preacherman

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thoughts on Suffering

I think of Adam, Eve, Cain, Naomi, David, Job, Paul, and countless others. Every single one of us faces suffering in life.
The questions I have are: why do we suffer? Is it holier to suffer than not to suffer? Why or Why not? Are we wasting anything if do not use pain to grow? If we fail to grow as a result of suffering are we doomed to relearned the lesson we should have learned from the suffering in the first place? What is the difference between the faiths of those who grow from their suffering verses those who do not?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

28 Comments:

Blogger Mitrapa said...

Hello!
You might want to take a look at the thoughts of the Buddha, as the questions you ask, the answers are given by the Buddha. The questions you ask are not originally Cristian but Buddhist. You might find surprising answers to your thoughts from the Buddha.

Nils.

9:04 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

The questions I ask are not originally Christian they are originally human. All humans suffer whether we are Buddhist or Christian. Thank you for responding. Your comments are always welcome.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Laymond said...

Peacherman great to have you back, now to the question of what do we learn from suffering. If you look back to Job you will find suffering was not necessarly for the benefit of Job or the sufferer. not even to test his faith, but to prove his faith to others. God knows the strenght of your faith but do you and others around you. Should we use pain and suffering to exibit our belief and faith in God to others. Mayby this time is a window to our true heart, so mere mortals can catch a glympse into our soul.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

A bit off topic, but I've just gotta say...

Amen!!! Praise the Lord!!!!

We are so grateful to God for the measure of health you have regained. We continue to pray that God will be with you tomorrow as you speak from a heart full of God's grace concerning the greatest gift ever given. I wish I could be there to shout hallelujah when, the Lord willing, you begin to speak tomorrow morning. I'll be with you in spirit, though.

I hope you and preacherman's wife and preacherman's children have the best Christmas ever!

Grace and peace to you,
-bill

2:12 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Preacherman, perhaps it is time for you to do some boasting! Paul said in 2 Cor 12 "I will rather BOAST in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me".

For one whose heart is turned toward God, often the door of physical suffering is also the door of expanded opportunity and blessing in the Lord's work. You see, in the life of a Christian, weakness in the flesh is the place of power in the Spirit. "My strength is made perfect in weakness" are words for you to live by in these trying days.

Kenny, live expectantly. Expect God to manifest His mighty power in your life and ministry in the coming week and months. You are uniquely in a position to be greatly used of our Lord for His kingdom.

Warmest Regards and my blessing to you and your family.

Royce Ogle

3:03 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Bill,
Thanks I wish you could be here tomorrow I am preaching on Christmas message tying the message of birth redemption with: Simeon and the prophetess Anna.

5:10 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Laymand,
Thanks for your comments as always.
I also enjoy your e-mails.

5:12 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Royce,
Thanks for your comments.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Kenny while you were "under the weather" I made a post along the lines you are thinking. Rather than repeat it all (is is longer than a typical post) I invite you to read it at the following address:

http://stoned-campbelldisciple.blogspot.com/2006/12/dark-night-of-soul-following-is-old.html

I believe it will be of interest to you.

Shalom my brother and you continue to be in my prayers.

Shalom,
Bobby Valentine

12:44 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

May your knowledge and experience of the riches of God’s grace, abundantly lavished on us through the gift of His Son as our Savior and King, warm your souls and brighten your days through this holiday season. Merry Christmas! -bill

1:05 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

First off GREAT to have you back Preach!! I missed you brother

Suffering is a mystery. That end of Job leaves him in awe at the presence of suffering realizing that it is bigger then him.

Job blames God for the suffering, but we as the reader know that it is Satan from which the suffering was originated. Suffering can be beautiful. It is by fire that steal is made, it is by pressure and heat that a diamond is formed and thus it is true with the faith of the believer.

The most encouraging thing in Job to me, is that IN the suffering the Lord is there. He knows us by name and has great faith in us that we will persevere in spite of our sufferings.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Some denominations would have Christians to think that if they have faith that everything will be peachy and fine. The Bible goes exactly opposite of that.

Good Post.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Ben Overby said...

Kenny, Praise God you're recovering!

On the subject of suffering, I suspect that I need to be your student. So unlike Job's friends, I'll just shut up and listen.

Ben

4:20 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Why do we suffer?
We don't live in heaven yet. The effects of sin are great. That does not mean one sin in our lives means our suffering will increase. It just means that as a whole this place is not as it is intended to be.

Is it holier to suffer than not to suffer?
Suffering is not an issue of holiness. None of us are holy on our own. God sends rain on the just and the unjust. Suffering affects both as well. People in the past chose to suffer thinking it would lead to greater holiness. That is not really how it works.

Are we wasting anything if we do not use pain to grow?
This is bigger than just about pain. All sorts of experiences come at us in life that give us an opportunity to grow. We will all miss opportunities from time to time but suffering can (as can other things) certainly help us grow if we allow it.

If we fail to grow as a result of suffering are we doomed to relearn the lesson we should have learned from the suffering in the first place?
That is assuming that each time we suffer there is a lesson to be learned. I don't think that is necessarily the case. I don't think God looks at us and smashes us with a load of suffering to teach us something 100% of the time. Can He? Yes. Does all suffering means God is trying to teach us something? I don't think so.

What is the difference between the faiths of those who grow from their suffering vs. those who do not?
Their faith may be the same level. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. You may easily learn well from suffering and I may be plain old stubborn. I may learn better from something else that you have a hard time with. Neither means one's faith is better or worse than the other, just different.

Hope that helps.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Paula Harrington said...

I am SO glad you are feeling better. We were praying for you here in KY.

Suffering is part of living. If it weren't then why would we ever want to go to Heaven.

We had a tradegy happen here last week. One of our beautiful 19 year old girls (in the youth group) had a seizure and drown in her parents hot tub. For Christmas we were all gathered in the church building saying goodbye to this sweet girl and trying to comfort her parents.

I don't know why some suffer more than others. It seems that happens though. Thank God for His love, comfort, and mercy or we'd be a pitiful people. I love Job 1:20-22. After losing all his children, servants, etc... he fell down and worshipped. What faith and what an example!

We'll continue to pray for you and your family.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I think that through our suffering, we develop strength and courage.

I believe that all suffering has to do with Adam's original sin. God allowed sin, so that we could experience His mercy.

12:06 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I appreciate everyone's comments and adding to the discussion as always. I believe that all humans suffer as Christians we should use our suffering to glorify God. It should draw us closer to God. Strengthen our faith and our relationship with God. If we allow our pain and suffering to do that GOd will be glorified and we will be richly blessed.

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