“Scripture works to prepare us, not so we would live in fear, but so we will be ready for the things we all will face. God gives us everything we need so that we will live with realistic expectations and so that moments of difficulty will not be full of shock, fear, and panic, but experienced with faith, calm, and confident choices.”- Paul David Tripp
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”- Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
As Paul David Tripp continues Chapter 2 of Suffering, he notes that unrealistic expectations always make suffering harder. But even though we all suffer, we don’t suffer the same way. For what we carry into the difficulties that come our way shapes our suffering.
Hence, this brings the author to what he considers the principal contribution of this book. What’s in your heart more powerfully shapes your suffering than what’s in your body or in the world around you. Pastor Tripp adds:
“Like a stream, your attitudes, choices, reactions, decisions, and responses to whatever you are facing flow out of your heart. The heart is the center of your personhood. The heart is your casual core, as dry soil soaks in the liquid of a stream. Suffering draws out the true thoughts, attitudes, assumptions, and desires of your heart.”
Therefore, Pastor Tripp finds it helpful to consider the kinds of things we bring to moments of suffering that deepen the pain of the painful thing we’re facing. As a result, the author provides an suggestive, but not exhaustive list, of seven such things we bring to moments of suffering. That discussion begins on Tuesday.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you live with realistic expectations? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Didn’t See It Coming