Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Question #6: How should we respond to suffering?

I added this question to this series because it is so appropriate.

Question #6 is often very difficult for us to deal with because it requires obedience. In my flesh, when I face suffering, I want to complain and/or run from it. But what does God want? What has He said in His word about how we should act when we suffer? I'll let three passages answer these questions:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." II Corinthians 1:3-4

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." I Peter 4:12-13

Do you struggle to respond this way? What is it specifically that causes us to struggle with this? Why is obedience in this area so difficult?


Maƫl said...


I recently received an e-mail asking for prayers for believers in India. Note what these persecuted believers are asking for:

There was another spurt of violence against the christians last week here in this city. One of the local pastor here was beaten up badly in his house last sunday for preaching in one of the slums of the city. Please ask God´s people over there to pray for all of us here as we need more grace and patience from the Lord to face these kind of situations. [emphasis mine]

BTW - my Giftedness is paramount post is waiting for an answer from you. Thanks.

Eric said...

It's encouraging to me to see that the believers are asking for more "grace and patience" rather than immediately asking for the persecution to stop. This is an example of people who have a biblical understanding of suffering.

I hope I could respond the same way if faced with that type of persecution.

Alan Knox said...


You asked: "Do you struggle to respond this way? What is it specifically that causes us to struggle with this? Why is obedience in this area so difficult?" ummm... yeah, I struggle to respond correctly to suffering. Why? Because I love myself and my own comfort more than I love God and his glory. A friend reminded me of this last Sunday, and it was a reminder that I needed to hear.

Your post was a great reminder also... thank you!


Eric said...

I'm right there with you on this one. Even knowing that suffering will bring me closer to God, I still don't want to go through with it. It is humbling to realize that my view of God is too small and my view of myself is too large.

Thank you for the comment.