• 72°

God’s grace is sufficient for every test

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: If God’s loving hands are on the world why does the Bible speak of His hand of discipline? — H.D.
Dear H.D.: A distinguished minister who lived in the 19th century wrote, “What disturbs us in this world is not trouble, but our opposition to trouble. The true source of all that frets and irritates and wears away our lives is not in external things but in the resistance of our wills to the will of God expressed by eternal things.”
To resent and resist God’s disciplining hand is to miss one of the greatest spiritual blessings we Christians can enjoy this side of Heaven. Whether aggravations, trouble, adversity, irritations, or opposition, until we have discovered that God’s grace is sufficient for every test, we do not really know God.
Jesus told His followers to expect trouble in the world. God does not discipline us to subdue us but to condition us for a life of usefulness.
The Biblical story of Job comes to mind. The man Job suffered as few people have, but he never lost sight of God’s presence with him in the midst of his terrible suffering. Through it all, he emerged victorious on the other side of sorrow and testing because he never allowed resentment to cloud his relationship with God.
The attitude which can overcome resentment is expressed by the writer of Hebrews 12:11: “No chastening [discipline] seems to be joyful… but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
When God disciplines, His rebuke is designed to bring about a change for the better. “Happy is the man whom God corrects… for He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole” (Job 5:17-18). As the psalmist proclaimed, blessed be the name of the Lord.
————
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)