Scott Sauls recently authored Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen: How God Redeems Regret, Hurt, and Fear in the Making of Better Humans (Zondervan, 2022). Currently Scott serves as senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. Most significantly, Pastor Sauls observes, the more the disciplined regimen of God works and stresses your soul to its limits, the more able it becomes to endure suffering and enjoy God all at once. Therefore, in the midst of deep worry and fear, we need to talk to ourselves more than we listen to ourselves. In addition, we need to hear God’s countervoice. Because the things we rely on most to provide the foundation for our lives shake in the presence of God’s superlative holiness. The earth’s full of God’s glory, not ours.
Yet, our holy God freely rebuilds us with a new kind of esteem. And He wants to meet you on the ground – where the hem of His robe awaits you. Above all, God’s hidden glory shows up in meaningful ways in life’s beauty as well as life’s sufferings. It’s in real world troubles that God opens your eyes to see and know Him more clearly. Furthermore, when you orient your thoughts around God’s treasures, you find yourself poised, via God’s grace, to flourish in the presence of those troubles. Also, the power of formative habit prepares you to face every ‘what if’. For what you take into you = what comes out in days of trouble. So, Pastor Sauls counsels, turn down the volume on lies about God. Turn up the volume on God’s truth to redeem the voices that weary you.
Certainly, the holy roar from our Christian mentor and peers empowers us. Hence, God loves us out of our distress with songs of grace, comfort, and hope. Thus, we’re not saintly people who’ve earned their place. Rather, we’re sinful people saved by grace. The sweet sounds of our broken hallelujahs please God’s ears. And God’s prepared a special gift for those willing to admit and contend with their own hard battles. But when we stop seeing sin as wretched, God’s grace ceases to be amazing. Beautiful people don’t just happen. As Rick Warren exhorts, “In God’s garden of grace, even broken trees bear fruit.”
In conclusion, Pastor Sauls underscores, our expressions of distress honor – and make complete – the call to rejoice in the Lord. Hence, the author states, leaning into lament serves as a necessary skill in the art of rejoicing. No bypass exists around the cross to get to the crown. Suffering equips us to transform into the best expressions of God’s compassion and grace. And our tender God never breaks bruised reeds. Instead, He handles them with tender care. Finally, Pastor Sauls closes with these words of hope:
“The most remarkable humans with the most remarkable faith are usually the ones who have come to the end of themselves, suffered deeply, and lost much. Beautiful people don’t just happen.”