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Dr. Steven J. Lawson on What To Do, When You’d Rather Die Than Live!

29 Jul

[The article below is adapted from the fantastic book of sermons on the Book of Job by Steven J. Lawson entitled When All Hell Breaks Loose: You May Be Doing Something Right – Surprising insights from the life of Job. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993, pp. 57-70]

 

“I Just Want To Lie Down and Die”

 [Based on The Book of Job Chapters 1-3]

 Have you ever had a time in your life when you wished that you could die? I sure have.

For me, one of those times occurred when I graduated from college. I was twenty-two years old and had just moved back home for the summer. While away at college, I had become used to coming in late at night. There would be many nights—now, I never got in any trouble, mind you—that I would just drive around late with my buddies. We would go to a drive-through, order food, cruise around town, and listen to music.

So when I moved back home, it was a difficult adjustment to live under the same roof with Mom and Dad again. Very likely an adjustment for them, as well!

I remember one night. I was on a date. Not just any date. A very special date. This girl was a knockout. (Can I say that in a Christian book [article]) She had been our homecoming queen in high school and our head cheerleader. I had waited five or six years to have a date with this girl, just waiting for the competition to kill itself off. Finally, the opportunity was there to go out with her and, needless to say, I was walking on clouds. So it was late at night—well past midnight—and we went to her parents’ house. We were just talking, listening to music, and sitting on the sofa I her den with the lights down low. (Honest, we were just talking!)

As we were sitting on the sofa together. I heard a rustling in the bushes outside. Hmmmm. It stopped, so I didn’t think anything about it. Probably just the wind blowing. We kept talking, but, in a little bit, I heard some more rustling in the bushes. I thought. I think there’s something in the bushes.

In a few seconds, I heard a knock on the pane-glass window. “Tap, tap, tap.” Like someone knocking on it. “Tap, tap, tap.” There it was again. “Hey,” I said, “Somebody is knocking on your window.”

So I turned around, pulled back the curtains, and looked through the large, plate-glass window over the sofa. There, to my total astonishment, was the head of a man peering through the hedges and looking right at me. It was . . . my father! And he was pointing to his watch.

Here it is after midnight and this grown man—a professor in medical school mind you—looking like a camouflaged “tree man” with his head peering out of the hedge. He is motioning in the direction of our house, “informing” me of the lateness of the hour and that I needed to head home!

I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was. Humiliated! (For some reason, it’s funnier now then it was then.) I could have just died. If I could have been raptured to Heaven at that moment, I would have gladly gone. “Beam me up, Scottie!”

I remember turning back around to my date, shrugging my shoulders and saying, “I’ve never seen that man before in my life!”

Well, I think that is something of how Job is now feeling. He just wants to die. Not out of embarrassment. But out of deep pain and acute suffering. In a far greater way than my embarrassment—in a way that’s really not funny—Job felt as if he wanted to die.

For Job, his life has gone up in smoke. Satan has burned him. Well-done and crisp. The Devil has inflicted him with adversity that few of us can fully fathom. In one fell swoop, his family has been stripped away, his possessions reduced to rubble, and his fortune decimated. Then—as if that were not enough—Satan, with permission from God, has ravaged his skin from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. The man is devastated financially, physically, and emotionally.

When the first onslaught occurred, Job responded with faith. ‘The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

But, with blast after blast, his strength has been eroded and his soul eaten away. All his suffering has not been without profound impact. Job is down; he is discouraged; he is ready to throw in the towel.

Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever hurt so bad that you simply wished you could go to Heaven? I have.

Every person has a breaking point. A point at which he or she can become deeply discouraged. Even depressed. Such despair can cause a person to want to give up on life. Either we want Jesus to come back right now and take us home, or we want to give up on life and die. Either way, we just want to graduate to glory to escape life’s pain.

Maybe this is where you are. Maybe you are tired of the constant pain and suffering. Maybe you are worn down by the heaviness of trials. It just won’t go away.

That is precisely where Job is. He is longing for relief. Any kind of relief. He just wants to get out of this life and into the next. Job doesn’t want to take his own life. Instead, he wants God to take his life.

Job has no life left in him. Except pain, torment, suffering, and misery. No reason to live.

He is looking for immediate relief.

I WISH I WAS NEVER BORN!

In Job 3 we now see what it’s like for a person who loves God to go through the dark night of his soul. The downward spiral begins when Job says, “I wish I had never been born.”

It has been a period of time since we last saw Job. Perhaps weeks. Maybe months. But sufficient time for his faith to begin to erode. Remember, his three friends have been sitting there with him, silently observing, waiting for Job to break his silence:

Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.

And Job said,

“Let the day perish on which I was to be born,

And the night which said,

‘A boy is conceived.’” (Job 3:1-3)

Job is undergoing the darkest of miseries in his innermost heart. He literally thinks, I wish I had never been born so I wouldn’t have to experience the suffering that I am going through. He wants to give up on life. For him, the day he was conceived should never have existed.

Job wishes to eradicate his very conception. Erase his beginning. If God would take that date off the calendar, it would be all right with him. For Job, that day should be annihilated. Obliterated. If only that day had never existed, all this misery would go away.

Then Job’s mood takes a step into the abyss of despair. Notice the rejoicing in hell. The evil prince and his hideous hordes think they have him.

Let that day be darkness!

May God above not seek it,

nor light shine upon it.

Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.

Let clouds dwell upon it;

let the blackness of the day terrify it.

That night—let thick darkness seize it!

Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;

let it not come into the number of the months. (Job 3:4-6)

Five times in this brief comment Job speaks of darkness, black gloom, or blackness. That precisely reflects his feelings on the inside. Who can blame him? To have never been born would have been fine with Job. God should have just skipped that day and gone on to the next. Ripped it out of the eternal calendar.

Behold, let that night be barren;

let no joyful cry enter it.

Let those curse it who curse the day,

who are ready to rouse up Leviathan. (Job 3:7-8)

Job summons the ancient soothsayers to curse his birthday. I don’t believe Job personally believed in their mystical power, nor was he committing himself to them. Rather, he is simply communicating vividly: “I wish I could call upon those who make their living pronouncing curses to put a curse on the day I was born. I wish they would rouse Leviathan [a monster that devoured great objects in the sea]. I want a sorcerer to conjure up a sea monster that would gobble up that day from the past so that I could have not been born.”

Have you ever been that low? So low that you are ready for any way out, desperately grabbing for any relief?

Let the stars of its dawn be dark;

let it hope for light, but have none,

nor see the eyelids of the morning, (Job 3:9)

Job wishes that the day on which he was born had just waited and waited and waited. He wishes the sin had never come up. That the light of day had never broken. Why?

because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,

nor hide trouble from my eyes. (Job 3:10)

Job’s reaction is not uncommon. Pain, tragedy, and suffering can cause us to lose perspective on life. We make exaggerated comments we don’t really mean, but we feel: “Nobody loves me. This isn’t worth it. Nobody cares about me. If I died, nobody would come to my funeral.” Job’s emotional state has now come to acute depression.

I WISH I HAD DIED AT BIRTH!

Job now goes a step further.

First, he says, I wish I had never been born.” Now, he says, “All right, I was conceived. Since I had to be born, that day is on God’s calendar. But I wish I had died at birth. If I had to born, then I wish I had died at birth.”

“Why did I not die at birth,

come out from the womb and expire? (Job 3:11)

Job now shifts gears and asks God why. Have you ever asked God why? Job did.

It’s not wrong to ask the Lord why. It’s only wrong to demand that God answer you. God may choose to reveal His reason. Or He may not. But he doesn’t owe you an answer.

Jesus Himself asked God why. When He died on the cross, He asked the Father why. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Why is a very natural question to ask the Lord—especially in a time of heartache. But it is a question that must be asked humbly, without a demanding spirit toward God. It’s a request for hope. Not a demand for relief.

The amazing thing throughout Job’s entire experience is that God never does give him an explanation. All God does is reveal Himself. He shows Job who, not why. Knowing God is what we need to endure the crunch. Not why.

Let me illustrate. When you break a leg and they rush you into the emergency room of the hospital, they take an x-ray of your broken limb. There you are, lying in one of those cubicles, in deep pain. The doctor brings the x-ray of your broken limb. There you are, lying in one of those cubicles in deep pain. The doctor brings the x-ray and puts it up on the screen. He flicks on the light and shows you why the break occurred. Does knowing why really take away the pain? No, not really. But so often, we think if we just knew why, our heart would be healed. But really, we need to know who and not why.

As Warren Wiersbe says, “We don’t live our Christian lives on explanations; we live them on promises.”

Job continues,

“Why did the knees receive me?

Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?” (Job 3:12)

It was common practice during Job’s time to take a little child, just from the womb, and put him on his father’s knee. “Why did that ever happen to me?” Job asks. “Why dod my mother continue to give me nourishment and life only for this to happen to me? I’ve been set up for a fall.”

Job gives us his multifaceted view of death. A profound thinker. Job views death as a rest (verse 13), a reunion (verse 14-15), a relief (verses 17-19), and a reward (verse 21). You know what? Job is right. Death is each of these realities.

First, Job begins by picturing death as a rest.

“For then I would have lain down and been quiet;

I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,” (Job 3:13)

He is saying, “If I could have just died when I was born, I could have lain down and gone to sleep and found rest. But instead of rest, I get only misery, affliction, and torment. Death would have an afternoon nap.”

Second, he pictures death as a reunion. With whom?

“with kings and counselors of the earth

who rebuilt ruins for themselves,

or with princes who had gold,

who filled their houses with silver.” (Job 3:14-15)

Job reasons, “If I could have just died at birth, I would have graduated to glory. I would have been promoted to glory. I would have been promoted onto the same level with kings and princes in the next world. There would have been a reunion in Heaven with all the mighty kings, counselors, and princes.

Third, Job views death as a relief.

Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,

as infants who never see the light?

There the wicked cease from troubling,

and there the weary are at rest.

There the prisoners are at ease together;

they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.

The small and the great are there,

and the slave is free from his master.” (Job 3:16-19)

Job wishes he had been stillborn at birth. He says death would have brought him relief from the pain and the torment of this life. The wicked cease from raging in death. In death man ceases from sinning. That’s true. In Heaven, our sin nature will be eradicated. And we will be like our true image in Christ.

In death, the Job says there will be relief from punishment because then “the prisoners are at ease together.” In other words, death is like a jailbreak from the imprisonment of suffering. Right now, we are imprisoned in our circumstances. Only death will free us from this prison house. Only in death will we have relief.

Death blots out the voice of the slave driver. We hear pain’s voice no longer. In death, we prisoners no longer hear the voice of our cruel taskmaster. Only in death do we have relief from pain. We will be no longer enslaved to life’s torment. Both the small and the great will have the relief of death one day. We will be free from the affliction of this life. If we can just escape, we will have relief from life’s pain.

But Job has not yet hit the bottom. First he says, “I wish I had never been born.” Next, he says, “I wish that I had died at birth.” Since neither of those has happened, he wishes for today—“I wish I could die right now.”

I WISH I COULD DIE NOW!

I don’t believe Job is saying, “I want to commit suicide.” Not at all. He doesn’t want to take his own life. He wants God to take his life. There is a vast difference.

Have you ever felt such despair? Have you ever thought, I just wish Jesus would come back today and rapture me out of this dilemma? I have. You may have thought that this morning. I think that’s where Job is. He’s not contemplating suicide. He just wants to check out of this life. This world is full of misery, suffering, and heartache. The longer we live, the more pain we suffer. That is what Job is saying. That’s what most of us feel at one time or another.

Maybe you heard about the man who went to his doctor for a checkup. He came back the next day to get the results from the tests.

“Doc, how do I look?”

The doctor said, “I have good news and bad news and bad news. Which do you want first?”

The man said, “Let me hear the good news first.”

The doctor said, “Well, the good news is, you have twenty-four hours to live.”

“Good grief! That’s the good news?” The man gasped. “I’ve got twenty-four hours to live? Then, what’s the bad news?”

The doctor replied, “The bad news is I was supposed to tell you yesterday.”

That’s where Job is. This is bad news to Job. Why? Because Job wants to die today. He has sunk so low as to say,

“Why is light given to him who is in misery,

and life to the bitter in soul,

who long for death, but it comes not,

and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,

who rejoice exceedingly

and are glad when they find the grave?” (Job 3:20-22)

Again, Job asks God why. “Why does God continue to give light to the one who suffers?” To give extended life to one who suffers seems cruel and pointless.

Job is a candidate for Dr. Doom’s Death Machine. Death would be a welcome release. If it could be found, it would be better than discovering a valuable treasure chest in the ground. That’s why Job is aggressively pursuing death. If he could just find it, there would be riches of relief for him.

A casket in the ground would be like a treasure chest buried beneath the surface. Death is that treasure chest—that welcomed reward.

Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,

whom God has hedged in? (Job 3:23)

Why does God continue to give life to a man who can’t even see his way to navigate through his affliction? He’s trapped in an intricate maze with no way out. Whichever way he turns, he runs into a wall. No way out. Why does God hedge him in? To Job, it seems that God is cruel to keep him alive in this inescapable maze.

Before Job’s catastrophes, Satan said, “God, no wonder Job serves You. You’ve built a hedge, a wall of protection, around him. I can’t get to him.” God said, “All right, I’ll remove the hedge. You can come at him. You can do anything except take his life.”

As Satan invaded Job’s life and brought great harm, God had built another hedge around Job’s life. But this hedge is to keep Job from escaping his trials. He is now locked in. Instead of a wall of protection to keep Satan out, now there is a wall of affliction that keeps Job in.

Have you ever wanted your problems to just go away? Surely you have. So did Job. But God had hedged Job into his problems and he couldn’t get out.

For my sighing comes instead of my bread,

and my groanings are poured out like water.” (Job 3:24)

Job’s stomach is in such a knot, he can’t even eat. He has lost his appetite and food is repulsive. He can’t eat, he is so eaten up with despair. He “cries” like a lion (Job 4:10). He sounds like a roaring lion in the jungle as he groans in the night and pours out his anguished heart to God. The anguish pours out.

“For the thing that I fear comes upon me,

and what I dread befalls me.” (Job 3:25)

Job fears that there is “no escape” from his misery. “I wake up in the morning hoping that this was just a nightmare, and I wake up to the grim reality that, yes, my children were taken. Yes, my fortune was taken. Yes, my health has been taken. Yes, I am hurting very deeply. And there is no end in sight and no way out of my problems. My worst fears have become a reality.”

I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;

I have no rest, but trouble comes.” (Job 3:26)

In the aching of his heart, Job says, “I have no peace and I have no rest. All I have are problems and heartaches and despair.”

Have you ever been there?

Maybe that’s where you are right now. Or, perhaps somebody you know. Take heart, all is not lost. I want to give you some steps to overcome such despair. I don’t want to leave you here.

OVERCOMING DESPAIR: GOD’S WAY

Despair is very real. I’ve been there and so have you. How can we overcome deep discouragement? Let me give you some steps.

First, realize that even the strongest believer can become discouraged. Not one of us is Superman. Nor the Bionic Woman. None of us is exempt from such discouragement.

Remember, Job was the most righteous man on the earth when God said to Satan, “Have you considered Job? There is no one like him.” I think He was saying, “Listen, Job is my Mount Everest. He stands taller than anyone else on the earth in his love and devotion to Me.”

Job has sunk into a dark, black pit of depression. Despite being strong in his faith, he bears all the marks of someone who is depressed: gloom, anger, anxiety, bitterness, confusion, fatigue, cynicism, fear, hopelessness, insomnia, dejection, sadness, pessimism.

Can a believer be depressed? Yes. Most of us have been or will be depressed.

The Apostle Paul experienced it. In 2 Corinthians 1, he says, “We were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within [us]” (verses 8-9). King David of Israel enjoyed the heights of worship. But he also hit the valleys of despair.

Warren Wiersbe, who has written some great biographical books on walking and talking with giants of the faith, points to a clear theme woven through the lives of many devout servants of God. At times they all were overcome with oppression and discouragement and even depression in their ministry and service for God.

Even such a stalwart of the Christian faith as Martin Luther experienced such deep depression. He wrote of his grief: “For more than a week I was close to the gates of death and hell. I trembled in all my members. Christ was wholly lost. I was shaken by desperation and blasphemy of God” (Roland Bainton. Here I Stand. Nashville: Abingdon, 1950, page 36).

Second, we can suffer deeply on many levels at one time. I see Job suffering on four different levels simultaneously. He’s suffering physically. We know that from the end of the previous chapter. Added to that, Job says, “I can’t eat and I’m crying. I’m knotted up, physically, on the inside.”

He is suffering intellectually as his mind is flooded with “Why? Why?, Why, God?” He is confused and bewildered.

He is suffering emotionally. He says in verse 26, “I am not at ease, I am not at rest, I am not quiet in my heart, I am full in turmoil.”

Job is suffering spiritually as well. He is realizing that God has hedged him in, and he wishes God had never allowed him to be born.

There are times in our lives when we will go through the dark night of adversity in which we suffer physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually all at the same time—and this will touch the deepest recesses of our souls.

Third, discouragement can cause us to lose perspective. That’s what is happening to Job here. He is losing his perspective of God. He is overreacting and making exaggerated statements. He is jumping to wrong conclusions and he has lost sound judgment.

Depression affects your whole view of life. It gives a twisted perception of reality. It produces a distorted view of God and self, often yielding an inaccurate and unhealthy negative self-image.

When you and I become discouraged over an extended period of time, we can lose perspective on life and we, too, can begin to draw wrong conclusions, to make exaggerated statements, and to see life in an irrational perspective that is not right.

Often when people are discouraged they say, “I’m going to quit and go to another church” or “I’m going to divorce my wife” or “We’re just going to leave town.” In the midst of your discouragement when you have lost perspective, you’ll make your worst decisions.

Fourth, don’t keep your deep pain to yourself. Share your hurt with someone else.

One of the things that crushed Job’s spirit as he and his friends sat in the garbage dump was his own silence. All they have done so far is simply to stare at one another. All the while, Job could have been pouring out his heart and sharing his burdens with them. But he kept it on the inside. And Job became like a teakettle on a stove and the pressure built up and up and up so that when finally released, it came spewing out. Eruption. Gusher. Explosion. Job could have prevented this by exposing his heart all along. We need our friends to help us bear our heavy loads.

Galatians says, “Bear one another’s burdens.” Romans says, “Weep with those who weep.”

Job should have freely shared what he was going through. So should you.

Fifth, remember that God always has a purpose behind suffering.

As long as you are alive, God has a purpose for your being here on the earth. And until the moment we die, we are still in the process of fulfilling that purpose. Therefore, we need to stay here upon the earth until God determines our time is over. God will not take us home until we have fulfilled our purpose.

Jesus said, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work” (John 9:4). While we have life and while we have opportunity, we need to do what God has called us to do.

Sixth, when discouraged, take proper steps to avoid depression.

May I give you several things that I share with counselees who are deeply afflicted and discouraged and even depressed? These are practical steps on how to overcome deep discouragement.

Memorize and meditate on Scripture. The Word of God can be a soothing balm to a breaking heart.

Listen to Christian music. God inhabits the praises of His people (so try some praise music). And God has designed us so that praise should lift our hearts to God. One of the greatest things you can do is listen to Christian music that elevates God and Christ with celebration. David played the heart for Saul. It softened, if only for a time, Saul’s bitter soul. I’d wager David also played his heart for himself. And it was a soothing comfort.

Stay plugged in to Christian fellowship. You need the strength that others provide. Don’t isolate yourselves from others. You need to allow others to affirm you and to communicate value to you. We all need to be around others as they laugh and enjoy life. Charles Swindoll has said that the Christian life should include some outrageous joy. Look for that kind of contagious fellowship.

Find someone else to encourage. One way to work through problems is take your focus off yourself and put it onto others. Begin to serve others who are in need, and it will help heal your own heart.

Have a prayer partner. Find someone you can pour your heart out to and share your needs with. Someone who will pray for you and with you. Someone who is truly trustworthy. There is something powerful about hearing another person’s voice pray for you and offer your requests up to God, perhaps at a time when you are so weak you can barely even bring your heart before God’s throne. To hear someone else pray on your behalf can lift your battered spirit.

Remember that God is sovereign. He is in control. As we see in Job’s life, God was in control of Satan and He had a master plan. He allows our suffering for a greater purpose to help weave that marvelous tapestry that He will one day reveal and that will bring glory to Himself. Remember that nothing will come into your life except that which is either allowed or sent by a sovereign God.

Maintain physical exercise. You need to walk, you need to jog, you need to ride a bike, you need to plant a garden, you need to go walk the golf course (then again, that may be why you’re depressed—that back none). Physical exercise is critical.

HELP IS ON THE WAY

Long ago, in the very days of sailing ships, a terrible storm arose and a ship was lost in a very deserted area. Only one crewman survived, washed up on a small, uninhabited island. In his desperation, the castaway daily prayed to God for help and deliverance from his lonely existence.

Each day, he looked for a passing ship and saw nothing. Eventually, he managed to build a very crude hut in which he stored the few things he had recovered from the wreck, and those things he was able to make to help him.

One day, as the sailor was returning from his daily search for food, he saw a column of smoke. As he ran to it, he saw that it was arising from his hut, which was in flames.

All was lost.

Now, not only was he alone, but he had nothing to help him in his struggle for survival. He was stunned and overcome with grief and despair. He fell into a deep depression and spent many a sleepless night wondering what was to become of him and questioning whether life itself was even worth the effort.

Then one morning, he arose early and went down to the sea. There to his amazement, he saw a ship lying offshore, and a small rowboat coming toward him.

When this once-marooned man met the ship’s captain, he asked him, “How did you know to send help? How did you know I was here?

The captain replied, “Why, we saw your smoke signal last week. But, by the time we could turn our ship around and sail against the wind, it had taken us several days to get to you. But here we are.”

Calamity may strike, but we must remember that God can use that calamity as means to bring greater blessing to our lives.

Right now, you may feel as if your life has gone up in smoke. You may feel as if your heart is going through fiery trials. I want you to know that your trial may be used by God as the very instrument that will bring you closer to Him and bring blessing from His hand.

That reality would eventually become true in Job’s life. God drew Job closer to Himself than ever before.

God will use our times of testing and trials to bring us even closer to Himself.

About the Author: Dr. Steven J. Lawson is the Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama, having served as a pastor in Arkansas and Alabama for the past twenty-nine years. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University (B.B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and Reformed Theological Seminary (D. Min.).

The focus of Dr. Lawson’s ministry is the verse-by-verse exposition of God’s Word. The overflow of this study and preaching has led to his authoring fifteen books, his newest being The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards. His other recent books include The Expository Genius of John Calvin, Foundations of Grace 1400 BC-AD 100, volume one of a multi-volume series, and three volumes in the Holman Old Testament Commentary Series, Job, Psalms Volume I (Psalms 1-75), and Volume II (Psalms 76-150).

He has contributed to John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology, work celebrating the 500 year anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. He is the Series Editor for A Long Line of Godly Men Profile, a series of biographies of noted Christian leaders.

Dr. Lawson has also authored Famine in the Land: A Passionate Call to Expository Preaching, Made In Our Image, Absolutely Sure, The Legacy, When All Hell Breaks Loose, and Faith Under Fire. His books have been translated into various languages around the world, including Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Albanian, Korean, Dutch, and the Indonesian language.

He has contributed several articles to Bibliotheca Sacra, The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, The Faith and Mission, Decision Magazine, and Discipleship Magazine, among other journals and magazines.

Dr. Lawson’s pulpit ministry takes him around the world, preaching in such places as Russia, the Ukraine, Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy and many conferences in the United States, including The Shepherd’s Conference and the Resolved Conference at Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California, the Ligonier National and Pastor’s Conference, and the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology.

He is president of New Reformation, a ministry designed to bring about biblical reformation in the church today. He serves on the Executive Board of The Master’s Seminary and College and is a Teaching Fellow with Ligonier Ministries and a Visiting Professor at the Ligonier Academy, teaching Expository Preaching and Evangelism and Missions in the Doctor of Ministry program. Dr. Lawson taught in the Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series at The Master’s Seminary, lecturing in 2004 on “Expository Preaching of the Psalms.” He also serves on the Advisory Council for Samara Preachers’ Institute & Theological Seminary, Samara, Russia.

Steve and his wife Anne have three sons, Andrew, James, and John, and a daughter, Grace Anne.

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