“It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think I have an affliction which God never sent me; that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my trials were never measured out by him nor sent to me by his arraignment of their weight and quantity.”
That kind of thinking is totally upside-down to what the rest of the world would like to say about God, but it is absolutely essential to the way this man was able to live in a world with real suffering! Piper: “What kept [Spurgeon] going was the absolute confidence that every blackness over his soul was a cloud sent by the living God. ” Does that sound crazy to you?
Many modern thinkers, frightened at the implications of this kind of God, have attempted to clip the wings of God’s omniscience and sovereignty. For example, recently developed doctrines such as “Open theism” strip God of his complete knowledge of the future.
What brings you more comfort- a God too weak to be in control of our suffering, too loving to be responsible for suffering of any kind, or a God who orchestrates suffering for our good?
Piper says, “for Spurgeon this view of God was not first argument for debate, it was a means of survival.” Spurgeon knew from experience that at some point, each of us will face suffering. We will only swallow this cup with joy if we know that it is filled by the hand of a loving and sovereign God.