“Trusting God”—Book review

Trusting_God_by_Jerry_Bridges

Adversity is difficult even when we know God is in control of our circumstances. In fact, that knowledge sometimes tends to aggravate the pain.

If God is in control,” we ask, “why did He allow this to happen?”
    
~ Jerry Bridges

Sometimes (okay, many times) God’s ways don’t make sense to me. (Perhaps it has something to do with his ways being much higher than my ways? Isaiah 55:8-9)

So I have to consciously work on growing more faith that he really is in control, actively working in the details of my life, and always doing the most perfect, loving thing.

If we are to honor God by trusting Him, and if we  are to find peace for ourselves, we must come to the place where  we can honestly say, “God, I do not have to understand. I will  just trust You.”

Jerry Bridges originally wrote Trusting God in 1988 after an intense study on God’s sovereignty. I grapple with a few of his conclusions, but overall, my mind concludes he’s right, even when my heart struggles to feel it.

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.

There’s too much to say about this book. So I’ll just say I’m glad I finally read it and you would be too. It’s one of those biggies I’ll return to again and again for faith-building.

Here is a sprinkling of Bridges’ words. Taste for yourself.

When we disobey God we defy His authority and despise His holiness. But when we fail to trust God we doubt His sovereignty and question His goodness. In both cases we cast aspersions upon His majesty and His character. God views our distrust of Him as seriously as He views our disobedience.

The spider building its web in the corner and Napoleon marching his army across Europe are both under God's control.

“Without question, we can entrust our eternal destiny to God, but what about our problems in this life? They make me wonder about the sovereignty of God.” It should be evident, however, that God's sovereignty does not begin at death.

I will say this next statement as gently and compassionately as I know how. Our first priority in times of adversity is to honor and glorify God by trusting Him. We tend to make our first priority the gaining of relief from our feelings of heartache or disappointment or frustration. This is a natural desire, and God has promised to give us grace sufficient for our trials and peace for our anxieties (see 2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians  4:6-7).

But just as God's will is to take precedence over our will  (in Matthew 26:39 Jesus Himself said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will”), so God's honor is to take precedence over our feelings. We honor God by choosing to trust Him when we don't understand what He is doing or why He has allowed some adverse circumstance to occur.

Prayer is the  most tangible expression of trust in God.

The knowledge of His sovereignty is meant to be an encouragement to pray, not an excuse to lapse into a sort of pious fatalism.

Any time that we are tempted to doubt God's love for us,  we should go back to the Cross. We should reason somewhat in  this fashion: If God loved me enough to give His Son to die for me when I was His enemy, surely He loves me enough to care  for me now that I am His child. 

If God's love was sufficient for my greatest need, my eternal salvation, surely it is sufficient for my lesser needs, the adversities I encounter in this life.

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?
Lamentations 3:37

* * *

Which quote do you relate to?

5 comments:

Melissa said...

I've read and reviewed this book, and I agree that there's too much to say about it. I found "quotable quotes" on just about every page.

Of the ones you quoted, the one that most resonates with me is this: 'If we are to honor God by trusting Him, and if we are to find peace for ourselves, we must come to the place where we can honestly say, “God, I do not have to understand. I will just trust You.”' What I learned from this book helped me to reach that point, and I'm thankful for that.

Lisa notes... said...

Melissa,
When I sat down to look at all the quotes I saved, it was a mini-book in itself. ha.

That quote you picked definitely resonates with me too. I realize that I often withhold honor that is due God by not giving him the trust that is also due him. He's working on me.

Praying for you, friend...

Barbara H. said...

I may have said this before, but I haven't yet read Bridges and I always hear good things about him. I really should read him some time!

Lisa writes... said...

I want to read this one! Which quote resonates? Prayer being a tangible expression of my trust in God. This tells me the converse is also true: when I'm not praying, or engaging only in lazy sorts of praying, then I'm not trusting. Ouch.

tinuviel said...

"Our first priority in times of adversity is to honor and glorify God by trusting Him."

"We honor God by choosing to trust Him when we don't understand what He is doing or why He has allowed some adverse circumstance to occur."

"Prayer is the most tangible expression of trust in God."

Good stuff. Though I heard about this book on its release, I never read it. Now it may have to go on my Amazon wish list! Thanks for sharing your review.

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