Suffering nearly touches us all and is a common human experience. Suffering is bad. Period. Yet, God steps into this badness. Somehow His knowledge of it and presence in it has some redemptive qualities. In this episode of Breaking Bread, Brian Sutter with Fred Witzig take the topic of suffering head-on and expose the hope that suffering affords.
- Suffering rises from different places. One type of suffering results from consequences from our actions. Another type of suffering results from calamity completely outside of our control. And yet, a third type of suffering comes about when we, by choice, pick up our cross and follow Christ.
- Throughout time, suffering has proven to be a catalyst for either rejecting God or growing faith in God.
- Throughout the Bible we have examples of men and women who, out of their suffering, turned to God and asked “why this suffering?” God is big enough to shoulder our complaints. There is a difference, however, in asking “why” from a standpoint of faith and a standpoint of no faith.
- There are some advantages suffering brings. Suffering gives us a Godward perspective. Suffering helps us identify what matters in this life. Suffering allows us to identify with Christ’s suffering. Suffering helps us rid our hearts of sin. In time, God can use suffering to bring us to a settled place in Him.
- Suffering is often coupled with our loves. Those people and things most dear to us carry the potential for suffering. This risk to love is the risk Christ took and suffered on our behalf.
- According to God’s purposes, He alleviates some suffering while at other times equips us to endure.
- God calls us to walk with those who are suffering yet doing so requires patience and silence.