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Paul David Tripp offers perspective on faith and grace

Author and pastor Paul David Tripp told Liberty University students in Wednesday’s Convocation that if they want to be an “instrument of grace,” then they have to become people of faith.

Tripp is the author of 16 books, the producer of 14 teaching series, a conference speaker, and the president of Paul Tripp Ministries. Additionally, Tripp has planted a church, established a Christian school, and has written worship songs.

Tripp began by acknowledging that faith is not natural in people — it must be cultivated.

“Doubt is natural, worry is natural, envying the life of somebody else who seems to have it better than you is natural, wanting your own way is natural, but faith is not natural for us,” he said. “If God is going to use us in this terribly broken world, He has to craft us into people of faith.”

Though Christians often think of experiencing grace as a peaceful, painless endeavor, Tripp offered an unconventional perspective on the matter: God pouring His grace on us is not an act of relief or release — it is an act of refinement.

“God will take you where you have no desire to go, no intention to go, no plan to go, in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own,” Tripp said. “The Bible calls that grace.

“We better begin teaching and preaching and encouraging one another with the theology of uncomfortable grace because often the grace of God comes to you in uncomfortable forms because that is just the kind of grace you need.”

Tripp asked students to consider what they pray for when struggles arise or circumstances test their faith. Often, he said, it is for God to exercise His power to get them out of the mess. But Tripp challenged students in these circumstances to do more than wish for a miracle, or an easy out.

“There is a huge difference between amazement and faith,” he said. “God will amaze you, but He is not content with you just being amazed. Amazement is when you are taken beyond your categories to explain, define, or understand something. Faith is a commitment of your heart that changes the way you live your life.”

As he concluded his message, Tripp reminded the audience that they have been given the “most awesome gift” they could ever be given. But like a child at Christmas, they are often content to merely play with the box.

“(God’s gift to us) is the one gift that every human being who has ever taken a breath desperately needs,” Tripp said. “It is a gift that is gorgeous from every perspective. It is the one gift that has a power to change everything about you. It is the ultimate, valuable gift of gifts. It is the gift of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you going to accept it? Or are you content to continue to play in the box of amazement instead of faith?”

Also during Wednesday’s Convocation, members of Liberty’s LU Send Now team were recognized for their efforts with flood relief aid in South Carolina.

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