All trials are occasions for the exercise of faith, especially in times when we struggle to understand God’s providence. It is during those dark days that we are called to believe in God’s Word, whether preached, read, or given at the Lord’s Table. It is typically in the midst of our trials that we are driven to prayer. Those moments of need bring out our utter dependence upon God in a way that self-made crosses cannot. Our Father does not give us more than we can bear, but the cross that our Father gives us is sufficient to train us and to conform us to the image of His Son.

 

Scripture has quite a lot to say about suffering. Many verses give us great hope and comfort during our trials. But the Story, the grand Story of what God has done and is doing, is one we need to turn to time and time again. It’s one we need to rehearse. As a child of God, it's your Story. It’s my Story. Let's tell it to one another. Until that day when we can turn the page to the next chapter, the one titled: Eternity.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ provides us with the great tonic to anxiety and idolatry: ensuring that our priorities are heavenly, that our treasure is in heaven (6:19), that our eyes are full of light (6:22) and that we love our Lord. He instructs us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Setting our minds on things above (as Paul says in Colossians 3) is the sure way to a life of peace and blessedness and a certain tonic to anxiety.

 

The concept the confessional worship creates an unfamiliar category that challenges the better known ideas of contemporary or traditional. Practically speaking, what is called contemporary or traditional can be very subjective depending on time and place. As such, confessional worship offers a corrective which transcends both categories.

 

I have something of an aversion to the term paedobaptist (i.e. infant baptist). I don't prefer the terminology because I believe it to be too restictive in nature. I much prefer the term oikobaptist (i.e. household baptist) for a number of biblical and theological reasons.