I’ve been listening to a lot of the White Horse Inn lately, catching up on the 3 part series on Job and suffering. Michael Horton was talking quite a bit about Calvin and his works and their relation to the conversation they were having on suffer. It was a very uplifting series to listen to, and here are some truths that I got from it.
It seems that the hardest thing to do when we are in the midst of hardship and suffering is remember what our relationship with God is. When I am suffering I fall back on the rudminary belief that for some reason God is allowing me to suffer because I deserve it, or because He doesn’t care about me. For some reason I still have unbelief in my heart over what I am in His eyes.
It’s easier to think that when I die I will be taken up to an enormous drive-through-movie style viewing of my life and God will make me watch it and answer questions and give me a verdict on the condition of my heart. It’s easier to think that I have some sort of input to the way that I will be perceived by Him who is holy and righteous and just. But what is harder is the truth that I have no say whatsoever. For some reason it still bugs me that I won’t have the option to stand trial and argue my case; because the judgment was already made and the courtroom is empty.
The death he died, he died to sin once and for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. – Romans 6:10
Christ already stood trial for me and took my punishment. He cleared out that courtroom so that we don’t have to go back again. But there are times that I still feel that God has drawn His bow and is aiming it right at me. I still feel like I’m being punished because of what happens in my life, and I still want to blame myself and Him for what happens.
What I can’t see is that God isn’t aiming at me but at the sin wrapped around my neck, slowly trying to kill me. And what I forget is that this was part of the deal of becoming a child of God and a follower of Christ.
If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. – Hebrews 12:8
What’s worse is that I forget that just living in this world is a great way to have horrible things happen to you because the world is full of sin. Add that to following Christ and you’ve given yourself great odds at having a lot of bad things happen to you.
I have submitted myself before and attempt to again almost everyday, because I still wake up with a wild heart in the cage of my ribs that refuses to understand that there are things I will go through that won’t be given reasons in this lifetime. I try desperately to remind myself that though now is my time of grief and suffering I will one day get to meet Jesus face to face and nothing else will matter. I will no longer have the desire to ask Him why, why do these things have to happen, why do I have to walk through this? One day He will ultimately resolve all issues. And I am so looking forward to that day.