Love and Grace Go Hand in Hand

We cannot exercise love unless we are experiencing grace.  You cannot truly love others unless you are convinced that God’s love for you is unconditional, based solely on the merit of Christ, not your performance.  John said, ‘We love because He first loved us’ (1 John 4.19).  Our love, either to God or to others, can only be a response to His love for us.

Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1991), 132.

 

Learning to Obey God One Choice at a Time

I readily admit it is difficult to believe God is in control when we are in the midst of anxiety, heartache, or grief. I have struggled with this many times myself. Because of my schedule, most of my writing is done on an intermittent basis, a “few hours here and a few hours there.” Because of that, this particular chapter was written and rewritten over a period of six weeks or more. During that time I had to work through God’s sovereignty on two occasions myself. In each instance I realized I knew the truth regarding God’s sovereignty. What I had to do was to decide if I would trust Him, even when my heart ached.

I realized anew that, just as we must learn to obey God one choice at a time, we must also learn to trust God one circumstance at a time. Trusting God is not a matter of my feelings but of my will. I never feel like trusting God when adversity strikes, but I can choose to do so even when I don’t feel like it. That act of the will, though, must be based on belief, and belief must be based on truth.

Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

HT: Reformed Quotes

God’s Over-arching Purpose for All Believers

God has an over-arching purpose for all believers: to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:29). He also has a specific purpose for each of us that is His unique, tailor-made plan for our individual life (see Ephesians 2:10). And God will fulfill that purpose. As Psalm 138:8 says, “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me.” Because we know God is directing our lives to an ultimate end and because we know He is sovereignly able to orchestrate the events of our lives toward that end, we can trust Him. We can commit to Him not only the ultimate outcome of our lives, but also all the intermediate events and circumstances that will bring us to that outcome.

Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

HT: Reformed Quotes

God Is Not Almost Sovereign

From our limited vantage point, our lives are marked by an endless series of contingencies. We frequently find ourselves, instead of acting as we planned, reacting to an unexpected turn of events. We make plans but are often forced to change those plans. But there are no contingencies with God. Our unexpected, forced change of plans is a part of His plan. God is never surprised; never caught off guard; never frustrated by unexpected developments. God does as He pleases, and that which pleases Him is always for His glory and our good.

Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

HT: Reformed Quotes

Confidence in the Sovereignty of God

Confidence in the sovereignty of God in all that affects us is crucial to our trusting Him. If there is a single event in all of the universe that can occur outside of God’s sovereign control, then we cannot trust Him. His love may be infinite, but if His power is limited and His purpose can be thwarted, we cannot trust Him. You may entrust to me your most valuable possessions. I may love you and my aim to honor your trust may be sincere, but if I do not have the power or ability to guard your valuables, you cannot truly entrust them to me.

Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts