Wednesday, August 06, 2008

UNSHAKABLE HOPE IN THE MIDST OF PROFOUND GRIEF
...this is the assurance of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to 
be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of 
Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, 
undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 
who by God's power are being guarded through faith 
for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, 
if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 
so that the tested genuineness of your faith—
more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—
may be found to result in praise and glory and honor 
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
-1 Peter 1:3-7

19 comments:

Rick Frueh said...

To His glory...speechless.

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

What a testimony to God's faithfulness in the midst of tragedy.

A friend of mine from church was at the Braves game the other night, and Chapman sang after the game...with just a guitar and stool up on the dugout. My friend said it was an incredible witness from Steven as he sang and shared his faith even in this time that has been so hard for his family.

God bless you and yours, Steven Curtis Chapman.

rosemarie said...

Oh how I wish we could all be that transparent with our grief, our struggles our victories and joys. I was unbelievably blessed by the honesty, "... with the heart of a mother, I want Maria back." How could anyone survive that depth of grief without the hope of Christ?

Bob Arnold said...

Thanks, Steve Camp, for posting this tape, and connecting it with 1 Peter 1:3-7.

Stan McCullars said...

Steve,
Thanks for posting this. That was hard to watch yet so very encouraging. May God continue to bless the Chapman family.

SJ Camp said...

To All
The Lord is faithful... and is making His faithfulness known through this crucible of grace.

SJ Camp said...

PSALM 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd, A Psalm of David.

23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Steve Lamm said...

sj camp,

Thanks so much for posting this video Steve. I have greatly enjoyed Steven's ministry for many years. When I heard of the accident, my heart was heavy for that family.

I was particulary worried about Steve's son. But this video has calmed those concerns.

God is truly the God of all comfort. But I will continue to pray for them.

Thank you again brother for posting this.

Steve Lamm

SJ Camp said...

Steve Lamm
Amen my brother. Not only a God of comfort; but of healing and restoration as well. I am praying as well for this precious family.

The fruit from their shattered lives is unmistakable so far; and it is all for God and His glory.

"Through many trials, toils and snares..."
Steve

Timothy said...

Hi Steve,
Yes, this was an excellent video. My wife and I have been praying for them and keeping up with them since this event occurred in May, so I had to post it as well (HT: Steve's Camponthis).

I tell my congregation that we truly see the grace of God when we are faced with our trials. During the times with few trials, we tend to forget how much grace and mercy He is pouring out in our lives. It's during the trials, that we truly rejoice at grace and the gospel.
Blessings

nextverse said...

I linked this video yesterday to my elders with this comment - - "great testimony of faith - true inspiration". My prayers were with the Chapmans on hearing of their loss some weeks ago and I was reminded again today to rejoice in Christ and pray for the family.

While this thread might not be the appropriate forum - might there be some benefit to those who tarry here to discuss this tragedy, as we have done others before, in the light of the opportunity it presented to proclaim the gospel. IOW ... while we learn from the Chapman's hope and strength, might we also learn from the human weakness and propensity to obscure the gospel and in that, crystalize our thinking to be always ready to give a defense of the hope that we have in Christ.

I say this reservedly and with all compassion - only desirous to allow the edification that the Chapman's already bring to be fully realized - I was challenged that in the interview that aired on ABC, and last night's one hour Larry King program, there was so much talk of grief, "the grace of grief shared", hope, confidence, trust ... but not a single mention of the sacrifice of Christ for our sins as the only hope for mankind.

In the midst of much discussion and gratitude for the counseling and therapy that has been extended and received ... not one mention of our Counselor, the comfort and strength of the Holy Spirit.

I do not think that the Chapman family could have crafted such discussion and intentionally avoided the clarity of the gospel,I know personally of their firm convictions, and for the Christian viewer it was an assumed reality. But could it be an evidence of the forces of the world that those forces could take a testimony of hope grounded in Christ alone and remove Christ from it - allowing the hope to stand, stripped of its power, before a lost world?

This is what I observed in watching these interviews. It does not trouble me for the Chapmans ... I can't say that clearly enough - - but it does challenge my own convictions and remind me of the need to always speak with a clarity of truth that it might not be confounded but rather be delivered in the power it contains.

Paul knew of this threat/challenge - so he sought the prayers of the saints - "pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak." (Eph. 6:19-20)

While the viewer might clearly have been challenged to measure his/her "faith", and the confidence it brings, against the faith of the Chapmans, and the confidence it has brought, I don't think the viewer was challenged to compare their "faith" with true, Christ-centered faith. Faith, generally, was on display ... but was faith, specifically (once for all delivered) on display? I think, for the believer watching, yes. I think for those of other faiths watching, no.

This seems a challenge worth considering.

Steve, please feel free to remove this post for no other reason than your conviction that it not be the time or place for such considerations.

Note - - your title reads ... "the gospel of the Lord Jssus Christ"- Jesus is mispelled.

Thanks always for the edification of the body you allow.

Grace,
Steve

R W S said...

First off the format on Larry King leaves much to be desired , plus having to deal with this deep grief that I have no idea the depth of pain this family is in and how they handled themselves was amazing. I know for me , as I have watched both interviews it has been a great starting point for me to communicate the hope that we have in Christ. I know people who have marveled at their strength and grace . I have told people to check out Steven's music and find this family's source of hope. Yes we need to preach the gospel and be clear but for many around me who have heard the gospel many times and walked away unmoved but have been moved by watching this family deal with this deep tragedy by living out their faith .Plus Steven has said clearly , that God is sovereign in life and death . So in my circle the non-believers have been open like never before and I trust the Holy Spirit is moving and using this hurting family to open doors to people who have grown cold and cynical about the christian faith .

Jimmie W Kersh said...

Mr. Camp,

Thanks you for this wonderful gift that you give us daily.

Michele Rayburn said...

I was glad to see that the Chapman family is doing so well, and especially their son, Will. My prayers are with them still.

I remember visiting their church one time, and Steven was telling the congregation that he was about to go to China to bring home their second adopted daughter. I recently saw him at a festival, and he had brought his adopted daughters on stage with him.

When I saw the Chapman family on Larry King the other night, people were asking them advice on how to deal with losing a young child tragically.

It reminded me of my own family's situation many years ago, just before I was born.

My Mom and Dad had 2 sons, and the youngest, my brother Michael Jr., age 1 yr. 4 mos. old, was at the dinner table with them, and began choking on what they believe was a piece of salad, perhaps a green pepper. My parents tried everything they could, but time ran out and he didn't make it.

In contrast to the Chapman family, our family was without Christ and without hope. All of this took a great toll on my family and I watched each of us slowly being destroyed.

Living with a family that had been utterly shattered by tragedy led me to the end of myself, and I soon came to know the Lord.

I then began witnessing to my family. I led my sister to Christ. My Mom might be saved, and my older brother isn't. Please pray for them. And my Dad is gone now, but I think he may have been saved.

We live in a fallen world, and I guess we all have to be reminded of that, sometimes through tragedy.

But these tragedies also cause us to be reminded to look forward to those things that are eternal:

"Therefore we do not lose heart...For our light affliction, which is for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor.4:16-18)

Russell said...

Thanks for sharing this, Steve. I have been wondering for awhile now how the Chapman's are doing.

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KarensFaith said...

My daughter had our DVR set to record both this and the Larry King show. I'm glad she did because we missed the Good Morning America program because she, my daughter, was in the hospital herself because of a severe asthma attack which almost took her life...we got her there just in time! When she was released from the hospital we watched the recording and then Larry King and cried. It was awesome, the testimony that this family gave! And I am so thankful that my own daughter survived and was watching it with me. God is so good and He watched over my own family this week and I am so thankful to Him for His care of my daughter and my family.

If you all wouldn't mind praying for my daughter I'd appreciate it. Her name is Eden and she is 17. She's still weak but getting her strength back.

I am still praying for Steven and his family. It was heartbreaking to watch but also inspiring as to how they have held on to God through it all and never lost their faith.

Blessings,
Karen

R W S said...

Karen , I will remember your daughter in our family's prayers. Our youngest son , who is a diabetic, has had 2 very close calls when he went into a diabetic induced seizure and there was that fear and dread that this was it. So I understand. The Chapman's are indeed need of our continued prayers . God bless

KarensFaith said...

rws,

Thank you for your prayers. That means a lot to me. I'm so sorry to hear about your son having diabetes. Yes, the fear and dread is what gets you. My daughter is a Christian so I know she will be with Jesus but still, I want her to be with me. It's a scary thing to go through. I am just so thankful the Lord let us keep her and I pray she has a long and healthy life and that we can get this asthma under control. I will keep your son in prayer as well. And still praying for the Chapman's. God bless!

In His Love,
Karen

Dee said...

How do you watch that and not just bawl? Such real, genuine faith through tragedy!! I've always loved Steven Curtis Chapman's music and now I'm even more impressed with his family and their faith.