Read Part 1.
God can seem impersonal and heartless. Who has not begged God for relief, even if no more than for a few drops of water on a parched tongue, only to hear the silence of heaven? Maybe the deists are right. Maybe God wound up the clock of this world and walked away. Maybe no one answers because no one is there.
The Trinity reminds us that God is personal and loving and responsive by his very nature. Yahweh can no more become indifferent to your situation than he can deny himself, something we are told in Scripture he explicitly cannot do (2 Tim. 2:13). The Father is better than any earthly father in his attention and care. He is far more concerned about you and your suffering than the created world, which he upholds with the most delicate and detailed watchfulness (Matt. 6:25-30).
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
The Son understands your suffering and has experienced the greatest sorrow, suffering, betrayal, injustice, and pain that can be conceived. He knows fully what it is like to live in a sin-cursed world and has drunk deeply of the sorrows of this life for us (Heb. 4:15-16).
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
He knows what it is to fear for his life, as he did in the Garden of Gethsemane. He felt the sharp sting of betrayal as Judas kissed him to identify to the soldiers which of the men in the Garden should be arrested. He suffered the infinite wrath of God against sin on our behalf, so we don’t have to. He does all this because of love. He does it for the joy of providing salvation to those who believe (Heb. 12:2).
The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of believers as a comforter, as one who provides an internal witness to the truths of God so we can have assurance and not be swallowed up by fear. The Spirit is the engagement ring of the bride of Christ, the promise that very soon we will be united with God in a place of eternal bliss where He is the center. The Spirit is also the one who is sanctifying us, transforming us into the image of Christ by the renewal of our inner being. We can be comforted that not one moment of our suffering is wasted, but that every second of it is being used by the Spirit to shape us to be like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Each person of the Trinity is fully God, yet they are distinct from one another. This is the great mystery of God. It is incomprehensible, in the sense that we can never fully understand how God can be one and three at the same time. Yet, the Scriptures teach this truth and we believe what God has revealed to the extent that we can grasp it. This shouldn’t surprise us. Since God is unlike anything in creation, we should not expect to find parallels in this world. God is divine and everything else is created. We should expect that an infinite God should be beyond our understanding. Yet, in his graciousness He has revealed much about himself so that we can know Him and relate to Him.
For the purposes of this series, the Trinity serves as the foundation of our faith in God. He is a personal God whose very nature is to love and give for the purpose of drawing us into fellowship with him. He desires to share the love that the Father has for the Son and the Son has for the Father and the Spirit has for both the Father and Son, and that they have for Him. This is what our soul ultimately desires—restoration of the joyous fellowship with our loving Creator.
In the midst of suffering it is easy to imagine that our greatest need is relief from our pain. Our prayers often reflect this. “Lord, make this stop.” Such a prayer is understandable, yet it reveals a temptation to desire nothing more than a cessation of pain. Our real need, however, is God himself. Countless believers through the ages have suffered illnesses, injuries, and situations where the anguish would never end. Yet, in the midst of it, they found peace and comfort in the fellowship of God. Despite their circumstances remaining the same, the peace of God enabled them to endure with joy.May the truth of the triune, personal God of the Bible, Yahweh, comfort you in the midst of your suffering. May Father, Son, and Spirit minister peace to your body and soul that you can say, “His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
Mark Farnham is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Pastoral and Pre-Seminary Majors at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA. Previously he taught systematic theology and apologetics at the seminary level for eleven years. Prior to that he served as senior pastor in New London, CT for seven years. Mark earned a PhD in Apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He also holds a Master of Theology degree in New Testament from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from Calvary Baptist Seminary.