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Review: Suffering by Paul Tripp Booklet

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A review of the CCEF booklet: Suffering - Eternity Makes a Diffirence by Paul Tripp.

Notes & Transcripts
Read Introduction Pg. 1-2
Tripp Essentially points us to to help address some of these struggles.

Step 1: Examine Your Focus

Psalm 73:1–12 ESV
1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. 10 Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
Pg. 4 -
Many people measure God’s goodness by their level of happiness and their physical, external, and immediate circumstances.
“It is hard for them to imagine that God could be good and not give them a piece of the “Good life””.
Let’s examine 3 elements of Mary’s situation -
Created Things - Mary tends to define life by possessing and experiencing the things of this World.
Mary, and Asaph, Envied the wicked for their material things
2. Present, Personal Happiness -
What is God’s purpose for me?
Is it to pack my life full pleasant experiences?
What is the good that God is doing in my life and the abundant life the Bible promises?
We often interpret the purposes and promises in light of our present situation, but God’s purposes is primarily focused on the coming of Christ’s Kingdom rather than on our personal enjoyment of this world.
God giving us everything we need does not mean fulfill our own definition of happiness.
3. The External, Visible World
We to often compare our belongings with the pile of unbelievers belongings, and think it should be bigger.
We come with this wrong expectation, leaving us unable to cope in this world.
[Original: )
2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
2 Cor 4:7
Paul focuses on that his suffering is related to God’s purposes.
Paul fixes his eyes on Christ.
Paul interprets the world in light of eternity.
What is the difference between Mary and Paul?

How to Examine your Focus

1. Understand the Power of Your Interpretation.
Our interpretation of the World can plunge us into despair, anger, and envy. (Mary, Asaph)
We need to ask what we are focused on?
2. Recognize the Symptoms of Wrong Focus.
Envy
Ps 73:3
Psalm 73:3 ESV
3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Confusion
Psalm 73:16 ESV
16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
Discouragement
Ps 73:
Psalm 73:13 ESV
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
Anger
Psalm 73:21–22 ESV
21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
In her heart, Mary/Asaph is saying “I have wasted many years of life following God”.
Envy, Anger, Discouragement, and confusion are all signs of the wrong focus.
Envy, Anger, Discouragement, and confusion are all signs of the wrong focus.
3. Identify and Confess the true treasures of your heart.
Series of Cognitive questions:
When do you tend to experience fear, worry, or anxiety?
When do you struggle with disappointment?
In what situations do you typically struggle with anger?
Where do you encounter problems in relationships?
What situations do you find particularly difficult?
Whom or what do you regulary seek to avoid?
What is your definition of a good relationship? What do you expect of others?
When do you struggle with bitterness?
How have you struggled with regret, saying, “if only…”?
When do you experience problems with prayer and personal worship, and in your relationship with God?
When do you struggle with envy?

Step 2: Examine your Conclusions

Ps
Psalm 73:13–16 ESV
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
Conclusions are the ideas and assumptions we have about life.
Asaph questions the vanity of obedience.
Psalm 73:13 ESV
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
Thought Process:
If God is good he will bless Christians and punish unbelievers.
God has blessed unbelievers instead of Christians.
Therefore, God is not Good.

How to Examine Your Conclusions

1. Evaluate and Uncover your functional conclusions.
The Conclusions that shape our lives.
Past Experiences
Present situations
Future Hopes
Personal Identity
God and what he is doing.
2. Learn how to think Biblically about your life.
Ex. Read and identify the above conclusions. Scripture renewing us.
3. Recognize and confess to God where you have been disobedient.
4. Face the Idolatrous Nature of the Conclusions

Step 3: View Life from Eternity’s Perspective

Psalm 73:17–24 ESV
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. 21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. 23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
makes a dramatic turn towards hope in v. 17. As Asaph focused on eternity, he found relief and renewal from anger, discouragement, envy, and confusion.

How to view life from the perspective of Eternity

1. Use to expose the lie that this world is permanent.
2. Recognize, confess, and forsake all discontentment, anger, and bitterness towards God that stem from a perspective that forgets his eternity.

Step 4: Focus on the Eternal Riches of Redemption.

Psalm 73:23–28 ESV
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Ps 23

How to Focus on Eternal Riches

1. Reflect on the practical benefits of God.
2. Use God’s Word to understand your present condition and to shape your response.
3. Understand your Identity in Christ.
Your Identity in Christ is as a child of God; in which we are united with Christ. Thus, God is our identity.
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