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Thinking and living theologically

By Dave Henning / December 4, 2018

” . . . every human being thinks and lives theologically.  Whether you’re aware of it or not, you carry around a well-developed worldview that shapes the way you interpret and deal with everything that comes your way.”- Paul David Tripp

As Paul David Tripp continues Chapter 2 of Suffering, he discusses the first thing we bring to moments of suffering.  These thing only deepen the pain of the painful thing we’re facing.

1.  Poor theology.  As Pastor Tripp observes, your thoughts always precede and determine your actions.  Therefore, the theology you carry into those times of suffering and trial becomes very, very important.  Hence, the author provides two examples of how bad theology worsens your experience of suffering:

  • my suffering results from God’s punishment for my sin.  In times of suffering, we need to run to God, not hide from Him and His people.  Furthermore, it’s hard to run to God and reach out for His grace when you think He’s giving you what you deserve.  Most noteworthy, the Bible never interprets our suffering in this way.  Rather, Scripture connects our trials and difficulties to the good things God wants for us and works to produce in us (see James 1:2-4).
  • a poor understanding of Romans 8:28.  Sadly, Pastor Tripp notes, many people interpret this verse to mean everything you go through turns out all right in the end.  As a result, people harbor unrealistic expectations of a happy ending to their suffering.  In so doing, they believe that God’s failed to deliver on His promises.

Instead, Pastor Tripp asserts, the good Paul wrote about, that God guarantees, is our redemption.  Thus, the grace we reach for in times of trouble is never shaky or at risk.  As a result, this passage gives us hope even when we look around and see no hope.

Today’s question: Describe how you think and live theologically.  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Trials reveal where you’ve looked for life”

About the author

Dave Henning


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