Suffering and Ministry: A Quote by Charles Spurgeon

This is a short quote by Charles Spurgeon to remind us that sometimes suffering is part of our ministry.

“One Sabbath morning, I preached from the text, `My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ and though I did not say so, yet I preached my own experience. I heard my own chains clank while I tried to preach to my fellow-prisoners in the dark; but I could not tell why I was brought into such an awful horror of darkness, for which I condemned myself. On the following Monday evening, a man came to see me who bore all the marks of despair upon his countenance. His hair seemed to stand up right, and his eyes were ready to start from their sockets. He said to me, after a little parleying, “I never before, in my life, heard any man speak who seemed to know my heart. Mine is a terrible case; but on Sunday morning you painted me to the life, and preached as if you had been inside my soul.” By God’s grace I saved that man from suicide, and led him into gospel light and liberty; but I know I could not have done it if I had not myself been confined in the dungeon in which he lay. I tell you the story, brethren, because you sometimes may not understand your own experience, and the perfect people may condemn you for having it; but what know they of God’s servants? You and I have to suffer much for the sake of the people of our charge….You may be in Egyptian darkness, and you may wonder why such a horror chills your marrow; but you may be altogether in the pursuit of your calling, and be led of the Spirit to a position of sympathy with desponding minds.”

-Charles Spurgeon-

Shocking Message to Pastors and Churches

This gentleman recently found out that he has a brain tumor.  Pondering this, he wants to remind many Christians and churches how they may sound to someone who is looking for real answers, and not just wanting their ears tickled with prosperity preaching and superficial hype. 

Let’s keep him in prayer,


Was that Worship???

I had a co-worker once who loved just about everything Disney. He put a sticker on his car, and would proudly wear Disney hats and shirts. He was one of the managers at the store where I was working, and I remember one day when everything was going wrong he said to me, when this day is over I am going home and I’m going to watch an old Disney movie. When I pressed him a bit as to why he chose to watch an old Disney movie as opposed to anything else, he said, “Disney things just bring me back to when I was a kid.” Ultimately there was a sense of nostalgia from all the memories of growing up, and these things moved his affections in a way that made him feel a bit better after a hard day.

On another note (no pun intended), music has a way of doing the same type of things for us. I can remember in high school and college and it even happens now occasionally, when I would be listening to secular radio, and that new song that I had been waiting to hear would come on. Immediately, I would turn up the volume and I would be energized by what I was hearing, singing along with all the passion I could muster.

Now there really is nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia and being energized or moved by some piece of music, but when you put these things together with a Christian worship service or program we must be careful to discern our affections. I bring this up because sometimes I think we can be misled to think that we have had a time of worship or that we have heard a really good sermon simply because our affections were moved.

We must pay close attention to what is actually moving our affections in order to discern whether or not it is worship or even spiritual. When those first chords of our favorite praise song are played by the worship leader, are we being energized much like any natural man who hears a secular song that causes him to turn up the radio or are we really worshipping? And when grandma’s favorite Hymn starts to play and causes us to experience a time of peace and contentment while thinking back to when she used to sing it to us as a child, do we sometimes confuse that with worship?

Now I am not saying we should only sing boring songs or songs that don’t remind us of anything, or that it is impossible to really be worshipping during these times. In fact, I think it can be good at times to remember our family worship from when we were growing up, and I also think it is good that we still have people today writing new psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for us to sing today that get us excited. But what I want to stress is that simply because we have these moments does not mean we are worshipping or that we have been moved by in adoration of God. Charles Spurgeon once said that if he wanted to, he could move congregations to tears by telling them sad stories of mothers with sick children or energize them by telling them stories of men and women who accomplished great things. But he said it would be a waste of time unless they where moved to cry over their sin and take joy in Christ and the cross.

Even the natural man’s affections can be moved in strong ways, but those affections will never be worship unless they are moved by the word of God as it points us to Christ and what He has done for us. Whether we attend a modern or traditional worship service is not the biggest issue, but we must be sure to seek out worship and preaching that convicts us of sin, and shows us the remedy in Christ.

-Doug Eaton-

Death in Us, but Life in You

2Cor. 4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

It was God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, and it was He who also shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).  Through this knowledge we are moved by the Spirit of God to live differently in this world. “Because we believe, we speak the truth.” Some who hear will respond in belief, but many have been blinded by the god of this age and this blindness causes them to hate the light because it exposes the darkness which they love, and the result to the Christian can be persecution. 

Christ said that “in this world we will have trouble,” but even though the outward man is perishing the inward man is being renewed day by day. When we face struggles, pain, and heartache with hope, not stopping our vigilant march for the truth, the world will notice.

Whether your troubles are caused by persecution, which can result in loss of jobs, loss of reputation, loss of freedoms, and even loss of life, or if your troubles are somewhat different such as illnesses, financial difficulties, family problems, or any other kinds of weakness, we know that our hope is not found in the pleasures of this world so we must not forsake our march for truth to seek after them.  And as these earthen vessels begin to decay and fissures appear in the clay,  the wonderful treasure that lies inside, which is the Spirit of God and His truth, begins to shine all the brighter. Others will look upon us and see that death does work in our bodies just as it does in them, but they have no treasure in their earthen vessel that will last.

When they look upon us and wonder why we hope, why we praise, and why we are not stopped in our mission of glorifying our great God even in the midst of great difficulty, they will realize that there is a life in us which they do not have.  And as the death that is working in us manifests the new life that Christ has given us, God then uses these manifestations as a means of giving life to some who are around us. 

God seems to do much of His greatest work through the weakest of his children.  We must not be discouraged by our weaknesses; instead we should see them as an opportunity to let God’s strength be seen.  We must remember that His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). 

Our bodies are going to die one way or another. Through the working of the Spirit in your heart, spend it for the Lord by being His servant. Do not be concerned if you are tired and worn for our light affliction which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17).  The enemy seeks to suppress the truth, where we seek to lift it up, but the struggle will be worth it when we wash up on the other side of the Jordan all battered and worn and Jesus scoops us up in His arms and says, He bore my death in his body, and brought life to the world. Well done good and faithful servant, enter into rest today.

God’s truth we manifest
The truth that has prevailed
Yet some will not attest
For to them it’s been veiled

Yet we who clearly see
The Truth in all its might
His Spirit is the key
For it’s He who gives us light.

Earthen though we are
This treasure we contain
His Spirit in this jar
His knowledge we attain

Struck down, though we be
We will not be destroyed
We have this Guarantee
His Word will not be void.

-Doug Eaton-