“Every one of [God’s] comforts is not just your hope as God’s child but part of the reality of what that identity as his child means for you as you go through difficult things. These comforts are a more accurate description of your true identity than your suffering will ever be.”- Paul David Tripp
As Paul David Tripp continues Chapter 9 of Suffering, he talks about God’s comforts. Most noteworthy, God’s comforts shine brightest during your darkest days. Also, suffering cannot take away those comforts. And the first of God’s comforts, Pastor Tripp states, consists of “the stunningly encouraging comfort of God’s grace.”
Thus, based on Romans 8:18-39, Pastor Tripp discusses five aspects of the nature of God’s grace. The author covers the first aspect today.
1. Uncomfortable grace. First, Pastor Tripp states that the apostle Paul points us to two things that bring comfort when suffering enters our door (v. 19-25):
- the apostle Paul knows that everyone experiences suffering in our broken world. It’s not an unusual, surprising experience. Hence, suffering serves as an indicator of where we live. However, suffering doesn’t indicate the failed love of our Savior.
- in the middle of his discussion of the world’s dysfunction, Paul uses the words hope and redemption. Although those words seem out of place, Paul wants us to know that, in the midst of our travail, God’s up to something good. Furthermore, the author stresses, it’s important to grasp that God’s grace shines brightest when things look darkest.
In conclusion, Pastor Tripp explains God’s uncomfortable grace:
“This side of eternity, God’s grace often comes to us in uncomfortable situations and forms. In moments when we are crying out for the grace of relief, God’s doing good things in and through us, using the very things we want relief from as his tool. . . . In fact, he will use what seems like incredible interruptions in our lives to deliver the good things he’s promised. So we need to embrace and encourage one another with the theology of uncomfortable grace.”
Today’s question: What Scriptures, hymns, or Christian songs bring comfort in the midst of your suffering? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “God blesses with His intervening grace”