For all the freebie books I picked up in the USA I wonder whether this will prove to be the most enduring gift I received. The new Sovereign Grace CD project 'Come Weary Saints'. Under the direction of Bob Kauflin SGM have been producing music projects for many years. Recently that's included the Cross-themed 'Songs for the Cross-Centered Life' and 'The Valley of Vision' based on the puritan prayers volume. Another is forthcoming later this year on the Psalms. This follows a theme and may be a first. This is on suffering.
Those who have bought into a health, wealth gospel or even the more subtle 'God will generally make my life fine' kind of gospel are going to hate this. In fact you could use it as a diagnostic on whether you're loving the Sovereign God who acts for his glory, or whether your chief doctrine is that God makes my life how I want it to be. The Christian can sing 'It is well with my soul' in the hard times because we treasure Jesus above all. But the one who has bought into the dreams of the world is surely going to fall apart in troubled times.
Don Carson famously writes in 'How Long O Lord' that "you only have to live long enough and you will suffer". Consequently Carson seeks to prepare Christians ahead of suffering to be ready in it. Those who were at New Word Alive will have heard John Piper preach the sovereignty of God in suffering. That was preaching not so much for those in the midst of suffering but to prepare for it. In Young Restless Reformed Piper says that songs set the stage for theology. Here is the album required for such God-exalting theology.
It's been looped on my iPod for the last few days and I'm not sure yet what my favourite songs are though I'm loving the rework of O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus. This is an album to hear in suffering as much as to prepare for it. It begins with invite to the weighed down to come and hide in Jesus. We move from that to Stephen Atrogge's 'So I will trust you' calling out to to trust in the one who has made me and saved me. Mark Altrogge provides a 'Blessed be your name' type song that poses the question of how strange it is to trust in plenty but not in poverty, looking to the priority of God's glory.
Then comes the rework of Samuel Trevor Francis song which draws us to the love of Jesus at the cross. From there to Joel Sczebel & Todd Twining's 'Every Day' that says 'Thank you for the trails, for the fire, for the pain' - strong words indeed. And yet as John MacArthur noted at T4G strong words produce soft hearts.
Mark & Stephen Altrogge continue the journey with a song grace through the precious blood of Jesus that acknowledges God's hand in all things. Mark Altrogge brings the lyric that will challenge the hard heart most 'So I wil say it's good that you afflicted me, that I might learn your holy ways and to trust in You at all times'. The album concludes with another old hymn, by Henri Malan modified to add a cross-centred chorus by Bob Kauflin: It is not death to die. Ultimate gospel perspective and hope for the suffering saint.
Like previous albums the words here are solidly Biblical, clearly understandable and set to tunes congregations can sing. Sheet music is downloadable which is a continuing service to the church. Get this CD. Let it set the stage for the theology that will sustain through the suffering that will come to each of us if we live long enough.
Downloadable for $9, which is only £4.50 - why wouldn't you get this?