oe Thorn, in writing Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God, has given a gift to the church. This little book based on what he refers to as his “dark night of the soul.” He admits he had begun to fall apart and felt he was the weakest man he knew. He writes: What follows are fifty daily readings that reflect on God and the gospel and how they overcome our fear, failure, pain, and unbelief. Much of this I preached to myself over the last couple of years, and all of it is directed toward my own heart.”
In 50 short, devotional-like chapters Thorn demonstrates how the deepest theology of scripture is immensely practical to each of us. That in the Trinity (of all places) he found the meat that nourished his soul during his weakest hours.
He states right at the beginning: “What I hope you will discover— what I continue to learn over and over again— is that all of us are far weaker than we know. Our sin, which is much darker and goes much deeper than we realize, is the real source of our most significant weakness. Neither you nor I can measure up to God’s standards. We are trapped in our condition of guilt, and the only hope is the offer of grace by our triune God.”
And that is just what he shows us.
He breaks his discussion down into the three headings of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.
As he discusses the attributes and ways of the Father he says, “You exist because God chose to make you. And when he made you, he made you for himself. Meditate on this. You were made for your Maker’s pleasure. You are here for the sake of Another. And this doesn’t diminish your purpose or value in life. In fact, it heightens it.”
He goes on to discuss God’s Holiness, God’s Power, God’s Presence, God’s Provision, God’s Goodness, etc.
When he moves to the next section about the Son, the focus shifts, not only to Christ’s redemptive work, but how his humanity and poverty can be such a tremendous encouragement to us.
Regarding the nearness of Jesus, he says: “The nearness of Jesus is a gift to you. You will find him to be close by when you read his Word and seek him in prayer. He is there to comfort, challenge, and change. But he is not only a gift to you, but to the church. To experience the fullness of the presence of Jesus you must walk with him and his church. He is never far from her.”
Under the discussion of the Holy Spirit, Thorn discusses how the Spirit intercedes, indwells, regenerates, fills, indwells, leads, revives, gives gifts, etc. and how each of these aspects of the Spirit’s ministry were a blessing and encouragement to him.
I highly recommend this book. It will bless you. It will encourage you when you need to be encouraged and will jolt and shake you where such are needed. It touches deep theology but is brief and clear enough that anyone could turn to it with great profit.
*Note: I received this book free from Crossway in exchange for an unbiased review.
I read a powerful prayer in Valley of Vision this morning entitled: NEED OF JESUS
LORD JESUS I am blind, be thou my light,
ignorant, be thou my wisdom,
self-willed, be thou my mind.
Open my ear to grasp quickly thy Spirit’s voice,
and delightfully run after his beckoning hand;
Melt my conscience that no hardness remain, make it alive to evil’s slightest touch;
When Satan approaches may I flee to thy wounds, and there cease to tremble at all alarms.
Be my good shepherd to lead me into the green pastures of thy Word, and cause me to lie down beside the rivers of its comforts.
Fill me with peace, that no disquieting worldly gales may ruffle the calm surface of my soul.
Thy cross was upraised to be my refuge,
Thy blood streamed forth to wash me clean,
Thy death occurred to give me a surety,
Thy name is my property to save me,
By thee all heaven is poured into my heart, but it is too narrow to comprehend thy love.
I was a stranger,
but thy cross
has brought me near,
has softened my heart,
has made me thy Father’s child,
has admitted me to thy family,
has made me joint-heir with thyself.
O that I may love thee as thou lovest me,
that I may walk worthy of thee, my Lord,
that I may reflect the image of heaven’s first-born.
May I always see thy beauty with the clear eye of faith, and feel the power of thy Spirit in my heart, for unless he move mightily in me no inward fire will be kindled.
Edited by Arthur Bennett. The Valley of Vision (Kindle Locations 2058-2079). The Banner of Truth Trust.