Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

Randy Alcorn The Faithlife Study Bible is filled with rich content from Christian leaders who help us navigate Scripture and answer questions about life and the Bible.

In times of hardship, distress, and tragedy, people turn to the Bible to find answers and comfort. A common question that arises during such times is “Where is God?” Or “Why did God allow that to happen?”

Randy Alcorn—New York Times bestselling author, founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, and former pastor—helps us tackle these questions in his article “Suffering and Sovereignty.” Alcorn takes us to Romans 8:28 to point to the sovereignty of God and his purposes:

“. . . for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

In his article, Alcorn discusses the story of Joseph. While Joseph’s brothers exercised their will to do harm to Joseph, God exercised his will to bring about good for Joseph, his family, and all of Egypt. God facilitated a good outcome out of Joseph’s brothers’ evil actions.

Read “Suffering and Sovereignty” to learn more about how God works all things together for good. Just get the Faithlife Study Bible free at FaithlifeBible.com/Giveaway.

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The Faithlife Study Bible Gets New Content!

The Faithlife Study Bible is one of the most comprehensive study Bibles available, but that doesn’t mean we’re content to stop there. We’ve recently added tons of all-new material to the FSB.

These brand-new additions include updated FSB sidebars by reliable and prominent contributors, including:

In addition to the sidebar notes, more than 20,000 words have been added in notes on Genesis, Ephesians, and Philippians. We’ve even revised and updated other notes throughout the FSB.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary (bundled free with the FSB) has also been enhanced. We’ve added new articles totaling more than 66,000 words! These articles address subjects like:

  • Baptism
  • Joseph
  • Early Christian worship
  • Trinity
  • Rhetorical criticism
  • And much more

You want a study Bible that will grow with you, and the Faithlife Study Bible is adding new study notes, maps, media, and articles constantly.

Download the Faithlife Study Bible free through March 2014 and you’ll get:

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  • Community Notes—share favorite verses, thoughts, and questions with your church, small group, etc.
  • Reading plans—read through the Bible with groups.
  • Devotions—reflect on the Faithlife Study Bible’s daily devotionals.
  • Smart searches—find what you’re looking for when you need it.
  • Highlighting—customize your notes with more than 80 colors and symbols.
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  • The freedom to study anywhere—use the FSB in Logos 4 or on your mobile device.

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Combine the Scholar’s Library with the Faithlife Study Bible, and you are ready for dynamic and life-changing Bible study.

The Faithlife Study Bible equips you for dynamic Bible study. You start with the complete biblical text in the trustworthy Lexham English Bible translation and then add:

  • Three layers of study notes—go deeper into the meaning of the text.
  • The Lexham Bible Dictionary—learn from more than 2,700 articles.
  • Rich media—augment your study with tons of photos, videos, and infographics.
  • Community Notes—share favorite verses, thoughts, and questions with your church, small group, etc.
  • Reading plans—read through the Bible with groups.
  • Devotions—reflect on the Faithlife Study Bible’s daily devotionals.
  • Smart searches—find what you’re looking for when you need it.
  • Highlighting—customize your notes with more than 80 colors and symbols.
  • Document sharing—share notes, lesson plans, outlines, and more with your groups.

You can get the Faithlife Study Bible free through March, 2014.
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Connect the Testaments: Writing a Devotional

“You eventually discover that it’s not about you reading the text, but the text reading you,” a professor once remarked. If we don’t allow the Spirit to make us more like Jesus through our reading of the Bible, then why read it at all?

Devotional content sweeps away the proverbial dust from our Bibles—making the text more personal. It also allows the Bible to “read itself”—to speak to us directly through its inner monologue and the dialogues between its inspired authors. These ideas combined to create Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional.

The devotional began as an idea for a reading plan offering biblical theology. The biblical authors had unique insights and interests: how God’s work began and begins, new beginnings, spiritual renewal, prophecy, God’s work in history and how he grew and grows his kingdom. The reading plan was developed with those interests and themes in mind, intentionally setting up exchanges between the biblical authors across the testaments. It was designed to cover every day of the year. Each reading includes passages from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Wisdom literature like Proverbs, Psalms, and Job.

The devotional focuses on how the biblical text connects between the testaments. It demonstrates what those conversations teach us about living for Jesus. Some links are made through broader themes, and others are as simple as the biblical text quoting itself. The devotional is dedicated to making God’s message understandable and relevant for those seeking to live for Jesus.

The late scholar Brevard Childs once said, “Wherever the Spirit is not present, there is no great explanation possible.” Connect the Testaments is about empowering people to find explanations for problems in both the biblical text and in their lives. Right now, it’s free with Faithlife Study Bible. Just use the coupon code FREE. (The Connect the Testaments reading plan is coming soon.)

The Story of the Faithlife Study Bible

The Faithlife Study Bible began with a question: “What if there were no page constraints?” Imaginations began to churn: “What if I could go deeper at any time?” “Could we link to articles and books?” “What if I could use different translations?” “What if this Bible could keep growing with more answers and discoveries?” “What if ‘my Bible study’ became ‘our Bible study’ with everything integrated into a faith-based social network?” “Could the FSB help more people find Jesus and make the Bible central to their lives?” To every question, the answer was, “Let’s try it.”

Further questions and answers developed into guiding principles for the project: The editorial stance would be balance and transparency with everything, including theories and possibilities. Everything would be rooted in fact. Passages would be explained historically, culturally, linguistically, and contextually. The product would offer curated links to a Bible dictionary and a glossary to provide definitions. The FSB would include a new media package of videos, maps, family trees, and infographics. It would provide reading plans and a daily devotional to help people get into the Word.

The project called for hiring and contracting more scholars. Many notes were read and reviewed by at least a dozen people. Late nights and all-nighters, box lunches and midnight pizza deliveries—all point to the heart of the Faithlife Study Bible: It was birthed from a deep desire to help people find Jesus and become his disciples by making it easier than ever to answer the big questions.

When the project neared completion, it was clear that God had provided a gift—one to be used every day and shared with the world. Today the Faithlife Study Bible is free with the coupon code FREE.

Welcome to Faithlife!

We’d like to introduce you to the next big thing from Logos.

Faithlife.com is an online community that lets you create public or private groups for your church, class, or small group—for any group at all. It’s a safe place to read the Bible, share notes and prayers requests, and connect with your Christian community.

You can log in to Faithlife.com with your Logos.com account.

Once you’re set up on Faithlife.com, go to FaithlifeBible.com and download the Faithlife Study Bible—the world’s most advanced study Bible—free with the coupon code FREE. Then download the Faithlife iPhone/iPad app. You can also access the FSB through Logos.com and Biblia.com. It will show up automatically after you’ve added it to your account.

The Faithlife Study Bible contains a variety of new Bible study tools:

  • Three layers of study notes
  • The Lexham Bible Dictionary (2,700+ articles)
  • The Lexham English Bible
  • Shared notes and reading plans
  • About 400 photos, videos, and infographics

Use the coupon code FREE for a free subscription through March 2014!

We’re still in a beta stage, but we’d love to hear how we’re doing. We welcome your feedback in the private Faithlife and Faithlife Study Bible forums. You can also email feedback for the Lexham Bible Dictionary, Lexham English Bible, and Faithlife Study Bible to editor@logos.com.