"All we have to do is live long enough, and we will be bereaved.
All we have to do is live long enough, and we will die"
So writes D.A. Carson in his book, "How Long, O Lord." This is an outstanding book addressing the reality of suffering. I have been thinking a lot about this topic. Although incomplete, here are some "pensees".
- Suffering is unavoidable - whether loss of health, wealth, friends, favor, comfort. It will happen to us all.
- Suffering tests our foundations. When all else is removed from our lives what remains?
- Faulty thinking, faulty being, faulty doing will not long endure suffering.
- It is best to prepare your foundations before you suffer, you may be too troubled in suffering to repair them.
- The fundamental problem is that our foundations are based on or corrupted by self-reference and relativism. If our foundation is not built on something absolute and enduring then it will fail us.
- Only God is absolute and enduring and therefore offers a foundation that will endure suffering.
- The biblical view of God answers us at the most fundamental levels in regards to suffering and offers us an unshakable and verifiable foundation.
- The nature and character of God: all-powerful, sovereign, absolutely good, fully compassionate, all-wise, infinite, eternal, all-glorious.
- He himself has suffered the most of any and all in Christ's death on the cross for sin.
- He has risen victorious over sin, suffering and death.
- He invites us to entrust our lives, our hopes, our sufferings to Him in Christ.
- He promises to use our sufferings for good in Christ.
- He uses our sufferings to refine our faith, hope, love and joy in Him, purging us of faulty foundations.
- One day soon, suffering and sorrow will be resolved and ended in Christ's return.