God is Much Greater Than Her Experience of Him

The kindest thing that God did in the midst of my suffering was to turn my gaze away from my circumstances to Himself

This breakthrough in my understanding (via doctrine) and the desire to learn more (theology) were the means that brought me out of despair. I began to see that God was trustworthy, not because He gave me a happy ending, but because He is who He says He is in His Word. 

 

“It is no good telling the bereaved mother that Christ still loves and cares for her if she has only been taught to think of Christ in terms of how he works on her own feelings and in her own experiences. She needs to be able to see that God is much greater than her experience of him; she needs to know that, whatever her current feelings of anguish and despair, God is trustworthy and loving; and she needs to know that assurance is not necessarily about emotional highs but about knowing that God is faithful even though the whole world appears to be falling apart around her. Such will only be possible if the theological environment in which she lives and worships teaches her to understand Christ above all in terms of his historical work of redemption for the people of God; and that will only come about when the emphasis in preaching focuses not on ourselves but on the Christ of the Bible. Setting Christ above all in the context of biblical history rather than our own experience will promote a truly high understanding of Christ as Redeemer, and one that will ultimately be of more use than the Christ of Emotional Therapy…1″


She needs to be able to see that God is much greater than her experience of him…

This passage by Carl Trueman hits close to home. I was not a bereaved mother but a heartbroken wife wondering where God was when my husband walked out the door. I would never have owned it at the time, but God was pretty much the God of my experience. My degree of assurance was tied to my emotional state, even though I wasn’t outwardly a very emotional person. When I read the Word, every passage was taken allegorically such that the Bible was mainly about God talking to me about me rather than revealing Himself. I also combed it looking for passages that I would take out of context for any shred of hope that my marriage would be saved.

But the kindest thing that God did in the midst of my suffering was to turn my gaze away from my circumstances to Himself. This breakthrough in my understanding (via doctrine) and the desire to learn more (theology) were the means that brought me out of despair. I began to see that God was trustworthy, not because He gave me a happy ending, but because He is who He says He is in His Word. 

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