Thabiti Anyabwile on Suffering

November 30, 2009

Christian Life

Suffering is real.  It’s easy to be cavalier about the concept of going through trials until you find yourself smack dab right in the middle of one.  This is probably best exemplified by Peter before he denied the Lord three times.  The past year has been a season of great joy and intense suffering for myself and many of my friends in Christ.  Over my years, I’ve gone from putting up strong airs and being a cheer-up leader for others, to accepting suffering for the extreme difficulty that it is and acknowledging the legitimacy of the pain we endure.  Our hope for our eternal well-being is coupled to a great and sovereign God who is factually working through our misery for a season.  I really like the following quote by Richard Sibbes, it is very poignant: 

“Whatsoever is good for God’s children they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to heaven; therefore, if poverty be good, they shall have it; if disgrace be good, they shall have it; if crosses be good, they shall have them; if misery be good, they shall have it; for all is ours, to serve for our greatest good.” 

Scriptures alert us to the fact that all Christians suffer.  Eventually we will need to take comfort.  Invariably we will need to comfort those who are afflicted.  I don’t believe you’ll find any reference in the bible that tells us we are to assuage another of their grief.  But rather, with prayer and meditation on God’s word we are to gently remind one another of the blessed hope in Christ that we all have and that we are secure in His providential dealings.  Comments?

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