Really, everyone should read Jerry Bridges’ Trusting God at some point. Excellent, articulate, and convicting.
Anyway, I’ve been hopping between reading and taking notes for this Bible study and being reminded of my own conversion. If you haven’t read it yet, check under “Gracious God”. It’s been quite emotional the past week.
All weekend, God brought home to me His sovereignty in how He rescued me from myself. How He called me out of darkness. How He plucked my soul from the one way train to hell. It’s stunning to me that He chose me. Throughout church events and sermons and fellowship with friends, I was reminded of God’s completely just and completely loving control over my life — and then challenged with the question, “So why don’t you trust Me in such-and-such an area?”
Yikes. You’d think I’d learn.
In the second and third chapters (“Is God in Control?” and “The Sovereignty of God”), Bridges challenges believers and unbelievers in their blasphemous, “God just can’t stop them” excuses for evil events. As an example, Bridges countered Rabbi Kushner’s pathetic view of God:
“In the book, which is an attempt to make sense out of a tragedy in his own family, Rabbi Kushner concludes that the author of the book of Job, ‘forced to choose between a good God who is not totally powerful, or a powerful God who is not totally good . . . chooses to believe in God’s goodness.'”
If you’re a true believer, your head should be reeling from the blasphemy in Rabbi Kushner’s statement. Bridges’ answers Rabbi Kushner’s false statement with nothing but the Bible and J.I. Packer’s definition of providence:
“The unceasing activity of the Creator whereby, in overflowing bounty and goodwill, He upholds His creatures in ordered existence, guides and governs all events, circumstances, and free acts of angels and men, and directs everything to its appointed goal, for His own glory.”
And of course, what piece of Scriptures is more encouraging to believers experiencing tribulation than Romans 8:28-39:
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was [l]raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,
‘”For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It was the both powerful and good God who saved me, who sent His Son to die and save me, who continually molds me to be more like His Son, who will take me home with Him when I die or He returns. He is both amazingly, overwhelmingly sovereign and infinitely, mysteriously, wondrously good. My finite, human mind might not completely understand His workings, but ultimately, He works them out for my own good and for His glory.
Amen! What a God we serve! Amazing that He should choose me, of all people, to be one of His.