Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A good reflection today on loss

With the shocking images coming from Boston, once again that question is raised 'How can God allow it?'  The Christian life does offer answer, but it is still a tough thought.  God can be glorified by the way in which we respond to loss.  

I think this thought isn't just for Christians who have lost today, but all Christians who are passing through times of trial - I know there are many even in my church who are in situations that leave them feeling God must have forgotten them, but these words remind us that He never does, and our place is to glorify Him no matter what.

God's glory shines more brightly when he satisfies us in times of loss than when he provides for us in times of plenty. The health, wealth, and prosperity "gospel" swallows up the beauty of Christ in the beauty of his gifts and turns the gifts into idols.  The world is not impressed when Christians get rich and say thanks to God.  They are impressed when God is so satisfying that we give our riches away for Christ's sake and count it gain.  
No one ever said that they learned their deepest lessons of life, or had their sweetest encounters with God, on the sunny days.  People go deep with God when the drought comes.  That is the way God designed it.  Christ aims to be magnified in life most clearly by the way we experience him in our losses.  Paul is our example: "We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.  But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead" (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).  The design of Paul's suffering was to make radically clear for his own soul, and for ours, that God and God alone is the only treasure who lasts.  When everything in life is stripped away except God, and we trust him more because of it, this is gain, and he is glorified.
John Piper - Don't Waste Your Life - p72-73

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