Thursday, January 29, 2015

Making Sense of Suffering

"Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering." Heb 10:32

Sometimes the suffering we read about in the bible stuns us. David is a case in point.  Threatened by his own son, he flees Jerusalem barefoot, but still has the presence of mind to listen to Shimei who is cursing him and throwing stones and dirt at him. David recognizes that Shimei is a prophet calling him out of his fear and into a renewed relationship with God. 

St Paul reports much the same treatment and suffering on his missionary journeys. 
Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;… 2 Cor 11:24-26
Sometimes it is only the person who appears crazy and out of control to others who is able to get our attention. Unless we are willing to acknowledge that suffering comes to everyone, especially if we are trying to live a principled and faith filled life, we can never hope to understand and experience the transforming power of the Gospel.

Today, don't be afraid to listen to those who seem crazy.

How do your understand the suffering of so many in the bible?

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