Friday, November 18, 2005

Reading Heather's post earlier about her cousin and the cf reminded me greatly of Dr. John Piper's words at UCF 3 weeks ago. The whole sermon was about rejoicing in the midst of our suffering and how suffering points to our sin and God's perfect grace.
We don't feel the least bit bad about most sin that we commit. As Dr. Piper put it, "We feel worse about the stain we left on Mom's carpet," than we do about the moments every single day where we don't desire God more than any of the world's pleasure. Therefore God sends judgment. That's why we have cancer, AIDS, tsunamis, and terrorist attacks. God gives those things to the world in order to show people how truly horrendous sin is in His sight and point us to Himself.
In Luke 13 Jesus asked a group about 18 people upon whom the Tower of Siloam fell and killed. "Do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Suffering like this should point us to our sin. Suffering like this points us to His grace. It's all part of His sovereign design.
On this Thanksgiving we should be grateful for God's amazing grace that saves us from our terrible sin which produces terrible results in this world and eternal damnation in the world to come. We can't ignore the everyday sin in our lives we so often overlook. Every time we desire ANYTHING more than Jesus Christ, we are commiting the same sin as Adam did in the Garden. I will be the first to admit I am the worst at this. But God is pointing out sin in my life and showing me His grace is so much more powerful than any sin this world has to offer.
Whatever we go through -- cancer, loss, hurricanes, war, etc. -- we must rejoice, for Christ is so much greater than these problems which come as a result of sin. As Paul says in Philippians 3, "Whatever I had gain, I have counted as lost for the sake of Christ." Once more the wisdom of Dr. Piper at Passion '05: We should pursue joy in God SO HARD that it can be shaken by no pain and competed with by no pleasure. Isn't it great that Christ has saved us from the darkness and despair of our sin and freed us to taste and experience complete joy in Him, no matter what?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I pray we all will taste the joy that only a true faith in Christ, coupled with suffering, can bring.


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