One of the most powerful temptations of the believer is to doubt God's goodness to him in time of trouble-earthly trouble including family distress, sickness, and financial hardship. Lending force to the temptation is God's apparent goodness to the wicked in their prosperity-earthly prosperity including a peaceful home, health, and economic success.
Every Christian struggles with this temptation at some time in his life. Every Christian knows by experience that, especially when his trouble is great, or continues without relief, the temptation threatens his very belief in God and therefore his salvation. The words of the Psalmist in Psalm 73.2 are his own: My feet were almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped.
This temptation and this struggle regarding earthly troubles, as well as the overcoming of the temptation and victory in the struggle by every child of God are the profound and grand themes of Psalm 73. Prosperous, Wicked and Plagued Saints is a commentary on this precious Psalm that applies to stumbling believers and their children, in a practical way, that gospel-truth which alone holds them up and restores them. This is the truth of God's goodness to his people in their trouble, as it is also the truth of God's curse of the wicked in their prosperity.
In light of the teaching of Psalm 73, the book takes issue with a theory about earthly prosperity and earthly woe that, for all its strange popularity with Reformed and evangelical Christians, only intensifies the believer's temptation to doubt in the hour of trouble: the theory of common grace.
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