God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom he always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.
As my last book of 2010, I decided to read Jerry Bridges classic book about trusting God in the midst of pain and suffering. Trusting God is a solid book for people to read – and not just when they’re in the midst of suffering. In fact, the best time to read this book and meditate upon its truths is when you aren’t necessarily in the grip of suffering.
Jerry spends the first half of the book establishing the absolute sovereignty of God over all of Creation. Here he shows that God has, “designed His external purpose so that his glory and our good are inextricably bound together.” Without this understanding of God’s sovereignty, one is left to grasp and wonder if God is really in control of their lives. Or they come to ill-fated conclusions such as Rabbi Kushner’s book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, where he argues that God is good, he’s just not powerful enough to stop all the bad in the world.
Having an a biblical understanding of God’s sovereignty is not sufficient for truly trusting God. One must also know that God is both infinitely wise and perfectly loving as well. Here, once again, Bridges does a great job of demonstrating from the Bible these essential truths.
The remainder of the book deals with some of the practical application from all this in your life and mine. Jerry discusses how we can personally experience God’s love, how we can embrace who God has made us to be, how we can grow through adversity, how we should give thanks continually, and how we should willfully choose to trust God in the face of adversity.
In conclusion, all of us will go through adversity on this side of eternity. Furthermore, we’ll be surrounded by loved ones, friends, co-workers, and even strangers who will be in the midst of suffering. Let me encourage you to prepare your mind and spirit now for those times, so that you will either be comforted as you trust God, or you will have the right answers from God’s word to offer hope to others in their time of need.