Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

11 February 2014

Trusting God by Jerry Bridges

No plan of God's can be thwarted; when He acts no-one can reverse it; no-one can hold back His hand or bring Him to account for His actions.  God does as he pleases, only as He pleases, and works out every event to bring about the accomplishment of His will.  Such a bare unqualified statement of the sovereignty of God would terrify us if that were all we knew about God.  But God is not only sovereign.  He is perfect in love and infinite in wisdom.

From Trusting God by Jerry Bridges page 45

Have I mentioned how much I love the book Trusting God by Jerry Bridges?  Oh yes, I have.  I read it again during the summer and have decided that I will try to read it annually. 

Jerry Bridges is a humble man who loves God deeply and has the firmest possible grasp of the sovereignty of God.  He explains in this book how God is in control of all things and that we can confidently trust Him in all things.  All things.

My sense is that God gives many, if not all (but I wouldn't want to be so bold as to make that call) Christians particularly clear insight into one aspect of the Big Picture to share with one another.  For me it's God's sovereignty.  I just trust that God is in control.  I always have.  And it is no problem for me. 

But if that is the case, why would I read this book?  Wouldn't I read a book in an area that I don't get?  I love this book because it gives me courage.  Because when I say to someone, "This is in God's hands," or even more directly, "God is in control," I can hear them saying, "There she goes again with her Christian clichés."  Even Christians tell me I am being clichéd.  And they roll their eyes.  And yet I'm not being clichéd.  I truly, truly believe it.  So I love this book because Jerry Bridges speaks of God's sovereignty with such courage, belief and confidence that it fills my heart with joy.

He takes the reader through a process of understanding how and why God is in control and then explains how we can put our trust in Him, even when those circumstances are difficult.  And throughout the book he demonstrates, page after page, that God's sovereignty operates firmly on the foundation of God's perfect love and perfect wisdom.  God isn't being controlling in the worst sense of the word.  He is ordering all things in perfect love and wisdom.

Bridges tackles all of the tricky questions around this issue - suffering on a personal and larger scale, considering ourselves pawns in God's big game of chess, where prayer fits into this and so on - in a helpful, pastoral way.  And he writes in an easy style, making this book a joy to read.  He quotes lots of Scripture - full quotes, not references to texts - and I have enjoyed coming upon the passages he uses in my daily Bible reading and understanding more fully how God is at work as a result, seeing His love and mercy unfold in the story.

Reading this book has magnified my view of God and my trust in Him.  It comforts and calms me.  As I said, I will be reading it again.  And I commend it to you too.  Add it to your list and be encouraged.

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