“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hope and Strength from the Cross

Why did I write all this? In part, to give a defense for the hope I have (1 Peter 3:15) by describing the purpose for which I believe God allowed and purposed evil and arguing that evil ultimately serves the purpose of revealing God all the more. I wanted to share what is most important to me and what is at the center of my faith. In my mind, this is the most important piece of writing I have posted or will post on this blog. Of all the arguments for God or ideas about the nature of God or about how God acts in the world, what I have described in “The Victory of God” shines most brightly and clearly on my heart and mind, and I wanted to share it. It is my hope that “the riches of the glory of this mystery” (Colossians 1:27) will fill you with a real and deeply rooted hope that strengthens you even here and now in the struggles of life. If God can take his own death and turn it into something glorious, then nothing is too terrible for him, no evil is so great that he cannot defeat it.

May the cross of Christ be for you a beacon of undying hope and “a light in dark places when all other lights go out.” May you live on even in death, and rejoice even in sorrow (2 Corinthians 6:9-10). May you press on, seeing more clearly the joy God has prepared for us just as Christ endured the cross for the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2). May your sufferings strengthen and deepen your joy in God (Romans 8:17, 2 Corinthians 1:5, Colossians 1:24, 1 Peter 4:13), who has so beautifully made all things “perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10). May these truths “have a profoundly practical effect in making you strong in the face of breath-stopping sorrows and making you bold for Christ in the face of dangerous opposition – Christ exalting strength in calamity and Christ-exalting courage in conflict” (Piper, Spectacular Sins 97).

No comments:

Post a Comment