“[God’s loving presence] is the ultimate gift of gifts to everyone who walks this harsh and bumpy road between birth and eternity. . . . He is the gift that changes everything. His presence is what every sufferer needs, whether they know it or not.”- Paul David Tripp
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”- Psalm 27:1 (ESV)
In Chapter 10 (“The Comfort of God’s Presence”) of Suffering, Paul David Tripp testifies that his hope rests on God’s willing, faithful, powerful, and loving presence. Furthermore, it’s crucial during times of suffering to not only hold onto, but also remember the theology of the Word of God. The author explains: “It is vital that your thinking, feeling, interpreting, and craving heart is given the wisdom, guidance, and comfort that only the theology of the Word of God can give.”
Because, Pastor Tripp cautions, bad theology will:
- complicate and worsen your suffering
- crush your hope when it needs to be bolstered
- weaken your faith when it needs to be strengthened
- leave your heart wounded and wandering when it needs to be rooted and at peace
Therefore, Pastor Tripp asks, where does you heart run when suffering enters your door? What do you fill your mind with?
In Psalm 27, the author notes, David’s hope rests entirely on the presence and grace of God. Thus, as David faces the unthinkable, his hope is not an abstract, distant, or impersonal set of ideas.
Most noteworthy, Pastor Tripp challenges, look anywhere in Scripture and you’ll find the theology of the Word of God is never presented in an academic, impersonal, abstract way. Rather, “the epicenter of the Bible’s theology is the story of God, coming to dwell with his people and unleashing his glory for their good.”
Today’s question: How is God’s loving presence the ultimate gift of gifts to you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The theology of the Lord’s presence”