Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the gospel and suffering

Matt and I have been going through an emotionally trying time right now as we wait, and wait, and wait, to see if we will be able to adopt our two foster children.

We aren't suffering physically like many others and we are not suffering persecution because of our faith, like many faithful believers are all around the world; yet we are experiencing a sort of emotional suffering that is very challenging.  Like any trial, we are left with the question, "Will I trust in Jesus through this ordeal?"   I know that I can.  I believe that He is there, sovereignly ruling and reigning over the details of my situation.  But will I trust Him and what does trusting Him look like?

I came across two quotes that have been helpful in training my mind to believe truth and then to respond to that truth in simple dependence and trust in Jesus.
...I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad.  I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials.  The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to his gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ....I can (then) embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God's good work in me.   (A Gospel Primer, by Milton Vincent)

There is a joy in knowing that through suffering God is at work in you to sanctify you and make you more like Jesus.  There is also joy in knowing that through suffering God is at work in your life as a witness and testimony of the difference Jesus is making in how you live your life, especially the most painful parts. (Death by Love, Mark Driscoll)

If I was told that at the end of all this, we'd get to adopt these children, I think I would readily embrace these trials as friends.   But I don't know the end of this particular chapter of this story and that's where the embracing becomes near impossible.  Near impossible unless I first see how the gospel connects my struggle to his desire to fulfill His eternal purposes is me.

His eternal purposes are clear in Scripture.  He wants to sanctify me.  He wants to make me more like Jesus.

At the end of all this, God's plan may be for someone else to raise these precious children.  Will I trust Him?  Can I have joy knowing that His purposes in me will be fulfilled because I am becoming more like Jesus through all of this?  Is that enough for me?  I want to say yes.  I want to believe that wholeheartedly.  I want to be planted firm in these truths, I really do.

No comments:

Post a Comment