This blog will no longer have any new posts. Any posts that would go here will now be posted on Scripture Zealot. There is a new Suffering category there so if you want to just see the posts on suffering you can.
This blog will stay here for the resources. You can make use of the categories on the right column if you'd like. I've kept them very strictly for each post right from the beginning.
I'm kind of sad because this blog has been going for a long time and I didn't have to be concerned if the subject matter got to be a little much or a little personal but that shouldn't keep me from posting there where I think more people may benefit and I may benefit more from comments.
Good comes to those who lend money generously and
conduct their business fairly.
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.
Surprised by Suffering by R.C. Sproul
A review by Eric Carpenter
A very good blog post on a tough subject. I will say that this is much easier said than done in the case of extreme suffering. Everything said in this article is true, but in real practice, it's very tough. So tough that I think the article needs something more, although I'm not sure what. I still think it's extremely sound and a must read.
Rejoicing in Suffering
Please see Justin Taylor's post for more information.
From Randy Alcorn on Facebook:
I encourage you to read biographies of missionaries and reformers, of people such as Martin Luther, William Carey, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Harriet Tubman and countless others. You’ll find the pages riddled with suffering, all of which God used to build their characters and expand their ministries. These stories inspire and challenge us to say no to time-wasting trivia, seize the day and invest in what matters.
If you've read any that encouraged you please let me know. I've read very few.
Before difficult times come your way, develop habits of studying God’s Word, listening to Christ-centered teaching and music, and reading soul-nourishing literature, both nonfiction and fiction. Daily fill the reservoir from which you can draw when facing difficult times—and helping others face theirs. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).
--Randy Alcorn, via Facebook
Colossians 1:11-12 NRSV
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
"Expect troubles as being usual; accept them as being usable. They open a gateway to the grace of God."
The Almighty God revealed himself to Job. How simple that encounter seemed to be, and yet, how profound were the implications of that revelation. In a moment, Job’s attitude changed. His life was flooded with purpose, with hope, and with the expectation of healing. God healed Job by bringing him out of his anxiety into acceptance of his situation, an acceptance that brought peace to Job’s life.
God’s purpose was not only to heal Job, but also to instruct him. God asked Job several rhetorical questions which were beyond human capability of answering.
God wanted Job to catch a glimpse of his work in creation so that Job could realize that his suffering was insignificant when placed next to God’s work in the world. At the end of God’s questioning, Job recognized the vast gulf between God’s wisdom and power and his own ignorance of the many mysteries of life. The greatest lesson Job learned was that God was sovereign over his creation and that divine sovereignty governs all reality, including Job’s own life.
The Suffering of Job and Divine Justice - Part 2
(link to Part 1 is at the top of that post)
HT: ve'al timkor
Being in the bottom of this (at night) is what depression is like. But God does lift us out to see above it, if not now, certainly after wards. What a great photo in any case.
Psalm 103:1-5 TNIV
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits--
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Photo by mm767cap
I do believe that focusing on “Why?” questions can lead to confusion and despair if we demand answers from God that He has not promised to give us.
--David Sunday (pastor of Grace Community Bible Church)
You can read the end of the book of Job to see that God doesn't answer why in that situation and often doesn't.
See the context at Between Two Worlds
As David Sunday says, we should ask, '“Who is God?” “What does He want to teach us?” and “How can we glorify him in this?”'
(I'm not so sure God always tells us what He wants to teach us either.)
This reminds me of a quote I've posted before:
"But what kept me going more than anything else was my confidence in the character of God."
--Ravi Zacharias quoting Charles Cooper
From there you can read sample pages.
He also wrote Running Scared which is a well regarded book that I have but haven't read yet.
by Martha Snell Nicholson
I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.
HT: Justin Taylor
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.