A Surprising Encouragement (at least for me!)

One of the main reasons I enjoy running in the morning is the fact that I can usually make my way through a sermon over the course of my run. It's primarily owing to how slow I run, which is more of a jog than a run. But it serves my soul. I like morning, but I also find that it is in the morning where the greatest battle for my joy happens. I can go to bed feeling pretty good about the next day, and wake up completely discouraged. And all I did was sleep! It is in these dark moments that I have experienced God's kindness through the preaching of his word. I have had my entire perspective change because God showed up in those short 45 minutes and ministered to my weary soul. I have learned to like running (and that is a feat for someone like me), but more than anything I have learned more about my Savior. And for that I am thankful.

Yesterday, I started listening to a biography of Charles Spurgeon given by John Piper at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors. I almost didn't listen to it. I was in a strange mood and didn't think a message about being a pastor would pertain to me. God knew exactly what I needed yesterday (and today), and I'm so glad I listened.

The entire message is worth listening to, but a few things struck me about this great man's life.
  1. His love for God's people and God's word. I want that to be my legacy.
  2. His trust in God in the midst of lifelong suffering, and his embrace of this suffering as a blessing from God meant to make him more like Christ.
  3. His exhortations to fight the temptation to compare our lives to those around us.
These are all big things I'm working through in my own life right now, so I was greatly encouraged by this saint who has walked before me. Another piece of information that I was not aware of before I listened to this message was about his family. His wife, Susannah, gave birth to their twin sons early in their marriage and then never had another child. Her infertility was unexplained, and after trying a new procedure to try to alleviate her barrenness she was rendered an invalid for the remainder of her life. She continued to serve him for the rest of his ministry even though she faced tremendous suffering. I am looking forward to reading more about her.

If you are looking for some encouragement in your walk with the Lord today, listen to this message. It will encourage you and give you hope that our God is faithful to sustain you and keep you to the end.