Chip Stam’s Ministry Through Suffering

March 7, 2011 — 1 Comment

Compared to some, I have spent little time around Chip Stam. But when I was in high school, he was the music minister at our church. There was always cheerfulness in his eyes, and laughter on his face. The children would crowd around him. He was a man that was full of the joy of the Lord.

My dad said that he was also a man full of energy. He could walk across the floor on his hands. Once on a church staff trip my dad noted that Chip still had his computer screen glowing while everyone else was asleep. In the morning while everyone was still under the comforts of the covers, he came walking in his gym clothes, just finishing up his morning work out. He proceeded to ask who would play him in tennis later that day.

Chip Stam has been battling cancer for the last four years, but what I keep hearing is that he is suffering well.  If you want to learn more about Chip’s story you can follow THIS link. Here are some words from Chip.

But in the meanwhile, we can be well intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually because we trust the words of Jesus that through whatever illnesses or impairments we might suffer “God’s works” will be revealed in us. God’s work might be to take us home to be with Himself, but what better work could we imagine? Or the LORD’s work might be to reveal his sustaining grace throughout our afflictions. No doubt God has some surprises in store for us as to how the Trinity might act in partnership with us to accomplish divine purposes. The endless possibilities enable us to be well in trust and hope.

My dad wrote the following about Chip’s ministry to him:

Our beloved music minister and fellow-colleague at Southern Seminary Chip Stam has been battling cancer since 2007. He and his wife Doris have been such an example to us of faith and hope in God from the very beginning. I remember the first time we visited them after the cancer diagnosis. We were hoping to encourage them but they encouraged us instead! And that has been the rule ever since. We have always left Chip and Doris strengthened by the grace of God, for their faith has shone brightly as Chip has battled death.

Chip wants to live but he is ready to die. He knows that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for him and that it is far better to be with Christ. But the question is whether the Lord has future fruitful labors  for him on earth.  Whatever happens, Chip has been a testimony to thousands as he has fought the ravages of cancer. Don’t forget to lift Chip up in prayer, and pray that the message of the good news of free grace in Christ Jesus wins many to faith in Christ. Chip has touched thousands of people during his life, but it may be that he has reached many more in his four year battle with cancer than he has in all his previous years. I love Chip Stam as a friend and a precious brother. What a testimony he has been to gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our prayer for Chip is that he would get better, but if not that through this the comfort of Jesus Christ would become more real to him. As with John Bunyan he would learn the following:

I never had in all my life so great an inlet into the Word of God as now [in prison]. The Scriptures that I saw nothing in before are made in this place to shine upon me. Jesus Christ also was never more real and apparent than now. Here I have seen him and felt him indeed. . . . I have seen [such things] here that I am persuaded I shall never while in this world be able to express. . . . Being very tender of me, [God] hath not suffered me to be molested, but would with one scripture and another strengthen me against all; insomuch that I have often said, were it lawful I could pray for greater trouble for the greater comfort’s sake. (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Evangelical Press, 1978, p. 123)

Patrick Schreiner

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I teach New Testament at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am married with three children. This blog, against all wisdom, includes anything I am interested in. That includes movies, music, theology, culture, hermeneutics, the Gospels, and politics. Feel free to comment and let me know you are reading or that you have found something helpful. I reserve the right to delete unhelpful or rude comments. Many of these posts are simply things I find interesting and therefore I am not asserting I agree with everything I link to.

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  1. Technical Difficulties, Please Stay Tuned | For His Renown - March 10, 2011

    […] I think this is one of the most encouraging videos I’ve ever watched. My friend Chip Stam is suffering in the hospital, and some dear Christian gospel singers came by to encourage him. Sometimes the blessings of God go […]

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