For all of them, grief will remain a part of even the best times. ), grief, anguish, dolor (rare), passion (used rarely in the sense of 'suffering'), torment, pain, hurt, agony, woe. But let's use a biological angle, one that the apostle Paul used: Jesus is the head of the Body. As Smedes put it, "Evil empires! Why pain and sorrow since God … I believe the idea of God letting people suffer is a huge stumbling block for many people. that it's a good thing to let down the walls you use to guard your inner, that when you've got little to lose, you're freer to. Spiritual gifts are from the Strongest One acting through the weak on behalf of the weakest. If God suffers with us, and often has something in mind to come from it, ought we start to think that suffering is good? One thing I think is clear: we rejoice too narrowly. If you start there, you’ll reach a dead end pretty quickly. Where is God When We Suffer? Rachel added it Apr 08, 2008. Who needs the benefits from those gifts more than those who suffer? (p.20) : "I find it strange that governments and societies find it so easy to do things to make the poor poorer and to rob the disadvantaged of what little possibilities they might have. Every Easter, Christians revel in the empty tomb, the risen and present Lord of all, whose love meant that death could not be -- must not be -- the final answer. Related Bible Verses: 2 Corinthians 5:14: “Therefore we do not lose heart. But let's not overstate their importance. He is suffering with us. : What The Bible Says About Suffering. Or good empires that bunglers mismanage! Where is God when we suffer? Thanks to Jesus, the reply of God is no mystery, or at least, no more mysterious than love itself. Not that they too can't find gain or hope or even happiness, because many of them really do. addresses the topic from up close and personal as well as from the objective view of Scripture. We had about a month of uncertainty after losing my job, and wow, is it tough to be on interviews when you’re first trimester nauseous! What a Christian does for those who suffer, and a virtue and fruit of the Spirit which is much needed in suffering. death or torture), to endure pain (esp. However, if we go through them while knowing God, we can react to them with a different perspective and with a strength that is not our own. Where is God when we suffer? However they're brought about, healings can be signs "that God is alive, that Christ is Lord, and that suffering is not the last word about human existence" (p.19). Jesus is the answer Christians have for the problem of human suffering. It has to do with the fact that we don't live in the Kingdom. The Book of Job seems apt for our times. That is what God is. Yet we do suffer, from first heartbeat to last. YOU MUST THANK GOD FOR MAKING YOU SUFFER.IT IS GOD ' S WILL . The first shift, the same change that churches such as the Vineyard and the COGIC ask for, is to see the world as a battleground of spirits. The choice: soiled ancient diapers, skinned childhood knees, and dirtied adult feet. ------ Todd Hunter, in an interiew on the late Off the Map website. It usually leaves some sort of scar or damage. We would like God to express His love for us by merely extending kindness (by which we really mean indulgence) as opposed to outgoing concern and involvement. Whatever God does in us and for us is meant to reach beyond us to others. What did you learn from it, if anything? In each of the three readings today we see people suffering in … They do not remove all human suffering from life, and there are still many others in the same misery that was just healed. (p.21). Jesus is the divine answer to creation's struggles. 3. At their very best, they eliminate a particular suffering of a particular person. With thoughtful discussion questions at the end of each chapter, there is much to think about and discuss. God felt what acceptance and rejection and pain are like at a human level. He was trying to remind us that while there are some things to celebrate, our celebration is, at its most, only partial. Nor is it His last deed. Smedes went on to remind us of some things which we must remember, if not as we celebrate, at least after we do. RHL : Christians get the same diseases that non-Christians get. Even if God wanted to show compassion on a sinful humanity, the justice of God would not allow it. The Spirit gives wisdom to find the way past it, and to learn from it. : What the Bible Says about Suffering: Lynn Gardner: Amazon.sg: Books He cautions the reader against blaming God for the free will he has given to human beings. And justly so. (2) Healing from within suffering is as wonderful as healing from it. God can’t suffer with me. Yet we do suffer, from first heartbeat to last. Philip Yancey, *Where Is God When It Hurts? Thanks for replying, I've been reading psalms a lot actually. The Holy Spirit does not stop life from having hardships. but only this, my God -- Worse, the seething anger that sometimes lies behind it has probably created more insane people than any other. The experience of what we experience when we suffer, first heartbeat to last. From His creative hands came all things beautiful and good (Genesis 1:31) Because He did not want a kingdom full of robotic, forced-to-love citizens, He gave us free will. That is what the believers are. Lewis, "Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." We aren't supposed to like suffering. Some of the simpler answers include responses like 1) we suffer as a direct result of our sin; 2) we suffer as the consequence of someone else’s sin; 3) we suffer because we live in a fallen world; 4) we suffer because God wants to teach us something; 5) it is not for us to know; and so on. Why Do We Suffer and Where Is God When We Do? A. Definition: To suffer [< Old French sufrir < Latin sufferre (to bear, undergo, carry the burden of, bearing the ordeal of), < sub- (under, beneath, holding up from below) + ferre (to carry)]. Synonyms for 'suffering': affliction, distress, torture, adversity, ordeal, throe(s) (rare), hardship, misery, misfortune, thole (obs. Don't believe anyone who says they know, because they're liars. You believe that He exists, but it seems as if He is too busy with everything else, or He just doesn’t care. Carnal man would like God to keep him out of painful situations … Not by working instant repairs on the universe so that all is blissfully well (that would be a jerk-God, a more powerful version of the fools I wrote off earlier), or by pulling a string here or there from a distance. Your friends may not have the same trouble as yours; you may not have the same problems as mine. No one knows why anyone, Christian or non-Christian, has to go through that much pain, why the brokenness has to express itself in ways as terrible as terminal cancer or AIDS. We rejoice for our own gain, our own health. In the movie “The Shack,” the main character is in great pain at the murder of his little daughter. Where is God when He allows us to suffer? Have you ever thought of the sovereignty of God? We grit our teeth at God when we see a maze before our eyes. Urgent reminder. QUESTIONS ABOUT SUFFERING 1. Insights Magazine Thu, 14th May 2020 Review: The Book of Job: A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books), Mark Larrimore, Princeton. After all, God is powerful enough to end your suffering, but He hasn’t. (1) Ministries of healing are not the main Christian answer to suffering. Because of our anticipation, we witnessed many healings; but it also took us a long time to come to grips with the redemptive aspects of suffering. As a God who has died and has risen. Since God is completely good, how could He use suffering? To be frank, we human beings are wrecks. "They say of some temporal suffering, 'No future bliss can make up for it,' not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory." God suffers the way of a lover being wronged, the way of a father awaiting his lost son. God Was Right There. › Jesus is no longer physically here. Or run-of-the-mill empires that knaves make worse! But sometimes we may simply need to rethink where and how we look for God when we suffer because, like Elijah, we may be looking for God in the earthquake or a great fire when God has appeared in a gentle whisper. It is part of being alive. 7 Comments Posted by The Cidrìe on July 22, 2014. That’s what, now the where. God gives inner strength that compensates for loss, and gives the sufferer the resourcefulness to live faithfully and effectively. In a way, the gifts are geared toward suffering, because spiritual gifts are meant to be for the good of others. God's Word tells us, "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. And taking us through suffering, not out of it, is one of the primary means that the Spirit uses today in bringing us to God." Jesus was that choice. So the question I have pondered and cried out is why ? First, we remember God is not the author of pain and suffering. (We can safely ignore the many fools who think that way.) (4) Pray for power encounters between Christ and the devil in the matrix of devilish political systems. (You may or may not agree with this, but Smedes sets up the basic context so well that it merits your full consideration.). WHERE. In many cases He carries us through our problems, other times He allows us to get in trouble to bring us to a stronger faith. (3) The amazing amount of health in this broken world is a greater sign and wonder than an occasional healing from illness. Suffering. "You need not cry very loud; God is nearer to us than we think. Smedes wasn't trying to be a spoil-sport or a party-pooper by bringing this up. Download it Where Is God When We Suffer books also available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobi Format for read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. There have been some contemplative writers and teachers who thought so. Jesus knows. Or is God at work in ways that perhaps we've not even imagined?Libby Lane was rece... – Listen to Libby Lane - How is God with us when we suffer? I do not even want to know why I suffer; And we then stop and pray that God shows us how to be of service in Jesus' work of bring wholeness where there is suffering. The second is a shift away from viewing goodness in life as an entitlement and toward living life as a servant and disciple of Christ. A better question and one I have been thinking about for a while concerns specifically the three deaths in my family in such a short amount of time. Where is God when we suffer? Jesus' example is that of putting others first, not ourselves or those we think of as being like us. if endured willingly). People who do believe in God come to various conclusions as to why we suffer. A mountain of dung is no less filthy when there's a diamond in it. Let us receive the rewards of heaven through our blessed Lord. Jesus cares. The experience of what we experience when we suffer, first heartbeat to last. As C.S. The law is the law and even God cannot get around it. May this testimony of John Farese be an encouragement. If what you're looking at isn't much of an answer to anyone's torment, then pray that the Spirit's signals start directing you. Blog Set-Up By Blogelina. Why God doesn't eliminate suffering in our life? But only some, and definitely not most. to depend on what's done by those who aren't suffering, and sometimes by others who are. But by choosing to fully take part in what is happening. God hasn’t promised to explain everything about what He does and what He allows. How do you live life differently now because of it. Think back on some ordeal you have suffered in the past. "Despair is suffering without meaning." Then, He died as a suffering servant, to clear our way to the Kingdom so that even death could not stop us. Jenna rated it really liked it Aug 04, 2012. What the Spirit gives is resources so we can face it and make something positive come from it. He is bigger than all the problems that can hit us, and we are not left alone to deal with them. It's a mystery. It felt to me like proclaiming that God is alive and well in the world because you survived an airplane crash in which everyone else perished. What's next? It begins with Lynn's own story of loss and suffering. Suffering that will end in a slow death, like lung cancer? Holiness We know this because that's how it was for Jesus. God enjoys doing that. He is not just omnipotent; he is also the God of all comfort. We would like to believe that God is more of a “senile benevolence,” as C.S. There he met three very unusual people — an older, black women playing God the Father, a young man playing God the Son, and a young Asian women playing God the Holy Spirit. Crippled for most of his life … 12 1994. Where is God when we suffer? He never gives us a trial without first giving us the strength to endure. I think Smedes' final observation hits upon what I see as a sore spot with many of the churches that most boast about healings: all too many Christians "expect and celebrate God's triumph over our suffering while we show little readiness to suffer for and with the people whose suffering never gets healed." Have you ever understood the mind of God? Verb with object: to be subjected to s.th., to endure s.th. This 'good effect' doesn't change the nature or 'badness' of it; it is what it is. But, the fact is, pain and suffering are here among us, and we need to respond in some way. Jesus spoke endlessly about serving and being a servant, of being a neighbor to others like the Samaritan who cared, of loving others, and most importantly those we find hard to love, with the intensity and single-mindedness with which we love ourselves. Anna rated it liked it Jan 25, 2020. What does all this mean? As Paul saw it, they are a unit, a whole, just as a human body is a whole, yet each believer is an identifiable part with a function in the overall Body. Whether or not we can see it, our suffering has a purpose. We were created to have joy. It is exceptionally cruel to speak glibly of 'spiritual gains', real and/or imagined, to those who live with extreme disabilities or are stuck in the poverty class or who lose a loved one. We offer informative articles, pamphlets, a booklet –Not By Sight, resources and stores and to help loved ones discover how to be a source of encouragement. God doesn't have to suffer. Just so long as when we end the immediate rejoicing, we get down to our Christian duty to remember what context the healings take place in -- a hurting, crying, brutal, unhealed world, a world that Christ loved and died to heal. ; (rare) to put up with, tolerate unhappily. The spiritual gains don't come from your ordeal, or even from the suffering itself. If God had to allow them to suffer the consequence of eating from the forbidden tree, then it begs the question – why did God put the tree there in the first place? ------ Helen Keller, *Optimism*, "I do not ask You to take away my suffering; They need real hopes, and Christians are called on to help make real hopes take root. ------ Mother Theresa. I suspect that Smedes' strict Calvinist upbringing might have predisposed him to distrust celebration. But even more : God had to face the ultimate in human rejection -- to be publicly executed for having spoken and lived the truth. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. We live in a disordered, broken existence, and this brokenness includes our bodies. That is, if you can call something 'life' which has no challenges, no repentances, no learning, no growing, all of which only come through trial, error, taking part, success, pain, loss, and hurt. Suffering is always a mystery without a satisfactory answer, but suffering can be an occasion for us to allow God even closer to us into our lives. The response Jesus gave was to bear the burdens of those he touched. Every Christmas, Christians celebrate (or are supposed to celebrate) this choice. You learn that more good things happen when you cooperate. Your email address will not be published. But there are examples that point to another way: the songs of the Mothers' Unions in South Africa; the almost constant spiritual singing of the 1950s-60s civil rights movement in the United States; the way that the Bethel New Life folks in Chicago celebrate each small victory for their community. He only watches.” But there is more. That, of course, is just being grumpy; it seems to come easier with age. And proclaiming your personal joy to those who mourned their dead." And you learn something about how each of us depends on each other. ------ Viktor Frankl, "Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible of poverty." Since God wants to bless His children, why does He allow them to suffer? We sold my car to get the down payment for our house, so we were running around with one car for a while. by Talking Theology instantly on your tablet, phone or browser - no downloads needed. which material things really count, which you're better off without, and which simply don't matter. God invites us into His school of comfort where we study His ministry and methods of comfort to equip us to be His agents of comfort to others. To be clear, I absolutely do no want to negate the fact that God may indeed be absent or at least agonizingly silent at times. Everyone has their own share of struggle but the Lord has promised to be with us and deliver us from all our troubles. ------ C.S. The story of Job is not God’s last word. But if good things can come from suffering, doesn't that make it good? There is no time when He is not there. Human Wrecks. The simple answer is that God is where people suffer most. It is really relatable. The gains come from the fact that God (and, like God, we ourselves) can take 'bad', 'horrible', and even 'evil' situations and make something good come from them. Why suffer? But does there have to be the kind of suffering that some people go through? It is an unavoidable aspect of life. As believers, we can be assured of this truth found in Scripture: God is with us, a constant friend (Matthew 28:20; John 15:12-15). Even that last heartbeat, … (Note that I’ve said he uses not causes suffering for his people. It is part of being alive. Then again, it seems apt for any time. Isn’t suffering the work of satan? verb: to feel pain, undergo a harsh penalty (esp. "I come from a situation that for good and bad had a heightened expectation for healing. With compassion and honor given to those who lost their lives, he asks questions about what we do when suffering seems unfair. We many times moan and whinge when things do not go right. He can no longer move His legs to where the sufferers are, so that He can physically address them face to face, look them in the eyes, grasp hold of their needs, render through sound waves the needed words of comfort or challenge, lay hands to bring physical healing. The only difference and comfort for a Christian is that death doesn't have the final word. Freedom to choose good or evil. Where Is God When We Suffer? ", The amazing amount of health in this broken world is a greater sign and wonder than an occasional healing from illness, Why can someone who is a true Christian die this painfully, No exemptions have been granted -- not even for Christ, Orig. No exemptions have been granted -- not even for Christ, who had to suffer and die. The reality is that when we fail to trust God in our suffering, we will find ourselves blaming Him for it … No problem has the capacity to be insurmountable to God. The very fact that there is such human suffering gives good cause to doubt not only the value of the whole human race, but also the existence of any God that can be said to care in the slightest for what's been created, any God who has power over all things, any God who is anything other than a horrible brute who finds sadistic whimsical joy in squeezing every last drop of anguish out of those who've been created. That, of course, means that Jesus is not the arms, legs, hands, and such. I think that those personal healings should not just be acknowledged, not just be warmly received, but there really should be flat-out rejoicing. Those who are broken may remain broken. Lewis Smedes put the problem this way, when seeing the fuss that was made over miracle healings at his college : "It was a feeling I could not shake -- not a scholar's argument, more like a mood or maybe an intuition, but in any case a stubborn, uneasy feeling about the fittingness, even the decency, of celebrating far and wide the miraculous healing of a relatively few ailments within a world endemically infected by enormous, intractable, unalleviated suffering. Every Good Friday, Christians mourn (or are supposed to mourn) how far it had to go. It's common to wonder if our suffering is God… A phrase that the New Testament used for describing the fellowship of Christ's followers is "the Body of Christ". 2. It's the right instinct. In our pain, we long to know why God allows grief and hardship into our lives. God is closer to us than we are to ourselves, so to speak. Not by overriding the freedom God had put into nature and into creatures, especially the human ones. You'll never know the reason why, or even if there is a reason. But only once it has beat its last is it ready for a new beginning. ------ Brother Lawrence (Nicolas Herman). The Spirit gives the direction and power to make these resources work. Yet Jesus is not the Christian's answer to suffering by Himself. His role as head is signaled to the Body through the Spirit, the nerve impulses that cause the Body to work. Human suffering destroys and beats people down. Since God’s presence is with us when we suffer, he may use suffering to draw us to Christ, develop in us Christian maturity, and to accomplish his purposes. It’s still a terrifying thought, though—God uses pain to bring us to him). "Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know  you're dead." › We're so fragile, yet we live, and most of us most of the time live fairly healthfully. Jesus can no longer hold the hand of the sufferer, wrap His arms around them, and give the comfort of a physical embrace. Holding Onto Hope When Experiencing Injustice, How God Gives Us What We Need to Make It Through Our Difficult Circumstance, Navigating Suffering When We Want to Understand, When You Need to Know Your Next Step of Faith, 5 Strategies for Dealing With Depression, Part 2, Pushing Past Our Breaking Points to Do the Will of God, Maintaining a Firm Faith in Difficult Circumstances. Published on Spirithome, executed for having spoken and lived the truth, injustice and oppression by governments, armies, economies, or social structures. Of apparently unquenchable pain, immeasurable loss, utter hopelessness, total abandonment? Torture and anguish are terrible to go through. The Spirit gives hope, which itself creates perseverance. But Christ does have the Body of Christ in the physical world -- that is, the believers, as a whole, in subgroups and organizations, as a people, and as persons. ------ Daniel Wallace, in *Christianity Today*, September .... except that God knows this is true, and set out to do something about it. God suffers the way of a lover being wronged, the way of a father awaiting his lost son. That's something not even God wanted to go through, but the whole point of it all was to go through things that no one wants to go through, if that's what it takes to complete the task at hand, for real. (In fact, that's what 'for real' is all about. While faith in God doesn't logically stand or fall just on this matter, it hinges on it more than any other so far as our experience of the life of faith is concerned. Where is God When We Suffer? Jesus suffered and died, so we could escape this world of sin and death. Should we expect God to resolve our suffering? God just does it, and is committed to it because of love. Freedom to choose God or self. Our duty is not to tell them to smile harder or to feed them false hopes, but to make it so that they can live amidst their grief and perhaps be led forward with their life. God walked among people in the same way they walk among each other, talk to them at their level, with their sufferings small and large, face to face, person to person. 1990 on GEnie, then 1992 ECUnet. That's a good indicator that God agrees with you, and is working on it, in tears. He receives a letter inviting him to come back to the place where she was killed. Smedes writes, "If I make the first shift, I am more open to the power of the Spirit to act in response to peoples' suffering. that it grabs you and drags you to the place where you discover how much you need God's grace. *, p.325 (Zondervan; Walker revised Large-print edit., 1996), Then, Smedes asks for a two-fold change in our way of thinking and doing. It can cause a person to react All have sinned, Paul wrote, therefore no one is truly innocent. The devil uses it to cause confusion, anger, delusion, or resignation. It's this fact that gives you real reason to hope as you suffer. This is basically where Pat Robertson left Haiti. We celebrate the healings we get, but what about the healings which, by the grace of God, we don't need, or the miseries that aren't there? Other times He chastizes us to correct us. There's something odd about seeing someone celebrate over a miracle. Start your review of Where Is God When We Suffer? back to top. If that offends some of you, well, tough. Now, I think God is with all of us, and we’ll end today’s time with that. that suffering, like death, has a way of stripping away the differences we-all have created. 8 years ago. In conclusion, then, what we can say about God’s whereabouts when we suffer is that God has not abandoned us. It would seem to rule out anything even vaguely resembling the God that Christians speak of -- and rule in a God who deserves our utter hatred not our worship. But this is simply not the case, everyone has unique troubles. The kinds that we don't want to have. In this episode we discuss the challenges one faces when they suffer, the common questions they ask, and the various ways Catholics have made sense of suffering in order to discover hope. How does the Bible speak into dark times? We have to think seriously about what God can give us through hardship. (p.20). ), "You need not cry very loud; God is nearer to us than we think." In the end, we realized that healing had a discernment aspect to it: before we began to pray we would seek God for HOW to pray in line with his purposes." But there is a more serious kind of strange feeling over celebrating, a strange feeling that is more relevant to spiritual concerns. ------ Levi Yitzhok of Berditchev. On several occasions, I've stumbled upon some people celebrating for whatever reason, and snickered, 'what's happened to them that's worth partying over?' We weren't created to suffer. When we think He is not in control, it is only because our minds can never grasp the will and power of God. Distress intrudes on our joy. Cut loose, revel in it, praise the Lord 'til you drop! do I suffer for Your sake?" ------ Tennessee Williams, in the London *Observer*, 1958. What kind of suffering? The truth is, more often than not, the lessons aren't learned, the goodness doesn't come of it. God doesn't have to suffer. Let’s face it. Write a review. back to top, "In seeking God's power, I discovered his person. None of the suffering we endure on earth compares to the eternity of bliss that awaits us in the Kingdom of God. Last is it ready for a New beginning n't come from suffering, we to... Rejection and pain are like at a human level can never grasp the will and of... 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All the hormones than any other question where is god when we suffer things happen when you cooperate that make it good apostle! You 're dead. do we suffer the lessons are n't learned, lessons. Car to get the same misery that was just healed to this, angles which are marital,,. Us the strength to endure s.th spiritual gifts are from the Strongest one acting through the,... Has given to human beings Paul wrote, therefore no one is truly.... Presence in our life He touched from the objective view of Scripture awaiting his lost son to know God... Unquenchable pain, undergo a harsh penalty ( esp Lawrence ( Nicolas Herman ) we many times moan whinge... True Christian die this painfully … God can’t suffer with me address this appropriately as. Of those He touched gives the direction and power of God letting people suffer a. The choice: soiled ancient diapers, skinned childhood knees, and brokenness. Lot actually the lessons are n't learned, the justice of God 's.. In some way. time” here below address this appropriately tells us, to! We long to know why God does n't have the same diseases that non-Christians get was Jesus! 'For real ' is all about only because our minds can never grasp the will and to. With us and deliver us from all our troubles God knows where is god when we suffer is the most of... Now, I think God is always there as a healing, loving, liberating, presence! Simply not the main Christian answer to creation 's struggles be frank we. 04, 2012 depend on what 's done by those who suffer particular.... Creates perseverance so as it increases from first heartbeat to last safely ignore the many who...
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