Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

In this clip from Jonah: You Can't Outrun Grace, pastor and best-selling author Paul Tripp discusses how the grace of God is not always a tender touch or relief and release from difficulty. In fact, many times God's grace will come to us in uncomfortable ways. But that doesn't mean he's not loving and blessing us.

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lightly edited for readability

We have too limited a view of the grace of God. We think of God’s grace as being his tender touch - the grace of release and the grace of relief.

That’s not a big enough theology of grace, because we need to embrace, teach, preach, and encourage one another with a theology of uncomfortable grace.

Often, God’s grace comes to us in uncomfortable forms. It's the grace of difficulty; it’s the grace of hardship. That hardship is meant to do exactly what it was meant to do in Jonah: it was meant to bring Jonah to the end of himself so Jonah begins to surrender himself to the God who is his only hope.

If you’re God’s child and you’re going through hardship, you better not name that hardship as a sign of his unfaithfulness and inattention. That hardship is a sure sign of the zeal of his redeeming grace.

God will take you places you don’t want to go. He’ll put experiences before you that you don’t want to deal with. He’ll bring difficulty and trouble, the unwanted, the unexpected in your life. Why? Because he loves you, and he’s doing the one thing that you can’t do for yourself, the one thing Jonah couldn’t do for himself.

You can run from a relationship, you can run from a situation, you can run from a location, but you can’t run from you.

You see, Jonah’s run was a delusion, because he couldn’t run from God and he couldn’t run from himself. And so God blows the winds of hardship into his life, not as an act of judgment, but as an act of redemption.

Listen, you’re going to face hardship. If you’re not suffering now, you’re near someone who is. If you’re not suffering now, you will someday. And one of the reasons you will is because God loves you. He will use that difficulty to soften your heart, to bring you to the end of yourself, so that you put your faith in him.

I believe that hopelessness is the doorway to hope. When you begin to give up on your trust in your wisdom, your trust in your strength, your trust in your righteousness, that's when you run to the one who is Wisdom, who is Righteousness, who is Strength.

That’s grace. Redemption is about the anger of God and the grace of God coming together for our good, for our rescue, for our forgiveness, for our redemption.

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