suffering

How Suffering is Used in Our Lives

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are liekly to step out of our ruts and start searching for differnt ways or true answers.  M. Scott Peck

In a fallen and sinful world, where foolishness is common, deception prevalent, diversions and distractions constant, and many of us profoundly unhappy . . . it is the suffering itself that opens us up to a greater answer than what our culture has given us. 

It is all about you. We know that doesn't work. Especially in relationships. In fact, we now know this is the very reason for our greatest unhappiness!

The Journey of Life (M. Scott Peck)

M. Scott Peck quote, the journey of life, the Road Less Traveled

The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness. M. Scott Peck


Whether it is Augustine's Confessions, Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress, Dante's Divine Comedy, or Miller's Blue Like Jazz (I know the last author does not deserve the illustrious company in which I include him, but his genre and spirit are the same), this is how we must understand life.

The wisest Christians through the centuries have understood - this is the narrow way of the road that is traveled by few. Jesus told us this long before Frost and Peck borrowed his ideas and images.

Life is Difficult

Life is difficult.

With these three words, psychologist, M. Scott Peck began what would become a best selling book - The Road Less Traveled

There are fewer things, more important, then for you to have a "theology of suffering." For suffering happens. It happens to all of us. And for some of us, massive suffering happens.

If there is one thing that upsets the faith of Christians, it is when they suffer. I need to rephrase this. If there is one thing that upsets the faith of 21st century Christians living in North America - it is when they suffer.

The Problem of Evil and God's Love

It is a Painful Problem and a Deep Mystery

God and suffering, theodicy, problem of evil

I provide this first image - not to offend anyone, but to put it in simple, graphic images. This is how many non-Christians think about God and suffering. How can there be an all powerful God and an all loving God and suffering. Does God care? Does God notice? If he does - then why doesn't God DO SOMETHING ABOUT EVIL?

I can't begin to deal with this greatest of questions and most painful of problems in a post... or even a series of posts. This question-problem has occupied the minds of the greatest thinkers (both religious and non-religious) through the long centuries.
 

Helen Keller and the Apostle Paul on Suffering


They Knew It Was the Way to Growth in Life and Leadership
I want to imprint on you the thoughts of two very different people. The first is Helen Keller, the woman who through illness became blind, deaf and mute. Through a wonderful teacher Ann Sullivan, Keller overcame these disabilities and became an inspiration to the world. For more on Helen Keller, read this short biography. The second person is the Apostle Paul who endured suffering that was on a level virtually unimaginable. If you want to refresh your memory on what Paul endured to see churches planted in the Mediterranean world, read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33.

Here are the thoughts from Helen Keller and the Apostle Paul. 

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