Dear Hope Family,
We will soon put the finishing touches on 2018 and welcome 2019 with chicken wings, fireworks, and a ball drop. But before that, I invite you to join me this Sunday, as we will have one final opportunity to worship together in 2018 and will look once again to the Psalms for New Year’s wisdom.
Psalm 126 is an especially timely prayer, one that not only brings us face-to-face with our suffering but also gives us reason to scream with joy. We live in a world (and in bodies) marred by sin and corruption, but we worship a God who has invaded all the broken places with his gospel of peace. So, like you, I need to gather with Christ’s church, sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” and be reminded afresh that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” (Lam. 3:22).
Below you will find some recommended resources for reading and listening that are relevant to our passage. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and I would love to hear of some resources that have been helpful for you.
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
One of my favorite books of all time, Peterson walks readers through the Psalms of Ascent. This can be used as a devotional or as a group discussion book.
Therefore I Have Hope by Cameron Cole
A Wake Forest grad, Cole recounts the story of losing his son and how the truths of the gospel prepared him for the suffering that followed.
Suffering by Paul Tripp
More than a theology of suffering, this book explores how the Scriptures meet us in our daily struggles and provide us with “real comfort, real direction, real protection, real conviction, and real hope.”
The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts
Popular blogger and wife of a PCA pastor, Kara Tippetts shares a memoir recounting her conversion to Christ and how she experienced his grace through living and dying with stage-four cancer.
“Suffering Helps Me See Heaven” by Joni Eareckson Tada
Some of you may know of Eareckson Tada, who was injured in a diving accident and has since lived as a quadriplegic. Here she talks about how suffering prepares us for home.
On Being with Krista Tippett and Joe Carter (transcript available)
In this beautiful podcast, NPR host Krista Tippett interviews the late African-American singer/performer Joe Carter, who discusses his childhood and the impact spirituals, or “sorrow songs,” had on his life. Carter also sings some of those spirituals.
Andrew Osenga, The Painted Desert (2018)
Those familiar with Caedmon’s Call or Indelible Grace may recognize Osenga’s stirring vocals, as he wrestles with how to answer the difficult questions of life. My favorites are “The Year of the Locust,” “Cary (Where Were You),” and “Still Waters.”