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Tested by Fire

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Inter-Varsity Press

Sometimes God takes the great gift of the Salvation that he has given us and strengthens us with great pain and trials. When these difficulties come, we should realise that God knows best and that He is using them to encourage us worship and enter into a deeper walk with Him.

Taking this irony of using the fruit of affliction, respected author John Piper, looks at the lives of three well known Christians, and shows how the afflictions they suffered helped them impact the word for God, beyond anything that anyone could imaging.

  • John Bunyan's confinement taught him the pilgrim path of Christian freedom, and lead to the writing of one of the most influencial books in Christian history (Pilgrims Progress);

  • William Cowper's mental illness yielded sweet music of the mind for troubled souls;

  • David Brainerd's smouldering misery of isolation and disease exploded in global mission that reached far beyond all imagination.

Irony and disproportion are all God's way. In our own strength we think we know how to do something big, and God makes it little. Yet we think that all we have is weak and small, and God makes it big. Sarah gave birth to the child of promise. Gideon's three hundred men defeated a hundred thousand Midianites. A slingshot in the hand of a skilled shepherd boy brought down the giant. A virgin bears the Son of God. A boy's five loaves and two fishes feeds five thousand. Most importantly, a breach of justice, grovelling political expediency, and criminal torture on a gruesome cross become the salvation of the world.

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