I’m doing a series on “loving your friend through infertility” – – check out the intro and part 1) In the previous post I talked about knowing what idols your friend fights against in order to preach the gospel to her.
So how do we preach the gospel to others (and ourselves in these times?!?) How does the gospel relate to suffering, particularly infertility?
We believe that the gospel informs and transforms everything. So we start at the basics. What is the gospel?
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. 1 Pet 3:18
We are all dead in our sin, completely unable to do any good on our own. We have chosen our own way, spat in God’s face and preferred our own selves to our Creator. The bible says that because of our sin, we are deserving of physical and eternal death and punishment.
The wages of sin is death… but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23
Even though we are sinful and deserving of death, God sent his one and only Son to live the perfect sinless life we should have lived and died the gruesome, painful death we deserved. Through his death, he took our punishment on Himself and paved the way to bring us back to God our Father!! Amazing!
God, in his mercy, draws us to Himself, bringing us eternal life and giving us the Holy Spirit. Through our life here on earth, our aim is to bring GLORY to God! Jesus changes our heart and sanctifies us, making us more like him.
God is ultimately concerned with His glory and making His name known. He sovereignly and lovingly brings circumstances and relationships in our lives to do just that.
And for some reason, trials and suffering do that extremely well. God is not punishing us! By his LOVE and MERCY and GRACE and SOVEREIGNTY and GOODNESS he brings suffering into our lives to bring our hearts closer to Him. Even though it feels like anything but, this struggle is FOR OUR GOOD!
Romans 8 does a better job expressing this than I ever could:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8: 31:39
Shall infertility or disappointment or non-cooperating organs or negative pregnancy tests or empty wombs separate us from the love of God?!? NO!!! Nothing can separate from the love of God that is in Christ!!
In order to help ANY person going through suffering, we must know and believe the gospel down to our core. We must know the character of God – that above all else, He is loving and caring and kind and good. THAT is the God we worship!
The gospel changes everything, infertility included. Knowing that our struggles are for God’s glory and for our good completely changes the way we look at suffering in ourselves and others too.
-Photo Credit: Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post