The Cross Makes a Mockery of our Many Attempts at Self-Salvation

The cross makes a mockery of our attempts to defend and deliver ourselves.  God provided a shocking remedy that both reveals and addresses the depth of our illness, our “sickness unto death.”

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 116

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Only This View Allows Us to Truly Love and Serve A Suffering Person

On a basic pastoral or relational level, a theology of the cross allows us to love and serve a suffering person independent of whether or not, or how fast, he is healing.  We can walk with these people in their present pain, as opposed to impatiently focusing on their future health.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 108

Make a U-Turn on the Glory Road

As we have discussed, a theology of glory sees God at work in the victories of life rather than the defeats.  So the role of the Christian is to help her fellow believers get back on “the glory road” when they suffer setbacks.  In tragedy, the theologian of glory will incessantly look for some measure of improvement on which to hang her hope, and if not, she will attempt to be the agent of improvement herself.  The underlying assumption is that if the Holy Spirit is working, the sufferer would feel better.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 107

Often, We Leverage Our Pain for Reward

Rather than face the underlying reasons for our distress (or look outside of ourselves for some relief), we attempt to leverage our pain for reward.  Suffering becomes another way to justify ourselves, another form of works righteousness – a competition just as grueling as the obedience one.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 94

Our Obsession With “Karma” Persists

Our obsession with the idea of karma, whatever we call it, hasn’t diminished since the time of the Old Testament.  Today we live in a culture where instead of people having done something to deserve their troubles, we all seem to believe that people deserve something for their troubles.  If bad things happen to good people, then they deserve more good stuff!

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 93

Don’t Mistake the Meaning of Failure

Repeated failure does not mean that you are unsaved or that God is tired of you and disappointed.  It does mean that he has called you to a difficult struggle and that he will hold on to you in all your standing and falling and bring you home safely.

Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 152