Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What is God's Greatest Good?

"It is difficult for us to see God's hand of love in the adversities and heartaches of life because we persist in thinking, as the world does, that happiness is the greatest good. Thus we tend to evaluate all our circumstances in terms of whether or not they produce happiness. Holiness, however, is a greater good than happiness, so God arranges and orchestrates circumstances to produce holiness before happiness. He is more concerned about our eternal than our temporal welfare and more concerned about our spiritual than our material welfare. So all the trials and difficulties, all the heartaches, disappointments, and humiliations come from His loving hand to make us partakers of His holiness." (Jerry Bridges, "Transforming Grace")

As I read this quote in during my quiet time yesterday, my heart resounded with a strong "amen." It's true; I evaluate whether something in my life is good or bad in the very same way that those who don't know Christ do-based on whether or not something makes me happy. God doesn't look at my life that way, though. There are many situations that I wouldn't have chosen for myself because they don't seem to bring much happiness in the moment. But, God cares more about conforming me into the image of His Son than He does my temporal happiness. Being conformed more into the image of His Son, will ultimately bring me the most joy anyway! As John Piper so often talks about, God's glory and our joy do not have to be two separate things. God intends that they be one! We get the greatest joy when we are most satisfied in Christ. And we're most satisfied in Him when we are becoming more like Him, when we are reflecting His holiness rather than living for temporal joys.

Lord, help me to see Your loving hand in every challenge that I face this week. Help me to find joy in the process of sanctification, knowing that nothing else can satisfy me but You!

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7 Responses to “What is God's Greatest Good?”

  1. a great reminder of His divine purpose. Thank you.

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  3. Katie -

    Thank you for your example of seeking truer, richer joy than circumstances can offer.

    I love you and am very grateful for you!


  4. That Josh better be your husband...otherwise, he seems to be over-stepping his bounds a bit ;-)

  5. Katie,

    We are currently at a training/national conference for Navs and Mr. Jerry Bridges happened to share his wisdom with us 3 mornings in a row. It was a delight to my soul to be challenged by the truth he spoke and I thought I'd share something with you that I found particularly helpful.

    While speaking on justification on the first day, he talked of the common saying "just as if I never sinned" yet challenged us to think of it beyond that in terms of "just as if I always obeyed." In applying this, he spoke of the sin he consistently deals with and that is that of anxiety. I can relate to this sin in not trusting God with the details of my day as a mom and wife. The particularly helpful point he made has already served me well to fight sin in my life. He said in one particular instance where he was sinning by being anxious, it occurred to him that his perfect standing before our Holy God because of Christ's substitutionary death allowed him realize that his sinful anxiety was placed completely on Christ AND (this is the part that really has been helpful to me) Christ's perfect peace and trust is placed completely on him. Wow.

    I have no idea if that makes sense the way I just wrote it but I hope it encourages you the way it did me in the continual battle we fight against sin.

    Thanks for your post.

  6. Thank you, friends!

    (Oh, and that Josh is most definitely my husband!)