Monday, March 10, 2008

this is good stuff!

I read this following passage this morning from Jerry Bridge's Trusting God. I would whole-heartedly suggest this book not only for when you might be facing adversity, but also to beef up your spiritual muscles to handle the adversity when it comes. And we all know that it will. I find it highly Providential that today's reading in Morning and Evening was on the dangers of prosperity. It is really is all to easy to become spiritually complacent when things are going our way, isn't it?
Anyhoo, here is from Bridge's, for your reading enjoyment and spiritual edification:

Perhaps you wonder why, in a chapter on the love of God in adversity, I have seemingly digressed so extensively about our sinful condition. I have done so for two reasons: First, that we might see the depths of God's love, not only in giving His one and only Son, but in giving Him to die for such a people as Paul describes us to be. (see Ephesians 2:1, 2; Ezekial 37; Acts 26:18; Colassians 1:13)
But I have dwelt on this point for another reason. When we being to question the love of God, we need to remember who we are. We have absolutely no claim on His love. We don't deserve one bit of God's goodness to us....
We see then that God loved us when we were totally unworthy, when there was nothing whatsoever within us that would call forth His love.
Anytime we are tempted to dount God's love for us, we should go back to the Cross. We should reason somewhat in this fashion: IF God loved me enough to give His Son to die for me when I was His enemy, surely He loves me enough to care for me now that I am His child. Having loved me to the ultimate extent at the Cross, He cannot possibly fail to love me in my times of adversity. Having given such a priceless gift as His Son, surely He will also give all else that is consistent with His glory and my good.
Note that I said, we should reason. IF we are to trust God in adversity, we must use our minds in those times to reason throught the great truths of God's sovereignty, wisdom, and love as they are revealed in the Scriptures. We must not allow our emotions to hold sway over our minds. Rather, we must seek to let the truth of God rule our minds. Our emotions must be subserviant to the truth. This does not mean that we do not feel the pain of adversity and heartache. We feel it keenly. Nor does it mean that we should seek to bury our emotional pain in a stoic-like attitude. We are meant to feel the pain of adversity, but we must resist allowing that pain to cause us to lapse into hard thoughts about God.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have really struggled to reconcile our God-given emotions and the rational truth about God when I have struggled or tried to help others when they are struggling. This answers so many questions for me and was such an enlightening passage to read that I wanted to share in case it answered similar questions for some of you.
Have a great day!

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