Monday, March 05, 2007

Quick thought on trusting in God

Commenting on 2 Corinthians 12:9 ("My grace is sufficient for you"), C. H. Spurgeon remarked:
As for his failing you, never dream of it-hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.
"Hate the thought." Christian friend, if you are going to believe what you say you believe, then there are only two kinds of situations:
  1. Situations in which you will see God's goodness immediately.
  2. Situations in which you will see God's goodness eventually.
That's it. Every possibility of God doing you actual and final harm was absorbed and deflected by Christ at Calvary. To say that Christ is the hilast─ôrion (Romans 3:25) is to say that He is the sacrifice which absorbs and turns away the wrath of God. Now God sees you only with love, plans for you only good, and will bring to bear all the wisdom of omniscience and all the powers of omnipotence. Can anyone defeat His purpose?

Now, sitting there healthy and happy, it is easy for you and me to nod at this Biblically-irrefutable logic.

Here's the challenge: remember it when something goes horribly wrong, or your mood takes a turn for the medieval.


LeeC said...

"Here's the challenge: remember it when something goes horribly wrong, or your mood takes a turn for the medieval"

And Scripture tells us how to do that also, fancy that! ;-)

Matt 23:1-3
1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,
2saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;

3therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.

Philippians 4:9
9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

1Tim 4:15-16
15Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.

16Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

Heb 5:14
14But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

2Peter 1:10, 1 John 1:6,1 John 3:4, 1 John 3:10

And thats just the positive uses of the word practice.

If I just go about my day hoping I will apply Scripture to it, I will probably fail (and do) every time sometime I feel like a curveball has been thrown to me. I have to make a plan, I have to memeorize Scripture, I have to tell myself how I will react under certain circumstances that are in line with my realization that Romans 8:28 is a real and unrevokable promise.

It's like martial arts or any other such endeavor, we practice to make the right reaction reflex, if you have to think about what to do, you are too late, and for me in this instance I am probably sinning, with worry, anxiety, or anger. I have to practice, and practice hard.

Thanks Dan, I can't have this reinforced enough. I gotta beat this head knowledge into applied knowledge.

Sam B. said...

Thanks for the timely encouragement, Dan. I had a very important application due this week to the college I'm going to be attending in the fall, and this morning I came down with the flu, leaving me unable to finish it until possibly next week (for example, I just slept for half the day when I could have been writing the essays). Feeling frustrated, I came and read your article...and my spirits are lighter already just knowing that God is good and he's in control. Thank you!

Trinian said...

Of course, to get any kind of encouragement from that, you have to have a solid understanding of the sovereignty of God. Imagine going through an excruciatingly painful circumstance with no assurance at all that God is in control of all of it and planned it before you were born to show how GOOD He is... who would desire such a faith in order simply to preserve their own sense of self-worth?

LeeC said...

Yeah, Trinian.
I just don't get how people who don't believe in predestination, or downplay doctrine, can have any peace at all.

Look at the world today.
On one news page I saw two articles on people killing and dismembering supposed loved ones, and thats just one instance!

How can we have any peace without the confidence and assurance that God is in total control, and He is GOOD!

And yet as much as I trumpet that I'm struggling right now with not being anxious about providing for my family and a myriad of other things. It's so interesting to look at your life as a series of events brought about for your sanctification and Gods glory.

When I was a single guy I could really play it off like I had it all together, especially to myself. I never really got anxious, even when I was homeless for a while.

Then I got married, and not only was my selfishness highlighted, but my lack of trust in God as well. I struggled with worrying about providing, both temporally and spiritually. But eventually I got better (far from perfect but better) at trusting my Lord as supplied all my needs more than abundantly and in ways that I could not take credit for no matter how proud I was.

Then I had kids, first one then another, and each time I went through times of leaning on my own right arm, and personal ability (what a laugh) in spite of my head knowledge to the futility of such thinking.

Being sanctified sure would be easier if my screw-ups didn't effect those I loved so much. But it helps to know that I WILL be able to see His goodness even in those screw-ups looking back.

One of the most exciting things for me to contemplate is the hope that in heaven we will be able to look back on every event in our lives no matter how horrible and clearly see how the Lord worked it out for our good and His glory.
That will be truly awesome.

Chris Anderson said...

Good stuff, Dan.

Several years ago, my brother & sister-in-law were surprised to learn that their newborn son was born with Down Syndrome. They dealt with a variety of immediate needs, including heart surgery at less than one month old.

Following some particularly stressful days, my brother-in-law (a very godly man) put out an email saying "God was good today" and relating some good news.

An astute friend replied with this: "God was just as good yesterday. It just didn't seem like it."

That has stuck with me. My circumstances don't effect God's goodness. As you suggest, if I'm not seeing His goodness, I need to change my perspective. God won't withhold any good thing from us (Psalm 84:11). So if we have something, it's good for us. And if we lack something, it's not good for us. Our good God guarantees it, even if we can't "get it."

Here's another good reason to live by the Scriptures and not our circumstances or glands.

Chris Anderson said...

Here's a thought from Packer's Knowing God:

"If you have been resigning yourself to the thought that God has left you high and dry, seek grace to be ashamed of yourself. Such unbelieving pessimism deeply dishonors our great God and Savior." (p. 89)

MR Maluleke said...

HI DJP! AS I was carefully examining internet explore I came across your blog, and gues what! I have seen it with my own eyes and now I understand that the Power of the Gospel that were preeched during Poul's time it is still the Same Gospel that God is revealing to many people through your blog.

May God reachly bless you!
Kindly regards
MR Maluleke