A Word from Bob: In a recent post, we shared about grace narratives and weaving truth into life. You can learn about that at Hoping When All Hope Seems Lost.
Healing wounds requires grace narratives and grace math. Grace math teaches us that:
Present suffering +
The equation we use is the Divine perspective.
Martin Luther’s Spiritual Mathematics
From a Divine faith perspective on life, we erect a platform to respond to suffering. How we view life makes all the difference in how we respond to life’s losses. Martin Luther understood this:
“The Holy Spirit knows that a thing only has such value and meaning to a man as he assigns it in his thoughts.”
We must reshape our interpretation of life by contemplating suffering from a new, grace perspective. Through God’s Word we nurture alternative ways to view life’s losses.
The spiritual consolation offered by Scripture is a new vision, the power of faith to see suffering and death from the viewpoint of our crucified and risen Lord. It renews our sight and turns our common human view of matters upside down. This does not eradicate the pain or the fear of misery; it robs it of its hopelessness.
Our earth-bound, non-faith human story of suffering must yield to God’s narrative of life and suffering—to God’s grace narrative and grace math. Luther beautifully portrays the God-perspective that prompts healing.
If only a man could see his God in such a light of love . . . how happy, how calm, how safe he would be! He would then truly have a God from whom he would know with certainty that all his fortunes—whatever they might be—had come to him and were still coming to him under the guidance of God’s most gracious will.
Look to the Cross
As you respond to your loss, are you struggling to believe that God has a good heart? Look to the Cross. The Cross forever settles all questions about God’s heart for us. According to Luther, without faith in God’s grace through Christ’s death, we are tone-deaf to God-reality.
He who does not believe that he is forgiven by the inexhaustible riches of Christ’s righteousness is like a deaf man hearing a story. If we consider it properly and with an attentive heart, this one image—even if there were no other—would suffice to fill us with such comfort that we should not only not grieve over our evils, but should also glory in our tribulations, scarcely feeling them for the joy that we have in Christ.
The Christ of the Cross is the only One who makes sense of life when suffering bombards us.
Join the Conversation
How can spiritual mathematics and a cross-perspective impact how you respond to suffering?