On Suffering

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”                                                                                                      John 16:33

I have been reading a book by Adam Hamilton titled Making Sense of the Bible. On one of the quotes that Hamilton shared, he noted that it was an old newspaper clipping he had seen but could find no source. The quote is so good I felt the need to share it with my readers…

Suffering is not God’s desire for us, but it occurs in the process of life. Suffering is not given to teach us something, but through it we may learn. Suffering is not given to punish us, but sometimes it is the consequence of our sin or poor judgment. Suffering does not occur because our faith is weak, but through it our faith may be strengthened. God does not depend on human suffering to achieve his purposes, but sometimes through pain, his purposes are achieved. Suffering can either destroy us, or it can add meaning to our life.

Over the course of the history of mankind, suffering has been a consistent, though unwanted traveling partner. Indeed, as with nearly all instances of world-wide calamities and disasters such as COVID, some suffer grievously, and some suffer relatively little. The point is, that all are suffering somehow, and we need not quantify it, nor do we need to explain it. We need to go through it, learn from it, and use those lessons for the benefit of society.  

Prayer: Father, in this time of suffering we look to you as our source of peace. Thank you that you have overcome the troubles of the world, Amen.

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