I had lunch with some new friends on Tuesday who have an incredible story about their son’s first few days of life – and the resulting disability.
Their combined response: God is good. In hard things, God is good. In things that could have been prevented if they had just lived somewhere else, God is good and he is sovereign. No bitterness, just great seriousness about God. And both are happy people.
They are pouring their lives into the work of God’s church. They make God look REALLY big and REALLY glorious!
Pastor John talked about people like that in What Jesus Demands from the World (emphases in bold are mine):
It is a joy that is meek and merciful and pure and peaceable, but these things alone do not awaken people to the glory of God. In order to waken people to consider God as an explanation for our good works there generally must be an obstacle of suffering that would ordinarily cause them to be angry or despairing, but does not have that effect on us. Rather they see us “rejoice” in hardship. They see that this hardship does not make us self-centered and self-pitying and mean-spirited. Instead they see our joy and wonder what we are hoping in when ordinary props for hope have been knocked away. The answer, Jesus says, is that we have great reward in heaven (Matt. 5:12). That is, Jesus has become a treasure for us that is more precious than what the world offers. Therefore, when persecution or calamity take natural pleasures away, we still have Jesus, and we still have joy. John Piper, What Jesus Demands from the World, p. 358.
I walked away from lunch very encouraged – and wanting to make much of Jesus like that!