Ecstatic Trials

Wednesday, Feb. 17                                                  

I would be very interested in how you dealt with yesterday’s question—and what your conclusion was.  If you got serious about the question you probably came to realize that you would have to deal  with the word “satisfied.”  I think Piper had in mind being satisfied with God.  It involves being  content, peace of heart, and acceptance of trials and persecution.  You also might have come to the conclusion that whatever you are facing has a divine purpose, that it is all for your good—despite the fact that you don’t know how it is beneficial.  You might then realize that the whole thing is a matter of trust.  And that is precisely the point.  It would be counter productive for God to reveal all the details of  His work of sanctifying you.  Trusting Him when you don’t have all the answers is more important.  It’s building a love relationship with God.  What you become is important but even more important is your relationship to Him.  However, He has revealed a lot about the final product.  James nails it in James 1:2-4.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Don’t miss the  “testing of your faith” part.  That’s the trust part.  Do you want to grow up into spiritual maturity?  Do you want to be a finished product in God’s hands?  Do want to come to a place where you lack nothing, i.e., all your needs are met?   All of that is the result of trusting God through manifold trials.  Now, consider the “Consider it pure joy” part.  I find it interesting that James starts with that rather than putting it at the end of the statement.  I think he wants us to grab that as a most desirable goal—then tells us how to get there.  What is more full of joy than a love relationship with God?   I think Piper knew exactly where he was going with this enigmatic question.

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