Continuing in my reading of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, and I have come to a chapter entitled “Why God Appoints Suffering for His Servants“. In this chapter John Piper is addresssing how the mission of the church advances through storms and suffering. It was about two-thirds of the way through this chapter when I came across this quote:
The lesson here is not just that God is sovereign and turns setbacks into triumphs. The lesson is that comfort and ease and affluence and prosperity and safety and freedom often cause a tremendous inertia in the church. The very things that we think would produce personnel and energy and creative investment of time and money for the missionary cause instead produce the exact opposite: weakness, apathy, lethargy, self-centeredness, and preoccupation with security.
Studies have shown that the richer we are, the smaller the percentage of our income we give to the church and its mission.
What’s it all mean? Perhaps what we view as blessing (mostly material resources) is actually a curse. When we ‘suffer’ the loss of ‘things’ our focus on God and His cause is more intense. Perhaps He allows the things that drives us closer to Him because He is so desirous of the relationship He at first intended for us.