“God assigns purpose and meaning to the hurt we feel, even when we can’t see his hand clearly. His approach is never punitive and always instructive, even surgical. . . . our Lord never stabs his children with a sword. Instead, he only cuts us, ever so carefully, as with a scalpel. He wounds us sometimes, but always and only to heal us.”- Scott Sauls
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”- Hebrews 12:4 (NIV)
Scott Sauls concludes Prologue 1 of Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen as he observes that sometimes we only see the truth about God and ourselves when we see it in a rearview mirror. In addition, Pastor Sauls prays the apostle Paul’s secret of contentment in times of adversity becomes less of a secret. That you find contentment more like a familiar friend.
Above all, Pastor Sauls shares wise counsel he once received from an older mentor in the faith, Jerram Barrs. At the time Jerram served as an esteemed professor of theology at Covenant Theological Seminary. Scott Sauls studied there to prepare for pastoral ministry.
Certainly, it’s easier to receive and metabolize true words offered in a setting of empathy, understanding, and love. Hence, Professor Barrs spoke these sage words to Scott:
“In our moments of deepest worry and fear, when we catastrophize about the future, when we imagine the very worst for ourselves and for those we love — the thing we must do again and again is to talk to ourselves more than we listen to ourselves.”
In conclusion, Pastor Sauls explains his reason for referring to his chapters as prologues. Because until we meet Christ face to face in heaven, we live as people in waiting. As a result, we need God’s help to develop a framework and vocabulary to assist us. A divine countervoice to help us talk to ourselves more than we listen to ourselves.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you see God’s approach as always instructive, even surgical? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Make heaven happen for ourselves?”