More ‘hard’ truths i’m trying to learn

[This blog post is part of a series called 'Hard' truth]

This series has turned out a little longer than I anticipated.  This is it though.  I’m drawing the line.  These are the last couple of ‘hard’ truths I’m going to share:

Christians should be a hungry people.  In June I was thinking about fasting for my dad’s salvation but I was about to go on a mission trip for two weeks, and there were a ton of reasons it wasn’t convenient timing. Thankfully a friend encouraged me to follow the leading of Scripture and the Spirit and let fasting be the exclamation point to my prayers.  If I would have waited I would have missed the opportunity to intercede for my dad in that way.

Piper describes fasting as a demonstration of our desperate need for God.  He points out that we don’t see a ton of fasting in the American church because we aren’t really desperate for much.

There aren’t a lot of things I want enough that I’d be willing to skip a meal.  That makes me sad.  Mainly because there’s one thing I want to want desperately – and that’s the return of Christ.  One thing I learned this summer is that fasting increases my desire as much as it demonstrates my desires.  Even when my heart can’t catch up, my soul’s desires can be demonstrated through my physical hunger, and the hunger teaches my heart holy dissatisfaction.

Singleness is good.

‘Hard’ truths I didn’t know

[This blog post is part of a series called 'Hard' truth]

I’ve shared with you several truths I’m so glad I knew before ‘hard’ hit.

I don’t want you to get confused though.  I don’t want you to make the mistake of thinking that standing firmly on theology has protected me from pain and I don’t want you to think that I had every truth locked down before this storm hit.

There are a lot of truths that I thought I knew but it turns out I didn’t know them; not in a way that came through for me.  I’ve been scrambling to learn as I go, but experience is a hard teacher.  Here are some of the things I didn’t know going into this:

‘Hard’ truth: firm foundations

[This blog post is part of a series called 'Hard' truth]

I’m so desperately glad that I knew the truths I’ve laid out in the past several posts before ‘hard’ hit.  Those thoughts were like anchors to my soul, given by the grace of God through the stream of His Word.

Maybe that’s the thing I’m most thankful for in all this.  I’m thankful that when ‘hard’ came I had a firm foundation in Him through the Bible.

I became a Christian later in life and I didn’t know anything about the Bible.  I remember getting my first one.  I remember staying up late with my friend, both of us pouring over Psalms because we’d never read anything that stirred our hearts in that way.

I didn’t know what it meant to trust the Bible though. I  didn’t know why it mattered that the Scripture was authoritative.  I didn’t understand that it wasn’t just a neat book; it was the living and  breathing voice of God in my life.

When I learned that concept, I felt obligated.  Opening the Bible became duty.  Most of the time it just seemed boring and emotionless.  The only way I could fix that was by reading the parts that I loved over and over and skipping all the other stuff.

‘Hard’ truth: God is sovereign over salvation.

[This blog post is part of a series called 'Hard' truth]

This last Sunday we spent an hour and a half in one of my classes processing what the Bible teaches about God’s role in salvation.

Every semester there are girls in my class who hear this idea for the first time, and it’s tough for them.  It’s not that they have a problem with my exegesis of the text or that they disagree with the logical flow of the passages we look through.  The idea that God is fully sovereign over salvation brings up some uncomfortable implications for them.  Doesn’t believing in God’s sovereignty make life futile? What does it mean for all the people who aren’t saved?  How are they held responsible for their unbelief?

It never fails that I have a student walk out of this lesson convinced that I’m heartless.  I always have one or two girls that think that I could only believe this truth if I’ve never actually had a friend or family member who doesn’t know Jesus.

But they’re wrong.

I believe this truth because it’s written down for me in the Bible.  I can’t figure out how to get around it without cutting out big chunks of God’s Word.

‘Hard’ truth: God is for Himself

[This blog post is part of a series called 'Hard' truth]

I’m sure it doesn’t sound like it the first time you hear it, but the truth that God is for Himself above all is a strong and certain comfort in the face of trials.

The Bible is REALLY clear that God’s primary concern is His own glory.  The whole purpose of this thing (life and death and everything in between) is for God to display who He truly is.

We think God being about Himself makes Him arrogant and selfish.  But God is the greatest reality in the world.  Seeing Him is the key to our joy.  When God shows off His character, He is actually securing my happiness.  Make no mistake – God is for me.  He is for me by being for Himself  above all.

I would lay awake at night in France in the room I shared with my sisters and listen to the them breathe in and out and wait for the time to pass until I could go home and pretend the whole thing was just a dream.  And as I laid there I would think about God.

I would think about how terrifyingly alone my dad must have felt without Him.

And I would think about how terrifyingly alone I felt with Him.