Monday, January 7, 2013

A Word for Preachers...Piper on Suffering and the Preacher

"There is one last connection between the preacher's suffering and the suffering of his people, namely, that his suffering will show him that the timing of teaching and touching is crucial. 'There is a time for everything...a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;…a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak’ (Eccl. 3:1, 4-7, RSV). Preaching involves timing. Preach the whole truth about suffering and the sovereign goodness of God while it is day, and when the night comes and you stand beside the suicide victim’s pool of blood or the ice-cold, ivory body of a one-year-old boy, you won’t have to say anything. This will be a time for embracing. At this point the suffering saints will be glad that your suffering has taught you to preach the hard things and then, at the right time, to be silent."

John Piper
Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching

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