“When we cry out for grace, we’re often already getting it, but it’s not the grace of release; it’s the grace of rescue and transformation, because that’s the grace we really need.”- Paul David Tripp
Paul David Tripp continues Chapter 12 of Suffering with the second reason to hope in the middle of our suffering.
2. We suffer because God uses it to produce good in us. First, Pastor Tripp notes, only two types of motivating hopes exist. You hook your hope to a:
- physical, situational life of comfort, success, strength, and pleasure
- a life of rich spiritual awakening, growth, and Godward glory
In addition, the Bible presents the second option as infinitely more satisfying in the long run. Because God created us for such a life. And since we were created to glorify God, that motivating hope does a much better job of satisfying the longing in our hearts.
Yet, we don’t typically experience joy in suffering. In fact, Pastor Tripp observes, even the smallest obstacles cause us to lose our joy. The author continues:
“While we tend to be intolerant of hardship and difficulty, God is intolerant of our sin, so he uses hard things to deliver us from it. The only name for this is grace.”
Finally, Pastor Tripp asks us to think of the power in suffering to change us:
- Suffering has the power to destroy our self-reliance. God created us to be dependent on Him as well as mutually dependent on one another. Thus, suffering exposes the fact that we’re not self-sufficient. Through our pain and weakness of suffering, we cry out to God more genuinely, deeply, and humbly than ever before.
- Suffering has the power to expose our self-righteousness. As the author succinctly states, “suffering demonstrates that we’re not grace graduates, that there’s still sin inside us, and that we desperately need the Savior’s grace.”
- Suffering has the power to lays waste to our idols. In conclusion, Pastor Tripp notes that our suffering exposes what we hold dear, can’t live without, and truly rules our hearts. As a result, we realize the folly of hooking our hopes to temporary treasures. That positions our heart to hook our hope to God.
Today’s question: How have you experienced the grace of rescue and transformation? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Ministry – every believer’s lifestyle calling”