Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trials

The following is taken from "The Gospel Primer for Christians" by Milton Vincent.

Perspective in Trials

More than anything else I could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.
Preaching the gospel to myself each day provides a lens through which I can view my trials in this way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them. I can then embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God's good work in me (pp. 31-32, emphasis mine).
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After a couple of points, the writer puts footnotes where he emphasizes passages of Scripture that go along with his statements. For the bolded statement above, the author highlights Romans 8:28-29, James 1:2-4 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. The passage emphasized in the sentence preceding the bolded statement is Romans 5:1-5.

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