Immanuel Ministries International

November 29th, 2023

The Real Problem with Anxiety
by John Piper

Link: Desiring God

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! - Matthew 6:30 (NASB)

Jesus says that the root of anxiety is inadequate faith — “little faith” — in our Father’s future grace.

One reaction to this might be: “This is not good news! In fact, it is very discouraging to learn that what I thought was a mere struggle with an anxious disposition is rather a far deeper struggle with whether I trust God.”

My response to this discouragement is to agree, but then to disagree.

Suppose you had been having pain in your stomach and had been struggling with medicines and diets of all kinds, to no avail. And then suppose that your doctor tells you, after a routine visit, that you have cancer in your small intestine. Would that be good news? You say, emphatically not! And I agree.

But let me ask the question another way: Are you glad the doctor discovered the cancer while it is still treatable, and that indeed it can be very successfully treated? You say, yes, I am very glad that the doctor found the real problem. Again I agree.

So, the news that you have cancer is not good news. But, in another sense, it is good news, because knowing what is really wrong is good, especially when your problem can be treated successfully.

That’s what it’s like to learn that the real problem behind anxiety is “little faith” (as Jesus says) in the promises of God’s future grace. And he is able to work in wonderfully healing ways when we cry out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).


Heavenly Father, help my unbelief and anxiety as I deal with battles beyond my control. Please strengthen my faith to surrender my cares to you & to lean on your sovereign power to guide me in my seasons of sorrow and darkness. Thank you for all the vessels of people and things you use to heal and encourage our hearts; may You be ultimately glorified at the end of it all.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

November 1st, 2023

Sin, Satan, Sickness, or Sabotage Devotional
by John Piper

Link: Desiring God

8 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me.9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. - 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NASB)

Is the suffering that comes to the Christian because of persecution the same as the suffering that comes from cancer? Do the promises given to one apply to the other? My answer is yes. All of life, if it is lived earnestly by faith in the pursuit of God’s glory and the salvation of others, will meet with some kind of obstacle and suffering. The suffering that comes to the obedient Christian is part of the price of living where you are in obedience to the call of God.

In choosing to follow Christ in the way he directs, we choose all that this path includes under his sovereign providence. Thus, all suffering that comes in the path of obedience is suffering with Christ and for Christ — whether it is cancer at home or persecution far away.

And it is “chosen” — that is, we willingly take the path of obedience where the suffering befalls us, and we do not murmur against God. We may pray — as Paul did — that the suffering be removed (2 Corinthians 12:8); but if God wills, we embrace it as part of the cost of discipleship in the path of obedience on the way to heaven.

All experiences of suffering in the path of Christian obedience, whether from persecution or sickness or accident, have this in common: They all threaten our faith in the goodness of God, and tempt us to leave the path of obedience.

Therefore, every triumph of faith, and all perseverance in obedience, are testimonies to the goodness of God and the preciousness of Christ — whether the enemy is sickness, Satan, sin, or sabotage. Therefore, all suffering, of every kind, that we endure in the path of our Christian calling is a suffering “with Christ” and “for Christ.”

With him in the sense that the suffering comes to us as we are walking with him by faith, and in the sense that it is endured in the strength he supplies through his sympathizing high-priestly ministry to us (Hebrews 4:15).

And for him in the sense that the suffering tests and proves our allegiance to his goodness and power, and in the sense that it reveals his worth as an all-sufficient compensation and prize.


Heavenly Father, may we look to you as our prized possession the midst of our present suffering and in the trials to come. May we draw near to You by faith and not grow weary. For we know we have a Blessed Hope at the end of all suffering through our Lord and Savior. Thank You for showing us the best example of taking our faith to the end in and through Jesus, even in the face of death. May our lives be a glimpse of Your great glory.

In Jesus Name, Amen.