Are we ready for tough times ahead?

The coddled Western world will sooner or later give way to great affliction. And when it does, whose vision of God will hold? Where are Christians being prepared for great global sorrows? Where is the Christian mind and soul being prepared for the horrors to come? Christians in the West are weakened by wimpy worldviews. And wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. God is weightless in our lives. He is not terrifyingly magnificent. His sovereignty is secondary (at best) to his sensitivity.

— John Piper, Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of God (13)

We don’t have to imagine as hard these days to envision tough times in our country. But tough economic times aren’t the same as tough times to be a follower of Christ. It is good to turn to Christ for comfort, but some times we need more than just comforting words. We need words of warning. There is evil in this world and it touches every one of our lives. The fact that we live in comfort in our Western world is a providence of God, but we should not look at it as the only way.

In John Piper’s Spectacular Sins, cited above, he examines how evil in our world not only fail to nullify God’s purpose to glorify Christ they — by his providence — succeed in making his purpose come to pass. And through understanding this, we can be strengthened in our own lives in the difficult times that will surely come.

The book is one of many that you download for free as a PDF onto your computer. If you still prefer to hold a book in your hand, you can purchase it here.

What impresses God

While we are soaking in the pageantry of the Olympics this summer in China, let us not forget what life is really like for the Christians there. In a great post at The Blazing Center, Mark Altrogge compares what we see with what God sees:

The Lord who spoke the worlds into existence is not impressed by our pomp and technology and fireworks. But he is impressed by his people glorifying him despite persecution by a wicked government. His eyes are on his precious sheep singing his praises behind closed doors of their homes or praying under their prison covers.

When you watch the Olympics this week, lift up a prayer for the persecuted saints in China. Ask Jesus to have mercy on them, fill them with his joy and give them the grace to persevere. Ask Jesus to bring his kingdom, the most impressive kingdom of all, to earth.