Why God Doesn't Prioritize Our Comfort
Why God Doesn’t Prioritize Our Comfort
by Pastor David
Knowing God is in my top five favorite books outside of the Bible. J. I. Packer masterfully combines a deep knowledge of God with the inescapable practical applications that knowing God should lead to. He’s scholarly and clear, deep and devotional. Knowing God will give your brain a workout and your heart passion all at the same time. Consider this section from his chapter on the wisdom of God. Packer so helpfully confronts our misconceptions about our own comfort and ease, and challenges any version of prosperity Gospel that threatens our grasp of God’s purposes.
“But we cannot recognize God’s wisdom unless we know the end for which he is working. Here many go wrong. Misunderstanding what the Bible means when it says that God is love (see 1 Jn 4:8-10), they think that God intends a trouble-free life for all, irrespective of their moral and spiritual state, and hence they conclude that anything painful and upsetting (illness, accident, injury, loss of job, the suffering of a loved one) indicates either that God’s wisdom, or power, or both, have broken down, or that God, after all, does not exist.
But this idea of God’s intention is a complete mistake: God’s wisdom is not, and never was, pledged to keep a fallen world happy, or to make ungodliness comfortable. Not even to Christians has he promised a trouble-free life; rather the reverse. He has other ends in view for life in this world than simply to make it easy for everyone.
What is he after, then? What is his goal? What does he aim at? When he made us, his purpose was that we should love and honor him, praising him for the wonderfully ordered complexity and variety of his world, using it according to his will, and so enjoying both it and him. And though we have fallen, God has not abandoned his first purpose. Still he plans that a great host of humankind should come to love and honor him.
His ultimate objective is to bring them to a state in which they please him entirely and praise him adequately...”