More than once I’ve highlighted David Powlison’s essay “God’s Grace and Your Sufferings,” which was published in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (which can be read online for free). C.J. Mahaney says it’s the single finest essay on suffering he’s ever read.

The essay came out of a talk by Powlison at the Desiring God National Conference in 2005. I’m including the audio and video below if you want to listen to it that way.

Here is the audio, which you can listen to below or download: [audio:http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/files/2010/05/2005.10.08_powlison_32k.mp3|titles=2005.10.08_powlison_32k]

And here is the video:

Dr. Powlison walks us through each stanza of “How Firm a Foundation,” so I’m including the lyrics below:

How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say then to you He has said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed;
I am your God, and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call you to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you your troubles to bless,
and sanctify to you your deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be your supply;
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume, and your gold to refine.

“E’en down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”