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.