John Bunyan, Joy, and Suffering

Suffering and Service in the Life of John Bunyan

– and in the Christians Life

Title Page from Pilgrim's Progress/ CC0 - Public Domain

Title Page from Pilgrim’s Progress/ CC0 – Public Domain

„It is not what enemies will, nor what they are resolved upon, but what God will, and what God appoints; that shall be done. . . . No enemy can bring suffering upon a man when the will of God is otherwise, so no man can save himself out of their hands when God will deliver him up for his glory. . . [just as Jesus showed Peter „by what death he would glorify God“]. We shall or shall not suffer, even as it pleaseth him.“

(Read all of John Piper’s Message on DESIRING GOD Here!) The four main points of that message are:

  1. Bunyan’s Suffering Confirmed Him in His Calling as a Writer, Especially for the Afflicted Church
  2. Bunyan’s Suffering Deepened His Love for His Flock and Gave His Pastoral Labor the Fragrance of Eternity
  3. Bunyan’s Suffering Opened His Understanding to the Truth That the Christian Life Is Hard and That Following Jesus Means Having the Wind in Your Face
  4. Bunyan’s Sufferings Strengthened His Assurance That God Is Sovereign over All the Afflictions of His People and Will Bring Them Safely Home

„God has appointed who shall suffer [Rev. 6:11 – the full number of martyrs]. . . . God has appointed . . . when they shall suffer [Acts 18:9-10 Paul’s time of suffering was not yet come; so with Jesus in John 7:30]. . . . God has appointed where this, that or the other good man shall suffer [„it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem“ Luke 13:33; 9:30f]. . . . God has appointed . . . what kind of sufferings this or that saint shall undergo [Acts 9:16 „how great things he must suffer;“ John 21:19 „by what death he would glorify God“]. . . . Our sufferings, as to the nature of them, are all writ down in God’s book; and though the writing seem as unknown characters to us, yet God understands them very well [Mark 9:13; Acts 13:29]. . . . It is appointed who of them should die of hunger, who with the sword, who should go into captivity, and who should be eaten up of beasts. Jeremiah 15:2,3.“

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