I was listening to a sermon on the Loving Discipline of God (from John MacArthur). Actually, this was the first sermon I’ve listened to (apart from church) this semester. I’ve been packing in too much info, but as I was sewing I decided to listen because I’d been wondering about the topic. This really summed up what I’ve been feeling and wondering. Here it is:
“I really believe that if you don’t suffer in the vicissitudes of life, you’re not gonna experience God. There are tremendous lessons to be learned. You can read the Bible, and it says certain things. You know, that when you go through the valley of the shadow of death, you know, I’ll be the good shepherd, and I’ll be there, and that’s all fine. That’s words on paper, and we believed ’em in our minds. But it’s not until you go through the valley of the shadow of death that that’s personalized, right? If you’ve been in the valley and death has cast its shadow over you and you’ve come through and out the other side into the sunlight, you can read the 23 Psalm, and it’s not just words on a page. All of a sudden, it grips your heart, because you’ve been there. If you say…the Bible says, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Christ Jesus,” and you’re like William Carey, and you’re sitting out in India, and you’ve got a…a sick wife, and you’ve got three little sick boys, and you’re sitting in India with nothing to eat and no money, and you’re…you’re pleading withGod to provide the next meal. And God sustains you, and you never miss a meal in 35 years of missionary work. And somebody says to you, “My God shall supply all your needs,” is that theology or is that experience?…If you never have that experience, then that theology never grips your soul…”
It’s great that we’re here at Bible School learning all of these truths, but until we live out the pages of Scripture, it’s not going to be as real to us. Understanding that sets life’s trials and hardships in proper perspective, doesn’t it?!