Sunday, March 23, 2014

U is for Uncomfortable Grace

"God will take you where you never intended to go in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own." Paul Tripp

That is grace, uncomfortable grace. About the same time our pastor defined grace as "God doing what we could not do." That definition just helped to understand uncomfortable grace.

I have been listening to Paul Tripp's teaching on Mark 6:45-52 and what he called Uncomfortable Grace. In this passage Jesus tells the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side of the lake. The disciples obeyed and a storm came. They were struggling, working hard to get to the other side. Where was Jesus in their suffering? Jesus sent them into a storm. He knew that the storm was coming. "God will take you where you never intended to go in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own." Jesus was there for the disciples and that is true for us today. "Sometimes you need the storm in order to see the glory."

There have been times of suffering in my life and this passage what a comfort to me. It helps me to see my suffering in a different light. It doesn't take away the suffering and the hurt. The Bible is clear that we live in a fallen world and suffering is part of that world.

How do we respond to suffering and pain? The only solution is to worship God. David writes in Psalm 27 about the trouble he was facing evildoers, adversaries, foes, an army encamped against him but in the midst of all that he proclaims his one desire "One thing have I asked of the Lord that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to base upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple." Gaze on the beauty of the Lord, remember who God is and what is has done, rest in the promises of God, wait and watch God work.

Suffering comes in all different ways at different times. This helped me to make sense of and change the way I view suffering. God is there in the midst of my suffering and desiring that through that I know him more.

I trust that this will help as you face struggles and suffering in your life. Gaze on the beauty of the Lord.

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