

I have a case to bring before you
Of my many sorrows and woes
There’s much that my mortal mind can’t comprehend
your works and ways I don’t know.

How I long for days of old 
When your Spirit lightened my way.
When darkness seemed not dark to me
Your presence drove all shadows away.

I remember the time when blessing you gave and
Your friendship, it guarded my thoughts
I had many companions, honor and fame;
Whatever I wanted, I bought.

My path was not rough, smooth as butter it seemed;
Profits and joy did abound.
I lived as a king, gave help to the poor;
For righteousness I was renown.

But yet you’ve afflicted; I don’t understand
why you’ve chosen this test for me.
I’ve followed your ways, Lord, and done what you’ve asked.
Not given my ways to deceit.

Search me, now, my Sovereign, consider my ways.
And see if what I speak is right.
If you find me guilty then judge me as such
Rise up then in all of your might.


 The Answer:

Now listen to me and dress like I man
If you are as that which you say.
Its my turn to question. As if you would know
The answers or my power could sway.

You bring only counsel from your mind and thoughts
But knowledge you have not just yet.
Stand. Give me the answers to what I now ask.
Its what I demand and will get.

Where were you on that day when your world was made?
Were you there as I measured and set
Each planet in orbit? The foundation for earth?
I knew not it was a duet!

Do stars sing your glory? Do waves know your voice?
Does morning arise at your call?
Have you ever walked in the depths of the sea?
Did you form the sun as a ball?

Tell me if you know where the darkness comes from
Or the storehouses of rain and hail?
Can you manage storms with your voice alone?
The stars… can you count them at all?

When young ones cry to Almighty for help
Do you answer? You mortal man?
Do you shut the jaw of the lion so strong
To protect the innocent lamb?

The horses great might was not given by you.
The eagle won’t soar on command.
The ox or the ostrich don’t beckon your call
You, whose days are merely a span!

So who are you that you find fault with me?
The God who controls all I made.
Who argues against me and stands on that day?
Answer me, if you find a way.


 The Response:

Behold, now in silence I shut up my mouth.
I have spoken.  And that I abhor.
I’ll give you no answer. I have none you see.
I proceed with this trial no more.


The Challenge:

No, dress like a man. Stand now in this trial.
You accuse me: You’ll stand till the end.
You put me as wrong? Condemn my decrees?
Let’s see what witness you send.

Is your arm as God’s?  Your voice as the thunder?
Can you judge the wicked and proud?
Can you grant that your hand will save you from death?
If so, Then I’ll listen to what you allow.

I made the behemoth, the first of creation
With powerful strength as a tree.
The turbulent waters do not frighten Him.
Can you rope him? Will he follow you free?

Or Leviathan? Can you fish him out from the sea?
And play with him as with a bird?
Can you tame him? Make him as a pet for your girls?
Will he speak to you with soft words?

You dare not!  In your weakness, as mortal you know that
Even the thought is absurd.
You would not go fishing with hopes him to catch,
For you fear him, as worms fear a bird.


The Confession:

Behold I now know that you are my God.
Though I’d heard of you, this now I see.
Your ways are not thwarted, your purposes fast.
My complaint cannot change your decree.

 I’ve uttered in foolishness, that which I don’t know.
I despise now this trial I brought.
I repent of my pride, I despise who I am – as you’ve shown me
And now I’ve been taught.

Have mercy on me. In my weakness I bow
Before you, the Creator of all
As a creature.  Abase. In dust and ashes.
Aware of my stature so small.


The Conclusion:

Stand, o man, created and called
by me in my power alone.
I know of your weakness and that you can’t know
All the wonders of which you’ve been shown.

I don’t judge for your weakness but forgive as you bow
Humbly now, hiding your face.
Stand in my presence, welcome and loved
And I will restore to your place.

The glory you once knew on days long ago
You’ll receive again on this earth.
In your trial you were faithful. Through it you endured.
And trusting, my name didn’t curse.

I’ll bless you and give you much more than you know,
Inheritance so great you will have.
Then soon, trial is over and with Me you’ll be.
Blessed eternally. Rest. Peace. At last.


 © Emily Schankweiler 2009

bless the Lord


Emily, you are commanded to bless the Lord.  Use every ounce of strength within you to give praise to his holy name.  Even when your soul is tempted to despair and give up hope, bless the Lord.  Do not forget what He has done for you. 

He forgave all your countless sins on the cross.  Every single one.  Even the ones that your conscience still condemns you of.  To show he has power to heal your soul, He has also in mercy healed your physical diseases many times in the past.  Remember when he healed your hip that Sunday on the steps of the church?  Remember when your pastors prayed for you and your migraines started to get better?  Remember the bus ride when you were so afraid?  Look back!  Remember what He has done!  Do not give up hope – He has the power to do it again now.  He pulled your life up from the pit that you had dug for yourself.  Instead of leaving you in rags, He gave you His righteousness. 

Though it was your head that deserved to be crushed and wounded for your sin, He gave love that never changes and he showed you great mercy.  Though you deserve punishment and his wrath, He instead looks on you in favor, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

Not only did He forgive you but He satisfies your soul with countless good things.  Remember your church?  Have you forgotten what a gift those people are to you?  Remember your home?  Remember the little things you prayed for and He graciously gave you?  Do not grow weary… He provides the strength in your weakness.  He gives you renewal and power, like an eagle flying gracefully above the storms, he will renew your weary soul too. 

When it seems that others get away with evil, rest in knowing that God is just.  He will punish those who oppress you unjustly. 

This is the same God that led Moses and showed his power to the nation of Israel.  He did not give up on them when they sinned and failed to trust him.  Find comfort in looking back and seeing how merciful He was to them.  He is just as merciful and gracious to you.  He is not angry at you when you fail, rather He overflows in unchanging love towards you.  Remember he does not just work by “teaching you a lesson” and He is not angry with you. 

God is merciful… He does not give you what you deserve.  What you deserve is death yet he graciously forgives your sins.  Through Christ, God displayed his steadfast love for his children, by removing your sins far from you… as far as east from the west and heavens from the earth.  

Like a loving father, God shows compassion to you.  He does not expect perfection from you, He knows that you are very weak.  You are weak like grass or like a flower.  Even just a little wind can knock you off your feet and completely throw your world upside down.  But through every change in life, the steadfast love of the Lord will never end.  It will continue to your children, and to their children. 

The Lord rules over the earth. His kingdom is supreme over everything. 

Bless the Lord, you angels, those created to do His will.   Bless the Lord, the hosts of heaven, you who have gone before me and are an example to me of suffering in patience and trust.  Even creation blesses the Lord, the One who rules over them and provides for their every need. 

Oh my soul, my weary soul that is so prone to discouragement, bless the Lord.  He has done so many great things.  He is worthy of my praise.  Bless the Lord.

Psalm 103 (in the words of me)

what are you doing, God?


ever have those times where you ask “What are you doing, God?”  I know His ways are higher than mine.  I know that He loves me and give and takes for my good.  I know what He’s given me, He also has the right to take away when He should choose.  And I know looking back that every time God has taken something from me its always been for my good, even though immensely painful and gut-wrenching at times.  I know that though things can be taken, that nothing can separate me from His love.  How I need that love to hold me close today.  How I long for my war-torn heart to rest there. 

God seems to be shifting me from one furnace to another.  And I am as unhappy with this appointment as I was with the last.  How I long for it to end.  Trials are a funny thing like that… you beg and beg for them to end and as soon as they do you realize that you’ve learned so much more than ever possible had you not gone through that trial.  So as incomprehensible as it seems to your feelings, you find yourself thanking God for what you just walked through.  And simultaneously you pray that you’d never have to go through it again.  In many ways, that’s where I’m at.  I’m grateful for the trials that God has carried me through because I know to a greater degree the depths of His love, care and compassion towards me.  But as I face yet again another trial, I approach it with the same dread and horror as I faced the last.  Horror because as God is calling me to pick up my cross and follow Him, I’m seeing the death, pain, suffering and heartache that accompanies that cross.  And nothing in me wants to go there. 

Yet somehow my loving Shepherd has promised to be with me each step of the way.  He has promised to complete what He has begun.  He has already cared for me time after time and He is faithful.  Because of that, through His strength to hold me, with His help, I will rest in His control over this.  I am choosing to look past the pain, to look past the cross to my Strong Deliverer, who defeated the power of death and the cross.  He will preserve me by His mercy.  He is my Rock in the middle of the storms.  God has promised to complete what He’s begun, therefore I can have hope that He will keep me safe and true in Him…even here, even in this, even though nothing in me wants this.

Somehow I’m excited to see God provide.  As He keeps taking and in my mind its getting even more difficult for Him to provide, I look to my Jehovah-Rophe with hopeful anticipation to meet my needs and comfort my sorrows.  I haven’t really known what to say lately because it seems there are no words to describe the unutterable ache in my soul.  Nothing seems sufficient other than crying to my Maker… the One who knows me and will never leave me alone.  So, in my loneliness, I look to the One who will never leave, abandon or forsake.  In my pain, I look to the One who suffered in my place.    In my despair, I look to the only One who was ever forsaken by God with gratitude that He will not leave me here.  And in my moments (or days) when I just want to complain, I remember how good He has been to me.  The God who restored my broken soul and gave me life, the God who gives me a reason for joy in my mourning, the God who drew me through His kindness and irresistable love… that God will not quit.  So I look to Him.

the foundation of our confidence


God said “I will never leave you or forsake you.”


“The same God I trust for justification is in control of every single moment, of every single day, and every single circumstance.  The foundation of my confidence could not be in my circumstances which seemed to be out of control or in my income which amounted to very little or my feelings which seemed rockier than the roughest waters.  The foundation of my confidence had to be in God, in who He is and who He had revealed himself to be.  Our struggles are so difficult because the foundation of our confidence rests in the wrong place.  The foundation of our confidence rests in God alone”  Steve Bice


Psalm 62:1-2

For God alone, my soul waits in silence.  From Him comes my salvation.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress.  I shall not be greatly shaken.


“There are times that God calls us to have faith for something that we don’t know the outcome of but we are never called to place our faith in something unknown, in someone unknown.  The event may be unknown, but the Someone in the event is never unknown.  Our confidence must be in God who has graciously revealed himself to us.  A still heart before God is one that remembers that our salvation comes from God alone.”  Steve Bice


“Regardless of our performance we are always dependent on God’s grace” Jerry Bridges


“To preach the gospel to yourself means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in his shed blood and righteous life.  It means that you appropriate again by faith the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God.  In both its precepts and penalty, He fulfilled the law of God in its most exacting requirements and he did this in our place as our representative and our substitute.  He is your propitiation so that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed towards you. 


To preach the gospel to yourself means that you take at face value the precious words of Romans 4:7-8.  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”  You believe in the testimony of God that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  You believe that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.  You believe that He forgave you all your sins.  That He reconciled you to present you blameless, holy and above reproach before Him. 


To preach the gospel to yourself means that you appropriate by faith the words of Isaiah 53:6 that the Lord has laid on Him the iniquities of us all.  It means you dwell on the promise that God has removed your sins from you as far as the east is from the west. That He has blotted out your transgressions and remembers your sins no more.”  Jerry Bridges


That is preaching the gospel to yourself.  That we cannot get tired of, weary of.  It cannot become this mantra “you need to preach the gospel to yourself, you need to preach the gospel to yourself.”  This truth is true in you no matter how you feel, no matter how your week’s been.  There is great confidence there.  There is great peace there. 


“If God were to change, it would be the worst possible news imaginable.  He could not be trusted.  Our salvation would be called into question because we wouldn’t know if God would change his mind at any time.  We would have no rest in a changing God.  There would be no rest, no confidence whatsoever.  If God were a changing God, we may as well just pick another source of confidence.  But the one thing that sets God apart is that He never ever changes.”  Steve Bice


“If God varied as we do –  if he willed one thing today and another tomorrow – if he were controlled by impulse, who could confide in Him?  But all praise to his glorious name, He is ever the same.  His purpose is fixed, His will is stable, His word is sure. Here then is a Rock on which we may fix our feet while the mighty torrent is sweeping away everything around us.  The permanence of God’s character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises.  For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed by my kindness will not depart from the neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed says the Lord that has mercy on you.” AW Pink – The Attributes of God


“Other men build as best they may but true believers rest upon the Rock of Ages.  Their confidence is altogether beyond themselves.  Though the earth gives way and it will give way and feels that it gives way daily the believer does not fear.”  CH Spurgeon


“We never know what strength is till our own weakness drives us to trust Omnipotence.  We never know how safe our Refuge is till all other refuges fail us.”  CH Spurgeon

this is my sacrifice of praise


Let them thank the LORD for his stedfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!  They cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.  Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the stedfast love of the LORD.  Psalm 107: 21-22, 28-29, 43

I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.  Because he inclined hisear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.  The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me, I suffered distress and anguish.  Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!”  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.  The LORD preserves the simple; whin I was brought low, he saved me.  Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.  For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.  I believed, even when I spoke, ” I am greatly afflicted”, I said in my alarm, “all mankind are liars.”  What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.  O Lord I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.  You have loosed my bonds.  I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.  Psalm 116: 1-13, 16-17

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.  I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.  He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me.  God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!  My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery bests – the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let your glory be over all the earth!  They set a net for my steps, my soul was bowed down.  They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves.  My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!  I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my glory!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awake the dawn!  I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.  For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let your glory be over all the earth!  Psalm 57

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!  1 John 4:4

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful.  You adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  1 Peter 5:7-10

It is the LORD who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.  Deuteronomy 31:8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:6-8

Save me, O God!  For the waters have come up to my neck.  I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.  I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched.  My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.  More in number than the hairs of my head are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies.  What I did not steal must I now restore?  O God, you know my folly; the wrongs that I have done are not hidden from you.  Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me.  O Lord…  But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.  Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.  Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me.  Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy turn to me.  Hide not your face from your servant, for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.  Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies!  You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you.   Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair…  Let their own table before them become a snare, and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.  Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually.  Pour out your indignation upon them, and let your burning anger overtake them… But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high!  I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.  This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.  When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.  For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.  Psalm 69

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth ahs been given to me.”  Matthew 28:18

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:11-14

And he said to them,  “I saw Satan fall like lighting from heaven.  Behold i have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  Luke 10:18-20

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  Romans 16:20

I love you, O LORD, my strength.  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised and I am saved from my enemies.  He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.  He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.  They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support.  He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me because He delighted in me.  Psalm 18:1-3, 16-19

The LORD is my ligth and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  Though an enemy encamp against m, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.  For He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.  I believe that I shall look upon the goodnessof the LORD in the land of the living!  Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!  Psalm 27:1, 3, 5, 14

Oh how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you.  Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a beseiged city.  I had said in my alarm ” I am cut off from your sight.”  But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I Cried to you for help.”  Psalm 31:19, 21-22

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before him; God is a refuge for us.  Psalm 62:8

truths that are true no matter how i feel…


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Daniel 4:35 (ESV) all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:3-5

Jeremiah 32:17,26-27 (ESV) [17] ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who has made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you…. [26] The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: [27] “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

Isaiah 26:4 “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, {we have} an everlasting Rock.

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. ]

Psalms 36:7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

Romans 11:33 (ESV) Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Job 11:7-9 (ESV) “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? [8] It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? [9] Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.

Hebrews 4:13 (ESV) And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Chron. 6:14 (ESV) and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart,

Neh. 9:17 (ESV) They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.

Psalm 36:7 (ESV) How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 98:3 (ESV) He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Psalm 136:2 (ESV) Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Micah 7:18 (ESV) Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.

Romans 8:39 (ESV) nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 3:1 (ESV) See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Eph. 2:4-5 (ESV) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

Romans 8:28 (ESV) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us. – Jerry Bridges

“To say that God is omniscient is to say that He possesses perfect knowledge and has no need to learn. But it is more: it is to say that God never learned and cannot learn.” – A.W. Tozer

“Wisdom is the application or use of knowledge to devise the best ends, to be accomplished by the best means possible” – Bruce Ware

The wise man is not afraid of his inability, because he knows that Christ’s grace is sufficient. However, the wise man is afraid of the delusions of human strength, because those delusions will keep him from seeking the grace of Christ. The wise man can glory in weakness because he knows of the sufficiency of Christ. The wise man is approachable, able to be corrected. The wise man is humble, waking up every morning saying, “I am a person of great need. Thank you, Lord, that you are in my life. There’s hope for me.” – Paul Tripp

a living hope


“There is no pit so deep but Christ is deeper still.” Corrie Ten Boom

Consider Christian, that all your . . .
  trials and troubles,
  calamities and miseries,
  crosses and losses,
which you meet with in this world–is
all the hell that you shall ever have!

Here and now you have your hell.
Hereafter you shall have your heaven!

This is the worst of your condition;
the best is yet to come!
Thomas Brooks


 “Child of My Love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child!  I shaped it- I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers.

So shall I keep My child within the circling ar ms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My breast. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!”  Octavius Winslow


The gospel of Jesus Christ has a remedy for everything in life that is calculated to make us gloomy and sad.  It offers the pardon of sin to the penitent and believing; the aid ofgrace to those who struggle against an evil disposition; and help against temptation.  It promises to relieve the believer from fear and affords consolation in affliction. 

There is no reason why a true Christian should not be cheerful.  There are, indeed, many things, which he sees, within and without, that must give him pain.  But there is that in his Christian hope, and in the considerations brought to his mind from the Word of God which is able to bear him high above them all.  Harvey Newcomb


Who, amid these checkered experiences, does not sigh for something permanent, stable, enduring? The vessel has again and again slipped its earthly moorings. We long for some secure and sheltered harbor.

 “I change not!”  Heart and flesh may faint; yes, do faint and fail but there is an unfainting, unfailing, unvarying God. All the changes in the world around cannot affect Him. Our own fitfulness cannot alter Him. When we are depressed, downcast, fluctuating, our treacherous hearts turning aside “like a broken bow,” He is without one “shadow of turning.” “God who cannot lie,” is the superscription on His eternal throne; and inscribed on all His dealings.  John MacDuff



God’s been working lately.  invasive open heart quadruple bypass surgery.   Through each cut of the Surgeon’s knife, through each stitch of the needle, I’ve been reminded of my Father’s tender care. 


Through a deep, dark valley of confusion, He led me.  Through some of the worst migraines of my life, God faithfully upheld me.   the beginning of Lamentations 3 (verses 1-18) talks about sitting in dust and ashes and feeling hopelessly left there.  Last week alone, I think I used an entire box of Kleenex.  But Psalm 113 reminds me that my God lifts me up from my ash heap.  What hope!  Though in some ways, the harvest is “over” and there is still no fruit, my God has not and will not forsake.  He is faithful. 


“My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, He who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. The Lord Himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go—both now and forever.” Psalm 121:1-8


He won’t let me stumble.  He, the uncreated God of eternity, the amazing Creator of the universe, the sovereign Ordainer of redemption, the tender Sustainer of my weak soul… He will not let me fail.  He watches over me.  Every step.  Each step I take.  When I’m tired, He never fails.  When I’m so weary I can’t see clearly, He watches over me.  When I hurt so bad I’m too weak to stand, He stands beside me as my protective shade.  When the heat is scorching, He promises it will not hurt me.  When the night is dark, He promises to keep me from evil and to preserve my life.  He keeps me as I come.  He keeps me as I go.  Now.  and Forever. 


Its impossible for me to meditate on those truths and not find comfort for my soul.

I read an article this morning by JR Miller entitled “Guarded from Stumbling.”  This article was written in 1906, but is equally as helpful for today as it was then.  I’d encourage you to read it here.   Below is an excerpt from the article:

The Bible gives many assurances of protection to the children of God, as they pass through this world. They dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. They take refuge under the wings of God. …A mother, after a sore bereavement which changed all her life, was grieving at having to leave the old home where everything had grown sacred. Tears filled her eyes as she took the last look at the familiar scenes—house, grounds, trees, and hills. Her little boy tired to comfort her, and as he looked out of the window of the car, he said: “Why, mother, God’s sky is over us yet. It’s going right along with us.” We never can get beyond the blue of the heavens; we never can get out from under the shadow of the Almighty. Wherever we may have to go—we shall always have the love of God over us.

a God of certainty


“Wait on the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14

It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before him; tell him your difficulty, and plead his promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if he keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet he will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for thee in the full conviction that thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”


“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed.”
Jeremiah 17:14

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him.”
Isaiah 57:18

It is the sole prerogative of God to remove spiritual disease. Natural disease may be instrumentally healed by men, but even then the honor is to be given to God who giveth virtue unto medicine, and bestoweth power unto the human frame to cast off disease. As for spiritual sicknesses, these remain with the great Physician alone; he claims it as his prerogative, “I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal;” and one of the Lord’s choice titles is Jehovah-Rophi, the Lord that healeth thee. “I will heal thee of thy wounds,” is a promise which could not come from the lip of man, but only from the mouth of the eternal God. On this account the psalmist cried unto the Lord, “O Lord, heal me, for my bones are sore vexed,” and again, “Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.” For this, also, the godly praise the name of the Lord, saying, “He healeth all our diseases.” He who made man can restore man; he who was at first the creator of our nature can new create it. What a transcendent comfort it is that in the person of Jesus “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily!” My soul, whatever thy disease may be, this great Physician can heal thee. If he be God, there can be no limit to his power. Come then with the blind eye of darkened understanding, come with the limping foot of wasted energy, come with the maimed hand of weak faith, the fever of an angry temper, or the ague of shivering despondency, come just as thou art, for he who is God can certainly restore thee of thy plague. None shall restrain the healing virtue which proceeds from Jesus our Lord. Legions of devils have been made to own the power of the beloved Physician, and never once has he been baffled. All his patients have been cured in the past and shall be in the future, and thou shalt be one among them, my friend, if thou wilt but rest thyself in him this night.

from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening (August 30th)

The God of the broken-hearted


(J. R. Miller, “The Beatitude for the Unsuccessful” 1892)

“The Lord is near the broken-hearted.” Psalm 34:18

The God of the Bible, is the God of the broken-hearted. The world cares little for the broken hearts. Indeed, people oftentimes break hearts by their cruelty, their falseness, their injustice, their coldness–and then move on as heedlessly as if they had trodden only on a worm! But God cares. Broken-heartedness attracts Him. The plaint of grief on earth–draws Him down from heaven.

Physicians in their rounds, do not stop at the homes of the well–but of the sick. So it is with God in His movements through this world. It is not to the whole and the well–but to the wounded and stricken, that He comes with sweetest tenderness! Jesus said of His mission: “He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted.” Isaiah 61:1

We look upon trouble as misfortune. We say that the life is being destroyed, which is passing through adversity. But the truth which we find in the Bible, does not so represent suffering. God is a repairer and restorer of the hurt and ruined life. He takes the bruised reed–and by His gentle skill makes it whole again, until it grows into fairest beauty. The love, pity, and grace of God, minister sweet blessing of comfort and healing–to restore the broken and wounded hearts of His people.

Much of the most beautiful life in this world, comes out of sorrow. As “fair flowers bloom upon rough stalks,” so many of the fairest flowers of human life, grow upon the rough stalks of suffering. We see that those who in heaven wear the whitest robes, and sing the loudest songs of victory–are those who have come out of great tribulation. Heaven’s highest places are filling, not from earth’s homes of glad festivity and tearless joy–but from its chambers of pain; its valleys of struggle where the battle is hard; and its scenes of sorrow, where pale cheeks are wet with tears, and where hearts are broken. The God of the Bible–is the God of the bowed down–whom He lifts up into His strength.

God is the God of those who fail. Not that He loves those who stumble and fall, better than those who walk erect without stumbling; but He helps them more. The weak believers get more of His grace–than those who are strong believers. There is a special divine promise, which says, “My divine power is made perfect in weakness.” When we are conscious of our own insufficiency, then we are ready to receive of the divine sufficiency. Thus our very weakness is an element of strength. Our weakness is an empty cup–which God fills with His own strength.

You may think that your weakness unfits you for noble, strong, beautiful living–or for sweet, gentle, helpful serving. You wish you could get clear of it. It seems to burden you–an ugly spiritual deformity. But really it is something which–if you give it to Christ–He can transform into a blessing, a source of His power. The friend by your side, whom you envy because he seems so much stronger than you are–does not get so much of Christ’s strength as you do. You are weaker than him–but your weakness draws to you divine power, and makes you strong.

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3