This week in chapel, Dr. Joe Stowell preached from Psalm 46, which reminds believers that the Lord is our refuge and strength, and in our trouble, He is our ever-present help. God has a plan for the church and His people even in the midst of chaos and turmoil. As his children, we are called to cease striving and to be still and know that He is God. We are to be vulnerable by allowing ourselves to put our hands down. In God’s plan, He will give sovereign oversight to your trouble. 1 Corinthians 10:13 states that God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. God is managing the trouble that comes into our lives, and He will not let anything into our lives that He cannot use for our good and for His glory. We can trust that God is working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Dr. Stowell asked the question, “Do you ever feel like you are 1000 pieces of a puzzle scattered on the table?” He emphasized that God has the puzzle’s box top that carries the full image, and God knows exactly how to piece us together. In times of trouble, God will use the sufferings we go through to refine each of us, and we are called to trust the one who manages the outcomes.

Listen to the full sermon below.


Dr. Joseph M. Stowell III serves as the president of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He loves students and desires to provide an educational experience in which they are intellectually and spiritually stimulated to engage their world with the love of Christ.

An internationally recognized conference speaker, Joe has also written numerous books including “The Trouble with Jesus,” “Following Christ,” “Simply Jesus and You” and “Redefining Leadership.” He also writes devotionals for Our Daily Bread. His life is marked by a deep love for Jesus, which is reflected in his desire to value people regardless of gender, race or class; to aid the poor and marginalized; to build a strong and vibrant community where the presence of Christ is evident; and to govern and lead in ways that engender mutual confidence and trust.

Dr. Stowell has a distinguished career in higher education and church leadership. He served as senior pastor of Southgate Baptist Church (Southgate, Ohio; 1970-76), Bible Baptist Church (Kokomo, Indiana; 1976-81) and Highland Park Baptist Church (Southfield, Michigan; 1981-87). From 1987-2005, he served as president of Moody Bible Institute, with oversight over the undergraduate and graduate schools, Moody Publishers and the Moody Broadcasting Network. Following his time at MBI, he served as teaching pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in suburban Chicago, prior to assuming the presidency at Cornerstone in February 2008.

Joe also serves on the board of Wheaton College. He is a graduate of Cedarville University and Dallas Theological Seminary and has been honored with two doctor of divinity degrees from The Master’s College (1987) and Huntington University (2011). He and his wife Martie have three adult children and 10 grandchildren.