“Forgetting the temporary nature of present physical comforts allows you to value them as much or even more than the eternal blessings that are yours as a child of God, even when you are suffering.”- Paul David Tripp
“But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God.”- Psalm 73:16-17 (ESV)
Paul David Tripp continues Chapter 5 of Suffering as he discusses the second through fourth things Psalm 73 teaches about envy.
2. Envy makes you question your allegiance to God. It’s so easy, amid the pain, travail, and exhaustion of suffering to question why you’re going through all this. After all, you’ve obeyed as a committed follower of God. However, Pastor Tripp notes, there’s a flaw in this thinking. For this type of thinking looks at faith and obedience as payments. Thus, it’s like we buy blessing for doing the right things while avoiding hardship by refusing to do the wrong things.
This equates to bad spiritual math. God’s heaped blessings upon us that we could never earn. In contrast, God uses the hardships we endure as instruments of His rescuing and transforming grace.
3. Envy is a wearisome burden to carry. Pastor Tripp asserts that his burden results from horizontal-evaluation-envy syndrome. And it’s impossible to think – even for a moment – someone else is enjoying the blessings you deserve and not get angry. Also, the longer you carry this anger, it’s prone to lead to spiritual depression. Therefore, envy never lightens the burden of any sufferer.
4. Envy ignores the impermanence of the comforts of the present. Our comforts and sorrows, times of ease and travail, and the easy roads and paths of trouble are all fleeting. Yet, Pastor Tripp reminds us:
“Envy paints the comforts of others as if they will be enjoyed forever. . . . Envy tempts you to crave what is temporary and devalue what is eternal.”
Today’s question: What value do you place on present physical comforts? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Envy preaches a false gospel”