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Entries in Jerry Bridges (3)


We tend to underestimate

From Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, by Jerry Bridges

God disciplines us with reluctance, though He does it faithfully. He does not delight in our adversities, but He will not spare us that which we need to grow more and more into the likeness of His Son. It is our imperfect spiritual condition that makes discipline necessary.

This is not to say that every adversity that occurs in our lives is related to some specific sin we have committed. The issue God is dealing with in our lives is not so much what we do, but what we are. All of us tend to underestimate the remaining sinfulness in our hearts. We fail to see the extent of pride, fleshly self-confidence, selfish ambitions, stubbornness, self-justification, lack of love, and distrust of God that He does see. But adversity brings these sinful dispositions to the surface just as the refiner's fire brings impurities to the surface of the molten gold.


This usually involves adversity

From Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, by Jerry Bridges:

The psalmist said, "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees (Psalm 119:71). He is speaking of experiental learning. We can learn God's will for our character intellectually through reading and studying the Scriptures -- and we should do that. That is where change begins, as our minds are renewed. But change -- down in the depths of our souls -- is produced as the tenets of Scripture are worked out in real life. This usually involves adversity. We may admire and even desire the character trait of patience, but we will never learn patience until we have been treated unjustly and learn experientally to "suffer long" (the meaning of patience) the one who treats us unjustly.

If you stop and think about it, you will realize that most godly character traits can only be developed through adversity.


The difference between trust and obey

From Jerry Bridges book Trusting God Even When Life Hurts:

I acknowledge it often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him. The moral will of God given to us in the bible is rational and reasonable. The circumstances in which we must trust God often appear irrational and explicable. The law of God is readily recognized to be good for us, even when we don't want to obey it. The circumstances of our lives frequently appear to be dreadful or grim or perhaps even calamitous and tragic. Obeying God is worked out within well-defined boundaries of God's revealed will. Trusting God is worked out in an arena that has no boundaries. We do not know the extent, the duration, or the frequency of the painful, adverse circumstances in which we must frequently trust God. We are always coping with the unknown.

Yet it is just as important to trust God as it is to obey Him. When we disobey God we defy His authority and despise His holiness. But when we fail to trust God we doubt his sovereignty and question His goodness.