God Must Have Died


So often our first response to trials is to begin thinking about how to solve them, how to get out of them, how to cope with them. We might think our greatest need is more money, or more time, strength or wisdom.

These might help, but none of these are our greatest need.? Our deepest need is knowing God better, as Sinclair Ferguson points out:

“Scripture refocuses our hearts and minds on the God whose character is revealed in it.? Knowing him better is our deepest need.? Meeting that need will put all of our other needs – our doubts, discouragements, depression, disconsolation – in their proper context.

“On one occasion when he was greatly discouraged, Martin Luther, the sixteenth century reformer, was forcefully reminded of this by his wife, Katharine.? Seeing him unresponsive to any word of encouragement, one morning she appeared dressed in black mourning clothes.? No word of explanation was forthcoming, and so Luther, who had heard nothing of a bereavement, asked her: ‘Katharine, why are you dressed in mourning black?’? ‘Someone has died,’ she replied. ‘Died?’ said Luther, ‘I have not heard of anyone dying.? Whoever can have died?’? ‘It seems,’ his wife replied, ‘that God must have died!’

“Luther took the point.? He, a believer, a Christian, with such a great God to call his Father, was living like a practical atheist.”? – Sinclair Ferguson, Deserted by God, p.16

I’m grateful for my wife, Kristi, who has asked me the question, “What are you believing about God right now?” when I’ve felt discouraged or overwhelmed.

How about you?? What does your response to trials reveal about what you’re believing about God?? Are you acting as if God has died?? Are you acting as if he has forsaken you, won’t help you, won’t give you grace and strength?? Are you living like a “practical atheist?”

“Knowing him better is our deepest need.”

May we be like Mary who chose “the good portion,” to sit at Jesus’ feet and know him better.

photo by simpologist


  • Emily says:

    “We might think our greatest need is … wisdom. Our deepest need is knowing God better.”

    This is profound. And again it reveals in my heart how easily I tend towards (or rush towards) legalism instead of seeking a deeper relationship with my loving Father.

    Thank you for this reminder.

  • ?What are you believing about God right now??

    Yes, it doesn’t help to think that you did believe in God yesterday. Today is the day of salvation.

  • Emily,

    I need this reminder as well on a daily basis.


    You’re right – yesterday’s manna won’t do for today

  • Trillia says:

    Thank you Mark! This is helpful and for me (in a time of much encouragement and prosperity) I really want to be thinking this way! I want to think this way because trials will come and I want to be prepared to remember God during them.

    I also pray to be like Luther’s wife for my sweet hubby, Thern. I’ve heard that story before and think it so helpful.

    Thank you so much!


  • beth says:

    thank you dad.
    this is encouraging.
    “Knowing him better is our deepest need.”


  • Hi Trillia,

    Glad to hear it’s a time of prosperity and encouragement for you! And I’m sure you’re a great encouragement to Thern. Have I met Thern? I need to – he’s got one of the coolest names I know. Sounds like a Viking name. I picture him eating a huge hunk of roasted lamb and wiping his mouth on his forearm then gulping down some Viking mead.

  • Bethi,

    Thanks. If you were the only one encouraged, it would be worth it. Miss you too.

  • tia says:

    Thank you (You).

  • You’re welcome, tia. Glad the Lord would encourage you.

  • beth says:

    I agree, Thern is an awesome name.
    but not viking – more like…
    someone from Yorkshire like Tristan and James Harriot…

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