Standing at the Gates of HellCreative Commons License

Shane Gorski via Compfight

Like you, I’ve suffered. Until I go to heaven, I will suffer even more. In a fallen world, this is a given. Thank God for His promises! God pledges to make beauty from our ashes, to work all things together for our good, and to never leave us or forsake us. We love and serve a God who put on flesh and came to earth to suffer for us and with us. While on my sabbatical break, I’m reading a book by Tullian Tchividjian: Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free, David C Cook publisher. The introduction alone was so encouraging that the purpose of my post today is to share two excerpts with you and to urge you to read this book.

 “We find that the book of Job gives us a clearer understanding of who God is—and isn’t—in the midst of suffering. So what would a God who was present in suffering look like? First and foremost, He would be a God who suffers Himself. Maybe even dies. A God who meets people in their suffering, rather than on the other side of it. Pain might even be one of His primary avenues for reaching people. C. S. Lewis memorably captured this reality when he described pain as God’s ‘megaphone to rouse a deaf world.'” [1]

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Raul Lieberwirth via Compfight

“Whenever what we’ve depended on for meaning—and it’s usually one of God’s good gifts—is stripped away, our first reaction tends to be one of anger, self-pity, blame, and entitlement. But idolatry feeds on itself, robbing us of joy until we have no other choice but to cry out for God. Fortunately, as one friend puts it, God’s office is at the end of your rope. Indeed, God intends to free us from more than our idolatry: He intends to free us from ourselves…Thankfully, the good news of the gospel is not an exhortation from above to ‘hang on at all costs,’ or ‘grin and bear it’ in the midst of hardship. No, the good news is that God is hanging on to you, and in the end, when all is said and done, the power of God will triumph over every pain and loss.”[2]

In your suffering, if things just don’t make sense, remember that our God of love grasps you closely. We may never know the whys, but we know the character of God. He is love, and He is enough. Christ set the example by entrusting Himself into God’s hands and yielding to suffering. He meets our deepest needs in suffering. We flee to Him for mercy.

To purchase Glorious Ruin:  How Suffering Sets You Free for Kindle, CLICK HERE.

To purchase in hardback: CLICK HERE. 

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[1] Tullian Tchividjian, Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free, (David C Cook, Colorado Springs, CO, 2012), pg 7.
[2] Ibid., pg. 10.