Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We bless our God for the trials he sends

It is the plain testimony of Scripture that trials in the Christian life are not random, undirected, and totally destructive. Rather they come to us from the hand of One who is both Almighty God and our Faithful Father.

In themselves they are often painful and distressing, sometimes to the body, always to the emotions. They need to be sanctified because they stir up the dirty sediment of indwelling sin, exposing depths of depravity and distrust that perhaps naively we thought we were free from. However, by the searching light of the Word and the sanctifying work of the Spirit, these inward and outward trials become the very means by which we learn to trust our God more deeply, distrust ourselves more thoroughly, and cling to Christ and his cross more desperately than we did before.

For these reasons we bless our God for the trials he sends. His sufficiency and faithfulness and power and grace shine more brightly set against the backdrop of trials.

We bless God the Father because he is sovereign over us and all our ways.

We bless God the Son for his grace in the gospel to rebels like us. His grace is seen in greater heart captivating majesty. Before the cross we are again exposed as sinners without hope in ourselves, but Christ we have been loved from all eternity and saved by grace alone. Our guilt and shame became his. His obedience became ours, his blood has washed us clean and turned aside the righteous wrath of a Holy God that would have condemned us forever.

We bless God the Holy Spirit for his work in applying to us Christ's finished work, and for his sanctifying work through the Word and in our hearts that keeps us turning from sin and trusting our God.

We are at times astonished that we have not been overwhelmed by bitterness, anger, and despondency. Why not? Because in the midst of trials our God has kept our faith resting and relying on Christ, submissive to his will, confident that his wisdom is greater than ours. And so we bless our God for the trials he sends because they make us see in greater measure his grace in the gospel and his grace at work in our lives.

1 comment:

Tim Thomas said...

Great blog! We would like to bring to your attention an event we are hosting....

The Evangelical Alliance, specifically Krish Kandiah, is hosting an informal lunch event for Christian bloggers to network with one another and think through a Christ-like approach to blogging. Please find an invitation attached.

The event will begin at 11am and run through until 2.30pm. There will be a £5 charge for the event, which will cover lunch and resources.

We would be extremely grateful if you could let us know whether you are available to attend by Tuesday 16 September.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards
Alexandra Lilley

Churches In Mission Project Co-ordinator
Tel (direct line): 0207 207 2109

Evangelical Alliance
Whitefield House
186 Kennington Park Road
London SE11 4BT