“Yes, it is true — if you are God’s child, he has unbuttoned you and gotten inside of you. . . . There is no escaping his presence. There is no such thing as being beyond the reach of his care. He is with you in every moment of your travail, because he lives inside you.”- Paul David Tripp
“And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”- Matthew 28:20 (NIV)
Paul Tripp continues Chapter 10 of Suffering as he exhorts us to acknowledge the inescapability of suffering’s effects. For that gives every sufferer reason to get excited about understanding the full meaning and substance of two right here, right now promises of God’s presence. Pastor Tripp talks about the first promise today.
1. I am with you always. Pastor Tripp refers to this promise as a stunning declaration packed with practical hope (author’s words). In fact, he stresses, it’s impossible to overstate the magnitude of Jesus’ promise. Indeed, Jesus’ words convey more than a promise. They capture a state of being for every believer who goes through harsh times.
Thus, Pastor Tripp notes, it’s important to understand the context of Matthew 28:20. For Jesus spoke these words to give comfort to sufferers. However, this promise of God’s presence contrasts significantly with its Old Testament application. As Pastor Tripp points out, when Israel built the Tabernacle, the shekinah glory of God filled the Most Holy Place. So, for the children of Israel to experience God’s presence, they needed to go where He was. In the New Testament, though, God’s people became the place where He lives.
In conclusion, Pastor Tripp provides this summary:
“God’s presence is not just your hope, it’s your identity as a child of God. There’s no better hope for the sufferer. All that God is, he is for us, because he lives inside us. He is near to you in your suffering; in fact, he couldn’t be nearer, because you are the temple in which he resides.”
Today’s question: As God’s child, how has He unbuttoned you and gotten inside your heart? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: God’s grace and faithful presence”