We hope you have benefited from the Suffering and the Sovereignty of God excerpts we’ve posted this week. A special thank you to Justin Taylor and Crossway Books for allowing us to share this material with you. Please take time to read through this final installment from David Powlison. I pray that those of you currently experiencing severe trial will find encouragement in his words…
“How does God meet you in trouble, loss, disability, and pain? You probably already know the ‘right answer’. He does not immediately intervene to make everything all better. Yet he continually intervenes, according to gracious purposes, working both in you and in what afflicts you….
How does God’s grace engage your sufferings? We may know the right answer. And yet we don’t know it. It is a hard answer. But we make it sound like a pat answer. God sets about a long slow answering. But we try to make it a quick fix. His answer insists on being lived out over time and into the particulars. We act as if just saying the right words makes it so. God’s answer insists on changing you into a different kind of person. But we act as if some truth, principle, strategy or perspective might simply be incorporated into who we already are. God personalizes his answer on hearts with an uncanny flexibility. But we turn it into a formula: “If you just believe____. If you just do____. If you just remember____.” No important truth ever contains the word ‘just’ in the punch line.
How does God’s grace meet you in your sufferings? We can make the right answer sound old hat, but I guarantee this: God will surprise you. He will make you stop. You will struggle. He will bring you up short. You will hurt. He will take his time. You will grow in faith and in love. He will deeply delight you. You will find the process harder than you ever imagined – and better. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. No matter how many times you’ve heard it, no matter how long you’ve known it, no matter how well you can say it, God’s answer will come to mean something better than you could ever imagine.”