Author: David Powlison

How Suffering Can Be Our Teacher

How Suffering Can Be Our Teacher from Crossway on Vimeo. Learning to Endure There’s no way you’re ever going to learn endurance without having to keep on going through something hard that doesn’t go away. There’s no way you’re ever going to learn forbearance without having to face something that you really wish you didn’t have to, and you need to somehow come to grips with it. Martin Luther said he had three masters, and he got them out of Psalm 119. He said that the first master (in Latin) is meditatio. This is meditation or reflection on Scripture,...

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An Open Letter to the Suffering Christian

Dear friend, What words can I say to you when your life is hard and you are hurting? If we were face to face, I probably wouldn’t start with words at all. I would want you to talk when you are able. I want to know you, what you are going through, what it is like for you, and how you are doing. Simply being present and conveying that tears, heartache, and confusion are valid would probably be more helpful. Many wise Christians have commented that Job’s counselors did well until they opened their mouths (Job 2:11-13), and I...

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An Open Letter to the Sexual Sufferer

Dear friend, How do you rebuild after sexual victimization? To experience such evil devastates so many aspects of who you are. Your expectations about life are forever darkened. Primal fears of danger awaken. In time they will ebb; they may even go dormant; but they will not go extinct until the day when you have no more reasons to fear. How do you ever come to terms with betrayal and violation at the hands of an evildoer? There are no easy answers or quick solutions. Other people—who genuinely care, who want to be helpful—often don’t really understand. Pain and...

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An Open Letter to Those Nonchalant about Their Sexual Sin

Dear friend, Sex is like fire. When it blazes in the fireplace, a good fire warms and brightens the room, enhancing joy and companionship. But when fires ignite in the wrong places, the house burns down. Is your sexuality igniting in the wrong places? Are you treating sexual sin casually? How do you know when this has happened? Let me offer a few tests that can rouse your conscience. Is what you are doing simply wrong? The outright evils of sexual immorality are not hard to identify. Our culture makes the water very muddy, and preaches the doctrine that...

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An Open Letter to Those Debilitated by Their Sexual Sin

Dear friend, What do you do when you are still struggling? What do you do when repeated failure, guilt, and shame weigh heavily on your conscience? Let me begin with a story about a friend of mine. He had come to faith in Christ when he was in his late twenties. As they say, “He had history. He came with baggage.” I’ve never forgotten the way he described his life at the point when Jesus reached him. “If you divided my mental day into a thousand moments, nine hundred of those moments were immoral. I simply lived in a...

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