As Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 15 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, he observes that even for those who believe in God, God can be just an abstraction. The key to feeling more in love with God is not trying to work directly on our emotions. Rather, we need to let our emotions flow naturally from keeping our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
Pastor Keller adds that if we live for and love anything more than God, we will be restless, without peace. But we will find God irresistibly beautiful when we look at what Jesus did for us on the cross. The author explains: “On the cross Jesus got what we deserve, including this cosmic, profound pain and restlessness.”
God’s irresistible beauty is poignantly seen in the life of Horatio Spafford, a lawyer who lost everything in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Two years later, he sent his wife and 4 daughters on a ship to England. That ship hit another ship and began to sink. Horatio’s wife was the only family member to survive. While on his way to England to bring back his wife, Horatio began to write the hymn “When Peace, Like a River (LSB 763). Pastor Keller states that in the hymn you can see Horatio thinking, thanking, and loving himself into the peace of God under those terrible circumstances. It will work for us too.
Today’s question: How have you thought, thanked, and loved yourself into God’s peace on your healing, transformational journey? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The New Jerusalem- ultimate hope”
Coming Monday: the Annotated Bibliography of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering