In the Conclusion to Glorious Ruin, Pastor Tullian Tchividjian states that the Whys of suffering keep us in an abyss of abstraction where we reduce God to a finite ethical agent whose purposes are on a par with our own. Sadly, this response to suffering is quite confining.
How do we find a pathway through suffering? The author cites Ray Ortland’s blog commentary on the book of Job:
“When the righteous cannot connect the realities of their experience with the truths of God, then God is calling them to trust him that there is more to it than they can see. As with Job, there is a battle being fought in the heavenlies. Trust in God, not explanations from Gold, is the pathway through suffering.”
Pastor Tchividjian adds that Thomas Merton once said that many people don’t understand that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you actually will suffer. That’s because smaller, more insignificant things will start to torture you, in direct proportion to your fear of being hurt. Through suffering, we’re in a position to see that Jesus not only suffered and died for us on the cross, but that the Father sent Jesus to suffer with us. As Tullian Tchividjian titled a previous book: Jesus + Nothing = Everything.
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