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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Piper-rific and God-tastic

"We cannot survive as Christians if we do not find strength to endure affliction. God's answer to this necessity on the narrow road is future grace. And future grace is the power of Christ perfected in our weakness. Make sure you don't miss the point here. The grace for endurance - even glad boasting in weakness - is not primarily looking back to bygone grace. It is looking forward to the next moment's and next month's arrival of the power of Christ to do for us what we absolutely despair of doing ourselves.
This is future grace.
Sometimes in the midst of these afflictions and ordinary stresses of daily life we may cry out, 'How long, O Lord? I can't see beyond today's pain. What will tomorrow bring? Will you be there for that affliction too?' This question is utterly urgent, because Jesus said, 'The one who endures to the end, he shall be saved' (Mark 13:13). We tremble at the thought of being among 'those who shrink back to destruction' (Hebrews 10:39). We are not playing games. Suffering is a horrible threat to faith in future grace.
Therefore it is a wonderful thing to hear Peter promise the afflicted and weary Christians, 'After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you' (1 Peter 5:10). The assurance that he will not delay beyond what we can endure and that he will abolish the flaws we bemoan and that he will establish forever what has tottered so long - that assurance comes from 'all grace' - including the infinite, inexhaustible stores of future grace. Faith in that grace is the key to enduring on the narrow and hard way that leads to life."
John Piper - "Future Grace" pages 69-70

"One way to be humble is to cast your anxieties on God. Which means that one hindrance to casting your anxieties on God is pride. Which means that undue worry is a form of pride. Now why is casting our anxieties on the Lord the opposite of pride? Because pride does not like to admit that it has any anxieties. And if pride has to admit it, it still does not like to admit that the remedy might be trusting someone else who is wiser and stronger. In other words, pride is a form of unbelief and does not like to trust in future grace. Faith admits the need for help. Pride won't. Faith banks on God to give help. Pride won't. Faith casts anxieties on God. Pride won't. Therefore the way to battle the unbelief of pride is to admit freely that you have anxieties and to cherish the promise of future grace in the words, 'He cares for you'."
John Piper - "Future Grace", page 96

The timing of me reading those words today is remarkable. Not just that I read them on the day I needed to, but even at the very minute that I needed to.

I love God :-)


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