Thursday, November 11, 2010

Suffering Does Not Rob You Of Joy—Idolatry Does

by Tullian Tchividjian

A few weeks back I was expounding on Job’s sweeping losses and his response to those losses in chapters 1 and 2. What we learned together was stunning.

Job’s maintained his joy and perspective in a season of suffering because he held onto a robust theology of grace. Job knew that he was not entitled to anything he had—God held the title to everything. He knew that everything he had was on loan from God—he understood he was an owner of nothing and a steward of everything. So he was able to say, “I came with nothing from the womb; I go with nothing to the tomb. God gave me children freely then, He took them to himself again. At last I taste the bitter rod, my wise and ever blessed God” (John Piper). While he loved his health and children and reputation and wealth, he didn’t locate his identity in those things.

This clearly shows that if the foundation of your identity is your things—the thing that makes me who I am is this position, these relationships, having this name, having this money, and so on—then suffering will be pulling you away from the uttermost foundations of your joy, and that will make you mad, bitter, and sad. But if your identity is anchored in Christ, so that you are able to say, “Everything I need I already possess in Him”, then suffering drives you deeper into your source of joy. Suffering, in other words, shows us where we are locating our identity. Suffering reveals what we’re building our life on and what we’re depending on to make life worth living.

Read the complete article here.

HT: Truth Matters

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