Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reflection on Suffering: Elisabeth Elliot Rocks my Socks Off

"Nothing can reach us, from any source in earth or hell, no matter how evil, which God cannot turn to His own redemptive purpose. Let us be glad that the way is not a game of chance, a mere roll of dice which determines our fortune or calamity-it is a way appointed, and it is appointed for God's eternal glory and our final good."

How good is it to know that the Lord is sovereign, that the suffering we face is not random and pointless, but part of a good God's plan. I could not worship a god who was not responsible for the pain I often face, a god who looks down and weeps because he wanted to stop the hurt in my life but can't. That is a weak and powerless god, one that I would even call pathetic, and he would deserve no one's praise. The God of the bible is both omnipotent and good, therefore we know that there is method behind what seems to be the madness of this world. Our job, then, is to seek His guidance through our own trouble, and to be there for our friends in the midst of theirs. "Mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15) which generally means simply being silent and listening (not to respond as Job's friends, who spent more of their time accusing him of sin than they did listening to his frustrated questions). The last thing we should do is to try and "defend" God by saying that He did not want a certain trial to happen. This robs Him of His power and leaves us suffering pointlessly. Rather, praise God that He has a plan though we may not see it now, and run to Him when everything seems to be falling apart.

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