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Tribulations and the Trinity

Written by | June, 2018
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COVER STORY – DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY

The life of Job is worth our consideration whenever we feel discouraged. After being substantially blessed by God, he lost his possessions, his children, and finally even his health. All of that tribulation eventually led him to this question: “Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity?” (Job 31:3) Thousands of years later, many people, even Christians, continue to ask, “Why is this happening to me?”

After a rebuke of his supposed self-righteousness from Job’s friend Elihu, God answers Job with a series of His own questions in Job 38-41. He demands Job answer these questions that are unanswerable to all except God Himself. This confrontation led Job to realize that the wisdom of man is nothing compared to the wisdom of God.

The doctrine of the Trinity (that three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are together one God) is not able to be explained in a way that agrees with human logic. It has no true earthly parallel. Many of the most brilliant minds on earth would, no doubt, call it foolishness. Yet it is Biblical truth, passed down to us from the Almighty Himself. Like God’s response to Job, it is a reminder to us that there is much we will not and cannot understand on our earthly pilgrimage. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

However, the Trinity is not only a reminder of our own lack of understanding, but also divine truth. God tells us in Romans 8:28 that He works all things for our good. We realize when considering the Trinity and other mysteries of God that we cannot see the full picture. Our plans are based on our incomplete view, but God’s plans are perfect.

Our faith is truly stretched and tested when considering the fact that our Triune God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), yet some “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:9) These and other spiritual truths are revealed to us in the Bible by the Holy Spirit and can only be received by faith. Believing these truths, all Christians can be confident that our Triune God will use even hardships and trials for the good of His people, always advancing the work of His kingdom. As Christ told His disciples, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

We don’t see God with our own eyes on earth. We cannot fully understand the nature of our Triune God. Yet, because of God’s revelation to us in the Bible and His gift of faith through the Holy Spirit, we can proclaim with confidence, “I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27) How blessed we are that the omniscient Trinity is not a remote being, indifferent to the plight of his creatures, but rather a gracious God Who sent His Son to save us from the eternal death that we had earned!

Ross Kok is a teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School in Phoenix, Arizona.