how should we respond to suffering
The conversation contrasts the prevalent thinking about suffering in Job’s day with the truth about suffering from a Biblical perspective. 3. May God help us to say, “Not my will but thine be done.” Not that I think it matters, but I was affected more than most this time. Ask the Lord to help you avoid trying to compare yourself with others. With Bishop Ronald K. Powell "Present yourself to God." God’s rewards and punishments in the Old Testament were applied to a people with an explicit covenant relationship with him in which the consequences of the people’s actions were known in advance. 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? We want someone to acknowledge how badly we are hurting and allow us to be just as we are without needing or expecting us to feel better. Twenty-one years later he wrote A Grief Observed. 2. We should be praying, "God, intervene in this situation. When the pain we encounter is the problem, we need to respond with charity to ease it. How the Bible gets it right: The Bible tells a different story. (the 1990 revised version) was personally helpful to me. Suffering is multifaceted. Any violence used in … And he talks about the comfort that comes through Jesus in our suffering that then spills on to others. As I see it, Job’s suffering elicits five distinct responses throughout the course of the text. We should be compassionate and do what we can to support relief agencies who are helping to alleviate the suffering in those regions. Scripture tells us that Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8, NIV). Houses burn down, best friends die, and children abandon their faith. Learning from Paul’s Defense.” 1 Thessalonians 2:1-4 . Just knowing that suffering will come can help us endure suffering. You feel for them. To pray for the leaders that are involved in that situation, to pray for us that we'll know how to respond, and what we should do with the opportunities God gives us, and to pray that God would intervene. Pain alerts us to the fact that something is wrong with the world and with people. Nor were the victims of the construction accident more or less guilty than anyone else in Jerusalem. When a tragedy occurs in life, one response—perhaps a natural response—is to ask why this has happened. We don't want someone to fix our sadness. - YouTube Just knowing that suffering will come can help us endure suffering. 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. I added this question to this series because it is so appropriate. Because we know that God works through brokenness and suffering, we can admit when we are broken or hurting. In the first case, God directly inflicted punishment. Rereading Philip Yancey’s Where is God When It Hurts? It makes no sense to say that my arm, or leg, is suffering. Responses, on the other hand, engender what Ricoeur calls “wisdom,” an unwavering commitment to relieve and prevent suffering. “It could be worse.” Believe it or not, that is only the first half of a hideous comment, for example: “It … Other New Testament writers go further. In my flesh, when I face suffering, I want to complain and/or run from it. | April 26, 2020 | Bill Boulet. Many continue to ignore the fact that God is long-suffering toward us not wishing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Get an email of every new post! The Galileans who died at the hands of the Romans were no worse than anyone else. For now, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22). As we noted earlier, there’s a difference between moral and natural evil. But let’s go back to God’s judgments in time. 1 Peter 3:13-14, 17 says “Now who is there to harm you if you are... 2. The winner was not the runner who finished first. The title of Yancey’s book asks an important question: Where is God when it hurts? Persecution or Suffering for Righteousness Sake Chapters 3 through 32 of the Book of Job record a series of conversations between Job and his three friends—Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. Suffering is a key part of life. The Christian walk isn't always sunshine and daisies. This is not the case today. The fallenness of this world—with its attending diseases, physical catastrophes, and death—is meant to remind us that this world is not God’s final intention for humanity; rather, a better world awaits us. While most people try to avoid suffering or deny it, Christians can lean into suffering. Christians should respond to global poverty and hunger with action. In other words, the trials we experience in life can be positive, life-changing, transformative events. According to Christianity, what God values above all is relationship. 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. Job also suffered because of the assaults of Satan. 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. It should never surprise us. How Jesus Taught Us to Respond to Suffering. In Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-14 we are given a wonderful example of Jesus responding to … Thanks for all your hard work. In this passage Peter gives us four ways to respond to suffering. How do we respond to hurting people?” At this early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, most of us are not yet in the position of needing to respond to hurting people. How can God allow Christians to suffer and how should Christians react to hardship? Saturday, October 3, 2020 Pastor: Greg Lundstedt. We will all be judged according to Biblical criteria. The answer is surely that he is with us, walking with us in our suffering, grieving with us in our sorrow. "Delivered By Bishop Ronald K. Powell at Crosswinds International on Sunday 01/26/20 2:4-6) Illustration:The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. Guilt is one of the worst. Editor’s Note: The following essay is from a young woman named Gayle Tice. Suffering will occur and when it happens we do not have to be shocked by it. With this insight into suffering, the least appropriate response is to feel ashamed. How can the existence of a good, all-powerful, and all-knowing Creator be squared with the world in which we find ourselves, riddled as it is with evil and human suffering? If we return to Jesus and the man born blind, we understand why Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned” to cause his lack of sight (John 9:3). 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.” With this insight into suffering, the least appropriate response is to feel ashamed. Please enter your name, email and a comment. Clearly, these ideas should be broached with tact and sensitivity to anyone actually undergoing a tragedy. 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. 1. I sometimes here Christians say that we ARE healed and if we don’t see our healing manifested it’s because we lack faith. But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Because they believed in karma, they assumed God was never present in someone’s suffering. The second option we can take when dealing with suffering is that we can feel our pain. Jesus knew that it is unacceptable to suggest that those who suffer deserve what they get. "How should we respond to suffering?" 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. Beyond that, Christians should do all they can to alleviate the suffering caused by global poverty and hunger. The pattern that much of modern suffering fits is that given by Jesus in Luke 13:1-5. Ours is an Easter faith. He urges us to not be surprised when God brings us suffering, to rejoice in God's promises when we suffer, to not be ashamed when we are persecuted for Christ, but instead to rejoice in the honor of bearing his name, and to trust our lives to God's power and faithfulness. God seems to be saying that it is not Job’s place to look backwards to discover the cause of the problem; rather, his area of responsibility is to look forward by deciding how he is going to respond to the crisis. We want someone to acknowledge how badly we are hurting and allow us to be just as we are without needing or expecting us to feel better. 2. 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. How can we rejoice when we are going through a difficulty or being persecuted for Christ? Those who take the view that suffering is due to divine judgment point to the many Old Testament verses where God punishes the Israelites because of their evil actions. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us we would be persecuted in this 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. The British writer C.S. 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. 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. In that struggle some of us will be called to deep physical suffering while others to emotional suffering and persecution for the sake of the Kingdom, for Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven (Saint Rose of Lima). If you regularly over eat, you will become obese and your health will be compromised. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain was published in 1940 when he was about forty-two years old and in perfect health. 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. The great Christian teacher, tried like Job by pain and loss, questioned the goodness and justice of God. If he had kept us in an Edenic paradise in which there was no suffering, it is unlikely that we would pay much attention. They say, “It’s not God’s plan for you to be sick.” But what about Job? We cannot cope … We should be praying, "God, intervene in this situation. 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. Personal suffering today simply does not fit this pattern. In our continued series on suffering, Pastor Bill answers some of life's difficult questions in "How Should We Respond to Suffering?” To view other videos in this series, you can visit www.hbclakeland.com. Posted on June 8, 2015 by brucesmith49. Passage: 1 Peter 4:7-9. 4. As fallen people, our genetic code is fallen making us susceptible to disease and illness. Sorrow was a sign that God has removed himself from a person. First: Satan is real Second: God is in Control 1. In other words, if you smoke cigarettes, you will increase your risks for getting lung cancer. For those who love Jesus, a day will come in which he will wipe every tear away—there will be no more death, sorrow, or suffering. Personally I find this perspective counterproductive. 3:9) The apostle of Christ shows us that God’s patience is designed to lead us to change our mind, attitudes and actions. (2 Pet. Suffering will find us because we are Christians. In keeping with the definition, people will often describe themselves as “broken”, “shattered” or “fallen into pieces”. When we start feeling, our suffering it really is painful, and it sucks. The pain and suffering of this world, Yancey concludes, should not be seen as judgments from God for specific behaviors that ought to be corrected. You want to help them decrease it. This was a year after the painful and protracted death from bone cancer of his wife, Joy Davidman Lewis. Yet, because of the Christian story, we can approach suffering differently. Download Broadcast Download Outline « Part 1 “What Does Genuine Ministry Look Like? In the third case, God permitted Satan or a demon to inflict suffering, but he allowed this for purposes of his own. Viruses are no respecters of persons, ethnic groups, nationalities, or religions. Save this story for later. We’re all in this together. I tell you, no! But what does God want? The stoic view of suffering says that we have no control over what happens to us externally. Suffering is a key part of life. But all of us currently need to be thinking of how we are responding to a crisis that will certainly produce much human suffering. We cannot cope … But in these cases, Yancey observes, God punishes his people because of specific violations of the covenant that he had established with them. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:13). Care to try a search? God created the world with certain physical rules, which we violate at our own hazard. The simple answer is, we should respond as deeply and honestly as possible according to our abilities and resources. If you do not shelter in place during a pandemic, you may get the virus as well as spread it to others. 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. In this 2-part post, pastors Thabiti Anyabwile, Buster Brown, and John Mahaffey, talk about why God allows pain and how Christians should respond to suffering. Not all Christians believe in free will, however. The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-36 NJB) challenges us to face up to the suffering of others. It is hard for us to respond because we cannot explain God’s intentions, but we can offer hope. Buddhists follow teachings that will help to relieve the suffering of others. Beyond this, our best response may not be discourses on theodicy, such as this meditation has attempted. But why? Early in Yancey’s book, he observes, “We usually think of the problem of pain as a question we ask of God, but it is also a question he asks of us. God bless you and your family. We will never share your address. Rather, he makes it clear that the victims of these tragedies were not being punished for specific sins. How Jesus Taught Us to Respond to Suffering. 1. Jesus knew that it is unacceptable to suggest that those who suffer deserve what they get. If we feel our pain, it is challenging to us. But unless there is a moral standard, we have no real basis for calling anything good or evil. When Job’s friends learned of his suffering, the Scripture records, “They sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. So, how should we respond to suffering in the world? Jesus should always be our ultimate example of how to live our lives. The first was an act of political oppression; the second was a construction accident. Because the world is fallen, we can experience suffering due to the poor decision making of others. The stoic view of suffering says that we have no control over what happens to us externally. Some call it “owning” our pain. In Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-14 we are given a wonderful example of Jesus responding to evil. Our goal should be not merely relief from suffering but rather learning to please God by being responsive and obedient to Him and to His Word (see Romans 12:1, 2). Embrace it. If they ask the common question, “How could a loving God allow something like this to happen?” respond by saying, “I really wish I had an answer for you that could take away your pain, but I don’t. God may permit suffering so we learn to respond to problems in a biblical way. In times of trouble, we are beset by many negative feelings, fear, disappointment, bewilderment, grief, a sense of failure, rejection and guilt. Yancey, in fact, finds four answers to this question in the Scriptures. They have sought self-inflicted pain, persecution, and even martyrdom in hopes of knowing God better. Rather, they should be seen as the result of a fallen world that God will someday restore. They don't want to see you suffering. Here is a checklist to put things back into context and to detach from the opinion… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…, My grandparents were the Greatest Generation; we are likely the Lonely Generation. You certainly don’t want to prolong their suffering. Buddhists follow teachings that will help to relieve the suffering of others.