“The way God has designed us it that vertical hope (our hope in him) would fuel a horizontal life of expectant faith and courageous action.”- Paul David Tripp
In Chapter 9 (“The Comfort of God’s Grace”) of Suffering, Paul David Tripp underscores our need to remember our true identity as children of God. Especially in the midst of the trials, travail, and traps of suffering. Because we fail to fight to remember our true identity, our suffering begins to define us. Furthermore, nothing or no one can steal our true identity as children of God.
Therefore, Pastor Tripp adds, the identity you assign to yourself determines your:
- expectations – God hardwired us for hope. Thus, a joyful, obedient life consists of (a) surrender to God and (b) the product of hope in Him. However, when travail defines your identity, it robs you of expectancy. As a result, you have little expectation your life will ever be better than it’s current state.
- potential – We tend to measure our potential in terms of how we deal with the things life place on our plate. In contrast, Pastor Tripp explains God’s design for us: “God meant for us to define our potential vertically, to understand that our potential is vastly greater than the size of our independent collection of personal resources, because we have been connected to him by grace. When you live in light of your true potential as a child of God, you live with hope and courage, even when life is hard.
- actions – When you let suffering take over your identity, it determines your actions. Thus, in many ways you simply quit living. So, either you have hope or you don’t. That’s why Pastor Tripp exhorts you to fight the temptation to let your suffering define you.
Hence, the author dedicates the rest of this book to exploring the expectation and potential inherent with being God’s child.
Today’s question: What Scriptures help you live a life of expectant faith? Please share.