Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lessons Through Adversity


I absolutely love Jerry Bridges! I don't think there's another author besides John Piper who has had such a profound impact on my life. Trusting God by Jerry Bridges is by far one of his best, if you find yourself wrestling through some difficulties in your life or struggling with the Sovereignty of God this wonderful work by Mr. Bridges will speak loudly to your troubled soul.

The chapter that has left a dent in my head is "Growing through Adversity". The verse that starts this chapter off is a favorite, James 1:2-4. The fact that we are to rejoice in our trials is such an unnatural thing for us to do. Early in the chapter, Jerry states so well, " We can be sure that the development of a beautiful Christlike character will not occur in our lives without adversity." whoa! how contrary to what so many folks subscribe to these days, the whole "Best Life Now" heresy and if you follow Jesus, all of your problems are gonna work out in the end! Only in eternity will we experience a trouble free life.

There is so much to glean from this chapter but one thing in particular really stood out to me, " Although we may be going through the Scriptures to learn how to respond to our adversities, we find those adversities in turn help us to understand the Scriptures." Bridges is not saying that we learn from our trials as opposed to the Bible but that our trials enhance the Scriptures in our lives. As one of the stand out points in this chapter states so well, "adversity enhances the teaching of God's Word and makes it more profitable to us. In some instances it clarifies our understanding or causes us to see truths we had passed over before." and here is the point that just nailed it, "At other times it will transform "head knowledge" into "heart knowledge" as theological theory becomes reality to us." What an amazing concept, God cares so much for us that everything in our lives is there to teach us and to bring us into a closer relationship with the Father!

If you find yourself in a dark place, especially this Christmas season please pick up a copy of Trusting God by Jerry Bridges and rest in the ever capable hands of your loving Father.

4 comments:

RC said...

Good post. The strangest thing is I have not read a Bridges book yet. I have picked up one of his books on numerous occasions, but I have never purchased one. This one might be my first. I will let you know what I thought about it.

asacrificeofpraise said...

Hey Ron!

i agree, Trusting God is a great book and that chapter is a great one. but my favorite chapter has to be the one on experiencing God's love. Nothing in life has caused me to trust Him more than seeing His amazing love.

He heard my cry for mercy (psalm 31:22), his faithfulness and compassion is new every morning (lamentations 3:22-23), his grace is sufficient (2 corinthians 12:9), He will strengthen and help so we don't have to be afraid (Isaiah 41:14)

there's one quote in the book that I love... "He will not spare us from the waters of sorrow and the fires of adversity, but He will go through them with us."

it reminds me of the song "how firm a foundation." fear not I am with you... when through the deep waters i call you to go... fear not, i am with you...

such great truths to think about. thanks for sharing!!

Ron Reffett said...

Hey there RC!
Thanks for the encouragement!

I would highly recommend Trusting God or Discipline of Grace, actually anything by Jerry Bridges would be a great investment. I've benefited greatly from his books, there's a great interview with him and CJ Mahaney over at sovereigngraceministries.org
Blessings
Ron

Ron Reffett said...

Hey there Emily!
Thanks for the insight!

I love that verse from Isaiah 41, knowing that God is the one who helps us..what an amazing thought!
I liked the chapter on God's love as well, I liked the quote "We too, if we would speak of the Lord's faithfulness, must turn from our circumstances to the Lord. We must see our circumstances through God's love instead of, as we are prone to do, seeing God's love through our circumstances."
We always seem to get it backwards, we as sinful people always focus on the circumstances we find ourselves in and don't gaze and reflect on who the Lord really is and that as you referenced that He actually is "in" our circumstances with us! That truly blows me away!
No problem for sharing, I appreciate you sharing as well!
Blessings
Ron