Working at it

I didn’t want this to get lost in the long post I just published, so here’s a shorter post to point to another helpful resource I ran across this month.

Paul Tripp wrote a blog post on Desiring God about Spiritual Muscle development while waiting for God. Here are some of my thoughts but it is really best if you go read the blog yourself. It’s good stuff!

He starts with a great discussion of why we should understand the purposes in waiting. It is much about what we are becoming while we wait, not just the end result. This fell in with what I am reading in The Pursuit of Holiness, because that is what he is saying. We can become more holy, we can build the habit of obedience if we wait properly.

Then Tripp explores some bad habits we should recognize and resist. The section on doubting God, wondering if God is really good, if He really knows what is going on and is in control, grabbed my attention. I have marveled (and prayed in praise and requesting more faith for her) at the way my sister-in-law has trusted God through this separation. Some things that happen to us are just horrible circumstances and it is difficult to be content in them. But allowing myself to doubt God is a really bad choice.

The next habit Tripp mentions is anger – and he points out that while we think we are angry at the people or the unfair circumstances that we are experiencing, really we are angry with the God who is in control of these people and circumstances. Wow – was that convicting as I considered my recent fits of temper. Am I really willing to be angry with God?

The bad habit of discouragement – when the voices start talking. My Bible reading to me to 1 Samuel 27 today – notes from Pastor David’s sermons talk about how King David let himself become discouraged and afraid and he made bad choices as a result of that. No need to borrow trouble from tomorrow by imagining what could go wrong or what the worst result could be.

Then Tripp talks about envy. Who knew it was really about feeling forgotten and forsaken. Do I realize that when I envy someone else I’m really saying I don’t think God has my best interests at heart? Again, do I trust God enough to be content with the circumstances He has me in?

Ooh, and he ends with the habit of inactivity. Should I just give up and quit trying to obey God since He isn’t answering me as quickly as I wanted? But as Peter said – “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Paul Tripp ends his blog entry with exhortations to pursue holiness and trust God, with a list of the practical tools given us to do that – including study of the Word and meditation on God’s truth and goodness.

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