Terrorism is an old phenomenon. 5 Guilt. Clearly, these ideas should be broached with tact and sensitivity to anyone actually undergoing a tragedy. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Our response to God's discipline/breakingprocess is crucial. These were the characteristics that we identified: Faithful Disciples Suffer for Christ - Faithful Disciples Proclaim the Truth - Faithful Disciples Fear Only God - Faithful Disciples Trust in God - Faithful Disciples… Features Pricing Upload Sermon Get started for FREE. Passage: 1 Peter 4:7-9. Personally I find this perspective counterproductive. Embrace it. Finally, the people realized the will of God, and in verse 14 we read that they said, “If that is the case, the Lord’s will be done.” Jesus Christ himself had prayed, “Not my will but thine be done.” This should be our reaction also when we face suffering. Sometimes we may be tempted to respond to someone’s suffering with thoughtless platitudes. 1:4). Rather, they should be seen as the result of a fallen world that God will someday restore. Evil and suffering can sometimes make people question their religious beliefs. Christian beliefs about the origins of suffering in the world and how to respond to this problem vary. We will never share your address. The Book of Job shows us that suffering is not a sign of God’s absence. 2. In the meantime, God uses the inevitable suffering in this world to convey the message to us that we must attend to the moral and spiritual meaning of this life. You feel for them. The Christian walk isn't always sunshine and daisies. The pattern that much of modern suffering fits is that given by Jesus in Luke 13:1-5. Embrace it. Given that our own and the world’s brokenness confront us daily, how should we respond to pain and suffering? Our Response. Our Response. We will all be judged according to Biblical criteria. God created the world with certain physical rules, which we violate at our own hazard. Keeping in mind Jesus’ teaching that tragedies should not be seen as punishments from God but rather as general warnings for victims and bystanders alike is an important starting place. In the face of terrible struggles, we have no easy answers. In this passage Peter gives us four ways to respond to suffering. As I see it, Job’s suffering elicits five distinct responses throughout the course of the text. To understand how to best interpret Job 3–32, watch this video (If reading via email click here): How they got it wrong: The friends of Job made the wrong conclusion when they assumed suffering was always a sign of God’s displeasure with a person. Trust the Lord to help you do all you can to respond to the gracious patience of the Lord and avoid incurring His wrath and consequential penalties. Yet our hope is more than just in a future in heaven; it is also found in the promise that God is with us in the midst of our suffering. God may permit suffering so we learn to respond to problems in a biblical way. It is hard for us to respond because we cannot explain God’s intentions, but we can offer hope. With this insight into suffering, the least appropriate response is to feel ashamed. The stoic view of suffering says that we have no control over what happens to us externally. Expect it. Viruses are no respecters of persons, ethnic groups, nationalities, or religions. We should do our best “to keep a stiff upper lip” and to “let nothing get us down.” Evangelicals have probably been most affected by the stoic view. Yet because God comes near the brokenhearted, we can run to those who are suffering and in so doing we can embrace them and find God. In the first case, God directly inflicted punishment. A Meditation on Luke 13:1-5, Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. They say, “It’s not God’s plan for you to be sick.” But what about Job? “It could be worse.” Believe it or not, that is only the first half of a hideous comment, for example: “It … I tell you, no! Suffering is a key part of life. James 1:12: "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Paul writes in Romans that through trials Christians might learn perseverance, which would lead to character and hope (Romans 5:3-5). Buddhists follow teachings that will help to relieve the suffering of others. Because they believed in karma, they assumed God was never present in someone’s suffering. Theists argue that this standard is rooted in God and His nature. As we noted earlier, there’s a difference between moral and natural evil. Responses, on the other hand, engender what Ricoeur calls “wisdom,” an unwavering commitment to relieve and prevent suffering. We want to know that we are not alone. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. 1. God, send truth. The stoic view of suffering says that we have no control over what happens to us externally. In our suffering for the Kingdom we must unite our suffering to Christ's suffering. Because the world is fallen, we can experience suffering due to the poor decision making of others. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him. From that dark place, he slowly regained his spiritual bearings, recognizing in time that the joy of this life is inextricably interwoven with the pain. Houses burn down, best friends die, and children abandon their faith. To have one, we must accept the other. Hope in the midst of it. These responses may help us, or at least me, in thinking about the call to respond to the suffering of others. In Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-14 we are given a wonderful example of Jesus responding to evil. There is no need for us to pretend like everything is okay. The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-36 NJB) challenges us to face up to the suffering of others. 7 Recommended Books for When Life Hurts Kevin A. Thompson, kevinathompson.com/7-recommended-books-life-hurts, lateraliteral.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/what-no-really-what, A Dangerous Assumption About God's Will Kevin A. Thompson, kevinathompson.com/dangerous-assumption-gods-will, How Some Soar Through Suffering - Kevin A. Thompson, God Speaks (Sermon Summary) - Kevin A. Thompson, kevin-thompson.preview47.rmkr.net/dangerous-assumption-gods-will, Always Suffer Together, Never Alone - Kevin A. Thompson, kevinathompson.com/always-suffer-together-never-alone, The Great Opportunity for those Who Claim Jesus. 2:4-6) Illustration:The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. We can enjoy one challenging holiday season just because we are sustained by the traditi… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…, Prone to take things personally? The Galileans who died at the hands of the Romans were no worse than anyone else. That when we’ve experienced comfort in our sufferings, we then have the opportunity to go and comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Editor’s Note: The following essay is from a young woman named Gayle Tice. I added this question to this series because it is so appropriate. 2. It is often through our own experience of suffering in which we come to know God. Here are three offenders. While others try to deny it or avoid it, Christians can embrace suffering. Our suffering offered up to Christ places us at the pivot point of the history of man. In other words, the trials we experience in life can be positive, life-changing, transformative events. We’re all in this together. 12:7). Jesus does not directly address the issue of causation—that is, Was God responsible? Similarly, the slow-motion tragedy of the coronavirus that we are now experiencing will no doubt try our faith or that of others close to us. We can become collaborators with God's plan of salvation when we unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ and offer up our prayers for the salvation of our neighbors, our communities, and the world. When bad things happen, people are prone to ask, “Did I do something for which God is punishing me?” A more benevolent version of this question is “What does God want to teach me from this suffering?” If the problem continues after much prayer, some might conclude that the person is persisting in a particular sin or simply lacks faith. “Walk according to the Spirit", with the breaking of the outer man we should respond properly to God's initiatives. Beyond that, Christians should do all they can to alleviate the suffering caused by global poverty and hunger. Because... 2. Some call it “owning” our pain. Twenty-one years later he wrote A Grief Observed. By Sarah Sentille s. August 3, 2017. "Delivered By Bishop Ronald K. Powell at Crosswinds International on Sunday 01/26/20 When a tragedy occurs in life, one response—perhaps a natural response—is to ask why this has happened. Two chapters later, Paul summarized the point in moving and hope-filled words of faith: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). How can we rejoice when we are going through a difficulty or being persecuted for Christ? The fourth cause of suffering Yancey found was due to the unwise actions of human beings: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them” (Proverbs 26:27). 3. We know people are suffering by their demeanor and by what they say. I tell you, no! May God help us to say, “Not my will but thine be done.” But let’s go back to God’s judgments in time. If God and suffering are polar opposites, we should run from suffering in order to run to God. There is certainly a time for words of compassion and Christian truth, but initially simply being present may be all that is needed or wanted. If we pollute our air with carbon monoxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and inorganic particulates, we should expect to cause harm to ourselves, other animals, and our food crops. Let me share a little of what I learned and some of my own reflections on this subject. "How should we respond to suffering?" Suffering is multifaceted. 3. I do know, though that you are right about one thing: God is a loving God. How Should We Respond to Suffering in the World? Guilt is one of the worst. Chapters 3 through 32 of the Book of Job record a series of conversations between Job and his three friends—Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. Job also suffered because of the assaults of Satan. We should do our best “to keep a stiff upper lip” and to “let nothing get us down.” Evangelicals have probably been most affected by the stoic view. This is the age-old question of theodicy: how can we reconcile our belief in a loving, omniscient God with the existence of evil and suffering in the world? 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